Stones: Quadruple chase will take its toll on Man City

Manchester City defender John Stones warned his team their quadruple chase would take its toll as the season goes on.

City are still eyeing four trophies this campaign, although their bid to match the ‘Invincibles’ was ended with a Premier League loss to Liverpool earlier this month.

Stones said while manager Pep Guardiola would rest players when possible, the desire to win every competition was sure to play a part for City.

“We obviously wanted that [to go undefeated in the league], and I’m sure every team does, but it’s such a difficult thing to do,” the England international told UK newspapers.

“The four competitions we’re still in, the amount of games compared to some other teams, you know it takes a toll, no matter how much you rotate the squad.

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“I think sometimes you’ve got to hold your hands up and say, ‘we gave it our best shot’, which we did. I think we’ve just got to move on.”

While City were beaten in the Premier League, they are still 12 points clear of rivals Manchester United at the top.

Stones denied suggestions the bid to go undefeated had put unnecessary pressure on Manchester City, who carry a 2-1 lead to Bristol City for the second leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final on Tuesday.

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“For me personally it wasn’t an added pressure. I think you kind of want to make it happen, it’s not so much a pressure, but on the other hand you could say it’s a bit of pressure that’s been released from us,” he said.

“Some people might’ve been thinking it: could we go unbeaten and when is it going to happen?

“That could’ve been going through people’s heads. From what I know it wasn’t, it’s one of those things where we’ve got to take it, re-evaluate, look at the game, look at positives, negatives, everything about it and go about business like we have been.”


Montreal Impact sign Algeria international Taider as designated player

The Montreal Impact have signed Algeria international Saphir Taider as a designated player on loan from Serie A side Bologna, the MLS club announced Monday.

A veteran of 162 appearances in Serie A, the 25-year-old midfielder has signed a two-year loan with an option for a third season.

Taider has had three stints with Bologna and also played for clubs including Juventus, Inter and Southampton. He has 42 caps for Algeria, including two appearances at the 2014 World Cup.

“We’re very happy to welcome Saphir with our club,” said Impact president Joey Saputo, who also serves as a co-owner at Bologna. “He’s a very competitive player who has played over 100 games with Bologna FC since 2012. This signing will help the team to reach his goals.”

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Taider is expected to fill the void in central midfield left by Blerim Dzemaili, who returned to Bologna this offseason after spending the 2017 MLS campaign on loan to Montreal.

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“It’s an excellent signing for our club because Saphir is both young and has a lot of experience on the European stage,” Impact coach Remi Garde said. “His career thus far in some of Serie A’s biggest clubs and with the Algerian national team makes him a very important player who can help the Impact win trophies in the seasons to come.

“After explaining the project being put in place here in Montreal, to my great satisfaction, he chose to accept this challenge and to invest himself fully. His European track record and his position in midfield will give him many responsibilities. I am convinced that he has all the capacities to become one of the top players in MLS.”


January transfer news & rumours: Arsenal & Spurs in Lucas Moura bidding war

Arsenal & Spurs in Lucas Moura bidding war

Arsenal and Tottenham are locked in a bidding war for Paris Saint-Germain winger Lucas Moura, according to the Daily Express.

The 25-year-old, who has been limited to just 72 minutes in Ligue 1 action this season, is valued at around £35 million

Chelsea reach agreement for Dzeko & Emerson

Edin Dzeko Roma 2017

Chelsea and Roma have come to an agreement over the transfer of Edin Dzeko and Emerson Palmieri, Goal understands.

The deal, which will see Roma reportedly land €50 million for the two players plus another €10m in incentives, will be finalised upon the Blues’ completion of personal terms with Dzeko.

Read the full story on Goal right here!

Hazard having second thoughts about Madrid move

Eden Hazard Chelsea

Eden Hazard regrets coming to a verbal agreement with Zinedine Zidane to join Real Madrid, claims Don Balon.

The Chelsea star reportedly has grown concerned by Los Blancos’ erratic form in La Liga this season, leading him to have second thoughts about fulfilling his long-time dream of playing for Madrid.

