Manchester United legends beat Barcelona legends at Camp Nou

Barcelona legends 1 – 3 Manchester United legends

Manchester United partied like it was 1999 as the Red Devils legends defeated Barcelona in a charity match at the Nou Camp on Friday.

Despite Ronaldinho, Rivaldo, Edgar Davids and Patrick Kluivert gracing the pitch once again for the Catalans, it was the men from Manchester who triumphed, goals from Jesper Blomqvist, Karel Poborsky and Dwight Yorke firing them to a 3-1 win.

Blomqvist and Poborsky netted either side of half-time before United captain Dwight Yorke, who famously played here on the way to the Treble in 1999, iced the cake with a fine finish from outside the box. Frederic Dehu scored a consolation for the home side with the last kick of the game.

There was action from the outset as Poborsky got a lob all wrong, unlike at Euro 96 for Czech Republic, from Ji-sung Park’s precise pass before Raimond van der Gouw handled outside his box, redeeming himself with an excellent diving save to claw away Ronaldinho’s free-kick.

Ludovic Giuly fired over the top after good work by Rivaldo and Ronaldinho but he then hobbled off and United took the lead on 14 minutes. Poborsky cut the ball back for Blomqvist, only for Miguel Angel Nadal to block on the line, but Yorke kept the move alive and Blomqvist gratefully poked in at the second attempt.

Barcelona created chances but could have been further behind at the interval with Nadal nodding a Poborsky centre behind after the United midfielder had beaten keeper Jesus Angoy and must have been tempted to shoot towards an empty net. The effervescent Park was also unlucky not to win a penalty after a trip by Edgar Davids.

Ronaldinho, voted Man of the Match, rolled back the years with some outrageous skill, most notably a nutmeg on Blomqvist, and virtually every pass was a no-look one. His fellow Brazilian Rivaldo teed up Patrick Kluivert but he spurned a golden opportunity under pressure and the Reds were far more clinical. A neat move led to Yorke feeding Park and Poborsky’s finish took a wicked deflection off Dehu to double the lead.

Rivaldo’s free-kick flew wide and Edmilson had a set-piece pushed over by Kevin Pilkington before an incredible moment unfolded when Ronaldinho released Rivaldo and he tried a rabona finish that rolled just the wrong side of the post, to huge cheers from the captivated crowd in any case.

Danny Webber blasted off target on the break and caused problems for a tiring defence with his speed but Pilkington had to be alert to stop a toe-poke by Ronaldinho, when Davids outstripped Park down the left. It was United who scored next, courtesy of a superb drive by skipper Yorke that crashed in off a post, following a Webber touch to Mikael Silvestre’s diagonal pass.
Barcelona did pull a goal back to raise their hopes for the second game, as Dehu deceived Pilkington, expertly dummying the substitute keeper, to confidently find the net, following approach work by Ronaldinho, inevitably, and Kluivert. The money raised for charity is always the most important thing but it is still all set up nicely for Old Trafford in September, particularly as away goals do not count.

The return leg will be at Old Trafford on 2 September.

Angoy (Guzman 73); Belletti (Dehu 36), Nadal (Andersson 46), Edmilson (Amor 67), Goikoetxea (Juan Carlos 73); Giuly (Kluivert 13), Davids (Estebaranz 82), Mendieta (Popescu 56), Simao (Ezquerro 46 (Salinas 84)); Rivaldo (Carreras 73), Ronaldinho. 
Manchester United:

Van der Gouw (Pilkington 46); Brown, Johnsen (Martin 53), Silvestre; Poborsky (Thornley 65), Park, Smith, Djordjic (Beardsmore 74), Blomqvist (Blackmore 74); Yorke, Saha (Webber 56).

Everton confirm the signing of Nigerian striker Henry Onyekuru from Eupen

Everton have confirmed the signing of Nigeria international Henry Onyekuru from Belgian side Eupen – a deal which takes their summer spending past £50million.

