Friday, 12 September 2014

Hernandez: I've already seen why Ronaldo is better than Messi

Stats say 'Chicharito' can be a Real hit
The Mexico international has only been at the Santiago Bernabeu since the start of the month but has been blown away by what the Ballon d'Or holder can do.

New Real Madrid signing Javier Hernandez says he has already been convinced that Cristiano Ronaldo is better than Lionel Messi.

The Mexico international only joined the European champion on a season-long loan from Manchester United just before the close of the summer transfer window.

However, Hernandez, who moved to Old Trafford a year after Ronaldo left for Madrid, says that he has already been blown away by what the Portuguese can do in training.

"Without a doubt, Ronaldo is the best," the 26-year-old striker told El Chiringuito. "In the little time I have been here, I have seen why he is the best in the world.

"It is not only what he does in games so well but on a day-to-day basis. For me, Cristiano is the best. Messi is there too; after Cristiano, there is the Argentine."

However, 'Chicharito' admitted that one player still stands above all others, as far as he is concerned.

"My idol is Ronaldo Nazario de Lima, 'The Phenomen'," he enthused. "I've never had the chance to meet him, so hopefully one day I can get a picture with him!"

Of course, Brazil legend Ronaldo spent five years at Madrid, and Hernandez is hoping to make just as big an impact at the Santiago Bernabeu this season to persuade the Liga outfit to make the deal permanent next summer.

"I was in the best team in Mexico [Chivas], the best team in England [United] and now I'm in the best team in the world," he mused. "I must be professional, as this is a great opportunity, but I still belong to Manchester and do not know if I will have to go back."


Danny Welbeck can be prolific at Arsenal, says Alan Shearer

Danny Welbeck
Danny Welbeck
Striker Danny Welbeck can score 25 goals a season for Arsenal, says former England international Alan Shearer.
Welbeck, 23, joined the Gunners from Manchester United for £16m on transfer deadline day, and could make his debut against Manchester City on Saturday.
"I've heard people say he is never going to be a 20 or 25-goals-a-season striker. I disagree," Shearer told BBC Radio 5 live.
"He now has an opportunity to stamp his authority on the Premier League."
On Thursday, Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal said Welbeck did not score enough goals during his time at Old Trafford.
The Manchester-born forward, who netted both of England's goals in the2-0 win in Switzerland on Monday, has not managed more than nine goals in a Premier League season since making his senior debut in 2008.
He struggled to hold down a regular place in the United starting line-up, particularly in his favoured role as a central striker, and his chances would have been limited further by the arrival of Radamel Falcao.
After joining Arsenal, Welbeck said he hoped to get the opportunity to play in a centre-forward role.
BBC Sport pundit Shearer, who came through the youth ranks at Southampton before joining Blackburn Rovers in 1992, feels Welbeck has made the right decision to swap Old Trafford for Emirates Stadium.
"When I left Southampton at nearly 22, I was not a regular goalscorer," said Shearer. "I scored a hat-trick on my debut and then found goals quite hard to come by.
"It is not until you feel like the main man or part of a team that the confidence comes out. Once Welbeck gets in that Arsenal team and gets three or four goals, he can go on and get a load of goals."
Shearer likened Welbeck's situation to that of Thierry Henry when he signed for Arsenal from Juventus in 1999.
The former France international had played predominately as a winger prior to joining the Gunners, but played as a striker under Arsene Wenger, scoring 228 goals in 377 appearances.
"I am not putting him in the bracket of a Thierry Henry, but look at what Arsene Wenger did for him," added Shearer.
"He was not a centre-forward, he was struggling for goals and confidence and look what happened there."
Former Liverpool striker Emile Heskey echoed Shearer's belief that Welbeck can thrive at Arsenal, and expressed surprise he was allowed to leave Old Trafford.
"If you look at the players United have, he would have given them something different with the pace he has," said Heskey.
"If you go through the stats like Louis van Gaal has said, then you know why he has weighed it up that way, but I think he will be a great addition for Arsenal."
BBC Sports

Ronaldo to Chelsea FC? Vidal to Man Utd? Alves to Liverpool FC?

Cristiano Ronaldo (C) (credit: GERARD JULIEN/AFP/Getty Images)
  • - Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has warned that he is not expecting to spend big money in January following a busy summer in the transfer market, but has refused to rule out making more new signings.

    "I wouldn't have expectations for January," Woodward said.

    "But if there is a willingness from the manager, we will engage with him and if there an opportunity, we will try and take that as we did last year with January."

    - Chelsea have emerged as shock contenders to sign Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, according to the Daily Express.

    - Chelsea have already set aside £60million to make a deal for Ronaldo happen, according to Metro.

    - Manchester United are expecting to seal the signing of Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal next year, according to Metro.

    - Chelsea have expressed an interest in Barcelona starlet Xavier Simons, according to the Daily Express.

    - Barcelona's Dani Alves has emerged as a shock transfer target for Manchester United and Liverpool, according to the Daily Express.

    - Schalke are set to offer star striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar a new contract in a bid to ward off interest from Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham, according to the Daily Express.

    - Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has signed a new five-year contract at the club.

    - Gabriel Agbonlahor has said it is "a fantastic feeling" to have pledged his future to Aston Villa after signing a new four-year contract at the club.
  • CrunchSports
  • Monday, 1 September 2014

    Manchester United transfer spree reveals extent of Old Trafford upheaval

    Radamel Falcao’s arrival shows that Sir Alex Ferguson’s impregnable-seeming dynasty is being dismantled rapidly
    Manchester United’s decision to take on Radamel Falcao is a sign not just of instability but of historic upheaval at the club. Photograph: Guillaume Horcajuelo/EPA
    Manchester United’s shock, high-priced loan grab of the Colombian striker Radamel Falcao from his odd year out at tax-lite, thinly supported Monaco planted the transfer deadline day story where the focus has been all summer: on the tumultuous leavings and frantic arrivals at Old Trafford.

    It is acknowledged now that clubs doing huge deals as late as United have this year are not as stable or organised as their rivals – notably Chelsea and Manchester City – who have recruited players early enough to show them round, at least, before the season starts. Yet this feverish United activity, more than £120m spent including the staggering £59.7m for Ángel di Mariía’s left-midfield thrust, £6m for a season of Falcao and Daley Blind at £14m, goes way beyond that truth about thinness of planning. This is historic upheaval – as, in hindsight, the eventual retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson, like Sir Matt Busby’s before him, was always going to be.

    How odd it is to recall Ferguson leaving 16 months ago, the 2013 Premier League won, an impregnable-seeming dynasty to pass on to his anointed heir David Moyes, a farewell statement in which Ferguson said credibly that he was leaving “an organisation in the strongest possible shape”. Of the players he promised enviable continuity. “The quality of this league winning squad, and the balance of ages within it, bodes well for continued success at the highest level,” he said, “whilst the structure of the youth set-up will ensure that the long-term future of the club remains a bright one.”

    Few foresaw anything like the crumbling which Ferguson’s leaving, and that of his chief executive David Gill, has in fact revealed, leading to Moyes’ rapid dismissal and this summer’s scramble for Louis van Gaal. The hectic squad stocking, pursued to the last day, has lent yet more awe to Ferguson’s managerial record: that he wrested such triumphs from a squad which, as Moyes complained in vain, actually needed major reconstruction.

    Shocked out of eight merry years re-financing and brand-sweating, United’s US owners, the Glazers, have had to sanction their eager executive and former banker, Edward Woodward, to tear up years of restraint. Luke Shaw, a £27m left-back, and Ander Herrera, £29m, would have sufficed in a normal Ferguson years but Woodward has clattered on. He will hope that Di María, an undoubted star acquired at a seller’s price, the £16m Argentinian defender Marcos Rojo and the late coup of Falcao will reburnish the brand Woodward has sold for the Glazers to multiple sponsors from an office in Mayfair.

    His work does appear frantic compared with the strategic reinforcing by Chelsea, with the £30m Cesc Fàbregas and £32m Diego Costa, among others, signed early, and City securing the defender Eliaquim Mangala for £32m, Fernando’s midfield bite for £12m and more squad depth including Bacary Sagna and Frank Lampard’s once golden legs.

    Yet there is a sadness here, too. In the rush two at United deemed as surplus stock were Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley, two young English players polished in the “youth set-up” whose merits Ferguson sang. It was another of Ferguson’s distinctions that he continued to promote homegrown players through a period when his rivals mostly stopped. These deals risk ending a great Old Trafford tradition. Cleverley and Welbeck were both Ferguson first choices in the 2013 Champions League round-of-16 second leg, when United were thrillingly beating José Mourinho’s Real Madrid until the turning point of Nani’s sending-off.

    The money reaped by Premier League clubs, from the record £5.5bn 2013-16 Sky, BT, BBC and international TV deals, plus high-priced tickets and merchandise the fans stump up for, and layers of sponsorship, has meant more than £700m spent on players this summer. The transfer window has been open between a World Cup in which England wanly flopped, and the first international since, Wednesday’s friendly against Norway, for which the FA has stacks of unwanted tickets.

    After brief, dutiful head-shaking following England’s exit the clubs’ response has been to spend around £600m of that £700m on talent from overseas. The stand-out exceptions have been the elevations from a shaken Southampton of Shaw, Calum Chambers, signed for £16m by Arsenal, Adam Lallana, and Rickie Lambert, bought for £25m and £4m respectively by Liverpool, where Brendan Rodgers is continuing with a core of English players. Clubs with less to spend or more modest hopes have still bought British: promoted Burnley and Leicester City; Hull City signed Tom Ince from Blackpool, Jake Livermore and the sterling Michael Dawson from Tottenham Hotspur, and Robert Snodgrass from Norwich City; Aston Villa and Sunderland have signed some, as have Southampton.

