BREAKING NEWS: Manchester United agree Bruno Fernandes deal

By Sports Desk January 29, 2020

Manchester United have agreed a deal to sign Bruno Fernandes from Sporting CP, it was announced on Wednesday.

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  • De Jong 'not sure' if Barcelona can still win LaLiga De Jong 'not sure' if Barcelona can still win LaLiga

    Frenkie de Jong is unsure of Barcelona's title credentials despite their improving LaLiga form.

    De Jong scored the opener and created a late second for substitute Riqui Puig during Sunday's 2-0 win at Elche.

    That made it four wins out of four for Barca in Spain's top flight since the turn of the year, although they will be 10 points behind Atletico Madrid having played a game more if the leaders are able to beat Valencia in Sunday's late kick-off.

    "I'm not sure," he told LaLiga TV when asked whether Ronald Koeman's side are back in the title race.

    "We have to win our games and we'll see where we end up towards the end of the season."

    Nevertheless, the Netherlands midfielder has no doubt Barca are an improved side after a tough start to life under his former national team boss Koeman.

    "Since the new year we're a lot better and we've played most of the games away from home and won all of them in LaLiga. We're in a better moment," De Jong said.

    "I think [beating Elche] will do us good, we've worked hard, especially now in the new year. We're growing and improving as a team and hopefully we can keep improving."

    De Jong's tally of five goals across his season-and-a-half with Barca has already bettered his total of Eredivisie strikes for Ajax (four) across five campaigns, and the 23-year-old also feels that the imperative to improve applies to him personally, even after a man-of-the-match display.

    "Yes, I do think I can play better but it’s not only about goals and assists," he added. "Of course I'm happy but there's more to come."

  • Fernandes benched by Man Utd as Salah returns for Liverpool Fernandes benched by Man Utd as Salah returns for Liverpool

    Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer left Bruno Fernandes out of his starting line-up for Sunday's FA Cup clash with Liverpool.

    Fernandes, who has been United's shining light since arriving from Sporting CP almost 12 months ago, was only a substitute for the fourth-round game.

    This season he has scored 15 goals and supplied nine assists in 28 games across all competitions from his advanced midfield role, but there have been questions asked about his form in recent weeks.

    He has just one goal and no assists in four Premier League appearances since the turn of the year.

    Into the United team went former Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek as Solskjaer decided the game presented a chance to rotate his squad, making five changes to the side that won 2-1 at Fulham on Wednesday.

    Solskjaer explained why Fernandes did not start, saying on BBC One: "It's rotation in the squad.

    "Donny needs to be playing games as well and it's a big game for Donny to come into.

    "He's done nothing wrong when he's been around the club so I'm looking forward to seeing him in there."

    Premier League leaders United also brought in goalkeeper Dean Henderson, centre-back Victor Lindelof, midfielder Scott McTominay and forward Marcus Rashford, as David De Gea, Eric Bailly, Fred and Anthony Martial dropped out.

    Liverpool also showed five changes as Jurgen Klopp looked for a response to Thursday's shock 1-0 home defeat to Burnley, which ended a 68-game unbeaten run at Anfield in the Premier League.

    Teenage centre-back Rhys Williams came in for the absent Joel Matip, while James Milner and Curtis Jones were selected as Xherdan Shaqiri and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain dropped to the bench.

    Sadio Mane and Divock Origi were also substitutes as Klopp gave starts to Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino, with the Old Trafford clash coming a week on from these two sides battling out a dreary goalless draw at Anfield in the league.

  • Ozil completes Fenerbahce move after Arsenal exit Ozil completes Fenerbahce move after Arsenal exit

    Mesut Ozil has completed a move to Fenerbahce after negotiating his departure from Arsenal.

    World Cup winner Ozil, once Arsenal's record signing, had been excluded from Mikel Arteta's first-team plans this season and departs after seven and a half years with the Premier League club.

    The former Germany midfielder was under contract until the end of the current campaign but reached an agreement for an early termination, clearing him to sign elsewhere.

    Fener have now confirmed the arrival of Ozil, with Arsenal announcing the playmaker's departure on their official website.

    In a statement in the Gunners' announcement, Ozil said: "I'd like to thank the club for this amazing journey over the past seven-and-a-half years.

    "The support I have felt from the team and fans during my time here has been truly incredible and something I will always be grateful for.

    "Together we won trophies for the first time in years and created memories that will last a lifetime.

    "The Arsenal fans will forever remain in my heart. I'd like to thank Edu Gaspar for helping bring about a professional and dignified solution in the past few days, and I wish everyone at the club the best in their attempt to continue to bring Arsenal back to the top, where we belong."

    Having joined from Real Madrid in September 2013, Ozil made 184 Premier League appearances for Arsenal, scoring 33 goals and contributing 54 assists.

    He was a key part of Arsene Wenger's squad that finished second in the 2015-16 Premier League season, while he also started in the FA Cup final triumphs in 2014, 2015 and 2017.

    However, the 32-year-old had increasingly become a peripheral figure in recent years, initially under former Gunners boss Unai Emery before being left out entirely by Arteta. 

    His final Arsenal appearance came on March 3, 2020, when he played 89 minutes in a 1-0 win over West Ham at Emirates Stadium.

    Although he was twice named on the bench when the 2019-20 season resumed after the coronavirus-enforced break, the 32-year-old was an unused substitute against both Brighton and Hove Albion and Southampton in June.

    "Mesut's achievements at Arsenal are undisputed," Arteta said. "It was a privilege to play alongside him and, more recently, coach him.

    "His creativity and vision led to many goals during his time in the Arsenal shirt. Mesut was at the heart of many great moments for this club over the years, including those three FA Cup final wins.

    "These successes will always be part of our history. We thank Mesut and wish him all the best with Fenerbahce."

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