The 20-year-old, who finished the season as joint top-scorer in the Belgian Super League with 22 goals in 38 matches, has signed a five-year contract after a fee understood to be in the region of £7million was agreed earlier this week.

However, he will immediately go out on loan to Anderlecht for next season where he will play in the Champions League.

He is the third new arrival at Goodison Park this summer, following Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford (signed for £25m with £5m of add-ons) and Ajax midfielder Davy Klaassen (£23.6m).

“Everton has completed the signing of exciting Nigerian forward Henry Onyekuru,” said a statement from the club.

“The pacy 20-year-old has joined the Blues from Belgian side Eupen for an undisclosed fee, becoming the club’s third confirmed signing of the 2017 summer transfer window.”

Onyekuru had caught the attention of Arsenal and West Ham after scoring 30 goals in 60 matches for Eupen but Everton moved quickly to secure the young striker’s services.

Everton are also expected to complete a deal for Malaga forward Sandro Ramirez by early next week.

The Toffees activated the former Barcelona player’s £5.7m release clause a couple of weeks ago but there has been a delay in completing the transfer because of his involvement at the European Under-21 Championship, where he has reached Friday’s final with Spain.

Everton’s spending is likely to break through the £80m barrier next week with a £25m deal in the pipeline for Burnley defender Michael Keane.

Talks have progressed this week between the two sides and agent Jamie Moralee, while not naming the club, confirmed a deal was close.

“Obviously there’s a lot of speculation, a lot of interest, in Michael and rightly so,” Moralee told talkSPORT.

“We are hoping that we can get a deal concluded to a new destination maybe by the weekend. And the key to it all, for Michael, is he wants to continue to learn and develop.

“Finding a home where they have got aspirations and ambitions to move on as a football club, where he plays, is key in his development.

“We feel that we have found the right fit and hopefully things can progress over the weekend and he can be unveiled very shortly.

“There’s no point him now getting that move and then sitting on the bench and sitting in the stands.

“He needs to continue and I think if he continues in the same vein in the next two years, as he has done, he will be England and Europe’s number one centre-half. ”

West Ham defender Angelo Ogbonna signs new five-year deal

Angelo Ogbonna has signed a new five-year contract with West Ham.

The Italy defender missed almost the entire second half of last season having undergone knee surgery in January, returning only for the Hammers’ final Premier League game of the campaign in a 2-1 win at Burnley.

However, the 29-year-old has now penned a fresh contract to keep him at the London Stadium until 2022, having originally signed for Slaven Bilic’s side from Juventus in 2015.

“I’m really grateful for this new deal,” Ogbonna told West Ham’s website. “Our position last year was quite high and we are looking forward to improving next season.

“My target is that I can’t wait to get back playing. I think we have a long season ahead and for me my target is to be better than last season. We finished in 11th position but very close to eighth position and we know we can do better than what we did last year.

“I am excited to show my quality on the pitch and the support is always amazing, even when I had my injury. We have got lots of experience in the team at the moment, which is very good.”

Fit-again Obgonna will now bid to secure his place in Slaven Bilic’s side during West Ham’s pre-season tour to Austria, Germany and Iceland this summer.

Scott Parker  returns to Tottenham as a coach

​Scott Parker has returned to former club Tottenham as their new U18s coach and a club ambassador.

The 36-year-old  announced his retirement from playing last week  after the end of his  contract at Fulham, and returns to the club where he spent two years and played in the Champions League.

The former England international has been taking his coaching badges and Parker helped Fulham head coach Slavisa Jokanovic in a coaching role while out injured last season.

Th ex-footballer will begin work immediately at Hotspur Way and said: “I’m delighted to be back and look forward to immersing myself in the job.

“Obviously it wasn’t an easy decision to call time on my playing career, though I’m looking forward to this new chapter and I am grateful to Spurs for handing me this opportunity at such an exciting time in the club’s history.

“It is a great honour to represent the club both as a coach and ambassador.”
His appointment follows those of Wayne Burnett as U23s boss and Perry Suckling as an academy coach on Thursday.

