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West Bromwich Albion sign former Crystal Palace forward Bakary Sako

West Brom have strengthened their forward options with the signing of Bakary Sako.

The 30-year-old Mali international has agreed a deal until the end of the current season. He was available as a free agent after leaving Crystal Palace in the summer.

Baggies boss Darren Moore told the club’s official website: “We’re delighted to have Bakary on board.

“From day one he’s shown support to the group. When we’ve been preparing for matches he’s been right behind the squad. Credit to him.

“He’ll bring wealth of experience to the team and a different dimension. He can play both [as a wide player and a central striker].”

Moore is thrilled with the club’s latest acquisition

Sako admitted Moore was a big factor in his decision to make the move to The Hawthorns.

He said: “He played a big part. A lot of Premier League clubs wanted me but as soon as I knew Darren wanted to see me I went to see him straight away and we clicked.

“The way he manages players, the way he talks, he’s passionate and I love that, that’s why I came here.”


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Manchester United transfer news: Red Devils linked with shock January move for Andreas Granqvist

Manchester United have been linked with a shock January move for Sweden international Andreas Granqvist.

Granqvist, the defender, is best known in England for his dreadful one-season stay at Wigan in 2007/08, when he played just 16 times for the Latics.

Granqvist spent a less than impressive season at Wigan over a decade ago

He has built a respectable career since then, playing for Groningen of the Netherlands, Italian side Genoa and Krasnodar, the Russian side, and it was Granqvist who replaced Zlatan Ibrahimovic as Sweden captain after the former Man United forward retired from international duty in 2016.

The 33-year-old skippered his country at this summer’s World Cup, scoring two goals as Sweden made it to the quarter-finals, where they lost to England.

Granqvist captained Sweden during their impressive World Cup run

Granqvist left Krasnodar for Helsingborg in July, but Fotboll Direkt say he could be on the move again in January with United keeping tabs on the centre-back.


It is reported United could make a move to bring in Granqvist on a short-term loan deal, signing him from January until March, when the Swedish league campaign starts again after its off-season break.

This is the same type of deal that took Henrik Larsson from Helsingborg to Old Trafford back in 2007.

Henrik Larsson (Helsinborgs to Manchester United) – Aged 35
Larsson became a Man United cult hero despite his short stay at Old Trafford

There is also interest in Granqvist from Zenit Saint Petersburg and Lokomotiv Moscow, who want to take him back to Russia, and the defender has reacted to the transfer reports.

“I know there’s a lot of interest in me,” he said. “United is very flattering, but I have not heard anything concrete.”

At the World Cup, Granqvist played in Sweden’s defence alongside current Man United player Victor Lindelof.

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Alexis Sanchez is a ‘disgrace’ and ‘feels he should have joined Manchester City instead of Manchester United’, talkSPORT told

Manchester United Alexis Sanchez has been slated for his ‘disgraceful performances’ since joining the club in January, with talkSPORT told the player feels he should have joined Manchester City instead.

There were high hopes on the Chilean star when he left Premier League rivals Arsenal to arrive at Old Trafford ten months ago.

But it has just not worked out for him in the North West, having scored just three goals in 23 appearances in a Red Devils shirt.

Jose Mourinho has also come under the spotlight in recent weeks and it is said Sanchez is fuming with the manager after he was left out of the squad entirely for Saturday’s miserable 3-1 defeat to West Ham.

And Neil Custis, Manchester correspondent for The Sun, has revealed the winger has been ‘moaning and whinging’ behind the scenes over Mourinho’s negative tactics, and says there are rumours that he wishes he linked up with Pep Guardiola at cross-town rivals City instead.

Mourinho said on Monday that “some [players] care more than others” – was that a dig at Sanchez and some of his under-performing team-mates?

“I’ve seen all the legends since the late 90s play for Manchester United and have seen a lot of big-money names come in – but I’ve never seen more disgraceful performances from a single player who is paid so much money than Sanchez,” said Custis on Tuesday’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.

“I think within weeks of arriving at Manchester United he felt he should have gone to Manchester City.


‘ASK HIM’ – Jose Mourinho points to Sun journalist when questioned about Zidane rumours


“That’s what I’m hearing, I’m not saying it’s true or that it’s fact.

“All because he wasn’t indulged straight away by the manager in terms of playing exactly how he wanted.

“Jose Mourinho has a plan to get football teams to win matches, he doesn’t just indulge players into want they wanted to do, and Sanchez wanted to be indulged in that way.

