30 Dec
2019

A team of 11 players with 12 Champions League medals Ed Woodward’s failed to sign!

first_imgPedro signs for Chelsea, Otamendi heads to Manchester City.In just one week Manchester United have been beaten to the signings of two long term targets by their biggest title rivals.Fans are frustrated with what is supposedly chief executive Ed Woodward’s failure to secure a number of top targets during his two years in charge.talkSPORT has put together a top class XI featuring players strongly linked with a move to Old Trafford during Woodward’s period as chief executive, that have signed deals elsewhere. 9. Pedro (attack) – snatched from beneath United’s noses. Click the arrow above, right to see other failed Man United moves – Few players can boast a CV quite as impressive as Pedro’s. The classy Spaniard was courted for most of the summer with Woodward heading out to Barcelona to seal a deal only to see Chelsea gazump them yet again. 12 6. Cesc Fabregas (midfield) – charmed by Mourinho. Click the arrow above, right to see other failed Man United moves – In another problem position for United, many saw Fabregas as the heir apparent to Paul Scholes. Restless at Barcelona, a move seemed on the cards until Chelsea swanned in and snatched the midfield schemer. Trophy laden transfer targets – Between them this team has won the Champions League 12 times, four World Cups, five European Championships and one League One title. 7. Toni Kroos (midfield) – chose trophies over Old Trafford. Click the arrow above, right to see other failed Man United moves – Having just won the World Cup with Germany and seemingly keen to leave Bayern Munich for a new challenge, Kroos would have been a quality addition to bolster United’s flimsy midfield. Kroos was available but he chose Real Madrid instead. 1. Asmir Begovic (goalkeeper) A proven Premier League goalkeeper available on the cheap? While Man United dithered, Chelsea snapped him up! Click the arrow above, right to see other players Man United could have signed – United went into the summer transfer window in clear need of a top notch keeper with David De Gea’s heart set on a move to Real Madrid and the cracks in Victor Valdes’ relationship with Louis Van Gaal already starting to show. Begovic became available but Chelsea snuck in first and bagged the Bosnian for a cut-price £8million. Instead, they signed Sergio Romero, who was a back up ‘keeper at Sampdoria. 12 12 11. Gareth Bale (attack) – continues to evade United. Click the arrow above, right to see how much silverware this group of players has won – Missed out on top target Bale in Moyes’ first summer and have been linked with the mercurial Welshman ever since. United’s big spending in recent years makes a mockery of the idea they couldn’t afford the world’s most expensive player when he went to Real Madrid in 2013. 5. Leighton Baines (left back) – turned down chance to be reunited with Moyes. Click the arrow above, right to see other failed Man United moves – David Moyes’ doomed tenure started with a disastrous summer spent courting his former charges at Everton. Having complained for years about the big clubs stealing his star players at Goodison Park, Moyes promptly tried, and failed, to lure Baines to Manchester, during his time in charge. 12 2. Dani Alves (right back) – bombastic right back snubbed Old Trafford deal. Click the arrow above, right to see other failed Man United moves – Neither Rafael or Antonio Valencia looked like the long-term solution at right back and the flamboyant Brazilian was nearing the end of his contract at Barcelona. It seemed like the perfect marriage when Alves courted United; either that or just a clever ploy from Alves to get a new contract at Barca. Still, Darmian has looked tasty since signing, so perhaps not signing Alves is a blessing. 12 12 12 8. Thiago Alcantara (midfield) – preferred move to Germany. Click the arrow above, right to see other failed Man United moves – Son of a World Cup winner, schooled at Barcelona’s La Masia academy and available having found chances at Barca hard to come by. Turned down Moyes to go to Bayern Munich where he has won four trophies in two injury-struck seasons. 12 12 10. Roberto Firmino (attack) – snubbed Red Devils for fierce rivals. Click the arrow above, right to see other failed Man United moves – A player who would have provided a creative spark and goals to a team that badly needs both, missing out on the Brazilian international will be doubly painful for the Old Trafford faithful due to him choosing rivals Liverpool. 12 12 4. Sergio Ramos (centre back) – Spaniard stayed in Madrid. Click the arrow above, right to see other failed Man United moves – One of the finest, and dirtiest, defenders in the world game, Ramos would have walked into the Red Devils first team. Took a leaf out of Alves’ book, however, and signed new terms in Spain instead. 3. Nicolas Otamendi (centre back) – will Van Gaal rue missing out to rivals? Click the arrow above, right to see other failed Man United moves – Since Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic left Old Trafford there has been a clear need for quality reinforcements at the back. The bruising Otamendi has long been linked with a move to Manchester and has finally got his wish; only to the blue half of the city. 12last_img read more

