Sanchez’s Man Utd tour arrival delayed by administrative issues

Alexis Sanchez has not travelled out with the Manchester United squad for their summer tour of the USA due to administrative issues.

The Chilean trained with his team-mates at the club’s Carrington training complex last week following their return to duty on Wednesday, but was then missing from the check-in list as they embarked upon their tour at Manchester Airport on Sunday.

On Monday he caused a stir among the United fan base by posting a picture of himself on Instagram with a new haircut, but all the while making no reference to his no-show status.

But it has now been confirmed that Sanchez has been given time to resolve a personal administrative issue, and the club are hopeful that he will be free to join them within the next 24 to 48 hours.

Sanchez has been a key member of Jose Mourinho’s first team since arriving from Arsenal in January in a swap deal involving Henrikh Mkhitaryan, but much is expected of him in his first full season in United colours in 2018-19.

The delay to Sanchez’s arrival is a blow for Mourinho’s planning for the US tour, which gets underway with a friendly fixture against Club America in Glendale, Arizona on Thursday.

The Portuguese’s squad is already shorn of 12 senior players on the trip due to their involvement in the World Cup. United will also feel the effect of seven of those players having reached the final weekend of the showpiece competition. 

Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini, Romelu Lukaku, Jesse Lingard, Ashley Young, Phil Jones and Marcus Rashford are all yet to take their summer break and therefore not expected to return to club duty until shortly before the Premier League opener against Leicester City on August 10.

Mourinho has called up a number of youngsters for the trip to the US to fill the gaps, with highly rated young duo Tahith Chong and Angel Gomes among those making their first appearance on a senior tour.

United’s summer schedule includes International Champions Cup fixtures against AC Milan, Liverpool and Real Madrid before they return to Europe to face Bayern Munich in Germany in their final game before the competitive season begins.

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Live video: Cristiano Ronaldo unveiled as Juventus player after €100m transfer

Cristiano Ronaldo has explained he wanted to leave Real Madrid for a “big club” like Juventus, rather than settle for an easy retirement in China or Qatar.

The Portugal international was unveiled as a Juventus player on Monday night following the completion of his medical, sealing a for €100 million (£88m/$117m) move to Serie A.

“I’m not sad [about leaving Real Madrid], this is a big club and with all due respect players at this stage of my career usually go to Qatar or China, so I’m grateful to Juventus for allowing me to join such a big club,” Ronaldo told reporters.

“I feel great to be here. It’s a big challenge, it’s a tough league but I’ll be ready. Age isn’t important, I feel good and motivated. Excited. I’ll try to do my best as always and I’m looking forward to trying to do my best and winning every title.

“Juventus gave me a wonderful opportunity and I’m so grateful for that. I can see that Juventus is a club that can have a lot of success, they’ve won domestic cups and Scudetti and were in the Champions League final.

“I’m so proud to be here, I’m proud they were interested in me and I hope I can take Juventus to an even higher level.”

The former Manchester United and Sporting player also commented on his rivalry with Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, which will naturally reduce with him leaving La Liga.

“I don’t see players as rivals,” he added. “Everyone speaks about my rivalry with Messi, but everyone fights for their own club and that’s what I’ll do here. In the end we’ll look back and see who is the best.”

More to follow…

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Sarri needs ‘one or two changes’ to bring style to Chelsea

Maurizio Sarri said he needs to make “one or two adjustments” before Chelsea will be ready to play his football as he looked forward to going head to head with “the most important coaches in Europe”.

The 59-year-old arrived at Stamford Bridge to replace Antonio Conte as Chelsea’s head coach, ending his 13-year spell in Italy, where he worked at nine different clubs.

Chelsea announced Sarri’s appointment hours before they confirmed the signing of Jorginho, who excelled under him at Napoli and had been heavily courted by Manchester City.

The Blues are also competing for the signing of Aleksandr Golovin from CSKA Moscow, with Monaco having confirmed an offer, while Arsenal and Juventus are interested.

And an excited Sarri believes the squad is close to the level he wants before the new campaign gets underway.

“I think Chelsea are a good team,” Sarri told Chelsea TV. “The problem is that in England, there are five or six very good teams.

