Neymar interested in Premier league

The Barcelona forward has long been linked with a switch to Old Trafford and has revealed that “any player” would like to play under the Portuguese

Barcelona sensation Neymar has talked up a possible move to Manchester United, insisting that every player would like to work with Jose Mourinho.

The Brazil international has long been linked with a switch to Old Trafford, with newspaper reports in February suggesting that United were ready to launch a £200 million bid, can’t see this happening and are putting their money on Neymar staying in Spain.

And Neymar has now opened the door to a possible move to United, insisting that Mourinho’s side are one of the teams that he admires and that “any player” would like to work with the Portuguese.

He told The Sun: “The Premier League is a championship that amazes me.

“I like the playing style and the teams. And who knows, someday, I would like to play at it, yes.

“I admire Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool – these are the teams that are always there fighting.

“And then you have high-level coaches like Mourinho and Guardiola. These are coaches with whom any player would like to work.

“In the Premier League you never know who is going to win or who will be champions, it is always a surprise.

“Leicester are very good. They had a great season last year, they were Premier League champions and therefore we need to respect them if we draw them in the Champions League.”

Neymar has enjoyed a productive 2016-17 campaign with Barca so far, scoring 14 goals in all competitions.

The Catalan club are trailing Real Madrid in the Liga title race by two points, with Zinedine Zidane’s side also having a game in hand over their fierce rivals. You can find some out of this interview for sure.

Barca are also in the hunt for Champions League glory, with Neymar having set a record for assists in that particular competition, and will face Juventus in the quarter-finals following a miraculous comeback win over PSG.

Dembele explains Barca & Bayern snubs

The 19-year-old winger joined Borussia Dortmund in the summer and he insists that he has no regrets over his choice, having played in 30 games


Ousmane Dembele has explained that he snubbed interest from Barcelona and Bayern Munich because he was promised first-team opportunities at Borussia Dortmund.

Lucas Perez ready to leave Arsenal

The 19-year-old is widely regarded as one of the most talented teenagers in world football, and was linked with a clutch of clubs prior to his move to Dortmund in May.

Hans-Joachim Watzke, Dortmund’s CEO, claimed that his side were “faster” than Bayern when it came to securing his signature, while Manchester United are understood to have scouted the winger, along with the Catalan giants.

Dembele has impressed in Germany this season, making 30 appearances and scoring five goals, as well as providing 13 assists, and he insists that he has no regrets about his decision to move to Signal Iduna Park.

Speaking exclusively to Goal, Dembele was asked if his love of the game was a crucial factor in his decision, and replied: “Yes, that was it and then of course the speech of the bosses I liked.

“They told me that if I was good, I would play no matter what happened. I am very happy to be here and I do not regret my choice at all.”

Dembele has also moved to dampen the hype surrounding him, insisting he is “not a phenomenon”.

“I’m just trying to show what I can do, have fun on the pitch and be decisive for my partners,” he added. “What they say about me does not change anything at all, I just show what I can do.”

“I give my best and I try show my qualities. There are many talented players. I was one of them in my years of training.

“At Stade Rennais we were happy together then everything went a little fast for me. I was upgraded to the older teams a few times, but nothing more.”

Dembele is also unperturbed by talk of moves to the biggest European clubs, and has played down any suggestion that he hopes to win the Ballon d’Or in the coming years. 

Barcelona seal Mina deal

“I do not care at all. The value of the players, mine, I do not pay attention,” he said. “I stay focused on the matches and the competition. 

“This is not my goal (winning the Ballon d’Or) because I think mostly about the collective. Winning titles is my goal.”

Barcelona seal Mina deal for 2018 in €9 million agreement with Palmeiras

The Colombia international defender will complete a switch to Camp Nou after seeing out the remainder of the calendar year with his Brazilian club

Barcelona have a deal in place that will see highly-rated defender Yerry Mina join the club from Palmeiras in January 2018, reports Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo.

The Colombia international has emerged as a much sought-after talent, with clubs across Europe casting admiring glances in his direction.

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Barca were rumoured to have a pre-contract agreement in place for the 22-year-old, but no formalities had been completed.

That had kept the transfer door ajar for others, with Manchester City said to be among those ready to pounce.

Officials at Camp Nou have moved quickly, though, to tie up a deal, having already seen Gabriel Jesus slip through their net to the Etihad Stadium due to a delay in the decision-making process.

Pochettino avoids Barca talk

Barca representatives met with their Palmeiras counterparts on Thursday, with an agreement reached that suits all parties.

