Cristiano Ronaldo the reason Ruud van Nistelrooy left Manchester United

A close friend of former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has claimed that he knows the real reason why Ruud Van Nistelrooy left Old Trafford in 2006.

The Dutchman enjoyed a prolific five years with United, scoring 95 Premier League goals in 150 appearances for the Red Devils, before heading to Real Madrid for €14million.

At the time, Ferguson claimed that Van Nistelrooy wanted to leave the club but according to former PM Tony Blair’s ex-communications officer, Alastair Campbell, it was Fergie who wanted the player out after a spat with Cristiano Ronaldo.

He alleged (via SI.com): “He [Van Nistelrooy] told Cristiano that he had found a new father in Carlos Queiroz (Ferguson’s assistant manager at the time) a little after Cristiano’s real father had died of alcoholism.
“Carlos told him to have some respect but he said that he didn’t have to respect anybody. He then later excused himself but Cristiano did not accept it.
“Ferguson sent Van Nistelrooy home when he heard what happened and he was then moved to Real not long after that. Ruud always put himself first which was a problem indeed…”

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Burnley sign former Manchester United goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard

Burnley have signed former Manchester United keeper Anders Lindegaard on a deal until the end of the season.
The 33-year-old Denamrk international was a free agent after leaving Preston at the end of last season.

Lindegaard had been training with the Clarets and Sean Dyche has added the player to his squad after injury sustained to Tom Heaton.

Heaton will be out for months “rather than weeks”, according to Dyche after he had surgery on a shoulder injury he sustained in the recent 1-0 win over Crystal Palace.

“I’ve had a good week here and I’ve had a very good impression of the whole club and all the people here. It’s not hard to fit in nicely here,” Lindegaard told Clarets Player HD.
“It seems like an honest place and a very hard-working place and I appreciate being a part of it.
“I have seen the first two games Nick has played and he’s done very well. I have a lot of respect for that.
“I am here to try and sharpen up the competition in the goalkeepers’ department and we’ll see what happens down the line.

“I feel good physically and I still want to play. I come here with a good spirit and I have a lot of enthusiasm for getting started.
“I sensed from the first day I came in there was a good atmosphere, that things are in a good place, and it has paid off with a good start to the season.”

Lindegaard will wear shirt number 22 and provide back up to Nick Pope and Adam Legzdins.

UCL: Group A results – United thrash Basel in their return to Champions League; Benfica beaten by CSKA

Benfica 1 – 2 CSKA Moscow
Manchester United 3 – 0 Basel

  • Manchester United 3 – 0 Basel

Manchester United opened their Champions League campaign with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Basel at Old Trafford on Tuesday evening.

United, who returned to Europe’s elite club competition after a one-year absence after winning the Europa League last season.

United lost Paul Pogba to injury in the first half but his replacement, Marouane Fellaini, made an instant impact, opening the scoring in the 35th minute.

Romelu Lukaku extended the hosts’ advantage in the 53rd minute before substitute Marcus Rashford made the points safe on what was a comfortable night for Jose Mourinho’s side.

  • Benfica 1 – 2 CSKA Moscow

CSKA Moscow came from a goal down to win 2-1 at Benfica.

The hosts could twice have taken the lead in a flurry of action just after the half-hour as Jonas struck an attempt narrowly off target before Alex Grimaldo came closer still when his effort hit a post.

Benfica needed just five minutes of the second half to break the deadlock when Haris Seferovic finished off a pass by Andrija Zivkovic, but CSKA were level just after the hour when Vitinho scored from the spot after a foul following a corner.

And with 20 minutes to play, the Russian side completed the turnaround when Timur Zhamaletdinov took advantage of another corner.

Former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal slams United for going behind his back to appoint Jose Mourinho

Louis van Gaal says Manchester United went “behind my back” in replacing him as manager with Jose Mourinho in 2016.

The Dutchman, 66, was sacked48 hours after winning the FA Cup and Mourinho was appointedless than a week later.

“They told me only after it was leaked out, it was the biggest disappointment of my life,” Van Gaal, who was two years into a three-year contract, told Dutch paper Algemeen Dagblad.

“United put my head in a noose and I was publicly placed on the gallows.”

It is Van Gaal’s first interview about the manner of his Old Trafford exit.

He had won seven national titles with Ajax, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and AZ before being appointed Manchester United boss in May 2014.

United finished fourth in the Premier League in his first season in charge to qualify for the Champions League but, despite winning the FA Cup, they finished fifth in his second campaign as they could only qualify for the Europa League.

“The pressure was enormous with my head in the noose and they went right behind my back,” said Van Gaal.
“I think it was all orchestrated like a film and it was done very much behind my back right from January.”

United paid out £8.4m to Van Gaal following the departure of the Dutchman and his coaches.

“United did not discuss this with me. If they had come to me with the Mourinho plan then I could have said ‘OK, let’s give it everything for the last six months, complete commitment to each other and the team and then Jose Mourinho can take over’,” he added.
“They could have saved the last year of my salary by doing that but after what happened I made them pay every penny.”

Jose Mourinho set to be longest-serving manager at Manchester United since Sir Alex Ferguson’s era

Jose Mourinho is set to be rewarded for a fine start to the Premier League season with a new deal at Manchester United.

United have recorded three wins out of three in the new season.

If Mourinho stays beyond the current campaign he will be United’s longest-serving manager since Sir Alex Ferguson retired:

David Moyes lasted just one season at Old Trafford after succeeding his compatriot, while Louis van Gaal spent two years at the club before being replaced by Mourinho in 2016.

