Man Utd star Bruno Fernandes gives emphatic verdict on playing with Paul Pogba

Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes has opened up on playing alongside Paul Pogba and has hailed the World Cup winner as ‘fantastic’. Red Devils fans are excited to see the two line up together at Old Trafford when the Premier League restarts.

Fernandes has been sensational since joining United in the January transfer window from Sporting Lisbon.

The Portuguese has netted twice and provided three assists in just five Premier League appearances for his new side.

And on Instagram he has opened up on his excitement to get going with Pogba for the remainder of the campaign.

“I think Paul is one of the best players in Manchester and in the world,” Fernandes said during an Instagram Live with Mario Djurovski.

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“He was injured for a lot of time.

“The opportunity to play side to side with him is fantastic because you want to play with the best players you can.”

Former United star Dimitar Berbatov thinks Pogba’s return to full fitness is undoubtedly a boost for the club but warns that a fruitful partnership between the World Cup winner and Fernandes could take more time.

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“Manchester United have had a huge boost in Paul Pogba returning to fitness. It is great news for the team,” Berbatov told Betfair.

“The dangerous thing is that he hasn’t played for so long, so hopefully he has prepared well and he will be ready to play at 100 percent again.

“Is he going to start? I’m not too sure, coming back from a long injury may impact him starting, it will be interesting to see if Solskjaer puts him straight into the battle. I’m sure if the manager asks Pogba how he feels and if he is ready, then Paul will say ‘of course I am ready.’

“It will be the first time we get to see Fernandes and Pogba play together and it will be interesting to see if they can hit it off, they will have had the chance to get to know each other in training but that is totally different to a game.

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“It could be a great partnership and I am sure that Pogba’s return is a massive boost and will give huge confidence to the whole team.

“One player doesn’t define a team, but when you have good, quality, confident players putting all their effort in to help the team then you are going to succeed.”

United currently sit fifth in the Premier League and will look to leapfrog Chelsea when the season restarts in a couple of weeks.

The Red Devils will be desperate to qualify for the Champions League as they look to add the likes of Jadon Sancho to their ranks this summer.

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Man City Champions League ban: CAS reveal when appeal verdict will finally be given

Manchester City could have to wait for two months before they find out if their Champions League ban has been overturned. The defending Premier League champions were handed a two-season ban from European competition in February.

City received the suspension, and a £25million fine, in February after they were adjudged to have broken Financial Fair Play rules.

The Etihad club immediately appealed the suspension, lobbying to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

City’s appeal is being heard by CAS this week, despite restrictions stemming from the coronavirus outbreak.

City are hoping to have a swift resolution to the hearing in order to give them time to prepare for the 2020/21 season.

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Manchester City receiveda two-year suspension from European competition in February

But according to the Daily Mirror, their wish won’t be granted.

They claim City could have to wait for two months to find out if they’ll be in next season’s Champions League.

Both UEFA and City are hoping for CAS to render their decision before the draw for next season’s tournament.

Should CAS uphold City’s ban, the fifth-placed Premier League side will qualify for Europe’s elite club competition.

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The upholding of City’s suspension has led to suggestions Guardiola could leave the club at the end of the season.

Guardiola, however, insists he’ll be at the Etihad at the start of the 2020/21 campaign.

He said: “We are going to fight like we have fought every single game and day we are together until the end of the season.

“We are optimistic that at the end the truth will prevail and next season we will be in the Champions League.

“If they don’t sack me I will stay here 100% more than ever. First, because I want to stay.

“It’s something special, more than the contract I have. I said before, I say now I want to stay and help the club and maintain this level as long as possible.’

He added: “Why should I leave? When I said I love this club I like to be here, why should I leave?

“No matter what happens I will be here next season.”

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What Man Utd chief Ed Woodward has been told to do to win Jude Bellingham transfer race

Manchester United face a battle to beat Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal in the transfer race for Birmingham starlet Jude Bellingham. The Red Devils need to offer more guaranteed cash to sign the 16-year-old though.

Bellingham has visited United’s training ground and was personally shown around by Sir Alex Ferguson.

But it is believed German giants Borussia Dortmund are leading the race for his signature after proving their talent in bringing on youngsters such as Jadon Sancho.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is desperate to land Bellingham and he would be part of the first-team immediately.

And Birmingham privately accept they will sell the teenager this summer to raise funds to help the club survive in a post-coronavirus world.