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30 Dec
2019

EXCLUSIVE: Norwich agree deal to sign Congo striker on season-long loan

first_imgNorwich are set to sign Dynamo Kiev striker Dieumerci Mbokani on a season-long loan.Canaries boss Alex Neil has been working hard to boost his attacking options all summer but has so far been frustrated in his search.Roma’s Mattia Destro had been on Neil’s radar but the Italy international opted to join Bologna instead, while Stoke are refusing to sell Jonathan Walters.Now the Premier League new boys have turned their attentions to Mbokani.talkSPORT understands they have agreed a loan deal with Kiev for the 29-year-old and the Congo international is due to fly to England today to undergo a medical in Norfolk.Mbokani has been prolific throughout his career with the likes of Kiev, Anderlecht and Standard Liege and Neil will hope he can continue his goalscoring form in the Premier League. Dieumerci Mbokani 1last_img read more

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30 Dec
2019

Manchester United: Van Gaal admits his team’s performance was “not all right”

first_imgLouis van Gaal tried his hardest to put a positive spin on the latest dull and uninspiring performance of his tenure as Manchester United manager.Van Gaal’s team scraped into the fourth round of the FA Cup by the finest of margins, 1-0, thanks to Wayne Rooney’s stoppage-time penalty winner against Sheffield United at Old Trafford.The Blades started the day 46 places below the 20-time English champions in the league ladder, but the Red Devils could not break down the third-tier side until Memphis Depay was clipped in the box in injury time and Jonathan Moss pointed to the spot before Rooney banged the ball past George Long.Paul Scholes launched another attack on Van Gaal’s team after the final whistle, the former United midfielder claiming the players looked “bored” during the match.Van Gaal admitted his team’s performance was “not all right”, but he did not slate his players after the match. Instead he chose to focus on the positives, claiming he knew his team would find it hard to break down opposition as well organised and defensively minded as Sheffield United.“I can understand (why) the manager of Sheffield United choose this kind of tactics, but they didn’t have any chances, we have kept another clean sheet and we deserved to win,” the United manager said.“Okay it’s not good today. We did not move the ball quickly today.“But we have won and that is the most important thing in the FA Cup – we have to be in the next round and we are there.”United’s fans began showing their disapproval towards the end of the match when they started leaving in their thousands.Their disappointment was understandable. They had been made to wait 69 minutes before their team had a shot on target – and that was a weak effort from Matteo Darmian.Ironic applause came from the United supporters behind the home dugout when Blades goalkeeper Long was called into action for the first time.Boos were heard at half-time and a few came after the final whistle too as Van Gaal walked down the tunnel.Marouane Fellaini was jeered when he was taken off in the second half. Van Gaal said the under-performing Belgian – and he himself – would have to learn to cope with the stick that came their way.“I think a player of Manchester United has to cope with the pressure of the fans of Manchester United and also with the media pressure,” Van Gaal said.“That is also what I expect of the manager of Manchester United. It can have an influence, but I think a player of Manchester United has to deal with that otherwise you are not a good Manchester United player.”Van Gaal complained at the start of his tenure that he was finding it hard to break down teams that defend in numbers.When asked why he had failed to rectify that problem 18 months into his reign, Van Gaal said: “Because it is the most difficult situation in the match.“It is like that and I have said also in the (summer) transfer period that we need creative players with speed and we don’t have that too much.“Juan Mata is playing the right side and he is doing fantastically well because he always has a big contribution for our team, but he is not a right winger in the profile I have.“But it is not so easy to purchase players who are better than Mata because even though he is in a different profile, he is a very good right winger in our way of playing.”SEE ALSO – Manchester United news: Louis van Gaal on potential signings: ‘I don’t think that we shall do business in January’last_img read more