Manchester United missed the chance to sign Zinedine Zidane because of his fellow countryman Cantona

Manchester United rejected the opportunity to sign France superstar Zinedine Zidane before he joined Juventus in 1996.

The playmaker left Bordeaux for Serie A that summer, but not before United had decided against making a move for him as Sir Alex Ferguson felt there was no room for Zidane and fellow countryman Eric Cantona in the same team.

Former Old Trafford chairman Martin Edwards admitted:

“Zidane and Eric played in the same position and Alex felt if they brought Zidane in it would have upset Eric.
“In hindsight yes [it’s a regret], because Eric retired a year later and Zidane was younger so he would have continued it.”

Zidane went on to spend five years at Juve, where he won two league titles and an Italian Cup.

The mecurial star then moved to Real Madrid and won La Liga and the Champions League before retiring.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic reveals other clubs wanted the ‘Ibra-kadabra

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has told ESPN FC that he is staying at Manchester United to “finish what I started” and win the Premier League after turning down the chance to “Ibra-kadabra” another club.

“I come back to finish what I started,” Ibrahimovic told ESPN FC.

“We had couple of teams [interested in me] but, I mean there was couple of teams reaching out, wanted to ‘Ibra-kadabra’ in their team, but I had such a great year with United, we had a great year, we won three trophies.

“Fantastic guys, great club. A coach that I’ve known from before. I was happy. It’s not always about the sportive thing.

“You choose when you sign for a club, and I’m in a situation where I have to think 360 degrees around me.

“Everybody is happy about this and I’m super-happy. Happiness has no value and this year I play for free, just like last year.”

With Ibrahimovic initially ruled out until January at the earliest, the Swede has stunned United manager Jose Mourinho and the club’s medical team with his progress since undergoing knee surgery in May.

And although he will not put a date on his expected comeback date, Ibrahimovic insists that his recovery should be no surprise considering that he does not consider himself to be human.

“Lions,” he said, laughing. “Lions, they don’t recover like humans.

“I feel good. I work hard, I didn’t have a day off since the injury, I want to keep playing at the top level and you need to build up the knee and do good, because when I come back I don’t want to be something I wasn’t, I want to be the one I was and even better.

“So it means I have to train even harder, train myself harder and push myself as much as I can do, and that is what I’m doing every day.

“But I feel good, nothing rushed like somebody think. And we train according to the schedule and according to how I feel.

“I am strong. In the beginning when it happened, it was something new for me because it was a big injury, this is the first major injury and was a different situation because I’ve been playing 15-20 years, every game feeling good, feeling fresh, until that moment where I feel I will not be able to play every three days.

“It will take longer than one month, it’s a new situation, something new I have to learn, a new challenge I have to go through but mentally I am strong.

“When I decide something, I don’t back up from that challenge or something else, I go for the objective and my goal is to come back and be stronger and to do more because I’m not done yet. I decide when I’m done.”

However, the striker who scored 28 goals in all competitions last season would not say exactly when he expects to return to competitive action.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I mean I feel good. There is some people who not even knowing my injury talking nine months or one year. “I take it day by day. When I come back, I will be more than ready.”

Manchester United re-sign Zlatan Ibrahimovic on a one-year deal

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has re-signed for Manchester United on a one-year contract. A statement on United’s official website revealed that the striker is back at Old Trafford on a short-term deal, with a new squad number.

“Manchester United is delighted to announce that Zlatan Ibrahimovic will continue his journey with the club and has signed a one-year contract. He will wear the number 10 shirt.”

Jose Mourinho said:

“We are delighted Zlatan is on the road to recovery and we are equally delighted to have his ambition and experience back with us.

After his contribution last season he deserves our trust and we will be patient waiting for him to return.

I have no doubt that he will be important in the second part of the season.”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic admitted it is a case of finishing off the job which his ligament injury interrupted.

“I am back to finish what I started,” the former PSG man stated.

“It was always mine and the club’s intention for me to stay. I cannot wait to get back out on that Old Trafford pitch, but I also know that I have to take my time to make sure that I am ready.

I have been working hard and will continue to do so to make sure I am in the best possible condition for my return to the pitch.”

Former Barcelona and Manchester United goalkeeper Victor Valdes retires

Ex-Barcelona and Manchester United goalkeeper Victor Valdes has decided to retire from football, according to a report in El Mundo Deportivo.

Valdes, 35, had offers from Deportivo La Coruna, Real Betis and Las Palmas to continue to play after leaving Middlesbrough in the summer, but has opted to hang up his gloves and focus on his new TV production company.

Valdes’ agent Gines Carvajal would not confirm or deny the story when contacted by ESPN FC.

The former Spain international has set up Crazy4fun TV, which was launched on July 27, an international production company with bases in Barcelona, London and Abu Dhabi.

El Mundo Deportivo reports that Valdes will not only be behind the camera but is also expected to present a TV show that will feature former players that has already been sold to 12 countries.

Valdes left Middlesbrough in May after his one-year contract expired following the club’s relegation from the Premier League, making 28 appearances for the club.

Valdes was a huge figure in Barcelona’s success, playing 535 games and winning 21 titles, including six La Liga titles and three Champions League trophies in his 12 years at the club.

He left the Camp Nou at the end of the 2013-14 season and eventually signed for Manchester United in January 2015, but failed to impress at Old Trafford under Louis van Gaal and moved to Standard Liege on loan a year later.

As an understudy of Iker Casillas, Valdes made 20 appearances for Spain and was part of the squads that won the 2010 World Cup and the European Championship two years later.