Mina will spend the rest of the calendar year in Brazil, allowing him to take part in a Copa Libertadores campaign. He will then move to Camp Nou in a deal reported to be worth €9 million, with a five-year contract waiting to be signed in Catalonia.

Alexis Sanchez retreats to Italy after Champions League thrashing at Bayern

The Gunners collapsed in Wednesday’s 5-1 demolition against the German champions, prompting the Chile international to take a break in Italy

While his Arsenal team-mates carried the disappointment and humiliation of their 5-1 trouncing at Bayern Munich back to London together, Alexis Sanchez slipped away to get away from the torment.

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The Chile international’s future at the Emirates Stadium is in doubt as his contract expires next season, as does Mesut Ozil’s, and there has been no clarification on the likelihood of him remaining there.

Speculation that he could be heading for the exit was always likely to increase in the wake of the Gunners’ loss to Carlo Ancelotti’s side in Wednesday’s Champions League last-16 first-leg in Munich.

Utter humiliation. Alexis says it all in this pic…

— Chris Wheatley (@ChrisWheatley_) February 15, 2017

Although Alexis saw a penalty kick saved from Manuel Neuer in to pull his side level with the hosts after Arjen Robben’s opening goal, they crumbled soon after Laurent Koscielny went off with an injury early in the second half as Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller struck either side of a Thiago Alcantara double.

Arsene Wenger was at a loss to explain the defeat and others were left infuriated, but Alexis’ method of dealing with it has been to head to Italy for a short break.

The 28-year-old has been given permission by the club to go away for a while, with Venice the expected destination as he reunites with his Italian best friend.

Nothing unusual about Sanchez having a short break but it will only increase speculation over his future. Contract talks continue.

— Chris Wheatley (@ChrisWheatley_) February 16, 2017

There is nothing extreme about the development – Arsenal are no strangers to giving players time off as they recently allowed Ozil to travel to Sweden to meet a woman.

Sanchez’s brief trip to Italy does nothing to enhance suggestions that he is set for a transfer away from Arsenal, but it will likely upset fans still in shock at the extent of their European collapse. 

Links to Chelsea flattering but nothing in them – Kjaer

The Denmark defender is pleased to have been associated with the London club but now his focus is mounting a challenge for the Europa League


Fenerbahce centre-back Simon Kjaer has said that he was “flattered” to be linked with a January move to Chelsea, even if there was no substance to the reports.

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The Denmark international, 27, has helped his side into the knockout stages of the Europa League, in which they will tackle Krasnodar, and his form has been at such a level that a move to Antonio Conte’s men had been discussed as a possibility.

While that comes as encouragement to the former Lille, Roma and Palermo defender, he is set upon doing the best he can with his current employers.

“Fenerbahce gave a statement saying it all: there was nothing in it,” he said. “As a player, you have to close your eyes and ears for rumours, because there are always so many of them.

“Again, it is flattering to be mentioned in connection with other big clubs, and it confirms that I am doing things well, but I am a Fenerbahce player, and my only focus is on this club.”

Such were the level of his displays in the first level of the competition that he was named in UEFA’s Europa League Team of the group stage, scoring two goals and helping his side to finish ahead of Manchester United in the pools.

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“The most important was for the team to win the group, and that we got through to the knock phase, but of course I am thrilled that my performances were noticed and rewarded. It is a pat on the back, and it confirms, that I am doing things well with my football,” he added.

Simon Kjaer Fenerbahce Manchester United

Beating Jose Mourinho’s side 2-1 in Istanbul will live with him for a long time and displayed the strength of the team, particularly after suffering a heavy 4-1 loss in England in matchday three.

“Manchester United are a really great club with a fantastic tradition, and obviously we enjoyed beating them at home,” he said. “It was a great result on an amazing night with an electric atmosphere in our stadium. That was one of the nights I will remember long after I have stopped playing football.

“The win in our stadium was one of the really huge games that we all enjoy to play – the reason for playing football. It was a revenge for us as well after the team’s off day at Old Trafford – and our only defeat in a pretty tough group.”

Achieving such a feat means that Fener are among an elite group of teams capable of going on to win the competition, the player believes.

“Winning the group and defeating United gave us a lot of confidence going into next phase of the tournament, and the ambitions of a top club like Fenerbahce are always to go into every game to win it – and every tournament. And I love that attitude,” he confirmed. 

“It’s a very important competition for the team. We are a top club in Turkey but we are also a club with an extremely big fan base both here and abroad and with international profile and ambitions.

“Last season we should have gone further than the last 16, but I think we have learned from that as a team. So yes, we are in it to win it – even though I expect other teams to say the same.”  

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