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30 Dec
2019

Pellegrini announcement will GALVANISE Man City and lead to major success THIS SEASON, says ex-star

first_imgDietmar Hamann believes the news of Manuel Pellegrini’s impending departure will galvanise the Manchester City squad and lead to major success this season.Pellegrini revealed on Monday that he is to depart his post as City manager in the summer, with the club later confirming that Pep Guardiola will replace him.With City currently fighting for silverware on four fronts, in the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup, there are fears among some supporters that the announcement could derail the club’s season.But Hamann believes it will have the opposite effect and will inspire the players to end the popular Pellegrini’s reign on a high.Speaking on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, the ex-City star said: “Bayern Munich had a similar situation three years ago when around the same time the club made it public that Jupp Heynckes would leave the club and Pep was coming in.“The players were very fond of Jupp Heynckes, they had a great relationship with him and I think it galvanised them to win the treble that season, when they ended up winning the league, the cup and the Champions League. I think it could be a similar story at City.“I can’t see any reason why you wouldn’t like Manuel Pellegrini. I think he has got a great relationship with the team and I think they want the manager to go out on a high.“I wouldn’t be surprised if City go on a roll now. They are still in all competitions so potentially they could win all four competitions and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they win at least a couple.”last_img read more

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30 Dec
2019

COLLEGE FOOTBALL USC falls to No. 10 in AP poll

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityLSU is one of just four teams that started the season ranked in the top 10 and remain there. The others are No. 6 Oklahoma, No. 8 West Virginia and No. 10 USC, which became the latest team to take a tumble after a startling loss to an unranked opponent. The Trojans fell to Stanford, 24-23, Saturday, then dropped eight spots in the rankings. California is the new No. 2, with its best showing in the AP Top 25 since 1951, when the Golden Bears were No. 1. Ohio State is No. 3 and No. 4 Boston College has its highest ranking since Doug Flutie had the Eagles fourth in 1984. South Florida, which entered the poll for the first time three weeks ago, is now No. 5. A week before the first Bowl Championship Series standings are released, LSU is a unanimous No. 1 in all the major polls. In the coaches’ poll, the rest of the top five is California, Ohio State, Boston College and Oklahoma and South Florida are tied for fifth. From news services No doubt about it, LSU is No. 1. As for the rest of the AP Top 25, five wild weeks of college football have taken quite a toll. The Tigers were a unanimous choice for the top spot in The Associated Press rankings released Sunday, receiving all 65 first-place from the media panel. The last unanimous No. 1 during the regular season was Ohio State in December. In the Harris poll, the top four are the same as the AP and coaches’ poll, but Oklahoma holds the No. 5 spot all to itself with USF sixth. The Harris