Nemanja Matic takes a dig at Chelsea, claims Manchester United are ‘definitely’ a bigger club

Nemanja Matic has had a dig at his former employers Chelsea, insisting Manchester United are “definitely” a bigger club.

The midfielder made the switch to Old Trafford this summer in a £40million deal, ending a three-and-a-half year stint in his second spell with Chelsea.

Matic was awarded man-of-the match in his Premier League debut for United as they ran out comfortable 4-0 winners over West Ham.

Asked if United were the biggest club he has played for, Matic told Sky Sports:

“Definitely, everyone knows what Manchester United is about. “When you say Manchester United, it is different.

“Also Chelsea is a big club, Benfica are the biggest club in Portugal. But Manchester is Manchester.

“When I came here for the first day, I could feel that the people at the club help you every day if you need something and supporters are very important for this club.

“After every training session, they are waiting for us outside the training ground to take pictures, to give a signature so I think the club is one of the biggest in the world.

“Maybe you have two or three clubs similar to United, but Manchester is one of the biggest clubs in the world for sure.”

Matic also revealed that Mourinho was a big factor in convincing him to swap blue for red.

“He was very important for me,” Matic said of Mourinho. “He bought me to Chelsea from Benfica and now when I decided to come to Manchester, he was a reason to come here.

“Mourinho was the reason and so was the club, Manchester United, so you don’t need to think a lot about if you are going to come. “My decision was very quick and very clear.”

EPL results – Lukaku scores twice as United cruise; Champions Chelsea shocked by Burnley; Liverpool held by

SUNDAY

  • Manchester United 4 – 0 West Ham United

Romelu Lukaku announced his arrival at Old Trafford by scoring twice on his Premier League debut for Manchester United as they embarrassed West Ham.

Jose Mourinho’s team were a constant threat against a poor Hammers side, offering excitement and encouragement to their supporters on the opening weekend of the new Premier League season.

Lukaku, a £75m summer signing from Everton, put the Red Devils ahead with a rising drive off the post after racing onto Marcus Rashford’s pass.

The Belgium international doubled the lead after half-time, glancing in a header from Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s inswinging free-kick.

United teenager Rashford curled against the inside of Joe Hart’s left-hand post before substitute Anthony Martial ended the match as a contest with a slick finish.

There was still time for a fourth, however, as Paul Pogba curled in from distance.

The Hammers offered little going forward in a passive performance, although new signing Marko Arnautovic did flick a header onto the top of the home crossbar at 2-0.

The Red Devils have now lost only one of their 14 opening-day Premier League fixtures at Old Trafford, while West Ham’s season began with a record 11th defeat.

  • Tottenham 2-0 Newcastle United

Tottenham made a winning start to the 2017-18 Premier League season as 10-man Newcastle endured a difficult return to the top flight.

The Magpies, promoted as winners of the Championship last term, had captain Jonjo Shelvey sent off early in the second half for standing on Dele Alli.

The Spurs attacker then put his side ahead with a close-range finish before Ben Davies finished off a neat move for Tottenham’s second.

It was a harsh re-introduction to life back in the Premier League for Newcastle, who were relegated from the division at the end of the 2015-16 season.

Rafael Benitez’s side did not really threaten Hugo Lloris in the Tottenham goal until late on, Christian Atsu forcing the goalkeeper into a low save and Ciaran Clark going close with a volley from 12 yards.

Instead, Spurs could have added to their lead as Harry Kane, last season’s Premier League top scorer with 29 goals, struck the post in injury time.

SATURDAY

  • Chelsea 2 – 3 Burnley

Champions Chelsea suffered a nightmare start to their Premier League title defence, having two men sent off as Burnley claimed a superb win at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea were down to 10 men with 14 minutes gone when captain Cahill was dismissed for a lunging challenge on Steven Defour, and they fell behind with 24 minutes gone as Sam Vokes guided the ball past Thibaut Courtois.

Burnley’s lead was doubled when, with a little over five minutes remaining until the break, Jack Cork set up Stephen Ward to hammer home, and it was 3-0 before the interval when Vokes scored his second with a header.

Marcos Alonso had an effort saved by Burnley keeper Tom Heaton early in the second half before Alvaro Morata was brought on for Michy Batshuayi, and Alonso had a free kick saved soon afterwards.

Morata dived to head home his first Premier League goal from a Willian cross and bundled the ball home moments later only to see an offside flag deny him.

Fabregas then saw red for a second booking — but David Luiz pulled another one back to set up a frenetic finish in which Burnley’s Robbie Brady hit the post and Morata failed to touch home late on.

There was no Diego Costa (on his way out), no Eden Hazard or Pedro(injured) and, after 24 minutes, no Cahill, exposing the decisions to let Nathan Ake join Bournemouth and fellow defender Kurt Zouma go on loan to Stoke.

Cahill’s red card ended Jeremie Boga’s shock debut early, as he was replaced by Christensen, and handed the initiative to Burnley, whose three-goal salvo added disbelief to the list of negative emotions ripping through the home support.

  • Everton 1 – 0 Stoke City

Wayne Rooney scored on his Premier League return to Everton as they beat Stoke 1-0 in their opening fixture of the season.

It was a fairy-tale return to his boyhood club as Rooney headed home the winning goal in the added minute of injury time in the first half, and sealed the three points for the hosts.

The Toffees had drawn their last four opening day matches but managed to hold out for the victory against a Stoke side who had very few clear-cut chances, with Xherdan Shaqiri almost snatching a draw late on, only to be denied by a superb Jordan Pickford save.