Sturridge to snub Serie A for Valencia

HD Daniel Sturridge

Liverpool forward Daniel Sturridge is not interested in a move to Serie A, TuttoMercato reports.

Inter and Roma are said to have been monitoring the England international, but Sturridge has informed Liverpool that he’d prefer to sign with Valencia.

Diarra set to sign for PSG

Lassana Diarra Marseille Ligue 1

Al Jazira midfielder Lassana Diarra is set to sign an 18-month contract with Paris Saint-Germain, according to L’Equipe.

The 32-year-old journeyman, who previously has played for clubs including Chelsea, Arsenal and Real Madrid, reportedly passed his medical on Monday.

Newcastle working on Gameiro deal

Kévin Gameiro

Newcastle are working on a deal to sign Atletico Madrid forward Kevin Gameiro, the Daily Express reports.

Manager Rafa Benitez has apparently been given the green light to spend big this transfer window, and the Magpies plan on pushing those resources toward the £16 million-rated Frenchman.

Man City could pay Laporte release clause

Aymeric Laporte Athletic Club

Manchester City are considering meeting the £60 million release clause for Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte, according to the Sun.

Pep Guardiola is a long-time fan of the 23-year-old French centre-back, who reportedly has also drawn interest from Chelsea, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain.

Wenger: January window ‘more disturbing than ever’

Arsene Wenger Arsenal Southampton

Arsene Wenger is pleased to have replaced Alexis Sanchez with another ‘world-class’ player in Henrikh Mkhitaryan, but admits the January tranfer window has been ‘more disturbing than ever’.

Arsenal allowed Sanchez to join Manchester United on Monday to avoid losing the Chile international on a free transfer when his contract expired at the end of the season.

Read the full story on Goal right here!

Revealed: Top 20 richest clubs in the world

Paul Pogba, Everton vs Manchester United, 17/18

The 2016-17 Deloitte Football Money League rankings have been announced, with Manchester United retaining top spot. But who else makes the top 20?

Read the full story on Goal right here!

Newcastle to secure Kenedy loan

Kenedy Chelsea

Newcastle are poised to confirm the loan of Chelsea winger Kenedy in the next 24 hours, claims the Daily Mail.

The Blues are said to be on the verge of signing Roma left-back Emerson Palmieri, giving Antonio Conte sufficient cover to let Kenedy depart in exchange for a loan fee.

Alexis: I need to feel loved

Hector Bellerin Alexis Sanchez Arsenal

Alexis Sanchez says a desire to feel “important and loved” was behind his move to Manchester United from Arsenal.

The long-anticipated swap deal that saw Henrikh Mkhitaryan head in the opposite direction was completed on Monday, bringing to a conclusion one of the biggest transfer stories of the January window.

Read the full story on Goal right here!

Giroud offer interests Dortmund

Olivier Giroud Arsenal

Borussia Dortmund are interested in Arsenal’s offer to include Olivier Giroud in a swap involving Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, according to Sky Sports.

The Gunners reportedly are open to letting the French striker leave as part of a deal to bring Aubameyang to the Emirates Stadium, though an agreement likely will take several days to secure.

Man City to pay £40m for Fred

Fred Shakhtar Donetsk

Manchester City are considering paying £40 million to sign midfielder Fred from Shakhtar Donetsk, ESPNFC reports.

Pep Guardiola is said to want the Brazilian as competition for Fernandinho in central midfield, though he’s willing to let Fred stay at Shakhtar until the summer.

How Arsenal could line up with Auba & Mkhi

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Where could new signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Arsenal target Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fit in at the Emirates? Goal‘s Arsenal correspondent Chris Wheatley breaks it down.

Read the full story on Goal right here!

The Arsenal stars who left for bigger clubs

Alexis Sanchez Arsenal 2017

Alexis Sanchez has joined Manchester United, which makes him the latest in a long line of players to leave Arsenal in search of trophies.

Read the full story on Goal right here!


Alexis Sanchez: I needed to feel loved

Alexis Sanchez says a desire to feel “important and loved” was behind his move to Manchester United from Arsenal.