and coaches’ polls are part of the formula to determine which teams will play in the BCS national title game Jan. 7 in New Orleans. On Saturday, a week after half the top 10 and nine ranked teams lost, another four top-10 teams and 11 ranked teams overall went down Saturday. As a result, there are 10 teams in the latest rankings, including four in the top 10 (BC, USF, No. 7 South Carolina and No. 9 Oregon), that were unranked to start the season. Coach Steve Spurrier has led South Carolina to its highest ranking since Dec. 12, 1984, when the Gamecocks were also seventh. An impromptu celebration Tavita Pritchard knew sleep would be difficult so he watched a replay of Stanford’s stunning 24-23 victory over then No. 2 USC. “I can see why my mom gets so nervous,” said the Cardinal redshirt freshman quarterback. “I keep telling her I’m just playing. But even I got clinched up watching that last drive and I knew how it was going to come out.” Pritchard, the nephew of former Washington State quarterback great Jack “The Throwin’ Samoan” Thompson, made his first career start against the Trojans. The win sparked an impromptu celebration by Stanford students outside Maples Pavilion, who waited for the team to show up at about 12:30 a.m. The crowd, estimated at anywhere between 2,000-5,000 people, rocked the buses as they pulled up. “It was crazy,” said senior receiver Mark Bradford, who caught the game-winning TD with 49 seconds left to play. “I had no idea how much people cared about football here.” The spontaneous celebration itself was as improbable as the upset. “Not even the Final Four (basketball) team got that great of a reception,” said Mike Eubanks, Stanford’s director of football administration. “In terms of impromptu gatherings, that was by far the largest on campus. It was great to see this campus come to life and it shows what a win at this level can do.” Boise State wins rout Taylor Tharp threw a career-high four touchdown passes and Ian Johnson had 158 total yards and a touchdown to help Boise State roll to a 58-0 victory over New Mexico State in Boise, Idaho. All four of Tharp’s TDs came in the first half when the Broncos (4-1, 1-0 WAC) scored on five of their first six drives to take a 35-0 lead. New Mexico State (3-3, 0-1) came into the game with the nation’s seventh-ranked passing attack, averaging 340 yards, but crossed midfield just once through the first three quarters. Backup QB sparks Hawaii Backup quarterback Tyler Graunke replaced an injured Colt Brennan and provided Hawaii the spark it needed. Graunke threw for three touchdowns in the third quarter and ran for another score as No. 16 Hawaii defeated Utah State, 52-37, late Saturday night in Honolulu. The victory gave the Warriors (6-0, 3-0 WAC) a school-record 10 straight conference wins and their best start since the 1981 team opened 7-0. Brennan walked off the field on his own power after taking a hard hit with 52 seconds left in the first half with Hawaii leading, 24-14. The Heisman Trophy hopeful completed a short pass when he was drilled by linebacker Paul Igboeli. Brennan, ranked second in the nation in passing, was 19-of-25 for 219 yards and one touchdown. Graunke completed his first nine passes for 246 yards and finished the night 9-of-11. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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30 Dec
2019