  • Watford 3 – 3 Liverpool

Liverpool conceded an injury-time equaliser as they were held 3-3 at Watford in their Premier League opener.

Mohamed Salah looked to have netted a winner on his Liverpool debut, but Miguel Britos headed home from point-blank range in the dying moments to secure a share of the spoils.

Liverpool — without Philippe Coutinho, who was ruled out with a back injury amid intense speculation over his future — fell behind on eight minutes, with Stefano Okaka taking advantage of some poor defending from a corner to head past Simon Mignolet.

Sadio Mane hit back on 29 minutes, but Liverpool’s defensive weaknesses were exposed again as Abdoulaye Doucoure slotted in for 2-1.

Liverpool turned it around early in the second half, with Roberto Firmino equalising from the penalty spot after Salah was brought down in the area by goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes on 55 minutes and then Salah nudging home.

  • Brighton & Hove Albion 0 – 2 Manchester City

Sergio Aguero was on target as Manchester City denied Brighton any hope of a shock on their Premier League debut.

Pep Guardiola’s side, for all their riches, took time to get into their groove in a 2-0 win at the Amex Stadium.

But the moment they did it was ruthless as striker Aguero converted 20 minutes from time.

Lewis Dunk turned Fernandinho’s cross through goalkeeper Mathew Ryan grasp and into his own net soon afterwards as City prevailed after previously being frustrated.

  • Bromwich Albion 1 – 0 AFC Bournemouth

West Bromwich Albion made another set piece pay as they opened the season with a 1-0 win over Bournemouth at The Hawthorns.

The visitors produced plenty of neat football throughout, but were unable to create much threat and fell behind after 31 minutes when Ahmed Hegazi headed in a Chris Brunt free kick.

Jermain Defoe came on for Bournemouth after the break, replacing Benik Afobe, but the former Sunderland striker had little to work with as West Brom held firm.

  • Crystal Palace 0 – 3 Huddersfield Town

Two goals in three minutes set Huddersfield up for a dream start to life in the Premier League as they defeated Crystal Palace 3-0 at Selhurst Park.

Tom Ince missed an early chance to give the Terriers the lead when he sent a bouncing effort from Tommy Smith’s cross straight at keeper Wayne Hennessey.

But they were ahead after 23 minutes when Palace failed to deal with an Aaron Mooy corner and the ball deflected in off Joel Ward — and with Palace rocking Mooy crossed again and Steve Mounie headed home. Palace made a half-time change, with Andros Townsend coming on in place of Luka Milivojevic, and Christian Benteke almost pulled a goal back — but Huddersfield made sure when Mounie struck again.

  • Southampton 0 – 0 Swansea City West

Southampton suffered a frustrating afternoon as they were held 0-0 at home by Swansea City.

Watford 3 – 3 Liverpool

Chelsea 2 – 3 Burnley

Crystal Palace 0 – 3 Huddersfield Town

Everton 1 – 0 Stoke City

Southampton 0 – 0 Swansea City West

Bromwich Albion 1 – 0 AFC Bournemouth

Brighton & Hove Albion 0 – 2 Manchester City

Tottenham 2-0 Newcastle United

Manchester United 4 – 0 West Ham United

Guillermo Varela leaves Manchester United to rejoin Penarol

Uruguayan defender Guillermo Varela has left Manchester United to return to his home-town club Penarol.

The 24-year-old spent last season on loan at Eintracht Frankfurt, where he made 11 appearances.

He was suspended by the German clubin May when he suffered an infection after getting a tattoo against orders.

Varela became the first player to sign under David Moyes’ reign at Old Trafford, when he joined on a five-year deal in 2013.

United’s official Twitter account posted a message reading:

.@Guille_Varela4 has left #MUFC to rejoin Penarol. All the best for the future, Guillermo!’

Varela was hopeful of a move throughout the summer and a source close to him told the Manchester Evening News earlier this month that he wanted ‘personal tranquility’.

They continued: ‘The player decided it after how badly he was treated in Frankfurt. His experience in Europe was not good. In 2017-18, Guillermo would have been making only £4,000 per week.’

He went on loan to Real Madrid Castilla in Spain the following summer, having failed to make an appearance for United.

On his return, in 2015-16, he featured just four times in the Premier League.

He scored an injury-time winner to help United clinch the Under-21 Premier League title in April 2016.

Earlier this month, the Manchester Evening News cited a source close to the player as saying:

“Guillermo decided to play in Penarol for personal tranquillity.

“The player decided it after how badly he was treated in Frankfurt. His experience in Europe was not good. In 2017-18, Guillermo would have been making only £4,000 per week.”

UEFA Super Cup- Real Madrid beat Manchester United to retain Super Cup title

Real Madrid 2-1 Manchester United

Real Madrid lifted a second successive UEFA Super Cup after a 2-1 victory over Manchester United in Macedonia.

In the battle of last season’s European trophy winners, it was the Champions League holders who took the lead with Casemiro opening the scoring in the 24th minute.

Zinedine Zidane’s side doubled their lead in the 53rd minute through Isco and were in total control until Romelu Lukau pulled one back for the Europa League winners.

United rallied late on with substitute Marcus Rashford denied by Keylor Navas and it was Real who held on to become the first team to win successive UEFA Super Cups since AC Milan in 1989 and 1990.

Real coach Zinedine Zidane called Mourinho’s bluff by playing Gareth Bale 24 hours after the Manchester United manager had suggested bidding for the Wales star if he was left out of the line-up —

and Zidane won just about every other battle on the night as well.

