International News - Issue 313

Juan Mata and Daley Blind could be on their way out of Old Trafford.
Juan Mata and Daley Blind set to be shown the door at Manchester United.
Daley Blind And Juan Mata Set For United Exits

Daley Blind and Juan Mata will be high-profile victims of Jose Mourinho's arrival at Manchester United this summer, according to Sky Sports. Mourinho, who was shown around United's Carrington training ground by executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and Sir Bobby Charlton on Monday, is already planning his assault on the summer transfer market, and has identified a number of key targets. Neither Mata nor Blind are expected to feature in Mourinho's plans for the forthcoming season as he builds a team, which he believes, can win the Premier League. It is understood Mourinho would approve the sale of both players this summer should United receive acceptable bids, with the expectation he can sign players to directly replace them. Mourinho sanctioned Mata's sale to Manchester United from Chelsea in January 2014 for a fee in the region of £33.5m, despite the Spaniard being named Chelsea's Player Of The Season six months earlier. At the time, Mourinho was unhappy with Mata's work rate and pace, and also held doubts about the his tactical suitability for his preferred system. It is understood he has not changed his mind since, which in all likelihood spells the end of Mata's time at the club. Meanwhile Blind, signed by Van Gaal for £14m in his first summer transfer window after arriving at Old Trafford, does not fit the physical profile Mourinho looks for in his central defenders, deeming him also surplus to requirements. Mourinho has a history of signing tall, fast, strong central defenders, such as Kurt Zouma and Raphael Varane at Chelsea and Real Madrid respectively. The physical attributes of both players were seen as key factors in their recruitment, and Mourinho had no qualms in introducing them to the first team at a young age. Blind was also critical of the manner of Van Gaal's sacking last week, just days after winning United's first piece of silverware since Sir Alex Ferguson left the club. He claimed Van Gaal should have been given more time in charge, making him seemingly at odds with Mourinho's appointment. "I always worked well with him and would have been keen that the co-operation lasted longer," Blind told reporters at the Netherlands' training camp in Portugal. "Over the last six months he has not been treated fairly. I think a manager like Louis van Gaal, who has achieved so much already, deserved more respect. "Even though there was so much being written about him losing his job over the last months, he always looked to protect and shelter us. It is not easy for a coach if you are repeatedly being fired in the newspapers."

Michael Carrick has signed a new one-year contract with Manchester United, according to club legend Paddy Crerand. Carrick's current deal runs out this summer and he appeared to be on his way out of Old Trafford after 10 successful seasons with the club. In his time with United, Carrick has won five Premier League titles and also won the Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup. There has been no official confirmation from United that the 34-year-old has signed, or agreed, a new deal but Crerand appeared to let the news slip on MUTV on Monday night. Crerand, who made over 300 appearances for United, said: "Something that happened today that nobody has mentioned, and I'm delighted that he has signed another contract: Michael Carrick. He's signed a contract for another year. "There was a situation where it looked as if his contract was up at the end of this year and that was it, but from what I'm gathering he's there for another year."

Roma have signed Antonio Rudiger on a permanent basis after the German defender impressed during his year on loan at the Stadio Olimpico. The 23-year-old centre-back, who has made 30 Serie A appearances for Roma, scoring two goals as the Giallorossi finished third in the table last season, leaves Stuttgart for a fee of nine million euros. A statement published on Roma's official website on Monday night said Rudiger's new contract in the Eternal City will expire on June 30, 2020.

Chelsea captain John Terry expects Jose Mourinho to be a success at Manchester United, saying the Portuguese is the right manager to lead the 13-time Premier League champions back into contention for major honours. Mourinho, who was named as Louis van Gaal’s successor last Friday, will hope to usher in a return to the glory days the club’s fans took for granted until Alex Ferguson ended his trophy-laden 26-year tenure with his retirement in 2013. Terry won eight trophies under Mourinho during the 53-year-old coach’s two spells at Stamford Bridge. “It’s fantastic news for United,” Terry said at a charity event. “I’m sure that United’s fans and players will be delighted with that because, as I’ve said many times before, he’s the best manager I’ve worked under. He’ll be great for Manchester United, I’m sure.” With a host of highly coveted managers, including Pep Guardiola at Manchester City and Antonio Conte at Chelsea, set to ply their trade in England’s top-flight next season, Terry expects exciting times ahead. “I think it’s great for English football... Jose and Pep Guardiola up in Manchester, Conte coming to Chelsea,” the defender added. “There’s real fight among the managers so I think it will be interesting times.”