Sanchez’s last United goal came in the FA Cup against Tottenham in April

“He’s been moaning and winging behind the scenes, he’s been moaning and winging to the manager about his tactics, starting in the US tour, would be believe, in a friendly against AC Milan.

“But he hasn’t been producing it himself! He’s been subbed three times in his last three appearances and he didn’t even get on the bench against West Ham.

“A lot of people said, ‘why wasn’t Sanchez on the bench? He could have changed the game’.

“But what evidence has there been since he joined in January that he’s going to change anything? He’s scored three goals!”

Listen back to Neil Custis on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast IN FULL above!

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Transfer news and gossip: Pogba plans January Man United exit, Arsenal eye £30m-rated Lille star, Man City rule out Mbappe move

Here’s the top transfer news and football gossip from Tuesday’s newspapers and online…

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has ruled out a move for Paris Saint-Germain’s teen superstar Kylian Mbappe(The Independent)

Paul Pogba has told team-mates he will leave Manchester United in January if Jose Mourinho is still manager. According to reports, the 25-year-old is fed up of arguing with the boss and has told people close to him that he is better off not playing in a Mourinho team. (The Sun)

Barcelona are confident they have the financial resources to sign the France World Cup winner in January, but the Catalan club’s board of directors are divided on whether to bring the midfielder to the Nou Cam. (ESPN)

Meanwhile, United scouts fear players will not want to sign with the club in the current climate, which could leave Mourinho’s plans for a January shake-up dead in the water. (Daily Express)

Relations between Pogba and the Manchester United boss are at an all-time low

Arsenal have been keeping a close eye on Lille winger Nicolas Pepe and are considering a January bid for the 23-year-old, who has impressed with five goals in eight matches this season. (Daily Mirror)

However, the Gunners could face competition both at home and abroad, with Everton already sending scouts to watch the £30million-rated Ivory Coast international, while Barcelona and Sevilla are also tracking him. (Daily Mirror)

Arsenal are considering Napoli midfielder, and former Liverpool target, Piotr Zielinski as a replacement for Aaron Ramsey, according to reports in Italy. (Sportmediaset)

Real Madrid have reportedly joined a group of clubs interested in Wales midfielder Ramsey, 27, who could leave the Gunners in January or hold off to leave on a free when his contract expires in June. (Teamtalk)

Danny Drinkwater is in no rush to leave Chelsea, despite not yet featuring under new manager Maurizio Sarri. It is understood Drinkwater is prepared to wait until the end of the season to find the right move if one does not come up in January, having not yet even appeared on the Blues’ bench. (Daily Telegraph)

Nicolas Pepe is wanted by Arsenal boss Unai Emery

Chelsea are said to be leading the race for 15-year-old Dutch star Sam Lautenschutz. The Volendam midfielder has also attracted interest from Manchester City, Tottenham, Leicester and Charlton, as well as Dutch giants Ajax. (The Sun)

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has ruled out ever managing Barcelona, because his links rivals Espanyol make a move “impossible”. (Evening Standard)

West Ham midfielder Declan Rice is planning to take a break from international football to prioritise his club future, after turning down a call-up to the Republic of Ireland squad. The 19-year-old is said to be keen to switch over to the England team, but will put those plans on hold to focus on the Hammers. (The Times)

Declan Rice has impressed with a number of mature performances for West Ham this season

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez is keen to bring Italian defender Francesco Vicari to St James’ Park from Serie A side SPAL in January. The 24-year-old is being closely followed by the Premier League club after impressing at the start of this season. (Sportmediaset)

Man United target Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has extended his Lazio contract until 2023. The 23-year-old Serbia midfielder was linked with a move to Old Trafford in the summer. (Daily Mail)

Wolves are plotting a January bid for Aberdeen defender Scott McKenna, having sent scouts to look at the 21-year-old last weekend in the Dons’ 1-0 win over Motherwell. (Scottish Sun)


Latest talkSPORT.com exclusives and transfer headlines:

Manchester United risk missing out on top four if they stick with Joe Mourinho, says former Red Devils star

‘Jose Mourinho has been left behind by Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp’, claims former Manchester United star Lee Sharpe

How Manchester United could line-up if Zinedine Zidane replaces Jose Mourinho as manager

Swapping Jose Mourinho for Zinedine Zidane would NOT fix ‘clueless’ Manchester United, Louis Saha tells talkSPORT

‘Daniel Sturridge is the best second striker in the Premier League – he could be the difference for Liverpool in the title race’, says Danny Murphy

The ex-Anfield star also says Sturridge MUST be called up to the next England squad following his resurgence for the Reds

Chelsea join race for Eden Hazard’s teenage brother

Manchester United and City target Nikola Milenkovic set to stay put at Fiorentina

Leicester and Southampton in the hunt for Sampdoria midfielder Dennis Praet

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Manchester United and City target Nikola Milenkovic set to stay put at Fiorentina

Nikola Milenkovic has dismissed interest from Manchester United and City by revealing he would happily sign a new contract with Fiorentina.