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But ESPN claim the Championship club wand a big sum up front for Bellingham, something United have not yet offered

So far the Red Devils have offered a structured deal made up of smaller down payments but Birmingham want more initially for their prized asset.

If United are to beat Dortmund and Arsenal to the signature of Bellingham they will have to raise their original offer.

The Red Devils made their interest clear in January when they enquired about the availability of the youngster.

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And Solskjaer is keen to add Bellingham this summer as well as the likes of Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho and Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish.

Former United defender Wes Brown thinks Sancho would be a perfect signing for United and could be their new Cristiano Ronaldo.

He told MUTV: “Talent and excitement. We need someone exactly like that at the club.

“We’ve had them over the years and I’m sure if we were to sign him he would bring that excitement back to the club. It would be good for the team as well.

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“We’ve had players like that in the past, like with Cristiano Ronaldo.

“They’re the type of player who draw three or four defenders out and make the game a lot easier for the other players.

“If we could do it, it would be a brilliant signing.”

United are all set for the Premier League restart and will look to leapfrog Chelsea to finish in the top four.

That would ensure Champions League qualification and make them a more attractive club for prospective new players to join.

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Man Utd supremo Ed Woodward makes transfer promise to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Ed Woodward has promised Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that Manchester United will be competitive in the upcoming transfer window. The Red Devils have ambitious plans despite the financial effects of the coronavirus crisis. A new striker is set to drop down the priority list, however, after Odion Ighalo’s loan deal was extended.

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Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho remains the dream target for Solskjaer, although Old Trafford officials are unlikely to meet the Bundesliga club’s asking price of more than £100million.

Aston Villa playmaker Jack Grealish and James Maddison of Leicester City are also on Solskjaer’s target list.

A new striker was on the agenda but the United boss is set to put those plans on the back burner.

The likes of Erling Haaland, Timo Werner and Moussa Dembele were being monitored but Ighalo’s loan extension means the club’s transfer kitty can be allocated on other targets.

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A £140m loan plus £90m in cash reserves means United have money to spend – and Woodward is determined to splash the cash, with the Evening Standard reporting that the executive vice-chairman has promised Solskjaer he will be competitive in the market.

The club are unlikely to blow all their budget on one player, however.

Woodward told fans in April not to expect the next window to be “business as usual” due to the fallout from the coronavirus crisis.

He said: “As ever, our priority is the success of the team but we need visibility of the impact across the whole industry, including timings of the transfer window, and the wider financial picture, before we can talk about a return to normality.

“On this basis, I cannot help feeling that speculation around transfers of individual players for hundreds of millions of pounds this summer seems to ignore the realities that face the sport.”

Solskjaer has also spoken in cautious tones about a possible summer splurge.

“I think today’s world is different to what it was two months ago and we’ve got to adjust and adapt,” he said last month.

“There are clubs out there struggling more than us financially.

“But still, it’s a new world and I think the transfer market will be completely different to what everyone thought it was going to be.

“We’re always looking to improve the squad. There’s uncertainty in the market now. ‘Who knows how football is going to be and how the market is going to be. I’m very happy with the squad I’ve got.”

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Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury ‘not a difficult fight to make’, says Frank Warren

Tyson Fury’s UK-based promoter Frank Warren insists “our door is open” to agree “the fight he wants” against Anthony Joshua.

Fury (WBC) and Joshua (IBF, WBA and WBO) hold every major belt between them and Warren is in “ongoing talks” with promoter Eddie Hearn to stage a fight that would crown the undisputed champion of boxing’s glamour division.

“It’s not a difficult fight to make. Whatever is on the table is 50-50,” Warren exclusively told Sky Sports.

Joshua & Whyte's chaotic first round 🔥🌪@AnthonyfJoshua and @DillianWhyte had a fiery first round that carried on after the bell when they met back in 2015 pic.twitter.com/F1dXbuRkNN

“Fury is the No 1 heavyweight but we don’t say 60-40. 50-50 down the middle.

“Once we get the offer that we’re supposed to be getting, we’ll be in a position to sit around the table and knock it into shape. It’s not about me or [Joshua’s promoter Hearn’s company] Matchroom. It’s about getting this fight made.

“If we can’t make this happen between us, then we’ve got to point the finger at whoever doesn’t make it happen.”

Joshua is first seeking a UK location for his mandatory title defence against Kubrat Pulev, while Fury is contracted to a third fight with Deontay Wilder.

