Video: Thierry Henry – manager profile

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Take a look at the profile of former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry who has been linked with becoming Aston Villa manager.

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Bayern’s Kovac praises Davies, but says ‘ink is not dry’ on looming record transfer

Despite widespread reports of a deal being done, Bayern Munich manager Niko Kovac stopped short of confirming that Bayern’s transfer bid for Canadian sensation Alphonso Davies was completed. 

Kovac, however, was willing to offer plenty of praise of the talented youngster his team is on the verge of signing from the Vancouver Whitecaps. 

Sources confirmed to Goal on Tuesday evening that Bayern and the Vancouver Whitecaps have agreed on a transfer fee, with The Athletic and TSN reporting on Tuesday that the base cost is an MLS-record $13 million (£10m/€11m), with escalator clauses that could see the fee rise to $19 million.

Davies was in Philadelphia on Tuesday to complete his physical and agree on personal terms, the final steps to completing the deal.

“We are on Davies, but we don’t have any concrete answers at this point, but it looks very good,” Kovac told reporters on Tuesday. “He’s very young, and he’s very talented. Lots of clubs want to have him, but I really hope it’s hours or just a few days.”

Once those final steps are completed, Davies will finalize a transfer that will surpass Jozy Altidore’s $10 million (£6m/€7m) move to Villarreal in 2008 as the largest transfer of an MLS player in league history.

“Everything has to work out first. The ink is not dry yet,” Kovac said. “We don’t know exactly what’s going to happen. I don’t know exactly what will happen, but he’s a young player, and young players, when they are as good as him, are very expensive because a lot of clubs are interested in him and I’m sure because a lot of clubs are interested in him the price might go up.”

Davies won’t be able to formally join Bayern until January due to the fact he doesn’t turn 18 until November, and FIFA forbids players to make moves outside of their home country before they turn 18, but Kovac did suggest that if a transfer is completed, Davies could join the club early and train with the German champions if the Whitecaps fail to make the playoffs, which would mean Davies’ season would be over by the end of October. He would still have to wait until the January transfer window, and the end of the Bundesliga winter break, to be eligible to play for the Bavarian side.

Davies has seen his stock skyrocket since his breakout showing at the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup, where he won the Golden Boot at the age of 16. He has followed that up with an excellent season with the Whitecaps that has seen him emerge as Vancouver’s best player. His combination of blazing speed and ball skill make him a scout’s dream, and has led to interest from several of Europe’s top clubs, with Real Madrid, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund linked to interest in the 17-year-old Ghanaian-born son of Liberian parents, who has lived in Canada since the age of five.

“He’s very fast, he’s very talented, he’s very good,” Kovac said of Davies. “I believe he has a very big future if he gets the right training.”

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Guardiola ‘not concerned’ by Liverpool’s summer spending spree

Pep Guardiola says he is not concerned by rival clubs spending money as Manchester City aim to hold off several challengers for their Premier League title.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager was speaking ahead of Wednesday’s pre-season friendly against Liverpool in New York, following their 1-0 defeat to Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.

The Reds have been busy this transfer window this off-season with a number of additions moving to Merseyside, including Xherdan Shaqiri , Naby Keita, Fabinho and Alisson , whilst there has also been speculation of Nabil Fekir and Thomas Lemar joining.

But Guardiola remained coy when asked whether there would be any more additions at the Etihad following the arrival of Riyadh Mahrez , and added the business of other clubs does not worry him.

“Every club does what they believe. I completely understand,” he said.

“I am not concerned about what one of us said one day and the circumstances. If Liverpool believes they should spend this kind of money, it is because they believe it is best for them.”

Guardiola also spoke about his recent three-year contract extension with City for the first time, and whilst pleased to tie himself to the club until 2021, he understands he has to continue to deliver a challenge for trophies.

“When we decided to extend the contract, first of all I am comfortable, the second one is the club trust what we are doing,” he said.