The 20-year-old has been enjoying a fine season in Italy after moving from the heart of defence to right-back.

Milenkovic has impressed in Serie A

The two Manchester clubs are now interested in signing the Serbian, who joined Fiorentina in 2017 for around £5m from Partizan Belgrade.

Both clubs are reportedly willing to spend over £40m to sign the defender, who has scored two goals this season.

However, Milenkovic has poured cold water on their interest by revealing he is so happy at Fiorentina he could sign a new contract.


“It’s pleasing, but I am not thinking about it,” Milenkovic told Tuttosport.

“I’ve got my feet on the ground and am focused only on improving every day.

“Fiorentina are the ideal club for a young player to grow up and I am very satisfied with my choice to play here.

“If they were to offer me a new contract, we could talk about it.”

Milenkovic’s current contract is due to expire in June 2022.

 

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Manchester City transfer news: Pep Guardiola ‘plotting £200million January bid for Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe’

Manchester City are considering making a world record bid for Paris Saint-Germain ace Kylian Mbappe when the transfer window reopens in January, according to reports.

PSG could be forced to sell the teenage World Cup winner just six months after he was permanently signed by the club due to a Financial Fair Play probe.

Mbappe is widely regarded as a future Ballon d’Or winner

UEFA announced last month that they are reopening their investigation into Paris’ finances having previously, in June, cleared the club of any wrongdoing.

If the investigation proves PSG have broken FFP rules they could have to sell their star players, including Mbappe, and Man City are ready to take advantage.

The Sun say Pep Guardiola, the City coach, is ready to submit a bid worth £200million for the 19-year-old in January, a fee that would make Mbappe the most expensive player in world football, surpassing the £198million PSG paid for Neymar in 2017.


To complete any deal, City would have to sell themselves to comply with FFP rules, and the report states Raheem Sterling is the favourite to be sacrificed.

Sterling, the England winger, has failed to agree a new contract with City with his existing deal expiring at the end of 2019/20.

Sterling could be sacrificed so City can buy Mbappe

Mbappe, who originally joined PSG on loan last summer before penning permanent terms earlier this year, has scored five goals in five games this season.

He’s netted 26 times in all for the Parc des Princes club, and has scored nine goals for France, including four at this summer’s World Cup.

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Leicester and Southampton in the hunt for Sampdoria midfielder Dennis Praet

Leicester City and Southampton are tracking Sampdoria midfielder Dennis Praet.

The Belgian was heavily linked with a move in the summer when Newcastle United were chasing him.

Praet has impressed in Serie A

The Magpies failed to agree a fee for the 24-year-old, though, and he ended up staying at Sampdoria.

But, according to Calciomercato, Praet could still end up in England when the transfer window opens in January.

The midfielder captured Newcastle’s interest during the summer

Leicester City and Southampton are both chasing the midfielder and are monitoring his situation closely.

Praet’s current contract has a release clause €26m (£23m), but Sampdoria are hoping to agree fresh terms with him that would lead to that being increased.


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How Manchester United could line-up if Zinedine Zidane replaces Jose Mourinho as manager

Zinedine Zidane is being heavily linked with the Manchester United job, with current manager Jose Mourinho seemingly fighting for his future at Old Trafford.

talkSPORT’s Tony Cascarino claimed on Sunday that United have already held talks with Zidane and, though club sources have denied that is the case, the Frenchman is now odds-on to become the next Red Devils boss.

Zidane is being heavily linked with the United job

Zidane left Real Madrid this summer after leading them to three Champions League triumphs and reports earlier this month claim he’s already preparing for the possibility to taking charge of the Premier League giants.

Last month, the Mirror claimed that the former France international has already been building a shortlist of transfer targets he would want to bring to Old Trafford.