Competing interests duke it out over trucks

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.At the heart of the proposed Clean Truck Program is a hotly debated provision that harbor trucking be handled solely by employee drivers. Supporters like this approach because it guarantees higher wages for truckers, more easily enforceable environmental guidelines for the ports and a driver work force likely to meet looming federal security mandates. Industry groups are opposed because it opens the door for labor unions, higher employee costs, less competition and rising rates for freight movement. While threats of industry lawsuits have provided political cover for harbor commissioners as they repeatedly delayed a final vote in recent months, the time for stalling appears to be drawing to a close. And if Friday’s hearing is any indication, commissioners are prepared to enact the environmental regulatory plan as proposed and deal with the legal fallout later. “There’s some concern here and rightfully so, but every other industry has gone through this,” said Port of Los Angeles commission President S. David Freeman, who oversaw major environmental changes in power plant operations under President Jimmy Carter. “(Freight movement) is the last of the unregulated industries in this country.” Freeman, never one to mince words, put it even more bluntly in a statement to a panel of retail groups at Friday’s informational hearing in San Pedro. “Ultimately, the Wal-Marts and Targets are going to pay what it costs to move their goods in cleaner trucks and pay for a secure work force.” But what about the other nine commissioners overseeing the nation’s two largest and most economically important seaports? The five-member board Freeman leads is reportedly supportive of the employee provision. A consensus in Long Beach, however, doesn’t appear as likely. The commission’s five members are said to be split on the employee provision, with at least two solidly behind it, two leaning against and one on the fence. One factor that may push a quick resolution is the five-year backlog of terminal expansion projects on the waterfront. If port authorities hope to get those projects approved in coming years, they need the truck problem fixed. That’s because the 16,000 or so diesel rigs hauling containers and cargo to and from marine terminals are a major source of pollution tied to health problems like asthma and cancer. Without mitigating the issue as required by California law, the ports won’t be able to grow. In addition, elected leaders in the area, including most of the Long Beach and Los Angeles city councils, local congressional representatives, state senators and Assembly members, are pushing commissioners to approve the plan as proposed. A poll by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research shows 83 percent of area residents support it, and an economic study by John Husing reports a net benefit to the region in wages and decreased health-care costs. But intense industry opposition, threats of lawsuits, questions about the plan’s impact on cargo movement during a transition period and uneasiness about higher freight costs have authorities balking. Some are even suggesting starting from scratch. “We should go back to the table and redesign this program,” said Patty Senecal, owner of a Long Beach-based truck company. But, at this point, that seems highly unlikely. According to Freeman’s own statements, the ports have invested too much time, money and research into their clean truck goals, and may just be ready to force the issue into court for final resolution. At the same time, shippers and retailers are standing their ground. “Provisions requiring employment status are not negotiable to us,” said Julie Sauls of the California Trucking Association. In recent weeks, port authorities on both sides of San Pedro Bay have been shoring up their legal services, meeting regularly with attorneys to discuss possible outcomes and strategies to defend their position. Industry, meanwhile, is busy drafting lawsuits that charge port authorities with overstepping their regulatory jurisdiction and trampling federal and state trade laws. Unless a compromise is reached – soon – expect the best legal minds on both sides to be in court before year’s end. kristopher.hanson@presstelegram.com160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! ANALYSIS: The plan to lower emissions is pitting a host of parties against each other. By Kristopher Hanson STAFF WRITER What began as a noble plan to snuff out diesel truck pollution has turned into a political battle pitting environmentalists, local elected leaders and organized labor against shipping and retail industries. last_img read more

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30 Dec
2019

Child abuse investigations in Britney Spears’ custody battle

first_imgThe Department of Children and Family Services is investigating Britney Spears and ex-husband Kevin Federline for “multiple child abuse and neglect” complaints in their custody battle, according to court documents released Tuesday. In a request to unseal parts of the case file, an attorney for the agency wrote that there are concerns about the safety and welfare of the two toddlers, Sean Preston, 2, and Jayden James, 1, if they are left in the mother’s care. Though the county agency mentioned investigating allegations relating to Federline, the documents don’t provide details. The agency requested the court not alter the current custody and visitation arrangements until their investigation is completed. Federline has temporary custody of the boys after Spears defied court orders about regular drug testing. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat Kings After-hour calls to attorneys representing Spears and Federline were not immediately returned Tuesday. The latest tidbits on the custody battle are in 300 pages of documents released by Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Scott M. Gordon. The document dump included previous court rulings, expense reports and income statements for both parents, the names of the custody evaluators selected by Spears’ and Federline’s attorneys and their detailed resumes. Spears had asked the court to seal the custody and visitation schedules in a declaration filed in October, arguing that, “Such information greatly increases the chances that the actions of the media could threaten the safety of the children by, for example, causing a traffic accident.” Spears, whose every errand is trailed by a mob of celebrity photographers, is notorious for distracted driving. She is under investigation for injuring a sheriff’s deputy while exiting the downtown courthouse in her white Mercedes. In 2006, she was photographed driving with her son on her lap. In October, she pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge of driving without a valid driver’s license and later obtained a temporary California license. A misdemeanor hit-and-run charge from an August parking lot crash was dismissed after she paid an undisclosed amount to the car’s owner. Also released in the documents was a bill from Federline attorney Mark Vincent Kaplan. Kaplan is charging $550 per hour for his services. His firm billed Federline for $84,000 in for work in August, plus almost $85,000 for a week of work, mostly depositions, in September. Previously, Gordon ordered the pop star to pony up $120,000 in legal fees that her ex-husband owed his attorney. Spears pays Federline $15,000 per month in child support, and previous court rulings have said that he currently has no income.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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30 Dec
2019