Manchester United's future star, Marcus Rashford.

Marcus Rashford has signed a new four-year contract at Manchester United with the option of a further year. Rashford's team-mate Cameron Borthwick-Jackson has also extended his deal until 2020. It caps a truly remarkable breakthrough season at Old Trafford for Rashford, who scored eight goals in 18 first-team appearances after being handed his debut in the Europa League against FC Midtjylland in February. "I am delighted to have signed a new contract. I have always been a Manchester United fan, so to be playing in the first team really is a dream come true," Rashford told the club's official website. "I am grateful for having the chance to prove myself. To be able to play football at the biggest club in the world means everything to me and my family." Rashford scored 138 seconds into his England debut last Friday at Sunderland's Stadium of Light and has since been tipped to be included in Roy Hodgson's final 23-man squad for Euro 2016. United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward added: "Marcus is a naturally talented footballer with great potential. He has taken his chances well and has integrated into the first team very quickly. "I am delighted that Marcus has signed a new contract, he is at the right club to continue his development. He is still very young and we need to be patient but he is developing in the right way and we believe he has a great future ahead of him." Borthwick-Jackson has been rewarded with a new deal after breaking into the United first-team last season, and also has the option of extending his contract to 2021. He made 14 appearances for United and will now form part of Jose Mourinho's first-team squad, along with Rashford. "I have grown up at United and have enjoyed every minute of being here. Last season was an incredible experience to make my first team debut and a dream come true for myself and my family," Borthwick-Jackson said. "I feel it stands me in good stead for continuing my development as a Manchester United player. I will continue to work hard and take advice from the manager and his coaching team to improve with every training session." Woodward added: "Cameron is one of a number of young players to come through our academy to make their first team debut last season.  "This is something that our club has always done and promoting the academy and U21 players is something that makes everybody associated with the club very proud. "I'm delighted that Cameron has signed his new contract and look forward to seeing him in the squad for many years to come."

Borussia Dortmund star Marco Reus acknowledged that the club’s squad needs to be bolstered in order for them to compete with perennial rivals Bayern Munich. The Bavarians once again proved too powerful this season, claiming the League and Cup double, and Reus feels BVB need to step up next season, and should do so by splashing the cash in the upcoming transfer window. "Being one of Dortmund's key players, it is my responsibility to share my thoughts with the board," he told Funke Mediengruppe. "I am interested in our plans for the future and I want Dortmund to become even bigger. "That's why I hope, and expect, that Dortmund will sign some good players." Mario Gotze has been heavily linked with a move back to his own club but has reiterated his desire to stay at Bayern, something his German international teammate respects. "Of course I talked about it with Mario," he said. "It is Mario's decision to stay at Bayern. He is feeling comfortable with his decision and we have to accept that." Dortmund finished 10 points behind their rivals to take the runners-up spot in the Bundesliga this season.

Paris Saint-Germain defender Serge Aurier has been arrested after getting into an argument with French police after a night out. The Associated Press report that the Ivory Coast international was enjoying a night out near the Champs-Elysees in the French capital, but was arrested at 5.50am on Monday and put into a holding cell for "using violence on a police officer." When the Ligue 1 champions were contacted for a comment, club authorities said they were waiting for more information on the matter before taking action, yet highlighted that the incident "did not take place during a competition period." This is not the first time the 23-year-old has landed in hot water, having been suspended for six weeks in February after making disparaging remarks towards his club coach and teammates. The right-back made 21 League appearances for his club this season, scoring two goals and providing two assists as PSG won Ligue 1 for the fourth season in a row.

Former Manchester City coach Manuel Pellegrini says he might quit coaching if he doesn’t find a position that interests him. The Chilean lead the Citizens to two League cups and one Premier League title in his three years in charge at the Etihad, but will be replaced by former Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola at the club next season. And although being linked to the vacant Everton post, the 62-year-old says he won’t take up a position unless it really interests him, while he may even quit the game completely. "If I don't have a really interesting option, I will stop until I find one," Pellegrini told The Guardian. "If I have to stop [completely], I will stop. It can be now, [until] December, one year or forever. "Of course, I would miss it. The challenge keeps me alive." Pellegrini, who has coach across the globe including teams such as River Plate, San Lorenzo, Real Madrid and Villarreal, feels next season’s Premier League will definitely be one to watch. "The whole Premier League will be very interesting," he said. "It can happen, what happened this year with Leicester, but it is not normal."

