Rumour Has It: Man Utd target Joao Felix, Juventus want Madrid coach Zidane

By Sports Desk April 21, 2020

Manchester United continue to be linked with a number of players, even during the football shutdown due to coronavirus.

Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho, Tottenham star Harry Kane and Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish.

Atletico Madrid sensation Joao Felix is the latest name on the list.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED EYE JOAO FELIX

Manchester United are interested in signing Atletico Madrid star Joao Felix, according to Le10 Sport.

Joao Felix swapped Benfica for Atletico in a big-money deal at the start of the 2019-20 season, having been linked to United.

United reportedly remain interested in Joao Felix and want the 20-year-old Portuguese attacker to follow in the footsteps of Red Devils great Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford.

 

ROUND-UP

- Could Zinedine Zidane be set for a return to Juventus? Le10 Sport claims the Serie A giants want the Real Madrid head coach to replace Juve boss Maurizio Sarri for the 2020-21 season. Zidane spent five years as a player in Turin, where the Frenchman won two Serie A trophies among other titles before moving to Madrid in 2001.

Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Madrid and Juve are monitoring Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, says Corriere dello Sport. Donnarumma is out of contract in 2021 and the Italy international goalkeeper is no closer to signing a new deal.

- Calciomercato reports Inter are working on extending Marcelo Brozovic's contract amid interest from Premier League leaders and Champions League holders Liverpool.

- United midfielder Paul Pogba remains Juve's number one target but the Bianconeri are ready to make a move for Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic if a deal does not materialise, says Calciomercato.

Arsenal, Milan and Leicester City are chasing Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer, claims journalist Nicolo Schira.

- According to journalist Alfredo Pedulla, Sarri wants to reunite with Chelsea star Jorginho at Juve. Sarri and Jorginho both joined Chelsea from Napoli in 2018-19. Now the Juve boss is interested in signing the midfielder again.

Samuel Umtiti does not want to leave Barcelona, SPORT reports. The French defender has previously been linked to United and Arsenal.

David Alaba is not a top target for Madrid but the LaLiga giants continue to monitor the Bayern Munich full-back, says Marca.

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    Ed Woodward revealed Manchester United are committed to "playing a constructive role in helping the wider football pyramid" as the club revealed the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 

    United announced results for the 2019-20 financial year on Wednesday, including a £70million drop in revenue as it counts the cost of the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis. 

    The club posted total revenue of £509m, a significant dip on the initial forecast of £560m-£580m.

    It comes a year on from a record £627.1m figure, albeit a drop was always expected without Champions League football. 

    Net debt has risen to £474.1m, an increase of £270.5m over the course of the year, as broadcasting revenue dropped to £140.2m. 

    United's commercial revenue increased by £3.9m to £279m, while a £23m dividend was paid out. A six-month extension to the shirt sponsorship deal with Chevrolet was also announced, meaning the partnership will run through until December 2021. 

    Exceptional costs for the prior year were £19.6m, attributed to the departure of former boss Jose Mourinho and his coaching staff.

    Prior to a conference call with investors, a statement from executive vice-chairman Woodward said the club will "drive forward" the strategic vision for the future of English football, having been at the forefront of the Project Big Picture proposal that was unanimously rejected by the Premier League.

    United and Liverpool, the two clubs at the centre of the Big Picture plan, have also been in talks over the creation of a breakaway European Premier League, Sky News reported on Tuesday.

    "Our focus remains on protecting the health of our colleagues, fans and community while adapting to the significant economic ramifications of the pandemic. Within that context, our top priority is to get fans back into the stadium safely and as soon as possible," Woodward said in a statement.

    "We are also committed to playing a constructive role in helping the wider football pyramid through this period of adversity, while exploring options for making the English game stronger and more sustainable in the long term.

    "This requires strategic vision and leadership from all stakeholders, and we look forward to helping drive forward that process in a timely manner.

    "On the pitch, we have strengthened the team over the summer and we remain committed to our objective of winning trophies, playing entertaining, attacking football with a blend of academy graduates and high-quality recruits, while carefully managing our resources to protect the long-term resilience of the club."

  • Tottenham form is not 'Spursy' but defending must improve - Mourinho Tottenham form is not 'Spursy' but defending must improve - Mourinho

    Jose Mourinho has bemoaned Tottenham's defending from set-pieces but insists the draw against West Ham was a one-off and not evidence his side are "Spursy".

    Returning to action after the international break, prior to which they had thrashed Manchester United 6-1, Mourinho's men looked to be coasting to another big win at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday.

    They led the Hammers 3-0 early in the first half and, despite failing to add to their tally, maintained that advantage into the final 10 minutes.

    But a remarkable finish saw Fabian Balbuena pull one back and then Davinson Sanchez head into his own net before a stunning Manuel Lanzini strike deep into stoppage time rescued a 3-3 draw for David Moyes' side.

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    And another set-piece on the opening weekend saw Dominic Calvert-Lewin head a winner for Everton, meaning Tottenham are yet to win at home in the Premier League this season.

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    "We are a very exciting team to watch, I believe. That is very important and that's the DNA that we want to have.

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    "Against Newcastle, we were solid, playing amazing, solid, and what happened was one of the beauties of VAR this season.

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    Mourinho would only confirm Sanchez - the scorer of the own goal - as a starter against LASK, with the defender speaking alongside his coach, who added: "The only thing I ask is that you don't ask him about his amazing goal on Sunday."

    Sanchez said: "Of course, [the West Ham draw] was hard to take, we know that. It had to be better. In the same way, we have enough experience to take it and not repeat it."

  • 'Deeply disappointed' Ozil says Arsenal lack loyalty but vows to fight on 'Deeply disappointed' Ozil says Arsenal lack loyalty but vows to fight on

    Mesut Ozil feels his loyalty to Arsenal has not been reciprocated as he made public his disappointment at being left out of the club's Premier League squad. 

    The 32-year-old was not included in Mikel Arteta's group for the 2020-21 season when it was submitted on Tuesday, having not played for the Gunners since a match against West Ham on March 7. 

    Ozil was also left out of Arsenal's Europa League squad this month but has vowed to continue fighting for his future with the transfer window now shut in the last season of his lucrative contract.   

    Writing on Instagram, Ozil said: "This is a difficult message to write to the Arsenal fans that I've played for over the past few years. 

    "I'm really deeply disappointed by the fact that I have not been registered for the Premier League season for the time being. 

    "Upon signing my new contract in 2018, I pledged my loyalty and allegiance to the club that I love, Arsenal, and it saddens me that this has not been reciprocated. 

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    Ozil felt his performances had reached a high level prior to the coronavirus-enforced break in Premier League action. 

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    Ozil's view of his improved performances are backed up by the Opta data for his 18 Premier League appearances in the 2019-20 season. 

    He created 2.36 chances for every 90 minutes he was on the pitch, comfortably more than the second-placed player on the list, Nicolas Pepe (1.79). 

    Of Arsenal players to feature in at least 10 games last season, Ozil ranked second for successful passes in the opposition half (30.33 per 90 minutes), behind only Dani Ceballos (34.33). 

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    "I can promise you that this hard decision won't change anything in my mindset - I will continue to train as best as I can and wherever possible use my voice against inhumanity and for justice."

    Since making his debut in September 2013 after signing from Real Madrid, Ozil has played more Premier League games (184) than any other Arsenal player.

    He has the most assists in that span (54) and highest amount of chances created (559), while his 33 goals rank fifth behind forwards Alexis Sanchez (60), Olivier Giroud (59), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (55) and Alexandre Lacazette (40).

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