Tottenham’s head of coaching and player development  said: “Scott will need no introduction in terms of his playing credentials.

“He’s been planning a career in coaching for a number of years and during his time here he was not only completing his coaching qualifications but dealing with players in real life situations.

“Scott’s role within the Academy will be to manage the Under-18s players and to instil the standards required to be an elite international and Premier League player.

“I know how passionately Scott feels about the personal qualities Mauricio needs from players to be a success in our first team and I know he will develop these qualities in our players on and off the training pitch.”

Latest Football News 

  • Arsenal close in on signing of Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette for a fee worth more than £50m including add-ons.
  • Chelsea have begun talks with Roma to sign centre-half Antonio Rudiger.
  • Manchester City have opened negotiations with Tottenham over the transfer of Kyle Walker.
  • Real Madrid starlet Oscar Rodriguez has snubbed a move to Manchester City to sign a contract extension with the La Liga giants.
  • Monaco do not expect to sell Thomas Lemar this summer and have told Arsenal and Tottenham, two of the 21-year-old winger’s suitors, that he is not on the market.
  • But Barcelona are also interested in the France international.
  • Thomas Lemar is becoming one of Juventus’ primary transfer targets.

  • Barcelona are ready to battle it out with Real Madrid to sign Real Betis midfielder Dani Ceballos.
  • Thibaut Courtois is likely to resume contract talks with Chelsea after Real Madrid cooled their interest in signing the goalkeeper.
  • Courtois’ agent has admitted that the Chelsea goalkeeper regularly meets with directors of Real Madrid.
  • Arsenal target Rafinha says his “future is open” amid rumours that he will be used as a makeweight in Barcelona’s bid to sign Hector Bellerin.
  • Bayern Munich midfielder Renato Sanches is reportedly open to leaving the club this summer as he looks for more playing time.

  • Saul Niguez, 22, wants to stay at Atletico Madrid but, amid interest from Barcelona and Manchester United, the Spain international says he would like more money.
  • Manchester United will not sell Ander Herrera to Barcelona this summer, despite reports the Spanish giants will consider a move for the 27-year-old Spain midfielder if they fail to sign Italy international Marco Verratti, 24, from Paris St-Germain.
  • United are not looking to sell defender Phil Jones during the summer transfer window.
  • Juventus are looking to take Leonardo Spinazzola back to the club as Chelsea-bound Alex Sandro’s replacement.

  • Nathaniel Chalobah is ready to reject a new contract at Chelsea and move on this summer in search of regular first-team football, with Watford interested.
  • AC Milan star winger Suso claims that some Champions League clubs are keen on signing in him, as Tottenham continue to be linked.
  • Milan are close to completing their sixth summer signing, with the rossoneri set to agree a deal for Andrea Conti with Atalanta.
  • Milan are interested in signing Juan Cuadrado, now that Juventus have set their sights on Mattia De Sciglio.
  • Liverpool are ready to bid for RB Leipzig’s £70m-rated Guinea midfielder Naby Keita, 22.
  • However, Leipzig have received no approach from Liverpool regarding the transfer of Naby Keita.
  • The Reds will not prioritise Keita over Arsenal and England midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 23, and hope to acquire both players.
  • Real Madrid defender Danilo is reported to have given his green light to move to Juventus.

  • Zinedine Zidane’s son Enzo has left Real Madrid to join Alaves. The former France Under-19 midfielder, 22, has signed a three-year deal after failing to get a regular place in the team managed by his father.
  • Everton will complete the signing of Malaga striker Sandro, 21, next week. The Toffees have met the Spaniard’s release clause and he has passed a medical but the La Liga club are refusing to sign release papers until his deal ends on 3 July.
  • Stoke City are closing in on Hull City academy product Josh Tymon and could announce the signing of the 18-year-old defender next week.