“Khaldoon [Al Mubarak], Txiki [Begiristain] and Ferran [Soriano] know it depends on results. We have three more years on the contract, but the results will dictate what will happen in the future.

“That’s the most important thing – to be consistent, and to arrive in April and May and be there for the title.

“As football trainers we are always in a dangerous position.”

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‘Welbeck could go but Ramsey must stay’ – Arsenal need British core, says Parlour

Arsenal “need British players”, says Ray Parlour, with it vital that Aaron Ramsey stays if Danny Welbeck becomes the next home-grown talent to depart.

The Gunners have parted with three England internationals over the course of the last 12 months, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere heading through the exits.

Welbeck could be next, with Goal revealing that Unai Emery is prepared to part with a forward being linked with Premier League rivals Newcastle.

Former Arsenal midfielder Parlour told bwin of a possible deal for the 27-year-old: “It’s possible Danny Welbeck might look to leave Arsenal this summer.

“There’s a lot of competition for places and he’s at that age where he really needs to be playing every week.

“He’s an important asset for Arsenal coming off the bench due to his versatility, but he doesn’t have the finishing skills needed to be above the likes of [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang, [Alexandre] Lacazette, [Mesut] Ozil or [Henrikh] Mkhitaryan in the pecking order.”

Wales international midfielder Ramsey could also be on the move this summer as he enters the final year of his contract.

Parlour, though, believes that it is imperative that the 27-year-old stays put – preferably on fresh terms.

He added: “It’s very important that Arsenal keep Aaron Ramsey, especially after already losing Jack Wilshere this summer. Arsenal need British players at the club after losing the likes of Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain in recent times.

“Ramsey would start every week and he’s well suited to a deeper midfield role next to [Lucas] Torreira, who can provide the platform for Ramsey to join attacks late in a similar style to Frank Lampard.

“Ramsey has good composure in front of goal and has a habit of performing in big games.”

Lucas Torreira Arsenal

Arsenal have moved to counter the loss of midfield talent by acquiring Uruguay international Torreira from Sampdoria.

At 22 years of age he is considered to be one for the present and future, with there an important holding role for him to play in 2018-19.

Parlour said of the £26 million ($34m) new boy: “I think Torreira is a very good signing for Arsenal. He has a tough competitive edge that the spine of the team has been missing.

“He’s also a very mobile player who is capable of getting around the pitch and I think the midfield has been crying out for that. [Granit] Xhaka has had a good World Cup, but he’s someone who needs a mobile player next to him to cover the ground he can’t.

“Torreira is also good on the ball and very efficient in possession.”

Arsenal are currently on International Champions Cup duty in Singapore, with fixtures to come against Atletico Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain before returning to Europe to face Chelsea in Dublin.

Emery’s side will then open their Premier League campaign at home to reigning champions Manchester City on August 12.

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Man Utd star Mata targeting end to Spain exile under Luis Enrique

Luis Enrique’s declaration of a clean slate for Spain is giving Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata hope his international exile may soon be over.

Mata, 30, has not featured for Spain since 2016 and was overlooked for the country’s ill-fated World Cup campaign.

But the shock dismissal of Julen Lopetegui on the eve of the tournament and recent appointment of Luis Enrique has led to a change in thinking that could see the playmaker return to the fold.

Former Barcelona boss Enrique has included both new faces and “players who have disappeared” on an initial 70-man shortlist for his first match in charge, a UEFA Nations League clash with England at Wembley Stadium in September.

“I’m again excited about the possibility of coming back,” Mata told ESPN.

“I obviously want to come back and try to play as many games as I can with the national team.

“I’m really excited about it and I think the future, it can be still bright for Spain, because we have young players coming [through] that, as I said, they have the level to compete.

“We have some senior players that have been there for some years and we have the experience, so I think it’s a good mix and hopefully it can be a good future for Spanish football.”

Mata has won 41 caps and scored 10 goals for Spain.

He debuted in 2009 and was part of the squad that were crowned champions at the 2010 World Cup.

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