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Transfer Rater: Mesut Ozil to Man United, Yerry Mina to Barcelona

The latest transfer rumours from around the world. Things change in the blink of an eye in football. The Football Whispers Index takes the latest transfer rumours and gives them a score out of five; the higher the score, the more realistic and reliable the whisper. Here are today’s top five emerging whispers. And keep an eye on Transfer Talk for all the latest gossip. Mesut Ozil to Manchester United The Arsenal playmaker is a Barcelona transfer target but, according to reports in the Daily Mail, he prefers a move to Man United. The German international wants £300,000-a-week and that figure is not said to worry United. Ozil previously worked with Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid and is open to being reunited with his former coach. United are in looking for some creative spark in the final...

Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil could be answer to Man United’s No. 10 woes

Arsene Wenger has no fears that rumours linking Mesut Ozil to Man United will have any impact on the German’s performances. That Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho likes Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil is not in dispute. He has said as much: calling his former playmaker at Real Madrid “the best No. 10 in the world” in 2013. But Mourinho’s admiration is likely to be growing with each passing day he stands on the sidelines at Manchester United’s Carrington training base. He already has two natural No. 10s in his squad, yet Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s form has been so dismal that he has not even made the bench in seven of United’s last eight games and Juan Mata is, more often than not, used on the right. Mkhitaryan was the designated No. 10 all the way th...

Gareth Bale’s CWC rescue act the first step to Real Madrid rehabilitation

Gareth Bale’s winner sent Real Madrid on their way to the Club World Cup final. Gareth Bale’s winner sent Real Madrid on their way to the Club World Cup final. Gareth Bale’s winner sent Real Madrid on their way to the Club World Cup final. Gareth Bale found himself in the new position of much needed saviour on Wednesday night, after the often criticised Galactico saved Real Madrid from humiliation in their Club World Cup semifinal against Al Jazira. A more entertaining than expected game at Abu Dhabi’s Zayed Sports City Stadium saw Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema miss chance after chance, before the locals took a shock lead through Brazilian forward Romarinho just before half-time. Even after Ronaldo made it 1-1 after the break, Benzema twice hit the post from c...

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City or Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ of 2003-04?

The FC panel discuss the positive impact Pep Guardiola has had on English football and whether or not his City side can finish the season unbeaten. ESPN FC’s Mark Ogden and Man City correspondent Jonathan Smith assess City’s chances of finishing the Premier League season unbeaten. Manchester City have broken Arsenal’s 14-game record for consecutive Premier League victories (held since 2002) with a rousing 4-0 win over a severely outclassed Swansea team and can now set their sights on equalling the Gunners’ achievement of going a whole season unbeaten. It was Man City’s fifth win of the season by four or more goals and means Pep Guardiola now holds the record for longest managerial win streaks in the Premier League (15), La Liga (16) and Bundesliga (19), with h...

Romelu Lukaku ends scoring drought as Man United edge past Bournemouth

Romelu Lukaku’s first-half header was enough to give Man United a scrappy 1-0 win over Bournemouth at Old Trafford. Steve Nicol looks past Romelu Lukaku’s game-winning goal and instead focuses on his ‘horrendous’ challenge on Bournemouth’s Nathan Ake. MANCHESTER — Three thoughts on Man United’s 1-0 win at home over Bournemouth on Wednesday evening. 1. Man United wrap up unconvincing win One assumes that manager Jose Mourinho instructed his Manchester United players to celebrate this victory quietly and with the utmost respect. Indeed, anything beyond a few quick handshakes might have felt inappropriate for this thoroughly unconvincing 1-0 victory over Bournemouth, a game won by a first-half Romelu Lukaku header but with not much else to recommend i...

Bayern stand-in Tom Starke gets 8/10 with late-game heroics vs. Cologne

Jupp Heynckes says Bayern Munich aren’t ready to celebrate anything despite their comfortable position at the top of the Bundesliga. Robert Lewandowski scored for an eighth consecutive Bundesliga home game as Bayern Munich edged to a scrappy 1-0 victory against bottom-of-the-table Cologne. Positives A sixth consecutive Bundesliga title looks to be a mere formality as Bayern moved nine points clear of nearest challengers Schalke with another win and clean sheet. Negatives On paper, this should have been the easiest game of the season, but Bayern were again indebted to 36-year-old academy coach Tom Starke, called out of retirement in the autumn, to preserve a nervy three points against winless, relegation-bound Cologne. Manager rating out of 10 7 — Making four changes to the team...