Fury previously told Sky Sports: “All going well, god willing, we get on the big fight with me and Joshua, the all-British showdown and I can give the fans what they want to see.”

Warren said: “I’m very excited at the thought of this fight. But both fighters have contracts at the moment – AJ against Pulev and Fury against Wilder.

“If an offer came up, that the Pulev fight had to be avoided, or our contracted Wilder fight had to be avoided, then we need to make that happen. Let’s get it on.

“We’ve been waiting for various offers. Nothing has arrived yet. There have been ongoing talks.

“Fury? I know I speak on his behalf – he wants the fight. More than anything, he wants the fight.

“I don’t think Matchroom want the fight.

“All day long, Tyson Fury beats AJ.

“I had this conversation 18 months ago when Tyson came back. It’s not an issue. This is the fight he wants.

“It’s the first time ever four belts would be contested in the ring at heavyweight between two Brits. The No 1 heavyweight champion, undefeated, Tyson Fury is the most popular sportsman in the country at the moment.”

Top Rank’s Bob Arum, who promotes Fury in the US, exclusively told Sky Sports: “If Fury beats Wilder and if Joshua beats Pulev, which I don’t want because [I promote] Pulev, then we would go ahead and do Fury vs Joshua next year.

“I don’t think the negotiations would be fraught with difficulty. We could negotiate the deal, if we met in person, over the course of one day.

“We are not known for playing games. We understand Eddie. I worked for many years with his father Barry.

“My prediction would be: we get a deal done over the course of one day.”

Haye v Fury – Ringside Special 👀🔥

Here are the best bits from @Tyson_Fury and @DavidHaye’s appearance on Ringside before their planned fight in 2013

Who would have won this fight? 👇 pic.twitter.com/UIRowdhPn2

Joshua would “sign now” for two fights against Fury in 2021, Hearn previously told Sky Sports.

Warren replied: “There will have to be a rematch. But that’s not an obstacle. There are no obstacles to stopping this fight happening.

“Our door is open. We’ve all signed a non-disclosure agreement. We’re waiting for an offer.

“At our end, it is not a problem.”

Joshua previously told Sky Sports: “Logically to prove yourself as No 1, I have to fight Tyson Fury. He has to fight Anthony Joshua.

“What it will prove, me and him fighting? There will be one dominant figure in the heavyweight division that will have all of the belts and become undisputed.”

AJ sparring his cousin 👀😅 @AnthonyfJoshua and his cousin Benga watch back one of their sparring sessions. pic.twitter.com/LqA0yCbh4F

Warren insists their dream meeting would be one-sided in the WBC champion’s favour.

He said: “Has AJ got a better jab than Fury? No.

“Is AJ a bigger puncher? I don’t think so.

“Has he got a better chin? I don’t think so.

“Has he got the hand speed or footwork of Fury? I don’t think so.

“Tyson is so good in every department. When you saw him get off the floor from that punch by Wilder it tells you what he’s all about.”

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Chelsea enquire about Inter Milan prodigy but face transfer battle with Conte and Man City

Chelsea will take on Manchester City for highly-rated Inter Milan youngster Lorenzo Pirola, according to reports. The Blues have developed a reputation for harvesting world class youngsters and are supposedly looking to bolster their defensive options for the future.

Pirola is considered one of the most exciting talents at Inter Milan and Antonio Conte has already identified the centre-back as a key first-team player going forward.

The Nerazzurri boss reportedly played a key role in recently finalising a contract that ties Pirola down at the San Siro until 2025.

Juventus previously made an approach for the promising defender as they looked to take advantage of any failure to reach a new agreement, but their interest has now cooled.

However, Pirola’s new deal has not put Chelsea and Manchester City off from enquiring about the 18-year-old.

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Serie B News report that the Premier League duo have asked for information about the centre-back while Borussia Dortmund and Hellas Verona have also lodged their interest.

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has ushered in a new generation of young talent at Stamford Bridge this season and is keen to keep that conveyor belt of talent rolling.

Meanwhile, City are in desperate need of long-term reinforcements following a number of suspect signings in recent seasons.

Pep Guardiola is yet to adequately replace Vincent Kompany while Fernandinho has been deployed in central defence this season with Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones failing to convince.

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The latest report suggests Inter are not considering selling Pirola, although the Italian Under-19 international could be loaned out to aid his development.

