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Laporte ready to battle for his Manchester City place

City have been linked with a number of new centre-backs to replace Vincent Kompany. Aymeric Laporte expects a fight to keep his place in the Manchester City side whether the champions buy a new centre-back this summer or not. Pep Guardiola has one fewer senior central defender in his squad following the departure of captain Vincent Kompany at the end of last season. City have been heavily linked with Leicester’s Harry Maguire but have given no indication whether they are likely to push for a deal. City have been linked with Leicester’s Harry Maguire (Mike Egerton/PA) That leaves Laporte, John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi as the club’s recognised centre-halves. Laporte, who was outstanding and featured in 49 of the treble winners’ 61 games in all competitions last season, said: “Hopefully it...

Juan Mata urges Paul Pogba to stay at Manchester United

Juan Mata hopes fantastic and influential midfielder Paul Pogba will remain at Manchester United and help turn the city red again. Three years after returning to Old Trafford in what was a world-record £89million deal, the 26-year-old has publicly admitted he is open to “a new challenge somewhere else”. Those comments sent tongues wagging, as did agent Mino Raiola speaking about his client’s desire to leave amid interest from the likes of Real Madrid and Juventus. But Pogba has knuckled down during United’s pre-season tour and was in good spirits at an adidas event held in Singapore’s Marina Bay on Sunday. Manchester United’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Paul Pogba and Juan Mata on stage during the Adidas event in Singapore (Simon Peach/PA) The World Cup winner cl...

Manchester City ‘closing in on £16m Thiago Almada deal’

Manchester City are reportedly on the brink of completing a £16m deal for 18-year-old Velez Sarsfield attacker Thiago Almada, who has been dubbed ‘the new Lionel Messi’. Manchester City are reportedly on the verge of completing a £16m deal for Velez Sarsfield attacker Thiago Almada. The 18-year-old, who has been dubbed ‘the new Lionel Messi‘, recently rejected a new contract at the Argentine outfit which would have seen his release clause rise to £23m. Man City are understood to have triggered his existing release clause with their £16m bid, and the Daily Mail reports that terms are close to being agreed. Pep Guardiola has been keeping tabs on the youngster in recent years and has now decided to make his move in order to beat other interested parties to his signatur...

Manchester City ‘still interested in Harry Maguire’

Manchester City are reportedly still interested in signing Leicester City centre-back Harry Maguire, but only if they can offload two players first. Manchester City are reportedly still interested in signing Leicester City centre-back Harry Maguire this summer. The England international is expected to leave the King Power Stadium amid interest from Manchester United, who were thought to be leading the race after Man City reportedly dropped out of the running earlier this summer. Speculation yesterday suggested that United had finally agreed terms for a world-record £80m move which would see Maguire become the most expensive defender in history. The Mirror reports that Man City would still like to bring Maguire to the Etihad Stadium this summer, but cannot afford him unless they offload pla...

Manchester United ‘reject Paul Pogba, Neymar swap offer’

Manchester United reject an offer from Paris Saint-Germain which would have seen Paul Pogba and Neymar potentially swap clubs, according to a report. Manchester United have reportedly rejected an offer from Paris Saint-Germain which would have seen Paul Pogba and Neymar potentially swap clubs in this summer’s transfer window. Both Pogba and Neymar are believed to have made it clear to their respective teams that they want to seek pastures new ahead of the 2019-20 campaign. According to The Independent, PSG approached United over a move which would have seen the Red Devils pay a fee plus Pogba in order to bring Neymar to Old Trafford. However, the report claims that the 20-time English champions turned it down “due to the cost”. United are believed to value Pogba – a...

Preview: Kitchee vs. Manchester City – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday’s pre-season clash between Kitchee and Manchester City, including team news and predicted lineups. Manchester City will continue their preparations for the 2019-20 campaign with a pre-season friendly against Hong Kong outfit Kitchee on Wednesday. City lost on penalties to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the final of the Premier League Asia Trophy on Saturday and will be looking to return to winning ways at the Hong Kong Stadium. Kitchee © Reuters Kitchee will be looking to give a good account of themselves when they welcome the Premier League champions for Wednesday’s pre-season friendly. Not too much will be expected from Blaz Sliskovic‘s side, but they have previous when it comes to taking on English opposition. Indeed, Tottenham Hotspur, Manch...