Son calms Wembley nerves, while Erik Lamela looked sharp in Spurs return

Tottenham are back in 4th after a comfortable 2-0 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion. Following Tottenham’s 2-0 win over Brighton, Mauricio Pochettino looks ahead to his side’s next fixture against leaders Man City. A goal late in each half gave Spurs the 2-0 victory Wednesday over Brighton & Hove Albion that takes them back up to fourth place in the Premier League. Tottenham started brightly but soon got bogged down against a Brighton side that had come to Wembley to defend. The deadlock was only broken in the 40th minute when an attempted cross from Serge Aurier surprised the keeper and landed in the far corner. The second half followed a similar pattern, and the home fans began to get jittery that Brighton might somehow steal a point. But Son Heung-Min settled the n...

Independiente frustrate Flamengo to reclaim Copa Sudamericana

It was time for selfies after Independiente won their first Copa Sudamericana since 2010. The Copa Sudamericana is the continent’s second-string competition, a Europa League equivalent that in terms of importance and prestige comes a long way behind the main event, the Copa Libertadores. But two giants of South American football fought out the final of the 2017 Copa Sudamericana as if it were the biggest trophy in the world. Both had their reasons. Flamengo of Brazil are a massive club, which in recent times have passed through plenty of international frustrations. They were only in the Sudamericana as a consolation prize after yet another group-phase elimination in this year’s Libertadores. And in recent years, uncharacteristically, the club have given priority to putting its ...

Tan Cheng Hoe says he can’t turn Malaysia into cup kings Kedah

After a winless 2017, Malaysia’s new head coach Tan Cheng Hoe hopes to turn around his side’s fortunes. There were some in Malaysia who felt that Tan Cheng Hoe should have been appointed as national team head coach seven months ago before being installed as Nelo Vingada’s assistant. Now, as Vingada returns to Portugal after seven games, six losses and zero wins, No. 2 has become No. 1. Tan has served his time. In 2015, the 49-year-old took Kedah to promotion and the final of the Malaysia Cup. A year later, that trophy was heading north to Alor Setar. Just as impressive was a third place finish in the top tier. The national team seemed the obvious next step, though it came as assistant to Vingada, a second spell as deputy follwing a much more successful period with K. Raja...

Will Monaco bite on Chelsea’s offer of Michy Batshuayi for Thomas Lemar?

Stevie Nicol assesses the latest transfer rumours surrounding Mesut Ozil, Daniel Sturridge, Olivier Giroud and many more. With the calendar soon turning over to the new year, the gossip ahead of the January transfer window is heating up. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest rumours. Chelsea to offer Batshuayi as bait for Lemar Chelsea are looking to tempt Monaco into selling Thomas Lemar by offering Michy Batshuayi as a makeweight, reports the Telegraph. The Belgian striker is out of favour under Antonio Conte, who left him on the bench for Tuesday’s 3-1 win over Huddersfield despite Alvaro Morata missing the game through injury. The former Marseille hit man has failed to integrate into Conte’s system and the Blues would be willing to allow him to move back to Ligue 1 on loa...

Liga MX season-in-a-sentence reviews for every team

It was another great season for Tigres, who have won the Apertura three seasons in a row. Thanks to a competition format that schedules two tournaments per year, Liga MX seasons can at times feel like a whirlwind. With two playoff runs and two ensuing champions in less than 12 months, the scheduling might seem chaotic, but it’s what truly makes the Mexican first division so thrilling to follow. In the spirit of that brevity, we’ve decided to provide a one-sentence season review for each Liga MX team. If you didn’t get a chance to keep up with the rapid pace of the league, here’s what you might have missed. Tigres — Champions There’s no doubt about it: manager Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti has built a Liga MX dynasty with Tigres after winning the 20...

Cutrone impresses as Milan cruise past Verona in Coppa Italia

Patrick Cutrone impressed, scoring in AC Milan’s 3-0 Coppa Italia win over Verona on Wednesday. AC Milan booked a showdown with rivals Inter in the next round of the Coppa Italia after their comfortable 3-0 win over Verona on Wednesday. Goals from Suso, Alessio Romagnoli and Patrick Cutrone handed Gennaro Gattuso another win as the Rossoneri look to build some momentum. Positives It was another solid performance and result that will only build confidence within the group. Milan controlled the game well and applied sustained pressure, exactly what was expected of them while limiting dangerous situations defensively. Negatives The reaction Gianluigi Donnarumma received from the supporters at the San Siro was disappointing amid more transfer speculation over his future. There were banne...