“I think with one or two adjustments, we can try to play my football.

“In the Premier League there are all the most important coaches in Europe, maybe in the world. It will be very exciting to play against [Pep] Guardiola, [Mauricio] Pochettino, [Jose] Mourinho, [Jurgen] Klopp and all the others.”

Manchester City boss Guardiola had previously said he would be delighted if Sarri were to come to the Premier League, but the Italian responded humbly when asked about praise from one of his new rivals.

“Guardiola is principally a friend,” said Sarri. “I think he has spoken well about me for this motive.”

Sarri gave his assessment of Jorginho, who joined Chelsea after the London club fended off competition from City for his signature, and he was glowing in his account of the Italian midfielder’s capabilities.

“Jorginho is not a physical player, he’s a technical player,” said Sarri.

“But [his] most important quality is that he’s very quick in the mind so he has the ability to move the ball very quickly.”

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Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus move the ‘perfect choice’, says Didier Drogba

Juventus is the perfect and exciting choice for Cristiano Ronaldo, according to former Chelsea forward Didier Drogba.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner is set to complete a €100 million transfer plus €12 million in bonuses to the Italian Serie A champions on Monday.

The deal that surprised the world will also see the Portugal international earn €30 million per year net salary.

However, Drogba revealed that he was not amazed when Real Madrid confirmed his departure last week and admitted that he was closed to moving to the Italian top-flight as well.

The former Chelsea talisman is also impressed by the 33-year-old’s motivation for new challenges after spending nine years at the Santiago Bernabeu where he won 16 trophies including four Uefa Champions League titles.

”I am not remotely surprised [by Ronaldo transfer]. I find it as a perfect, exciting and such a good choice that I was about to do it, too.” Drogba was quoted as saying by Football Italia.

“I thought I had already joined a Serie A club and we were down to the details, but then everything evaporated. Don’t ask me the club, there’s no point opening that up now.

”In any case, it was more than just an offer and I was very interested, so I perfectly understand Ronaldo’s desire to play in Serie A.

”Many say he should’ve remained at Real Madrid and maybe for any other champion at the age of 33, that would’ve made sense. Real are a giant club with ambitions always at the top level, but he is someone who feeds on motivation and at that age, you need new challenges.”


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Ronaldo’s €100m Juventus move benefits all Serie A sides, says AC Milan legend Kaka

Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer from Real Madrid to Juventus will have a revitalising effect on Italian football, according to former Madrid and AC Milan playmaker Kaka.

The Bianconeri persuaded Madrid to part ways with their all-time leading goal-scorer, agreeing a €100 million (£88m/$117m) deal, and the five-time Ballon d’Or winning forward completed his medical in Turin on Monday.

Former Brazil international Kaka, who moved from Sao Paulo to Milan in 2003 and then spent four years at Madrid before returning to San Siro, believes the presence of Ronaldo in Serie A could help to restore the country’s sporting reputation, referencing the Italian football scandal of 2006 that saw Juventus relegated to Serie B.

“Ronaldo to Juventus is a good thing for whole of Serie A,” Kaka told Omnisport, speaking courtesy of Adidas.

“Playing for Juventus is great.

“Italian football had difficult moments in the past but Juventus survived and became great again in Italy and Europe after a negative period.

“They’ve restarted after Serie B and they are a great team in Italy and Europe now. They signed one of the most important players and are bringing him to Italy.”

Ronaldo will aim to help Juventus win their eighth consecutive Serie A title in 2018-19, and the club’s supporters will hope he can bring their long wait for a third Champions League trophy to an end.

Cristiano Ronaldo Juventus

Juve last won Europe’s premier club competition in 1996, but lost the final in 2015 to Barcelona and to Madrid in 2017, Los Blancos and Ronaldo also knocking them out in the quarter-finals last season.

But Kaka feels the Ronaldo effect will be not just in Turin, but throughout Serie A and Italy’s lower leagues.

“All the other teams will have an advantage thanks to this big name,” said the 36-year-old.

“In my opinion, as an Italian football lover and Milan supporter, it’s going to be a nice thing for Italian football.”

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