‘Show must go on in Hollywood!’ – Pogba and Mkhitaryan say Ibrahimovic goodbyes

Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan have led the goodbyes to former Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic following his release from the club.

United terminated Ibrahimovic’s contract on Thursday, with the Sweden icon expected to agree a deal with MLS side LA Galaxy to prolong his distinguished career.

Ibrahimovic helped United to the EFL Cup and Europa League titles last season but has struggled with knee injuries this term, the Old Trafford club allowing him to move on three months before the end of his contract.

Pogba was particularly close to Ibrahimovic during the 36-year-old’s time at the club and he led the tributes to the striker after his departure was confirmed.

“You’ll be missed Lion, wish you all the best,” Pogba wrote on Twitter, including a clip of Ibrahimovic comparing himself to the animal.

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Galaxy and Ibrahimovic are yet to announce the striker’s arrival in MLS but former team-mate Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who joined Arsenal in January, hinted at the forward’s next move.

“Show must go on in Hollywood,” Mkhitaryan said. “It has been an honour to know you, Genius! All the best in USA @Ibra_official.”

United’s Ashley Young also left a tribute to Ibrahimovic on social media, writing: “What A Guy, What A Character but What A Great Person. Good luck with your next adventure mate.”

The Galaxy have earned a win and a loss to open their MLS campaign, with the club looking to rebound from a down year in 2017. 


Transfer news & rumours LIVE: Man United prepare £260m Neymar swoop

Man United prepare £260m Neymar swoop

Jose Mourinho is considering a bid for Neymar worth a world-record £260 million, possibly sending Paul Pogba to PSG as part of the deal, claims Diario Gol .

With Neymar apparently unsettled at Parc des Princes, the Manchester United manager is keen to add a world-class striker to his ranks after seeing Alexis Sanchez flounder. 

And while Real Madrid have been linked most closely with the Brazilian, United are interested too – and could send unsettled Pogba the other way to tempt PSG into a sale.

Neymar, meanwhile, could be offered up to £30m a year to move to Old Trafford. 

Man United fear Alexis will be massive flop

Alexis Sanchez Manchester United

Insiders at Manchester United are already concerned that Alexis Sanchez is destined for failure at Old Trafford, reports the Sun .

The Chilean has been far from his best since joining from Arsenal in January, with his lack of adaptation and poor work-rate causing rifts within the dressing room.

He was reportedly singled out for criticism on the latter issue during half time in the Champions League defeat to Sevilla. 

And inside Old Trafford the feeling is that the club became caught up in the transfer race with Man City, leading their rivals to dodge a major bullet in missing out on the forward.

Oblak unsure over Atleti future

Jan Oblak Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak has admitted he is uncertain over his future at the Liga club as he receives interest from some of Europe’s biggest sides.

“There’s nothing new, there have been a lot of things said and written about a new contract but the only confirmed situation is that there is nothing new.

Read the full story on Goal!

Conte and Pirlo in line for Italy job

Juventus v Antonio Conte v Andrea Pirlo

Italy have turned their attention to former Azzurri coach Antonio Conte to spearhead their Euro 2020 bid, and he could team up with legend Andrea Pirlo, according to Gazzetta dello Sport  ( via Football Italia ).

Both Conte and Carlo Ancelotti are being considered by the Italian FA to take over after failing to qualify for the World Cup in Russia. 

And if either of those esteemed coaches takes the reins, Pirlo would be interested in joining their technical staff.

Rashford targeted by Real Madrid

Marcus Rashford Manchester United

Real Madrid have added Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford to their summer transfer wishlist, according to Sport .

The Merengue have long been linked with an approach for a new forward, with Robert Lewandowski and Harry Kane the names that have most regularly come up. 

But Madrid are apparently impressed by Rashford’s versatility, and see the 20-year-old as a top prospect. 

Tottenham to trigger Evans contract clause

Jonny Evans West Brom

Tottenham are ready to complete a cut-price move for Jonny Evans should West Bromwich Albion fail in their bid to avoid relegation, reports the Telegraph .

Evans had been a target for Manchester City over the January window, before the table toppers eventually decided on Aymeric Laporte. 

But the centre-back would be available for just £3 million if the Baggies go down, a price that both Spurs and north London rivals Arsenal have taken note of.

Neymar’s Madrid move edges closer

Neymar Edinson Cavani

A string of secret meetings between Florentino Perez and Neymar’s agent have seen the Brazilian move closer to a switch to Real Madrid, claims  Don Balon .

The Brazilian’s affairs are partially managed by Pini Zahavi, who was key in taking him to Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record transfer last summer. 

Perez and the agent are reportedly in permanent contact, making a blockbuster transfer more likely – while he also manages fellow Madrid target Robert Lewandowski.

Ibrahimovic on brink of MLS move

Zlatan Ibrahimovic Manchester United

Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s transfer to Major League Soccer has been in discussions for more than a year, but the pieces are finally into place to make that blockbuster a reality.

ESPN reported on Thursday morning that the Ibrahimovic move to MLS was imminent, with Jose Mourinho giving his blessing. Sources have now confirmed to Goal that the 36-year-old is in advanced discussions with MLS on a transfer from Manchester United to the LA Galaxy that would see him head to California in the coming weeks.

Read the full story on Goal!

Real Madrid scouting Roma’s Alisson

Alisson Roma

Real Madrid are scouting in-demand Roma goalkeeper Alisson as they continue their lengthy search for competition between the sticks for Keylor Navas, Goal understands.