Four players reported to be high on Zidane’s list are Edinson Cavani, the Paris Saint-Germain forward, as well as midfielders Toni Kroos of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich’s Thiago Alcantara, and James Rodriguez – who is currently on loan at Bayern from Zidane’s former side Real.

Signing all four players would require a serious financial outlay on United’s part, but the club could agree to such a big spend to please a new manager.


But how would Zidane combine these four signings into United’s current squad to field a starting XI able to challenge at the highest level?

At the Bernabeu, Zidane showed incredible flexibility when it came to tactical systems, utilising one, two and three forward formations at various times throughout his tenure.

However, he did have a favoured approach of four defenders, four midfielders and two forwards, either lining up in a 4-4-2 or a 4-3-1-2.

The former system often saw Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio selected in the wide positions, though they played more like inside-forwards than classic wingers, while the latter system had Isco in the number 10 role, taking on the majority of Real’s attacking duties.

Zidane’s 4-4-2 was more like a 4-2-2-2 with wingers who looked to move narrow as well as to the touchline

If appointed United boss, it is expected Zidane would implement one of these two systems at Old Trafford. He would need a two-striker system to find space for both transfer target Cavani and United’s current forward Romelu Lukaku, while the midfield would have to include all of Kroos, Thiago and James Rodriguez – the trio on Zidane’s shortlist.

The 4-3-1-2 (above) seems to be the best fit for Zidane’s targets, as it would allow him to fit all three midfielders in, whilst also retaining Nemanja Matic in the holding role. For all the excellence of Real Madrid’s ball-playing midfielders, Brazil international Casemiro has been one of their most important players over the last few years in the role of destroyer. His incredible ability to break up play reduces the amount of defensive work his team-mates need to complete, thus allowing them to focus on the thing they should focus on – getting the ball forward.

Casemiro’s ability to break up play has made the Brazil international one of Real’s most valuable players

As there is no real width in the midfield or attacking zones, there is a lot of pressure on the full-backs to stretch play in the final third, and Luke Shaw, the left-back, looks perfect for this role having started the season so well. Antonio Valencia is an adequate option on the right, though it would not be a surprise to see Zidane either using Diogo Dalot or targeting an upgrade on the Old Trafford veteran should he be appointed manager to replace Mourinho.

Alternatively, Zidane could utilise the 4-4-2 (below) – though this would be a much more risky approach.

The key benefit of this system is the inclusion of another attacking player (Alexis Sanchez) to take the pressure to create play off the shoulders of the number 10 in the 4-3-1-2. You still have the number 10 (James Rodriguez), but he plays a more withdrawn role and finally has support in the final third.

However, the huge negative is just how isolated the two-man midfield would find themselves, especially without a designated destroyer selected in the starting line-up. Matic is far too slow to play in a two-man midfield, but Zidane evidently does not think a new defensive midfielder is a priority given his shortlist of targets.

The above line-up, featuring Zidane’s targets, would have the manager putting a remarkable amount of faith in Kroos and Thiago to never cheaply concede possession. If they were to lose the ball in the midfield zone, United’s opponents would have acres of space to run into as they launched an attack on David de Gea’s goal.

A double-pivot of Kroos and Thiago (above) is sure to be overrun

The main absentee from both of Zidane’s potential line-ups is Paul Pogba, and his decision to target three midfielders suggests Zidane has no desire to keep Pogba around. It is believed either one or the other, Pogba or Mourinho, will leave Old Trafford soon enough, but if Zidane comes in it could be both forced out the club.

The 4-3-1-2 appears to be the more suitable formation for Zidane to implement if chosen to replace Mourinho at Old Trafford, but it looks as if United would still be far away from winning the Premier League title – even if the club sign the four players Zidane is targeting above all others.

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Transfer news and gossip: Man City plot record Mbappe bid, Mourinho fears Man United axe, Liverpool ‘lead race’ for Arsenal star

Here’s the top transfer news and football gossip from Monday’s newspapers and online…

Manchester City plotting a world-record £200million move for Kylian Mbappe in January, according to reports. Pep Guardiola believes the 19-year-old World Cup winner can take City to Champions League glory. However, the Paris Saint-Germain star has also been linked with moves to Real Madrid and Barcelona. (The Sun)

Jose Mourinho’s future at Manchester United continues to be the topic of speculation following the team’s poor start to the season…

It is claimed the under-fire coach is resigned to his fate and is convinced United officials have sounded out former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane to replace him. (The Sun)