Southampton sign Mario Lemina on a five-year deal from Juventus

Southampton have signed midfielder Mario Lemina from Juventus for £15.6m.

The 23-year-old Gabon international has put pen to paper on a five-year contract with the Saints.

Juventus confirmed in a statement on their official website the deal was worth 17million euros (£15.6m), which could increase by a further three million euros (£2.77m).

The transfer is believed to be a club record deal.

Their previous record signing was Moroccan attacking midfielder Sofiane Boufal, who joined from French side Lille for £16m in August 2016.

Lemina said on http://www.southamptonfc.com:

“I am really happy to have signed for Southampton. I think that it was the project that attracted me the most and the one my family was really behind.”

Lemina started his career in France with Lorient before joining Marseille in 2013.

The midfielder signed initially on loan with Juventus in 2015 and after completing a permanent transfer last summer, went on to help the Bianconeri win the Serie A title as well as reach the Champions League final against Real Madrid.

Southampton vice chairman Les Reed feels Lemina will be a welcome addition to Mauricio Pellegrino’s squad.

“Mario is an outstanding talent who has already achieved a great deal in his career, winning a number of titles and gaining experience of playing on some of the biggest stages in world football,” Reed said.

“Investing in a player of Mario’s quality and buying from a club like Juventus is a significant statement of intent from the club, and this is a purchase that has set another club-record fee.

“Mario still has his best years ahead of him, and we believe that he will not only be an excellent acquisition for us in the immediate future, but that he will also be able to realise even more of his potential here in the years to come.

“In a volatile market with some extraordinary and inexplicable transfers taking place, we are determined to go about our work in a diligent and correct way. This is a player who has won trophies and played in the Champions League final less than three months ago and he has signed for Saints amid a host of suitors.

“Mario will complement what is already an extremely strong group of midfield players in our squad, and we are excited about what he will bring to the group.”

Jose Mourinho claims Manchester United lead the queue for Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Jose Mourinho has revealed Manchester United are at the head of the queue to re-sign Zlatan Ibrahimovic in January.

“Maybe he’ll stay with us,” Mourinho told Italian broadcaster Sport Mediaset.

“He has no contract but he is closer to Manchester.”

The Swede has remained in Manchester to work on his rehabilitation, with an aim of being fit again in January.

Manchester United bus pranked en route to Aviva stadium

A mischievous car clamper had fans fearing Manchester United might be late for their last pre-season friendly game.

When a picture appeared on social media of the team coach with a clamp stuck on the back wheel some worried if the players might have to walk to Dublin’s Aviva Stadium for the match against Sampdoria.

The incident however proved to be a prank. It appears one of the city’s clampers seized the chance for a great photo opportunity.

He attached the clamp momentarily on the luxury bus, which was correctly parked, to secure a picture that delivered his 15 minutes of fame on social media.

The Man Utd team bus was clamped in Dublin!

In true Mourinho fashion, there’s a goal just behind it.

And so United did not have to add a parking fine to the £150million they have already splashed out in the transfer market ahead of the new Premier League season.

A club spokeswoman told the Press Association: “It was just a prank. Some guy pretended to clamp the bus and took a picture.”

Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Juan Mata score as Manchester United win Sampdoria in Dublin

Manchester United 2-1 Sampdoria

Juan Mata scored the winner as Manchester United’s pre-season ended with an encouraging 2-1 victory over Sampdoria in Dublin.

In a game that will be remembered for Nemanja Matic making his first United appearance, Jose Mourinho’s side took the lead inside nine minutes thanks to Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s third goal of pre-season.

United controlled large parts of the friendly at the Aviva Stadium but were made to work for the victory as Dennis Praet’s 63rd-minute strike set up a tense finale.

But substitute Mata made the workout worthwhile with the decisive strike nine minutes from time as United signed off their preparations for the new campaign with a sixth win from seven.

United face Real Madrid in the Uefa Super Cup final on Tuesday before starting their Premier League campaign against West Ham on Sunday, 13 August.

Phil Jones banned for abusing UEFA official, Manchester United and Danny Blind fined

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.

There is no suggestion that either player was guilty of doping.

Jones was found to be verbally abusive toward 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.

UEFA charged Blind with violation and non-compliance with Article 6.05, which states that “every player designated to undergo as doping control is personally responsible for reporting immediately to the doping control station as notified.”

United were fined €10,000 over the rule breaches. The club are reported to be aware of UEFA’s decisions, and have three days to appeal, though they have not yet indicated to UEFA whether they will.

Blind played the full 90 minutes against his old club Ajax, while Jones was an unused substitute in Sweden.

United manager Jose Mourinho’s defensive options in continental competition had already been depleted after UEFA gave Eric Bailly an additional two-match ban for his sending-off against Celta Vigo earlier in the Europa League campaign.

Manchester United sign Nemanja Matic from Chelsea for £40m

Manchester United have completed the signing of Nemanja Matic from Chelsea for £40m on a three-year deal.

Matic, 28, becomes United’s third summer buy, following £31m defender Victor Lindelof from Benfica and £75m striker Romelu Lukaku from Everton.

The defensive midfielder joins for a fee believed to be £40m and re-joins manager Jose Mourinho, who brought him back to Chelsea in January 2014.

Matic told the club’s website: “I am delighted to have joined Manchester United. To work with Jose Mourinho once again was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.

“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.”

As well as winning the title with Mourinho two years ago, he also won another Premier League crown last season.

His departure this summer was made possible by the London club’s signing of Tiemoue Bakayoko from Monaco.