  • West Ham chairman David Gold has played down speculation the club are chasing Arsenal and England midfielder Jack Wilshere, 25, and says the club are searching for two new strikers with Premier League experience.

  • Liverpool have turned down a number of loan approaches for winger Sheyi Ojo. The 20-year-old has attracted interest from Newcastle, Burnley and Middlesbrough following his success with England at the Under-20s World Cup.
  • Watford boss Marco Silva is determined to sign Kieran Gibbs from Arsenal. The 27-year-old England left-back has also been linked with Liverpool.
  • Southampton want Manchester City and Nigeria striker Kelechi Iheanacho, 20, who is valued at £25m.

  • Bookmakers have cut the odds of Manchester City forward Kelechi Iheanacho, 20, moving to Leicester City, following a rush of bets.
  • Valencia have confirmed they have reached an agreement to sell midfielder Enzo Perez to River Plate.

  • Newcastle look set to sign Eibar’s French defender Florian Lejeune, 26, and may try to lure striker Andre Gray, also 26, from Burnley.
  • Manchester United keeper Sam Johnstone, 24, who spent last season on loan at Championship side Aston Villa, is wanted by several Premier League clubs including West Brom, Huddersfield and Leicester.
  • PSG attacker Jean-Christophe Bahebeck is attrcting interest from Spanish outfit Real Betis.
  • Arsenal target Rafinha says his “future is open” amid rumours that he will be used as a makeweight in Barcelona’s bid to sign Hector Bellerin.
  • Swansea City target Roque Mesa could instead be on his way to Atletico Madrid.
  • A Nigerian club has sacked 27 players for performing “below expectations”.

  • Torino have made an opening €15m bid to sign Genoa star Giovanni Simeone.
  • Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil, 28, has renewed his executive box at the Emirates – suggesting he will stay at the club.
  • Derby County boss Gary Rowett has confirmed Huddersfield Town are keen to sign Rams’ midfielder Tom Ince, but are yet to meet the club’s valuation of the 25-year-old former England Under-21 international.
  • Journalist Andy Mitten shared an image of five Manchester United greats using public transport. He  wrote on Instagram:”I’m in Hong Kong. Group of lads from Manchester on the metro going to play 5-a-side.”

Barcelona set re-sign Gerard Deulofeu from Everton

Barcelona have announced that they will re-signing Gerard Deulofeu from Everton on a two-year deal for 12 million Euros.

The Catalan side have activated a buy-back clause for the Spanish winger who signed for Everton on a permanent basis in July 2015.

Deulofeu fell down the pecking at Goodison Park following the signing of Yannick Bolasie from Crystal Palace and spent the second half of last season on loan with AC Milan.

The 23-year-old, who is a product Barca’s famed La Masia academy, is currently on international duty with Spain U21 and is expected to start Friday night’s European  Championship final  against Germany in Poland.
A statement from Barcelona said: “FC Barcelona have activated the buy-back clause for Gerard Deulofeu. In the following days, the terms will be agreed with both Everton and the player. Deulofeu’s contract will run until 30 June 2019.”

Confusion in Ireland as two Premiership clubs claim to have signed the same player

There is confusion in the Irish Premiership after both Linfield and Crusaders claimed to have signed former York City defender Josh Robinson.

The 24-year-old spent one year with York after joining them from Crusaders before both City and Robinson mutually agreed to his release.

A York spokesperson has told Sky Sports News HQ: “I can confirm that Josh has been released from York City by mutual consent. We are not sure which club he has subsequently joined so, to be on the safe side, we’ll take the ‘don’t know’ option!”

Linfield stated Robinson has signed a three-year deal with them while Crusaders announced Robinson had signed a four-year contract to return to Seaview, with all necessary documentation being sent to the Irish FA.
The Irish FA is currently looking into this and seeking to clarify which club has the player’s rights.

Crusaders won their Europa League game 3-1 last night. Linfield need to get past La Fiorita in San Marino on Tuesday to set up Champions League game with Celtic. Linfield are leading 1-0 after first leg.