Manchester United ‘reject chance to sign Gareth Bale’

Manchester United turn down the chance to sign Real Madrid attacker Gareth Bale, according to a report. Manchester United have reportedly turned down the chance to sign Real Madrid attacker Gareth Bale. Bale was left out of the Madrid squad for Saturday’s pre-season clash with Bayern Munich in Houston. After the International Champions Cup fixture, Los Blancos boss Zinedine Zidane revealed that the Wales international was on the verge of leaving the Spanish giants. United have long been linked with a move for the 30-year-old, who has scored over 100 times for Madrid since joining the club from Tottenham Hotspur in 2013. According to the London Evening Standard, though, the Red Devils have signalled that they are not interested in signing the Welshman on either a loan or permanent dea...

Manchester United ‘on verge of completing £80m Harry Maguire deal’

Manchester United are on the verge of signing Leicester City centre-back Harry Maguire in an £80m deal, according to a report. Manchester United are reportedly on the verge of signing Leicester City centre-back Harry Maguire. The Red Devils have been strongly linked with a move for the England international in this summer’s transfer window as the club look to improve their defence. According to The Independent, United have now made a breakthrough in their pursuit of the 26-year-old, with an announcement said to be “imminent”. Maguire has allegedly made it clear that he wants to leave Leicester this summer amid talk of firm interest from United and Manchester City. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s side appear to have won the race for the former Sheffield United youngster, who ...

David de Gea ‘agrees six-year Manchester United deal’

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea reportedly agrees a new six-year contract with the Red Devils worth around £375,000 a week. Manchester United‘s David de Gea has reportedly agreed terms on a six-year contract which will make him the highest-paid goalkeeper in world football. De Gea’s future has been the subject of a host of speculation this summer, with the stopper’s current United deal due to expire at the end of the 2019-20 campaign. The 28-year-old was reportedly holding off on signing fresh teams due to United’s struggles in recent seasons, while his wage demands were also believed to be an issue. Paris Saint-Germain are said to have shown the strongest interest this summer, but according to The Times, De Gea has now agreed a fresh six-year contract at ...

Manchester United new boy Daniel James driven on by memory of father

James has impressed since signing from Swansea. Daniel James’ late father is helping to drive him to success at Manchester United. The Wales international became Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first signing at the Old Trafford helm when arriving from Swansea last month. But James’ dream move to United came at a difficult time as his father Kevan died just weeks earlier at the age of 60. “Every day, I miss him,” James said. “He always drove me on when he was here and I know he is looking down on me now, still driving me on. Daniel James has four Wales caps (Joe Giddens/PA) “There are times when I am a bit down about it but what he would say is just keep playing and working hard. “I am living with my girlfriend in Manchester, which is nice. The support I have had from the club and everyone around it...

Dimitar Berbatov tells Romelu Lukaku to stay at Manchester United

Dimitar Berbatov encourages Romelu Lukaku to stay put at Manchester United this summer amid interest from Inter Milan. Former Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov has encouraged Romelu Lukaku to stay put at Old Trafford amid interest from Inter Milan this summer. The 26-year-old is understood to be keen on a move to the San Siro after feeling left out at United ever since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer arrived in December. Antonio Conte, who attempted to sign Lukaku as Chelsea boss in 2017, confirmed in a press conference on Friday that Inter were working on a deal to bring the Belgian to the San Siro. Speaking to Sky Sports News, Berbatov advised Lukaku against moving to Serie A and insisted that working under Solskjaer would serve as the best option for his career. “I think he (Romelu ...

Pep Guardiola: Manchester City will learn from China shoot-out defeat to Wolves

The treble winners were beaten on penalties in the Premier League Asia Trophy final. Pep Guardiola expects Manchester City to learn from their failure to break down a stubborn Wolves in their pre-season clash in China. The treble winners were beaten on penalties in the Premier League Asia Trophy final after a goalless 90 minutes in Shanghai on Saturday. The City boss is not concerned about the result but does think the game highlighted areas to work on. Asked if the defeat meant anything, Guardiola said: “I don’t think so. If we are going to lose in the future it will not be because we lost on penalties in this competition. “We played incredibly well in the first half. Wolves defended so well and deep and it’s not easy to create chances, but we created and we didn’t concede one counter-att...

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