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Mourinho is Frustrated at the Transfer Market

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Manchester United Manager’s efforts so far at the current summer transfer market have almost been at the realm of window-shopping as he has not been able to by some of his desired players.
He told ESPN FC that he is not happy with Manchester United’s transfer window and is ready to accept signing just one more player before the August 31 deadline.
His ‘purchase’ so far has been limited to the £90 million he splashed on DR Congo’s Belgian player, Romelu Lukaku who he signed from Everton and the £30.75 million spent to get Benfica defender, Victor Lindelof.
Efforts to sign Inter Milan winger, Ivan Perisic, and a top-class defensive midfielder have so far proven unsuccessful. But ESPN FC reported that Mourinho is within £5 million of meeting Inter’s valuation of Croatia international, Ivan Perišić, who has flown to China on the Italian club’s preseason tour.
Interest in Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic and Tottenham’s Eric Dier has failed to result in a breakthrough, however, and Mourinho admits he may be forced to settle for just one more new signing this summer.
“We always want more,” Mourinho told ESPN FC in an exclusive interview. “We always feel there is room to improve, and I cannot say that I am happy with our transfer window.
“What I can also say is that it is a difficult transfer window and I don’t blame anyone — it is just a reality of things. The market is going in such a direction that many players are difficult to get, not to say impossible.
“Every club is powerful and they don’t want to sell or their demands are really high, so the market is difficult.”
Mourinho said his objective is still to sign two more players, but even if they arrive before the end of August, the Manchester United manager claims they will have lost crucial preparation time in preseason.
“Everton started really strong in the market without the Lukaku money,” Mourinho said. “AC Milan, without selling players, are buying non-stop, so it depends on the moment, the objective, maybe on new owners.
“What I will say is that, a long time ago, we thought about four players to strengthen our squad, but it is really hard to do it. If we do the third and forget the fourth, I would be quite happy with that because I know it is difficult.
“At the moment we have Lukaku and Lindelof, two players I know well. I worked with one before and the other is from the Portuguese championship, which I follow every weekend.
“I am happy with them and I know that they will succeed at the club.
“The market ends on August 31, so there is plenty of time, but obviously, the objective for me as manager is always to have the players as soon as possible and try to coach them in the team and develop the team with them and Lukaku and Lindelof arrived to train in time for day one.”

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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Premier League

Five-Star Arsenal hammer Chelsea to move three points clear at the top

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Premier League - Arsenal v Chelsea - Emirates Stadium, London, Britain - April 23, 2024 Arsenal's Ben White celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

Ruthless Arsenal threw down the gauntlet in the Premier League title race with a 5-0 thrashing of London rivals Chelsea to roar three points clear at the top of the table on Tuesday.

Any remaining doubts about Arsenal’s staying power were answered emphatically as Leandro Trossard gave them an early lead before Ben White and Kai Havertz scored two each in a dazzling spell after the break to sweep aside a dazed Chelsea.

It was a powerful statement by Arsenal who have recovered impressively from a home defeat by Aston Villa and bowing out of the Champions League and with four games remaining they are piling the pressure on Liverpool and Manchester City.

Arsenal have 77 points from 34 games with Liverpool, who face Everton on Wednesday, on 74 from 33. Reigning champions Manchester City have 73 points but have two games in hand starting with a trip to Brighton and Hove Albion on Thursday.

It was the sixth time Arsenal have scored five or more in a Premier League game this season and in such a tight race they have a huge goal difference advantage which could prove crucial.

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For ninth-placed Chelsea it was their heaviest ever defeat by Arsenal and a hammer blow in their bid to creep into a European place just days after their narrow FA Cup semi-final defeat by Manchester City.

-Reuters

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Man United’s Rashford, McTominay doubts for Sheffield United game

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FA Cup - Semi Final - Coventry City v Manchester United - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - April 21, 2024 Manchester United's Marcus Rashford in action with Coventry City's Milan van Ewijk Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge/File Photo

Manchester United could be without forward Marcus Rashford and midfielder Scott McTominay through injury when they take on bottom-side Sheffield United at Old Trafford, manager Erik ten Hag said on the eve of Wednesday’s Premier League game.

The 26-year-old Rashford had a stellar 2022-23 campaign, scoring 30 goals in all competitions and went on to be named United’s player of the year, but the England international has only netted eight times this season.

McTominay, meanwhile, has 10 goals across all competitions this season.

The duo picked up their respective injuries during Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final against Championship side Coventry City, which United won on penalties after surrendering a 3-0 lead at Wembley.

“We had a problem with (Alejandro) Garnacho, that’s why we took him off during the game, but I think he will be fine,” Ten Hag told reporters.

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“Scott we have to assess today, really doubtful. Marcus is also doubtful, and there was also an issue with Bruno (Fernandes) with the hand but I think he can make it.

“We have some doubts going into the game tomorrow.”

United are already facing a defensive crisis due to injuries to Lisandro Martinez, Raphael Varane, Victor Lindelof, Jonny Evans, Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia.

United are seventh in the league standings with 50 points, 16 behind fourth-placed Aston Villa with six games to go. Sheffield United are fighting relegation and sit bottom, having won just three of their 33 matches.

“We have to win every game. That’s what United stands for, that is our approach, go from game to game but we have to qualify for Europe and we have two opportunities in the league and the FA Cup final,” Ten Hag said.

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Ten Hag, who has taken the club to two FA Cup finals and a League Cup final, which they won, in his two seasons at the helm, also described the external criticism his side received for their display against Coventry as “embarrassing”.

“Top football is about results, we made it to a final and we deserved it not only by this game but also the other games,” the Dutchman said.

“We lost control for 20 minutes, we also had bad luck, 3-2, 3-3. We were very lucky in the end, clear. Penalties was very good and we made it to the final, it is a huge achievement.

“Twice, in two years — is magnificent. For me as a manager, four cup finals in four years. The comments are a disgrace.”

-Reuters

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Arsenal serve ‘5 Alive’ to Chelsea

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Arsenal have now gone three points clear at the top of the Premier League after inflicting a humiliating 5-0 defeat on Chelsea on Tuesday night. It is the worst Chelsea team for 25 years.

The 5-0 loss by the visiting side is Chelsea’s second-biggest top flight defeat in London, after a 6-0 loss at Queens Park Rangers on 31 March, 1986. What a ruthless display by Arsenal who scored four times in incredible 18-minute spell in second half

 Declan Rice and Kai Havertz scored the two best goals in the game.

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