Meanwhile, it is also suggested that Mourinho’s precarious position has left 12 players unsure of their futures, with the likes of David De Gea, Anthony Martial and Luke Shaw all in the final year of their deals. (Daily Mirror)

Pep Guardiola believes Mbappe can help fire Man City to the Champions League title

Alexis Sanchez’s future at Manchester United is also said to be in serious doubt, with reports the 29-year-old forward was stunned to have been left out of the squad for this weekend’s disastrous defeat at West Ham. It is also suggested the Chilean forward regrets his move to Old Trafford in January. (Daily Mirror)

Paul Pogba was asked for comment following Saturday’s 3-1 loss at the London Stadium, but replied to the press: “You want me dead?” (The Times)

Manchester United , AC Milan and PSG all tried to sign Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer before the 33-year-old superstar joined Juventus from Real Madrid. (Marca)

Liverpool will lead the chase for Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey in January, according to reports. Jurgen Klopp attempted to sign the 27-year-old during the summer and return for the Welshman when the transfer window reopens, after he ended talks over a new contract with the Gunners. (Daily Mirror)

Could Arsenal be making the same old mistakes with Aaron Ramsey?

Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden will be kept waiting before being offered a new five-year contract. Etihad bosses are willing to draw up new terms believed to be worth £25,000 per week, but want to keep the 18-year-old’s feet firmly on the ground and are in no rush to sign off on the deal. (Daily Star)

Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, 23, is reportedly being eyed up by three Premier League clubs. Scouts from Tottenham, Manchester City and Liverpool were present last Sunday to see him score in his side’s 4-1 victory over Genoa. The Serb has previously been linked with Manchester United. (Daily Mirror)

West Ham defender/midfielder Declan Rice has impressed England with his recent displays and Gareth Southgate will be given a glowing appraisal of the 19-year-old this week. It is claimed the Football Association has been given significant encouragement that Rice wants to switch allegiance from the Republic of Ireland to England. (Daily Mail)

It is claimed Newcastle Unitedowner Mike Ashley will take the entire squad and manager Rafael Benitez out for a meal in an attempt to rebuild relationships. (Daily Mail)


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Transfer news and football gossip: Alexis Sanchez to leave Manchester United, Chelsea flop Morata set for January exit, Liverpool want Arsenal’s Ramsey

talkSPORT round up all the latest transfer news and biggest football gossip from Sunday’s papers and online…

Jose Mourinho wants to sell Alexis Sanchez as soon as Manchester United can find a buyer for the Chile winger. Sanchez was dropped from United’s 18-man squad for Saturday’s defeat at West Ham. (Star)

Sanchez has been woeful for United since joining the club in January

Mourinho himself could be set to leave Old Trafford, with a number of United’s staff believing the Portuguese will be sacked as the club’s manager this week. (Daily Mail)

Paul Pogba is also being linked with a departure from United, with Barcelona keen on the France midfielder. However, they would prefer to sign him next summer rather than in January. (Sunday Express)

Chelsea may consider selling Alvaro Morata, the forward, in January if Juventus table a formal bid for the Spain international. (Sun)

Liverpool are showing interest in Aaron Ramsey following the news the midfielder will leave Arsenal when his contract expires at the end of the season. (Mirror)


Manchester City are willing to break the world transfer record to sign Kylian Mbappe, the France international, from Paris Saint-Germain in January. (Sun)

David Luiz has revealed the only reason he stayed at Chelsea was because Maurizio Sarri replaced Antonio Conte as the Stamford Bridge club’s manager. (BT Sport)

John Terry will reportedly return to Chelsea after agreeing an £800,000-a-year deal to become the club’s Under-23 manager. (Sun)

Terry left Aston Villa at the end of last season after they failed to win promotion to the Premier League

And here are the top talkSPORT.com stories…

EXCLUSIVE: ‘Jose Mourinho is losing the plot, Manchester United must sack him and spend £200m in January’, claims former England full-back Micky Gray

Manchester United news: ‘You don’t deserve to wear our shirt!’ – Fans slam Paul Pogba for performance against West Ham

Tottenham Hotspur news: Dele Alli out of Barcelona clash after suffering injury setback

Alli’s absence is a huge blow for Spurs

Carabao Cup fourth-round draw: Frank Lampard to return to Stamford Bridge as Chelsea draw Derby

Arsenal news: Aaron Ramsey snubs manager Unai Emery after substitution

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