It is claimed that Pirola could be loaned to Verona in an attempt to secure the signing of Marash Kumbulla – another defender Chelsea are said to be tracking.

This could take the form of a two-year stay, minimising the disruption of losing Kumbulla.

Pescara are also said to be monitoring Pirola, with the Serie B club having worked closely with Inter in the past.

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While Chelsea would be keen to snap up such a highly-rated talent, the west London club have several more pressing concerns in the summer window.

Lampard is planning an overhaul of his squad with Pedro and Willian out of contract while a host of players are expected to leave.

Emerson Palmieri and Marcos Alonso are both likely to depart, joining Juventus and Inter respectively, while Chelsea will hope to find a buyer for Michy Batshuayi.

Victor Moses and Davide Zappacosta could return to Serie A, Tiemoue Bakayoko is being tracked by Paris Saint-Germain and Atletico Madrid are expected to take up their £48.5million option on Alvaro Morata.

These departures would leave Chelsea light at left-back while the Blues are looking for a new striker and attacking midfielders to compliment the arrival of Hakim Ziyech.

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Floyd Mayweather’s offer to pay for George Floyd’s funeral is not the first time he has displayed such kindness

Floyd Mayweather has still never publicly spoken about the time he paid for the funeral of his former opponent. For the loudmouth nicknamed ‘Money’, his silence is more revealing than the showmanship he is known for.

The retired boxing great has offered to pay for the funeral of George Floyd, the African-American whose death in police custody has sparked widespread protests in the USA, but such an act is something Mayweather has done before.

In 2011, he quietly and discreetly took care of the finances when Genaro Hernandez, who he had shared the ring with, was laid to rest.

Floyd Mayweather vs Ricky Hatton – On YouTube now!

📺 Watch here 👉 https://t.co/mlisEtI46Z pic.twitter.com/ydbOs4GeJp

Mayweather and Hernandez were hardly friends.

The build-up to their fight in 1998 was spiky and filled with insults – a 21-year-old Mayweather was beginning to understand that making himself a villain was great for business. As such, he provoked and prodded the respected Hernandez before challenging for his WBC super-featherweight championship.

Mayweather was unbeaten in 17 and two years removed from winning an Olympic bronze medal but, by beating Hernandez at the Las Vegas Hilton, he became a world champion for the first time.

He would go on to become king in five divisions and retire with a 50-0 record as an all-time great but his fight with Hernandez was his first major acid test at the top level.

Hernandez had lost just once in 40 fights, to Oscar De La Hoya, but was forced to retire on his stool after eight one-sided rounds in the young and bombastic Mayweather’s favour.

“It took me a couple rounds to feel him out,” said Mayweather. “But after the second round, I started using my jab, and then I took control of the fight.”

Hernandez said: “Father Time caught up with us. He’s a true champion, and he’ll be a champion for a long time. He was just too quick for me.”

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London, UK #TMT #TBE

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London, UK #TMT #TBE

A post shared by Floyd Mayweather (@floydmayweather) on

Their paths seemed destined never to cross again. Hernandez retired after the defeat.

Mayweather became the biggest and loudest star in the sport. He beat Arturo Gatti, Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton while flaunting the riches that he was rewarded with. He was absolutely brilliant and knew it.

But fascinatingly, Mayweather was arguably at the peak of his arrogant and obnoxious ‘Money’ alter-ego when, in 2011 when Hernandez passed away aged 45, he made a private gesture that he still refuses to acknowledge.

He paid for the funeral of his former opponent without fanfare or publicity. Hernandez’s medical bills had been picked up by promoter Bob Arum.

Two years later, Mayweather told ES News: “My room had posters. The fighter above me? Genaro Hernandez. He was unbelievable. I said: ‘No fighter will ever beat him’.”

It was a display of generosity not least because he knew the Hernandez family were struggling financially.

It was not the only time Mayweather’s public mask fell.

He also paid for the funeral of heavyweight legend Joe Frazier, who boxed Muhammad Ali.

Mayweather has become known for sponsoring turkey giveaways on Thanksgiving in communities who can’t afford to buy their own celebratory meals.

He paid for the prestigious Golden Gloves amateur boxing tournament to take place in Michigan, his home state, when it threatened to fall through due to financial problems.

The word on the street is that he gives extremely generously to the homeless who he sees in Las Vegas.



It is a remarkable paradox that the boxer who has repeatedly fallen foul of the law while encouraging his own distastefully wealthy reputation is capable of acts of such kindness.