David de Gea and Thibaut Courtois have been among the shot-stoppers that the reigning European champions have looked at ahead of an expected summer goalkeeper purchase.

Read the full story right here on Goal from our Real Madrid correspondent Alberto Pinero!

Chelsea to keep Caballero amid Courtois’ talks

Willy Caballero and Thibaut Courtois at Chelsea

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Willy Caballero is happy at Chelsea and he will remain in his role as the back-up goalkeeper until June 2019, but the future of Thibaut Courtois remains in the balance.

The details of the 36-year-old’s contract weren’t released after he became Chelsea’s first signing of last season on a free transfer from Manchester City, but the agreement included an option for an extra year, which will be taken up by the Blues.

Read the full story from our Chelsea correspondent Nizaar Kinsella!


Arsenal & Liverpool target Oblak unsure over Atletico future

Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak has admitted he is uncertain over his future at the Liga club as he receives interest from some of Europe’s biggest sides.

Oblak has established himself as one of the finest shot-stoppers in the Spanish top flight since arriving in Madrid in 2014 from Benfica. 

The Slovenia international is competing with Marc-Andre ter Stegen to win the Zamora Trophy for a third straight season in 2017-18, the title given to the keeper that concedes fewest goals over the course of the season.

That consistent form has seen his name linked with the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, and he affirmed that he was yet to sign a new Atleti deal.

“It’s tough to discuss the future,” Oblak told Ekipa.

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“It’s not easy to talk about what’s going to happen tomorrow never mind what will happen next season, but I am calm and the situation depends on Atletico – nobody knows the future.

“There’s nothing new, there have been a lot of things said and written about a new contract but the only confirmed situation is that there is nothing new.

“I have a contract that I signed two years ago, but now I must wait to see what Atleti’s plan is.”


‘I’ve always admired Wilshere’ – Allardyce drops hint over Everton interest

Everton manager Sam Allardyce had confessed that he is a long-time admirer of Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere.

The 26-year-old’s contract with the Emirates side is up in the summer, and while the Gunners remain optimistic about securing the England man on a new long-term deal, he continues to be linked with a move away on a Bosman.

The player fuelled that speculation by revealing that manager Arsene Wenger told him he was free to leave last summer.

Among the leading pack for the player are the Toffees, with manager Allardyce doing little to quell speculation on Thursday.

“I’ve always admired him,” the former England manager told Talksport, though he would not be drawn into confirming interest in a man who has been with Arsenal since 2001.

“I can’t comment on that, you’re not supposed to be talking about that.”

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Allardyce, though, has been impressed with the progress that Wilshere has made physically over the course of the last year.

“I’ve seen a big difference in Jack Wilshere recently, in his frame, in his body,” he commented. “He looks like he has really got the bit between his teeth.

“He looks a lot fitter than he was and he is leaner in his face. He looks like he’s had a real go off the field, with his diet and extra training, to overcome his injury problems and prove what a great player he is.

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“Hopefully if he is over his problems, whether it’s Arsenal or another club, we all hope he has a long career ahead of him.”

Despite the praise of Allardyce, Wilshere has found it harder to win over Wenger, as he has managed little over 1000 minutes of Premier League football this season, spread over 17 matches.

He has one goal and two assists to his name in the league, with the same figures again in nine Europa League outings.


Sources: Ibrahimovic completes move to LA Galaxy

Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s transfer to Major League Soccer has been in discussions for more than a year, but the pieces finally fell into place to make the deal a reality.

Sources have confirmed to Goal that the 36-year-old has completed a move to the LA Galaxy on a transfer from Manchester United, signing a two-year deal that will pay him $1.5 million per season.

ESPN reported Thursday morning that the Ibrahimovic move to MLS was imminent, with Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho giving his blessing. Sports Illustrated first reported the contract figures Thursday.

The primary MLS transfer window is still open, and doesn’t close until May 1, paving the way for Ibrahimovic to join the Galaxy immediately.

The price tag seems a significantly lower one than expected considering MLS was in talks with Ibrahimovic a year ago that would have paid him $6.5 million per season, but multiple sources tell Goal the new deal he has signed includes several additional incentives.

With the deal completed, Ibrahimovic could be available for the Galaxy’s first match against new cross-town rival Los Angeles FC on March 31.

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Ibrahimovic was negotiating with MLS a year ago for a potential summer move before torn knee ligaments sidelined him and scrapped a potential $6.5 million a year move to Los Angeles.

The experienced attacker eventually re-signed with Manchester United well ahead of his return from knee surgery, but the arrival of Romelu Lukaku has made finding playing time difficult for the striker and he recently already hinted at a transfer to MLS.

“I did not know that several Swedes went to MLS,” Ibrahimovic told SportExpressen at the start of this month. “That means it’s tempting to play in the United States.

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“Los Angeles is a nice city and I’ve been there a lot on vacation. It is laid back. I think it’s rumors all the time [about my future]. When I play and when I do not play it is rumors. That’s good, that means I live.” 

The signing would be a coup for the Galaxy, which has been starving for star power since the departures of Robbie Keane, Steven Gerrard and Landon Donovan in recent years.

That, coupled with the arrival of LAFC as an MLS expansion team, has put pressure on the Galaxy to make a major signing after what was a terrible 2017 season in which they finished rock-bottom of the Western Conference.