    Yet Liverpool apart, at the clubs eyeing the title and elite European competition, movement is the other way. Ryan Bertrand, who famously made his Chelsea first-team debut in the 2012 Champions League final victory over Bayern Munich, has gone to Southampton, his seventh club on loan in seven years since joining from Gillingham. Manchester City prided themselves at first under Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s ownership on fielding a corps of England internationals, but that policy has been revised. Joleon Lescott and a largely unused Jack Rodwell left this summer, while Micah Richards, City’s one academy graduate in the billion pound Abu Dhabi makeover, signed for Fiorentina on a season-long loan. Manuel Pellegrini went back for his former goalkeeper at Malaga, Willy Caballero, to provide competition with Joe Hart, the one English regular left in City’s team.

    Transfer deadline day, the incomparable rolling soap opera, gives way now to a week of kitchen sink suffering with Roy Hodgson, lamenting modest players called up, the retirement of Lampard’s “golden generation” who were given first team chances young, and several England internationals no longer regulars at their globalised clubs.

    There was never going to be much of a debate after England’s World Cup failure, despite the many lessons in Germany’s triumph. The chances of having one now can be measured in the frenzied summer at the Glazers’ Manchester United.
    The Guardian

    Wednesday, 27 August 2014

    Vidal to Man Utd? Welbeck and Carvalho to Arsenal FC? Destro to Chelsea FC?

    Arturo Vidal (credit: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
    - Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal is Manchester United’s top midfield target but the club’s concerns about his fitness are so great that it may require a complex, appearance-based contract if he is to follow Angel Di Maria into Louis van Gaal’s squad, according to The Independent.

    - Manchester United have completed the signing of Di Maria, with the winger joining the club from Real Madrid for a British record transfer fee of £59.7million.

    - Manchester United are yet to make an approach for Daley Blind, according to the Ajax defender's agent.

    "At this moment Manchester United have not been in touch with me or Ajax about Daley and I’m not sitting here waiting for the call," Rob Jansen told talkSPORT.

    - Arsenal could turn to Danny Welbeck or Loic Remy as fears grow that striker Olivier Giroud has broken his ankle, according to The Sun.

    - Arsenal have been anded a major transfer boost after Sporting Lisbon agreed to lower their demands for defensive midfielder William Carvalho, according to the Daily Express.

    - Lukas Podolski has not agreed a move to Italy, the Arsenal striker's agent has insisted.

    "I read in the newspapers that Juventus and Napoli were interested in Lukas," Ali Pektas told Tuttomercatoweb.

    "But there has been no approach from either of those clubs. I don't know if he will go to Italy in this transfer window. I can't say anything for sure. The only certainty is that Lukas has a contract with Arsenal."

    - Chelsea are in talks to sign Roma forward Mattia Destro, according to the Daily Star.

    - Harry Redknapp is signing Liverpool left back Jack Robinson to solve one of Premier League new boys QPR's problem positions, according to the Daily Mirror.

    - Sunderland are closing in on a deal to bring Liverpool defender Sebastian Coates to the Stadium of Light on a season-long loan, according to the Daily Star.

    Monday, 25 August 2014

    Vidal and Di Maria to Man Utd? Alderweireld to Arsenal FC? Khedira to stay or go?

    Angel Di Maria (credit: GERARD JULIEN/AFP/Getty Images)
    - Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that Angel Di Maria, who is closing in on a move to Manchester United, is "close to a transfer."

    "[Di Maria] came in, but this morning he did not train," Ancelotti said on Sunday.

    "It is not fully done, but he is close to a transfer.

    "He came to say goodbye. We thanked him for what he has done for this team and we wished him luck for the future. It is not official, but it is resolved."

    - Manchester United have made a second bid for Juventus star Arturo Vidal, according to the Daily Star Sunday.

    - Manchester United forward Danny Welbeck is set to 'reluctantly' leave Old Trafford if the club complete a deal for Di Maria this week, according to the Mail on Sunday.

    - Sami Khedira, who has been linked with a move to Arsenal, has admitted that he is unsure if he will still be at Real Madrid when the summer transfer window closes.

    "Right now I'm a little out of Real Madrid," he was quoted as saying by Bild.

    "But until August 31 anything is possible."

    - But Khedira will NOT be on the move this month, according to Real Madrid coach Ancelotti.

    "Khedira is happy here and he is staying," he told reporters.

    "The matter is resolved and he stays at Real Madrid."

    - Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is showing serious interest in Atletico Madrid's Toby Alderweireld as a replacement for Thomas Vermaelen, according to the Daily Star Sunday.

    - Arsenal are lining up the Olympiakos defender Kostas Manolas to replace Vermaelen, according to the Sunday Express.

    - Jose Mourinho insists Chelsea will not sell Fernando Torres this month.

    - Ronny Deila is hopeful that Celtic can complete the signings of Wakaso Mubarak and Stefan Scepovic this week.

    "We hope things will happen this week," Deila told BBC Scotland.

    "We're working a lot on this and I think we're going to get things how we want it."

    - Manchester City ditched a plan to sign Ross Barkley after being told it would take a bid of more than £50million to tempt Everton to sell, according to the Sunday Mirror.

    - Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp has confirmed his interest in signing Wilfried Zaha on loan should the Manchester United winger become available.