His latest gesture to the family of George Floyd, amid an influx of sportspeople weighing in on his death and the resulting protests, was also done quietly through choice. It comes months after Mayweather lost his uncle and former trainer, Roger, and his ex-partner and the mother of his children Josie Harris.

Rest in peace to our ancestors who fought & died for our freedom. Rest in peace to all the Afro-Caribbean descendants that have been murdered, sent to jail, denied jobs, racial profiled, lynched, shot & suffocated! All because of the colour of our skin. When the lights are turned back on tomorrow, what would you like to see? I’m so proud of the BLM movement. The peaceful protests! Are you? ✊🏾

A post shared by Anthony Joshua (@anthonyjoshua) on

It was explained via Mayweather Promotions on social media that the CEO of the boxer’s The Money Team music label, Anzel Jennings, grew up with George Floyd in Houston. Jennings put George Floyd’s family in touch with Mayweather who has committed to covering the cost of four funeral services planned to remember him.

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Premier League crack down on stars as training ground visits made to stop players spitting

Premier League have hired teams of inspectors to visit club training ground and ensure clubs are sticking to new coronavirus safety measures – including cutting down on spitting during sessions. That’s according to the Daily Mirror, who claim the league have sought officials to visit training bases around the country to ensure players and staff are continuing to meet guidelines.

It’s thought the check-ups have seen some clubs warned that players – who have become accustomed to freely spitting on pitches during matches and in training – must cut down on clearing their throats.

The act has become almost second nature to many players and they are not doing it in order to deliberately break rules.

But spitting can spread coronavirus germs several metres and so stars will be asked not to do so as part of new protocols implemented to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

While there were no positive tests in the latest round of Premier League checks, there is still the possibility of players contracting the virus in their day-to-day life outside of training or playing matches.

Other measures implemented include equipment being thoroughly decontaminated, the sharing of water bottles being banned and no shirts swaps or team celebrations.

Teams are back in full contact training but inspectors have been sent out to make sure all rules are being complied with ahead of the return to games in two weeks’ time.

The Premier League restarts its season on Wednesday June 17, when Manchester City host Arsenal and Aston Villa take on Sheffield United.

As well as making personal visits, video and GPS technology is being used to spy on training sessions.

Players are expected to maintain social distancing wherever possible and so cannot gather too close off of the pitch.

The Mirror add, however, that there are no punishments set out for any team who should breach the guidelines on multiple occasions.

Sides have also been given the thumbs up to hold friendly matches in the coming weeks in order to get players back up to match speed.

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Clubs can take on teams within a 90-minute travel distance of them provided they follow strict instructions.

Players will have to make their own way to the friendlies rather than travelling together via coaches.

Similarly, when the season restarts, clubs will be asked to use spacious private planes that make it easier for players to stay two metres apart rather than using coaches or trains to travel long distances to away games.

Elsewhere, clubs like Everton face having to install portakabins to comply with new safety protocols that could be introduced by the league this week.

The latest meeting of the 20 clubs will take place on Thursday, when new measures will be discussed.

Teams may be forced to use portakabins to allow players to get changed in, particularly the Toffees with their small Goodison Park changing rooms.

Everton’s stars may have to take up both the home and away dressing rooms to allow players to stay 2m apart, with the away side then using a portakabin and making their own way to the pitch given the tight tunnel at Goodison.

Watford’s Vicarage Road and Burnley’s Turf Moor are other stadiums that might need changes to be deemed acceptable for use by the authorities.

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West Brom hit back at season-ticket holder who called anti-racism message ‘pathetic’

West Brom have hit back at a season-ticket holder who branded their support of an anti-racism message “pathetic”.

The club replied “you won’t be missed” to a Twitter user who asked for his season ticket to be cancelled in response to their support for the social media initiative ‘#BlackOutTuesday’.

The initiative has seen social media users post all-black pictures in a unified stand against racism, with West Brom’s post including the message ‘Together Stronger’.

The Twitter user replied: “Pathetic. Cancel my season ticket. Cheers”; to which West Brom replied: “You won’t be missed”.

The user then said: “How about shops being looted. How about shopkeepers being killed. How about police officers being killed. How about innocent people being killed regardless of colour. How about all lives matter? That’s my point.”

West Brom are among a string of football clubs from across the leagues to have pledged support for the Black Lives Matter movement on Tuesday, as civil disorder continued in the USA following the death of George Floyd.

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