The long-anticipated swap deal that saw Henrikh Mkhitaryan head in the opposite direction was completed on Monday, bringing to a conclusion one of the biggest transfer stories of the January window.

Sanchez took a swipe at his critics in an Instagram post after the deal was announced, singling out the former Arsenal players who had questioned his attitude towards the end of his stay.

And the Chile international says manager Jose Mourinho’s efforts to make him feel wanted at United were an important factor in his decision to join the club.

“He indicated it is important for the club for me to be here,” Sanchez told MUTV. “I also believe that the club itself cared about me joining, and I got the impression that they were keen for me to come here and wear the number seven shirt.

“I think that also gets through to the player. Players sometimes need to feel important and loved by the club. That was one of the things that attracted me to come here, along with the manager, who is a person who won everything in Italy, the same as he did in Spain, and he’s a manager who likes to win.”

The former Barcelona man has been handed the iconic number seven shirt, and Sanchez is excited by the visions of United’s past conjured by his new jersey.

“When they told me that Cristiano [Ronaldo], [Eric] Cantona, David Beckham had all worn it, just thinking about that number seven sets you off dreaming in your head with ideas about lifting the Champions League trophy and winning the Premier League title,” he continued. 

“So yes, I’m fulfilling a dream and I hope to give my very best and win many trophies at this club.”

Sanchez was previously heavily linked with a move to United’s rivals Manchester City, managed by former Barca boss Pep Guardiola.

City ultimately ended their interest in the attacker, but Sanchez hopes to recreate the dressing-room atmosphere from his time in Catalonia as he bids to bring success back to United.

“I believe that having a family in the dressing room is very important when it comes to winning trophies,” he explained.

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“I played in Spain and we also had a very good dressing room and I won a lot of things. So I think that in my experience of being in dressing rooms, it’s so important to have a really good group.

“I also think that the club always needs to be strengthening and bringing players in, and in this instance that’s why I’m here, to work hard for the team, and to try and win everything with them.”


Top 20 richest clubs in the world: Man Utd beat Real Madrid to Money League crown

Manchester United have been named as the highest revenue generating club in world football for a tenth time, topping the 2016-17 Deloitte Football Money League with an income of €676 million (£581m).

United were awarded  €44.5m in payments from UEFA for winning the Europa League last season, over four times more than Atletico Madrid recieved for claiming the trophy in the 2011-12 campaign, which was enough to place them above Real Madrid in second. 

The Liga giants claimed the Spanish top-flight title in 16-17, as well as the Club World Cup, the Spanish Super Cup and their second Champions League trophy in as many years. Their success led to the club generating €674.6m (£579.7m) of revenue, though it was not enough to surpass United as the richest club. The €1.7m margin between the two superclubs is the narrowest ever recorded.

Barcelona rank third in Money League with a revenue of €648.3m (£557.1m), with Bayern Munich (€587.8m/505.1m), and Manchester City (€527.7m/£453.5m) completing the top five.

A record ten English clubs feature in the top 20, generating a total revenue of €3.8bn, helped by the fact that 16-17 was the first season of the current record Premier League broadcast rights deal.

Tim Bridge, senior manager in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, comments: “The Deloitte Football Money League has a particularly English feel this year and with the new broadcast deal and UEFA competition performance driving broadcast revenue growth of over half a billion pounds for those in the top 20, it doesn’t come as a surprise. As the Premier League is currently in the middle of its rights tender for the next cycle from 2019/20, the results of this will be crucial to determining the long term composition of the Money League.”

Three clubs from Germany, three from Spain, three from Italy and one from France feature in the top 20.

Dan Jones, partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, said: “European football continues to flourish financially, with almost half a billion Euro of revenue growth for the top 20 Money League clubs. And at the top, we’ve seen the closest ever battle for the top spot, with Manchester United pipping Real Madrid to retain their title of the highest revenue generating club in the world. United generated £581m in 2016/17.”

In total, the combined revenue of the top 20 clubs grew six per cent to €7.9bn, a new Money League record, but how do the clubs rank overall? Goal takes a look.