DONEGAL HOTEL TO BE AUCTIONED FOR €175K

first_imgCaiseal Mara Hotel, Foyle Street, Moville Image: www.allsopspace.ieA Donegal village hotel has been set a reserve price of  €175000 at an auction on October 15th.The next Allsop Space auction in Dublin’s RDS will see Caiseal Mara Hotel at Foyle Street, Moville go under the hammer.The semi-detached hotel will be sold with all contents included. There are 48 ensuite bedrooms, two function rooms, a bar and restaurant in the hotel, as well as a lobby, kitchen and staff rooms.The hotel has been closed since June last year, after it was taken into administration in 2010. DONEGAL HOTEL TO BE AUCTIONED FOR €175K was last modified: September 25th, 2013 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:auctionCaiseal Mara Hotelmovillelast_img read more

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29 Dec
2019

Walsall 1-3 Barnsley (1-6 agg): Tykes rout Saddlers on way to Wembley

first_imggetty images 1 Adam Hammill scored Barnsley’s opening goal center_img Barnsley will return to Wembley for the second time this season to contest the Sky Bet League One play-off final after overcoming Walsall 6-1 on aggregate.The Tykes, Johnstone’s Paint Trophy winners at the national stadium just last month, had a comfortable 3-0 lead from the first leg in Yorkshire on Saturday but they did not rest on their laurels at the Banks’s Stadium and had chances to extend their overall advantage before Adam Hammill did so after 18 minutes.The chances continued to come for the visitors, with the superb Conor Hourihane Walsall’s chief tormentor, but they had to wait until the 66th minute before Ashley Fletcher extended their lead.Substitute Jordan Cook’s superb long-range goal five minutes from time was a strike deserving of more than mere consolation but the scoring was not finished as Josh Brownhill netted late on to make it 3-1 on the night – a repeat of Barnsley’s win at Walsall in the league in March.The Tykes will be back at Wembley on May 29 where they will bid to become the first team since Grimsby in 1998 to win the Football League Trophy and clinch promotion via the play-offs. They will face either Yorkshire rivals Bradford or Millwall, who resume their semi-final tie at The Den on Friday night with the Lions 3-1 ahead.Walsall survived an almighty scare in the eighth minute when an unmarked Alfie Mawson mistimed his header inside the six-yard box following a Hourihane corner.The Saddlers went close as Andy Taylor narrowly missed the top corner with a free-kick on the edge of the box before another superb delivery into the penalty area from Hourihane fell to Hammill’s feet and the winger kept his cool to slot the ball past goalkeeper Neil Etheridge.It all but settled the tie but Barnsley looked to turn the screw regardless and Hourihane almost forced James O’Connor to put the ball into his own net but Etheridge reacted quickly to block.Another Hourihane cross from the right found Sam Winnall at the far post but Etheridge denied him at point-blank range.Walsall were really riding their luck but came into the game a little more either side of the half-hour mark. Tom Bradshaw scuffed his shot wide and then Jordy Hiwula directed Rico Henry’s driven cross just wide.And when the Saddlers did register an effort on target they found Adam Davies on top form as he dived at full stretch to his right to push away Bradshaw’s header. Back at the other end, Etheridge twice had to deny Fletcher before half-time.Walsall began the second half brightly but came within a whisker of falling further behind when Paul Downing poked the ball inches wide of his own net.Davies produced another fine save to push away Adam Chambers’ 20-yard strike on the hour before goalscorer Hammill turned creator with a cross which Fletcher controlled inside the penalty area before firing the ball home.Davies was finally beaten by Cook’s inch-perfect curler into the top corner of the net before a defensive mix-up in the final minute allowed Lloyd Isgrove to set up Brownhill to smash home Barnsley’s third goal of the night.last_img read more