Spain fullback Dani Carvajal has been ruled out of Euro 2016 with a hamstring injury. The Real Madrid right-back sustained the knock in his club's Champions League final victory over Atletico Madrid in Milan, Italy last weekend. Carvajal exited the San Siro pitch in tears in the 52nd minute of the derby. Real released a statement, which said: "After the tests carried out today at the Sanitas La Moraleja University Hospital the player Daniel Carvajal has been diagnosed with a grade 2 injury to the right iliopsoas. His recovery will continue to be assessed." European champions Spain will start their title defence against Czech Republic in Toulouse, France on June 13. La Roja - bidding for a hat-trick of continental triumphs - have also been paired with Turkey and Croatia in Group B.

Veteran playmaker Andrea Pirlo says he fully understands national team coach Antonio Conte’s decision to leave him out of Italy’s Euro 2016 squad. The 37-year-old playmaker has been a mainstay in the Azzurri midfield for the past decade, notching up 116 caps for his country. The aging dead ball specialist has not been as influential for MLS club New York City FC, causing him to miss out on selection for Italy’s upcoming European Championship campaign. Yet the former Milan and Juventus star feels his former club coach made the right decision. “Antonio Conte is right,” Pirlo said. “I spoke with the coach and I already knew what I had to do, and what he had to do too. There is no disappointment. “I was always in touch with him during this season. These are decisions that are taken on both sides. He's the Coach, and it's only right that he should decide what's best for him.” Pirlo, who last turned out for the Azzurri in a Euro qualifier against Malta in September last year, then revealed who his favourites for the continental championships are. “I hope that Italy win the Euros, although other teams have better odds, like Germany, Spain and France,” he said. “It's going to be a good tournament, let's hope my teammates can take the trophy home.” Pirlo has contributed two assists in 12 games as New York City FC sit fourth in the MLS Eastern Conference after 14 games.

Zinedine Zidane became the first French coach to win the UEFA Champions League.

Zinedine Zidane basks in Real Madrid's UEFA Champions League glory. Zidane led his side to a 5-3 penalty shoot-out victory over city rivals Atletico Madrid in the final in Milan last Saturday after a 1-1 draw, having taken over from sacked Rafa Benitez in January. He becomes the seventh player to win the trophy as both a player and coach, but admits he is unsure whether he will still be Real coach next season. "Getting the Champions League is the best along with winning the World Cup," he told reporters. "After all the work we did I am very proud, it has been a phenomenal job. I'm happy because I've been part of this great club for a long time now. I feel really very proud. "The future? We'll see, now let's enjoy this," he said. Zidane says he always believed his side would come out on top and extend their record number of wins in the Champions League to 11. "Of course I dreamed. You always have to dream, think positive, be optimistic, and know that things can get done with work and effort. "I'm very happy for everything we've achieved together. It's not easy at all. We've really worked hard, fought it out. "When you have players of this calibre, with this talent, you can achieve something big like we have tonight. “It's a massive joy. I'm empty, but it's all positive. When you achieve what we've achieved all season it means you've done well, that the messages have got through, that the players have followed me, that I've followed them and that's how we've managed to win this Champions League."

Tottenham Hotspur will play all their UEFA Champions League games at Wembley Stadium next season. White Hart Lane is currently undergoing renovations to increase the capacity to 61 000, but the result of that is that some sections of the stadium will be closed next season. Spurs also have the option of playing all their matches at Wembley in the 2017/18 season. “We’re delighted that, through working in partnership with WNSL and the Football Association, we’ve been able to reach this agreement,” club chairman Daniel Levy told their official website. “Playing at Wembley Stadium will mean that we can continue to accommodate all of our existing season ticket holders. “Our season ticket waiting list is over 50 000, so this now also offers us a great opportunity to provide more of our supporters with a chance to see the team play live during our Champions League campaign. “Importantly, as we know it was our fans' preference, it means that we can play our home matches in London during our season away.”