Mourinho said: “Nemanja is a Manchester United player and a Jose Mourinho player. He represents everything we want in a footballer; loyalty, consistency, ambition, team player.

“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.”

The move ends Matic’s second spell at Chelsea. He first joined the Blues in 2009 but left the following year.

After making his name at Benfica, he was brought back to Stamford Bridge by Mourinho in a £21million deal in 2014.

The Serbian replaces Bastian Schweinsteiger in wearing the No 31 shirt for the coming campaign.

Matic could make his debut in Wednesday’s clash with Sampdoria in Dublin.

West Ham sign former Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez  from Bayer Leverkusen

West Ham have completed the £16m signing of Bayer Leverkusen striker Javier Hernandez.
The 29-year-old Mexico international arrived in London on Monday to undergo a medical ahead of the transfer and has signed a three-year contract.
The striker will become the highest-paid player in the club’s history and is set to be on wages totalling £140,000 a week, aslo the Hammers’ fourth new arrival of the summer.

Hernandez has previous experience of playing in the English top-flight, having netted 59 goals for Manchester United during a five-year spell at Old Trafford.

And Hernandez, also a former Real Madrid loanee, admitted the chance to return to England was too good to turn down.

He told the club’s official website: “I am very happy to join West Ham United.

“For me, the Premier League is the best league in the world and when the opportunity came, I was desperate to sign for this club.

“It was not a difficult decision. West Ham is an historic club, and very ambitious – this summer you can see with the players signed that they are looking to have a very good season.

“I’ve had three fantastic years playing in Spain and Germany, but England was really the first big chapter in my career and I am so happy to be back.

“I am desperate for the season to start and to help the team achieve all their objectives.”
In May, Hernandez – widely known by the nickname Chicharito, which means ‘little pea’ – became Mexico’s all-time leading scorer.
He netted 39 times in 76 matches for the Bundesliga club.

Joint-chairman David Sullivan added: “We are delighted to welcome Javier as the latest fantastic addition to the West Ham United squad.

“Following the arrivals of Pablo Zabaleta, Joe Hart and Marko Arnautovic, he is another top-class professional who brings great experience and quality to the club.

“He has a proven goalscoring record in the Premier League, La Liga and the Bundesliga, as well in the UEFA Champions League and at international level with Mexico.

“We now have some fantastic options in attacking positions and, like all West Ham fans, I am looking forward to seeing Javier score goals in a claret and blue shirt next season.”

De Gea saved two penalties as Manchester United edge Real Madrid on penalties 

Real Madrid 1 – 1 Manchester United  (PK 1-2)

David de Gea saved two spot-kicks as Manchester United beat Real Madrid 2-1 on penalties in the International Champions Cup, after the match ended 1-1 at Levi’s Stadium on Sunday.

Casemiro, who scored from the spot in the second half to cancel out Jesse Lingard’s opener, missed the crucial penalty after De Gea kept out efforts from Mateo Kovacic and Oscar Rodriguez.
Only three of the 10 spot-kicks taken in the shootout were successful, with Daley Blind and Henrikh Mkhitaryan the scorers for Jose Mourinho’s side.

Anthony Martial created Jesse Lingard’s first-half opener for United with a brilliant piece of skill on the left.

Martial wove past Luka Modric and Dani Carvajal, then roll a pass to Lingard for United’s opener as Raphael Varane closed in, it was easy to see why Mourinho’s predecessor, Louis van Gaal, sanctioned his £36m transfer two years ago.

Casemiro levelled for Real from the penalty spot after United’s new £31m defender Victor Lindelof brought down Theo Hernandez with a rash challenge.
It was not a great night for Lindelof, who compounded his error during the game with a miss from the spot.

Another negative for United was Ander Herrera lasting only six minutes before going off with a hip injury.
Manchester United have now won all four of their matches in the United States and meet Barcelona in their final tour game in Washington on Wednesday.
Wales forward Gareth Bale started for Real in their first pre-season game.

Real play Manchester City in Los Angeles on Wednesday before meeting Barcelona in Miami on Saturday.

PENALTIES

Martial set the tone by blazing the first kick way over. After two penalties each, the score was 0-0.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan finally scored for United, only for Lindelof to miss with their next kick.

Real were even worse. Only Quezada scored for them, meaning United won when Casemiro blasted against the bar after Daley Blind’s unconvincing effort had given the Premier League side the advantage.


Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho:”It was a good training session. A very good first half against a top Real side. In the second half we lost motivation, intensity and appetite to play against their youngsters. My players in the second half were disappointed not to play against their best players.

“We have one injury to Ander Herrera, I don’t know how he is but it has to be painful to come off so soon.

“Three out of 10 penalties – that’s pre-season. I didn’t choose my best penalty takers.”

Manchester United goalkeeper  Sergio Romero signs new four-year contract

​Sergio Romero has signed a new four-year contract at Manchester United.

Romero’s deal also contains an option to extend his stay at Old Trafford by a further year.

The 30-year-old goalkeeper joined Manchester United from Sampdoria in 2015 and has made 28 appearances for the club to date.

The Argentina international featured 12 times for United in the Europa League last season including the 2-0  win over Ajax in the final.

“I am delighted to have signed a new contract,” Romero 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.”
United manager Jose Mourinho added: “Sergio is a great goalkeeper and professional. He had a good season and outstanding performances, especially in our Europa League success.

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

Jose Mourinho describes Cristiano Ronaldo’s  Manchester return as “mission impossible”

​Jose Mourinho ruled out any attempt to bring Cristiano Ronaldo back to Old Trafford after Man Utd’s 5-2 rout of the LA Galaxy.
United boss Mourinho worked with his compatriot in Madrid and says an Old Trafford reunion was never on the cards.