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29 Dec
2019

Who beats Ozil and Fabregas into an XI of Mourinho’s best ever signings?

first_img 11 Jose Mourinho is starting to get very active in the transfer window having already secured the signing of Eric Bailley at Manchester United.Although no official announcement has been made, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has confirmed he will join the Red Devils and Borussia Dortmund’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan looks set to follow him.The new United boss is showing a sign of intent with these big-name transfers, but he has made a habit of bringing in successful signings over his career.talkSPORT has made a starting XI of Mourinho’s greatest ever signings during his managerial career, and some big names miss out.Click the arrow above, right, to see the full line up.Any names missing? Let us know in the comments section below! Goalkeeper: Asmir Begovic (Chelsea) – click the arrow, right, to see the full Mourinho signings XI – Begovic was brought in by Mourinho as back up to Thibaut Courtois at Chelsea but he saw far more action than expected with the Belgian being sent off in the opening game of the season before picking up injuries. Begovic beats Diego Lopez to the no.1 spot. 11 Midfield: Michael Essien (Chelsea, Real Madrid) – Essien was a magnificent signing for the Blues. An all-action midfielder who will be forever remembered for his stunning, long-range goal against Arsenal. He was brought to Real Madrid on loan by Mourinho in 2012. 11 Striker: Didier Drogba (Chelsea twice) – Drogba is one of the best strikers to ever play in the Premier League and won every major trophy with the Blues before leaving for Galatasaray. He was persuaded to return to Stamford Bridge upon Mourinho’s reinstatement as Blues boss, showing just how important he was to the Portuguese. 11 11 11 Striker: Samuel Eto’o (Inter Milan, Chelsea) – Eto’o came to the San Siro in a player-plus-cash deal as Zlatan Ibrahimovic left for Barcelona but it proved to be a masterstroke by Mourinho. Eto’o was central as Inter won the treble in 2010, before Mourinho left for Madrid. 11 Defence: Paulo Ferreira (Porto, Chelsea) – The right back was a firm favourite of Mourinho, having been signed twice by the Portuguese. His importance to Chelsea waned after Mourinho left but was integral as the Blues won back-to-back Premier Leagues and Porto’s Champions League win. Midfield: Michael Ballack (Chelsea) – Ballack joined Chelsea in 2006 and only played one full season under Mourinho but won the FA Cup and League Cup in that time. The biggest compliment to the German is that he is keeping Mesut Ozil, Cesc Fabregas and Wesley Sneijder out of this team. Defence: Ricardo Carvalho (Chelsea, Real Madrid) – Carvalho formed a formidable partnership with John Terry at the heart of Chelsea’s defence and remains the best centre back Mourinho has ever signed. The pair were reunited at Real Madrid but Carvalho’s powers were faded by then. 11 Midfield: Angel di Maria (Real Madrid) – He may have damaged his reputation at Manchester United but Di Maria was Mourinho’s first signing at Real Madrid, and one of his best. Under Mourinho is became one of Europe’s most dangerous players. Defence: Ashley Cole (Chelsea) – Signing Cole from Arsenal has to be one of Mourinho’s best ever transfers, with the Englishman holding down the left back spot for ten years. Chelsea managers who followed Mourinho must have been thanking him in private for signing Cole. 11 11 Defence: Raphael Varane (Real Madrid) – Varane beats Kurt Zouma to the other centre back spot having impressed alongside Sergio Ramos as Mourinho won La Liga. He could be another to be signed twice by the Portuguese if he firms up his interest in bringing the Frenchman to Manchester United. 11 Midfield: Luka Modric (Real Madrid) – Modric is now one of the best midfielders in the world and the metronome that keeps Real Madrid ticking along. He only spent one season under Mourinho, but is another player future managers will be thanking him for signing. last_img read more

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