Manchester City has stressed that the club won’t go on a huge spending spree during the summer transfer window and they are likely to adjust with a couple of signings to replace those who are likely to depart. The Catalan tactician has spent over £450m on players since his arrival at the Etihad in 2016 but he has insisted that the club won’t be splashing the cash in the upcoming transfer window.
He said: “When people say, “they won because they invested a lot,” they are right. We invested a lot of money, we are going to invest less in the future because instead of doing it in two or three transfer markets, we did it in one. But we needed to because of the (squad’s average) age we had before. Yaya is leaving so we have to replace him and maybe another one. One or two, no more, maybe people don’t believe me but we don’t have the money to invest £300m every season.”
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is keen to end his Gunners association on a high note. Earlier in April, the Frenchman announced that he would be ending his 22-year reign with the Gunners during the summer and the 68-year-old is now keen to end his spell on a positive note with Europa League success being a possibility.
Speaking on the club’s official website, he said: “I don’t know what I will do next season. At the moment, I would like to finish my job well. I believe a man has to give his best as long as he is somewhere, with all his commitment and energy. I would like one day to know I worked with all my energy until the last day. I would like to look back and think I finished this love affair well.” Read more
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has stressed that the Red Devils deserved to be in second spot, having accumulated more points than their near rivals. The Mancunian giants have come for criticism for their style of play, but Mourinho remains focused on maintaining the position for the remainder of the season.
Speaking after the game, he said: “Manchester City is not important for me. Important for me is that since the moment we left the first position and went to second, we stayed there for the whole of the season.We deserved to feel second in spite of what you can say, the critics you make, you all say the third, fourth, fifth, sixth are better than us but they are not better than us because we have more points than them.”
Arsenal legend-turned-pundit Ian Wright believes Liverpool could face the prospect of losing Mohamed Salah during the summer transfer window. The Egypt international has been in stupendous form for the Reds in his debut season, and he has already contributed 36 goals and a further 10 assists in all competitions.
As a result, the speculation over his future has intensified with Spanish sources suggesting that the attacker could follow the same route as Philippe Coutinho. The Brazil international left Liverpool for Barcelona during the winter transfer window, and there has been a suggestion that Salah could also seal a move to La Liga, but with Barca’s arch-rivals Real Madrid. Read more
Chelsea attacker Eden Hazard has stressed that the team are right behind manager Antonio Conte despite their recent wobble in the Premier League. The Blues have experienced an average run since the turn of the year, and this also saw them bow of the League Cup in the semi-final stage.
In an interview with Telefoot, Hazard was fully supportive of Conte, who has received plenty of sticks from a section of the fans, he said: “We win together, we lose together. Everyone is behind him (Conte). All we want is to climb the table – and give everything against Barcelona. We will see what happens after.”
Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud could reportedly pursue a fresh challenge away from the Emirates in January, agent Michael Manuello has claimed. The France international has been sparingly used by Arsene Wenger in the Premier League with just one start during the course of the current campaign.
Speaking on FootMercato, Manuello hinted that his client could seek a fresh challenge in the New Year but a return to France is not on the player’s mind, he said: “Olivier will not come back to France. Unless there is a change in his state of mind, to date the intention is not to return to France. There has been no new approach from Marseille. I have no information that Marseille was trying to contact us. Now, depending on the offers, we will sit around a table and talk. The most important thing is to know what will be offered or not this winter, to find a better project.”
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has said that he does not need to explain why Michy Batshuayi did not start during Saturday’s goalless draw versus Everton. The Premier League holders dominated the proceedings at Goodison Park with more than 20 shots at goal, and they could not find a way through a resolute Toffees backline.
Speaking after the game, the Italian had no regrets starting the Belgian off the bench despite not possessing the services of Alvaro Morata, who was suspended after receiving his fifth yellow card of the domestic campaign, he said: “I think there is nothing to explain why I decide to [play] with Hazard, Willian, Pedro. It is not the first time. I have to make the best decision for my team and today I made the best decision. Don’t forget our striker Morata was out and I think this player is very important for us, but at the same time we played with second options, with three number 10s – Willian, Pedro, Hazard – and we created many chances.”
Arsenal legend Ian Wright feels Chelsea’s summer signing Tiemoue Bakayoko has not done enough to warrant a starting spot ahead of the likes of Pedro and Willian. The France international has cemented his spot at the heart of the Blues’ midfield following his move from AS Monaco last summer.
Speaking on BBC Radio Five Live, Wright is still unconvinced over Bakayoko’s abilities and feels one of Pedro or Willian deserve the starting role, although they play in a different position altogether, he said: “Just a quick one on Bakayoko, because I have to get it out otherwise I’ll forget. I’m not having him yet, I’m sorry. I can’t understand how he can get in the team before Willian and Pedro at the moment. Especially, when he played further forward. I need to see a lot more from him, that’s all I’m saying.”
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is excited by the prospect of facing Atletico Madrid in the Champions League group stage game on Wednesday night.
The Blues looked to have made a poor start to the campaign following defeats in the Community Shield and the Premier League opener versus Burnley. However, they have since recorded four victories in five league games with their only drop in points being in the goalless draw against Arsenal this month.
Speaking in his press conference, Conte admitted that the Blues have a task in hand against Atletico Madrid, who have made the Champions League final in two of the last four seasons.
He said: “I think Atletico is a really good team with a great experience in this competition. They always play a great competition and to reach the finals of the Champions League is not simple, it means you are strong and able to have a good tournament. They have a good team, coach. Chelsea last year didn’t play this competition, we are excited to play and tomorrow we know we have to face a really good team.” Read more
Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs feels Marcus Rashford has the potential to develop in the mould of former Arsenal great Thierry Henry.
The Welshman has watched the 19-year-old play out wide under Jose Mourinho this season but sees him more in a centre-forward role as he progresses further in his career.
Speaking to ITV, Giggs has identified similarities between Rashford and Henry, although the Englishman has a long way to go to match the feat of the Gunners legend. He added that Rashford could struggle to play in the No.9 position in the near future with both Romelu Lukaku and Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the United ranks.
He said: “He can definitely play out wide, but eventually he’s going to be a No 9. I see similarities with Thierry Henry myself, he’s brilliant off the left. Even if he’s playing centre-forward, he drifts off to the left where you can take players on either side. But then, if he’s not played centre-forward a lot and all of a sudden Kane gets injured and you ask him to play up front, he can do it. Like you say, he’s not going to play centre-forward of United too often with Lukaku, Ibrahimovic as well.” Read more