“We have never thought about it because he is too much of an important player for his club, of great economic power,” he said.

“We have not been able to find for whatever reason anything that could have made us think that Ronaldo could leave.

“I am not a defender of my club once I waste time on players who are mission impossible.”

United have so far brought in Victor Lindelof and Romelu Lukaku, with the latter’s arrival said to have ended their interest in Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata.

“He belongs to Madrid,” said former Real boss Mourinho. “Madrid have decided and we have not come to an agreement. It is simple. It is a shame.

“He is a player who made it to the first team with me. We have a special liking for him, he is someone special. I enjoyed watching his evolution at Juventus and Madrid.

“It is like that. I don’t think he can end with us.”

Marcus Rashford bags brace as Manchester United beat LA Galaxy; Romelu Lukaku and Victor Lindelof make debut


Marcus Rashford scored twice as Manchester United kicked off their pre-season campaign with a 5-2 victory over LA Galaxy at the StubHub Center.

Both Lukaku and Lindelof made their first appearance in a United shirt after the break as Jose Mourinho changed his whole team.

After five gruelling days of double-sessions in the Californian sunshine, Saturday evening brought the chance to blow away the cobwebs at a sold-out StubHub Center.

David Beckham was among those in attendance on a night that United bossed from the outset. Mourinho named a different line-up in each half, with Marouane Fellaini complementing a Rashford brace in the first period before Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Anthony Martial scored in a 5-2 friendly win.

Giovani dos Santos scored two late consolation goals but that could not take the gloss off a promising start to pre-season against a Galaxy side in the midst of a testing Major League Soccer campaign.

Manchester United goalkeeper Sam Johnstone rejoins Aston Villa on a season-long loan 


Manchester United goalkeeper Sam Johnstone has returned to Aston Villa for another loan spell.

Johnstone made 22 appearances for Villa after joining on loan in January 2017 and he heads back to Villa Park ahead of the new Championship season.

The 24-year-old, who is yet to make a Premier League appearance for United, has previously had loan spells at clubs including Scunthorpe United, Preston North End and Doncaster Rovers.

“I am delighted to be back,” Johnstone told Villa’s website. “I really enjoyed my last spell here – it’s a great club with top players and passionate fans.

“I can’t wait to get started now. I believe it can be a special season for all of us and I will be working hard each and every day to produce the kind of performances that will help us achieve what we’re aiming for.”

United are currently in Los Angeles for pre-season, with David de Gea and Sergio Romero set to share goalkeeping duties yet again for Jose Mourinho’s side.

Adnan Januzaj joins Real Sociedad from Manchester United 


Real Sociedad have completed the signing of winger Adnan Januzaj from Manchester United.

It is understood the 22-year-old has joined the La Liga outfit for an initial £8million – although the fee could rise to £9.8million – and that United have a buyback clause for the Belgium international.

Januzaj sensationally broke into the United team as an 18-year-old, hitting two goals on his full debut against Sunderland in 2013.

Since then his stock has fallen and, after two forgettable loan stints at Borussia Dortmund and Sunderland, he has now moved on.

Januzaj’s early United form earned him a call up to the senior Belgium squad, with the Brussels-born forward also eligible to also play for either Albania or Kosovo at the time.

He has since gone on to pick up six caps but will now be hoping to inject fresh impetus into both his club and country career following the move to San Sebastian.

“Adnan Januzaj has completed a transfer from Manchester United to Real Sociedad,” a statement on United’s website read.

“The Academy graduate and Belgium international has signed with the side who finished sixth in La Liga last season, bringing an end to a Reds career that consisted of 66 senior appearances and five goals.

“Januzaj made his United debut in the FA Community Shield win over Wigan Athletic in August 2013 and established himself as an excellent prospect that season, famously scoring a brace at Sunderland under the management of David Moyes – who is coincidentally a former boss of Real Sociedad.

“Opportunities proved hard to come by during Louis van Gaal’s first season at Old Trafford and that led to a loan spell at Borussia Dortmund in 2015/16, the Dutchman’s second campaign with United.

“Jose Mourinho allowed Adnan to spend last season on loan at Sunderland and now the 22-year-old forward has taken the tough decision to leave United and make the move San Sebastian. Everybody at Manchester United wishes Adnan well for the next chapter of his career.”

Adnan Januzaj have medicals at Real Sociedad ahead of transfer from Manchester United 

Manchester United winger Adnan Januzaj has undergone a medical with Real Sociedad after both clubs had agreed a £9.8million fee for his services.

Januzaj, 22, was told he could find another club this summer by United manager Jose Mourinho.
He returned from an unsuccessful campaign on loan at Sunderlandand was left out of Mourinho’s squad for the pre-season tour of the United States.
Januzaj has also had a stint on  loan at Borussia Dortmund in 2015-16.
Just as they did with Memphis Depay, United have included a buy-back clause in the deal that will allow them first option to re-sign Januzaj if he revives his career in Spain.

That clause insulates them from the possibility of having to pay a massive fee to bring him back to Old Trafford, something they did not manage when they paid a world-record fee to bring Paul Pogba back to the club.

