Arsenal legend defends Romelu Lukaku amid the recent goalscoring drought

Arsenal legend-turned-pundit Paul Merson has backed Romelu Lukaku to come good for Manchester United despite his recent goal drought. The Belgium international started the season in a good note with four goals coming in no time but he has since gone through a run of eight matches across all competitions for United without scoring.

As such, there has been plenty of criticism labelled towards the former Everton man but Merson feels the blame should be put on the players behind him who have not created enough, he told Sky Sports: “Lukaku went to Manchester United to score bundles of goals and get bundles of chances. He’s playing in a team at the moment, up front, on his own, that are playing like a bottom-half team… a relegation team. He should be getting seven chances a game at Old Trafford. Does he trust the players he’s playing with?”
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Zinedine Zidane’s agent dismisses Frenchman’s prospects of joining Manchester United

The agent of Zinedine Zidane has said that his client may not favour a move to the Premier League in the future. The French tactician has been a free-agent since re-signing from the head coach role with Real Madrid during the summer and this has attracted interest from some of the elite clubs across Europe.

Amidst this, Manchester United have been the ones who have been strongly tipped to pursue his signature but agent Alain Migliaccio does not believe this would be the case. Speaking to Le Journal du Dimanche, Migliaccio said that Zidane would certainly not return to management during the ongoing campaign as he has decided to take a year-long sabbatical.
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Harry Maguire pens long-term contract with Leicester City

England international Harry Maguire has quelled the recent speculation over his future by penning a fresh five-year contract with Leicester City. The centre-back was strongly linked with a move to Manchester United during the summer transfer window but a deal never materialised with the Foxes refusing to listen to offers.

Since then, Maguire has featured regularly for the Foxes through the Premier League campaign and he has now committed his future to the club until the summer of 2023. He told the club’s official website: “Ever since I came to this club I’ve always reiterated how good they’ve been to me. They gave me an opportunity to play in the Premier League and built a great platform for me to go and perform at the World Cup, so I thank them a lot. I owe them a lot, and I’m looking forward to the future.”
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West Ham United chief refutes speculation surrounding Javier Hernandez

West Ham United sporting director Husillos has refuted the ongoing speculation linking Javier Hernandez with an exit from the London Stadium. The Mexico international had an underwhelming return to the Premier League last term as he struggled to nail a starting spot and this has associated him with a probable departure from the club.

However, speaking to Marca Claro, Husillos has dismissed the transfer gossip by citing that the player could play an influential role under new boss Manuel Pellegrini next term, he said: “Offers? There surely won’t be any because people know we have him. For the moment, he’s not on the market at all. His [Pellegrini’s] style favours attacking players, because it is to maintain possession, attack, reach the area and create opportunities. The forwards in general are benefited by this type of play.”
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Tony Mowbray Targets More Intensity from Blackburn in Upcoming Friendlies

Tony Mowbray says that he is hoping for a much better intensity from Blackburn going forward. Blackburn are preparing for the third pre-season friendly and this will be only the first time that they play at Ewood Park at the start of this campaign. After having getting promoted back to the Championship, Blackburn are hoping for a much better improvement in terms of fortunes. The team has been involved in draws against Port Vale and a win over Hibernian so far in the friendlies. There are still a couple of friendlies against the likes of Liverpool and Everton to look forward to for Mowbray and his team.

The new campaign for Blackburn begins in the first week of August when the team takes on Ipswich Town at Portman Road. Mowbray may expect a greater intensity due to the increasing level of fitness for the players. After starting out in a slow and decisive fashion, Blackburn will be building up their fitness levels in the next few weeks. This bodes well for the start of the season. So far in the summer transfer window, Blackburn have been relatively quiet. They have brought in highly rated youngsters Joe Rodwell and Jacob Davenport, while Elliott Ward and Liam Feeney have left the club from last campaign. It was extremely important that the club spent only one campaign in League One.
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Roberto Mancini Admits Desire To Coach Italy National Team

Roberto Mancini has claimed that it will be a proud moment to be announced as the coach of the Italian national team but he has admitted that there has been no job offer just yet. Mancini is widely known for managing the likes of Inter Milan and Manchester City, but he has been out of favour in the top level European leagues. As a result, he has been in charge of Zenit St Petersburg in recent times.

There has been a growing desire from Mancini to return top-level European football and it seems that this may come in the form of a national team managerial role. Italy have had a disappointing few years and this has culminated in the team failing to reach the World Cup 2018. As a result, the national team is expected to undergo vast changes in terms of personnel and structure. Continue reading Roberto Mancini Admits Desire To Coach Italy National Team

Arsenal Announce Long-Term Contract For Egypt International

Arsenal have confirmed that they have rewarded midfielder Mohamed Elneny with a new long-term deal. The Egypt international has been with the club for more than two seasons, and he has now penned a fresh contract which has prolonged his stay beyond the stipulated length of the previous deal, that was due to expire in June 2020.

A statement released by the club read: “We’re pleased to announce that Mo Elneny has signed a new long-term contract with the club. The midfielder has made 65 appearances for us since joining in January 2016. He began his senior career with El Mokawloon in the Egyptian Premier League before joining Swiss club Basel in 2013, helping them to three Super League titles. Mo is an experienced international and was part of the squad that recently helped Egypt qualify for this summer’s World Cup – their first appearance since 1990.”

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Fernandinho Extends Man City Contract

Manchester City has decided to appreciate one of their consistent performers over the years in Fernandinho. The club offered him a new deal and the player has agreed to extend his stay at the club. He is now bound to the club until the summer of year 2020, based on the new terms.

The Brazilian has been a key component of the club through various leaderships over the years. He has been very helpful as the Citizens have a 12-point gap in the Premier League. Pep Guardiola sees Fernandinho as “one of the best three holding midfielders in the world.” He has praised the quality of Fernandinho, adding that himself would not have made the team during his days.

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Thibaut Courtois Committed To Chelsea For At Least One More Season

Belgium international Thibaut Courtois has stressed that he is committed to Chelsea for the remainder of his contract. The 25-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid in recent months with the European champions said to be planning a squad overhaul of their squad. Earlier last month, Courtois cited that his heart is in Madrid where his children are presently resided, but he has now clarified that he will remain with the Blues for the final year of his contract.

He told Evening Standard: “I’m committed to Chelsea. I have a contract until next year and I will be here. I will do my best for it. Obviously there is no extension signed but I don’t think now is the moment to do it. I think it is better to wait until the end of the season. All I can say is I’m committed to Chelsea and also committed for next year. I have no other thing to say. It’s easy when you have only one year remaining that other people might say something.”

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