Januzaj joined United from  Anderlecht when he was 16 and broke into the first team in 2013 during David Moyes’ ill-fated spell in charge.
Deemed good enough to take Ryan Giggs’ number 11 shirt, Januzaj signed a five-year contract extension that was not due to expire until 2018.
Real Sociedad finished sixth in La Liga last season and will compete in the Europa League group stage in 2017-18.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic expected to sign new contract with Manchester United as his knee recovers ‘amazingly’

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has ‘amazed’ Manchester United’s medical team with his recovery from a knee injury and is set to be handed a new deal by the club in the autumn.

The Swede forward suffered what was initially thought to be a career-threatening injury in April when he sustained damage to his ligaments in the Europa League quarter-final against Anderlecht.

But his recovery from the injury, which was expected to sideline him for around a 10-12 months is being described as super-human – and the player could make his return to action as soon as October.

United had the opportunity to extend the Swede’s initial one-year deal this summer, but chose instead to release him.

Ibrahimovic has been back at Old Trafford as part of his rehabilitation since, and according toThe Sun, is so far ahead of schedule that he could sign a new deal at United and feature again by October.

Ibrahimovic currently has offers on the table from the Chinese Super League and Italy, but United are thought to be entertaining the idea of offering him a deal until next summer.

Manchester United confirm the signing of Romelu Lukaku from Everton 

Manchester United have completed the signing of striker Romelu Lukaku from Premier League rivals Everton.
The Belgium international has signed a five-contract, with the option of a further 12 months, at Old Trafford after United had agreed a fee, believed to be an initial £75 million, with the Toffees on Saturday.

The fee could eventually rise to £90m, and United held off late competition from Chelsea for the Belgium striker’s signature.
Lukaku has joined up with his new team-mates in Los Angeles ahead of their pre-season schedule in the United States, although he will not feature in their opening game against LA Galaxy this weekend.

Speaking to MUTV, he said midfielder Paul Pogba had played a “big role”in him signing for United.
Lukaku said: “I would like to start by thanking Everton and the fans for the last four wonderful seasons, I have made some special friends and we have shared some amazing moments,” Lukaku told United’s official website.

“However, when Manchester United and Jose Mourinho come knocking at the door it is an opportunity of a lifetime and one that I could not turn down.

“You could see the fight, determination and the spirit in this team during the Europa League final and I want to become a part of that.

“I cannot wait to run out at Old Trafford in front of 75,000 fans but before that pre-season is where the hard work starts and I am looking forward to that first training session.”

Lukaku turned down the most lucrative contract offer in Everton’s history, thought to be worth £140,000 a week, in March and later said: “I don’t want to stay at the same level. I want to improve and I know where I want to do that.”

Mourinho, who managed the 24-year-old at Chelsea and sanctioned Lukaku’s departure from Chelsea to Everton,

“Romelu is a natural fit for Manchester United,” he added.

“He is a big personality and a big player. It is only natural that he wants to develop his career at the biggest club. He will be a great addition to the group and I know they will make him very welcome. I am really looking forward to working with him again.”, told the United website: “Romelu is a natural fit for Manchester United. He is a big personality and a big player. It is only natural that he wants to develop his career at the biggest club.

“He will be a great addition to the group and I know they will make him very welcome. I am really looking forward to working with him again.”
The 24-year-old then netted 71 goals in all competitions on Merseyside to become one of Europe’s deadliest strikers.

Romelu Lukaku’s stat

  • With two goals against Hull City in March, Lukaku became the first Everton player since Gary Lineker in 1985-86 to score 20 league goals in a season.
  • Lukaku is also only the fourth player to score more than 80 goals in the Premier League before turning 24 (after Michael Owen, Robbie Fowler and Rooney).
  • He has scored more goals than any other Everton player in Premier League history (68).
  • Lukaku is one of only three players to have scored more than 10 goals in each of the past five Premier League seasons (alongside Olivier Giroud and Sergio Aguero).

    Top five world record transfers

    1. £89m – Paul Pogba – Juventus to Manchester United, 2016
    2. £86m – Gareth Bale – Tottenham to Real Madrid, 2013
    3. £80m – Cristiano Ronaldo – Manchester United to Real Madrid, 2009
    4. £75.3m – Gonzalo Higuain – Napoli to Juventus, 2016
    5. £75m – Luis Suarez – Liverpool to Barcelona, 2014; Romelu Lukaku – Everton to Manchester United, 2017

    Top five British transfer records

    1. £75m – Romelu Lukaku – Everton to Manchester United, 2017
    2. £50m – Fernando Torres – Liverpool to Chelsea, 2011
    3. £47.5m – John Stones – Everton to Manchester City, 2016
    4. £44m – Raheem Sterling – Liverpool to Manchester City, 2015
    5. £37.1m – Juan Mata – Chelsea to Manchester United, 2014

    Romelu Lukaku sends farewell message to Everton; trains with Manchester United in US

    Romelu Lukaku has sent a farewell message to Everton as he prepares to move to Manchester United.

    The 24-year-old striker had a medical at the weekend and is set to sign for  Unitedfor an initial £75m, despite former club Chelsea matching the  bid.
    The Belgium forward moved to Everton from the Blues for £28m in July 2014 and has scored 68 Premier League goals.
    Lukaku has linked up with Manchester United  for  their pre-season tour on  Sunday. He has trained with his new team.
    “I want to say a big thank you to all the people involved at Everton,” he posted on Instagramon Sunday.

    “I want to thank the fans for your support throughout the four years we’ve spent together. I can proudly say it was an honour to play in front of you.”
    “To the staff at the the stadium and training ground thank you for making me feel home from the first day I walked in,” he continued.

    “To technical staff thank you for helping me become a better player. Working with you guys has been a pleasure and I’ll take your advice throughout the rest of my career. Thank you Everton football club.”