1 As Manchester United continue their attempts to land a marquee signing this summer, they’re being heavily linked with a shock move for Neymar.It would take one hell of a swoop to snap up the Brazilian forward with the Red Devils needing to stump up the full £130million, which would trigger his release clause.The player would command a wage of around £300,000 a week, which over five years works out at about £75million.But what are the media in Spain saying about this reported deal, which would break the world record? talkSPORT takes a look…Marca:A report on Monday night, in response to The Sun’s backpage splash that Man United will spend £240million on signing Neymar, suggested Barcelona actually know nothing of the transfer.In fact, Marca believe Barcelona want to renew the Brazilian’s contract sooner rather than later.Meanwhile, Luis Enrique has dismissed talk of Neymar leaving.In a press conference he was asked by a British journalist about the reports and insisted: “They are just rumours, things that come out.”The Barcelona boss was clearly uninterested by the gossip and wants to focus on the Catalan giants’ upcoming fixtures.AS:The paper carries quotes from Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu, who insisted the player will not leave in an interview on Catalunya Radio.He also suggests the club will attempt to renew the player’s contract at the Nou Camp. Barcelona star Neymar
1 Derby head coach Paul Clement has confirmed he has enquired about Manchester United striker James Wilson.Despite selling Javier Hernandez to Bayer Leverkusen and allowing Adnan Januzaj to join Borussia Dortmund on loan, United look likely to allow Wilson – one of only four recognised forwards at Old Trafford – to leave on loan.The £36million purchase of teenager Anthony Martial from Monaco appears to be a factor in the decision.It has been reported that more than 20 clubs have enquired about the 19-year-old, who has yet to feature this season for Louis van Gaal’s team, and Clement has revealed the Rams are one of those.“It is a possibility but not a certainty,” said Clement.“We have shown an interest. He is a very talented player and a number of other clubs have shown an interest as well.“We are waiting to hear back from Manchester United.”Former Chelsea, PSG and Real Madrid coach Clement became the second Sky Bet Championship boss on Thursday to publicly confirm his interest in Wilson, after Bolton’s Neil Lennon did likewise.MK Dons and Wolves are also understood to be among the whole host of clubs monitoring the situation.Wilson has been frustrated by a lack of opportunities in the past year despite making a breakthrough under caretaker Ryan Giggs towards the end of the 2013-14 season. A series of niggling injuries have also stunted his progress.He has played just 17 minutes of first-team football since February and United recognise he needs more competitive games to develop.Wilson came off the bench to score the winning goal for the England Under-21 team against USA U23s in their 1-0 friendly victory at Deepdale on Thursday. James WIlson
Ronaldo continued his sensational form last night to fire Real Madrid to a 4-0 victory against Shakhtar Donetsk.After scoring FIVE goals against Espanyol at the weekend, the Portuguese superstar netted three against Donetsk to get Real’s Champions League campaign off to a winning start.Ronaldo now has a remarkable 33 hat-tricks to his name for Real Madrid and is just one strike away from Raul’s historic tally of 323 goals in all competitions for Los Blancos.VIDEO: SERGIO RAMOS’ DIVE AGAINST SHAKHTARHis first two were penalties and he rounded off the night with this header. 1 Ronaldo celebrates
Chelsea legend Graeme Le Saux believes the Blues are currently suffering the worst run of form Jose Mourinho has EVER suffered as a manager.The Premier League champions have endured a dreadful start to their title defence, with the side currently in 14th place after winning just twice in their opening seven games of the season.Chelsea were unbeaten until December last season as they peeled away from the rest of the chasing pack on their way to the top flight crown, but early defeats to Manchester City, Crystal Palace and Everton have exposed some uncharacteristic defensive frailties in Mourinho’s team.They dropped more points on Saturday in a 2-2 draw with Newcastle, though the result could have been much worse, with Chelsea fighting back to rescue a point after finding themselves two goals down against the struggling Magpies.And former England defender Le Saux has suggested the ‘Special One’ could find himself in the firing line from club chiefs if Chelsea’s poor form continues for much longer.Speaking on the Colin Murray show, the Blues great said: “You only have to look at Chelsea’s history to see how quickly they change managers when they’re not happy with something… so watch this space.“They’re only eight points behind [league leaders Man United], so they’re still in there, but they could be out of sight had Man City continued with the form they showed at the start of the season.“They’re in the worst form a Jose Mourinho team has even been in, whether that’s at Chelsea or any other club he’s managed.“There are absolutely genuine causes for concern. They’ve had the worst start to a season I can remember, it’s been terrible.”Mourinho’s usually stubborn side have leaked a total of 14 goals in the early stages of the campaign, a tally it took 18 Premier League matches to reach last term.And Le Saux believes the whole squad are to blame for not playing to the high standards they set themselves in last season’s triumph.“When you think about Mourinho’s ethic and philosophy, it’s all about being defensively watertight,” he added.“But Chelsea have been so exposed as a team and as individuals as well at times this season.“In the first-half against Newcastle on Saturday, Newcastle cut through them really easily and thoroughly deserved to be ahead.“It was only because of Newcastle’s nervousness, because they’ve had such a poor start to the season, and a fantastic strike from Ramires that Chelsea got back into the game. I don’t think they would have against a more confident team.“Individually they’re struggling, too. [Cesc] Fabregas is playing so below par, but it’s not just him, I think all of them are playing way below the standard they set themselves last season.”
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has lifted the lid on why he decided to hand teenager Cameron Borthwick-Jackson his Premier League debut on Saturday.The 18-year-old defender came on in the closing stages of United’s 2-0 win over West Brom to become the eighth academy graduate to feature for the first team during Van Gaal’s reign.Van Gaal insists Borthwick-Jackson deserved his chance and revealed he had been tracking his progress in recent months.“I have seen him once or twice and I have been impressed by him,” Van Gaal told MUTV.“I talked with [Under-21s coach] Warren Joyce and asked what he had for me.“I’m always talking with him or [Under-18s coach] Paul McGuinness, and he [Joyce] said at the moment the left full-back is in good shape.“I put Cameron in the line-up without any fear, and I have to say he did very well.” Man United youngster Cameron Borthwick-Jackson 1
1 Sam Byram Roberto Martinez has confirmed that Everton have made an approach for Leeds defender Sam Byram.The 22-year-old is out of contract at the end of this season and it was reported on Thursday that the Toffees have had a fee worth up to £5million accepted by the Elland Road side.Byram is a long-term option which could provide a short-term fix with Seamus Coleman out injured, but Martinez pointed out that any potential deal is still a long way off.“There has been an approach. There is nothing else to comment on. You have to careful,” he said. “From there to conclusive news is a long gap.”Coleman is expected to be out for another three weeks with a calf strain sustained in last week’s Capital One Cup semi-final first-leg victory over Manchester City.The Toffees are light when it comes to cover for him at right-back, with Tyias Browning ruled out for the season with a knee injury and veteran Tony Hibbert’s fitness issues mean he has not played a match in 13 months.John Stones filled the void in Wednesday’s goalless draw at City, but ideally the Toffees want him operating in the centre of their defence.When asked to discuss what qualities Byram has, Martinez said: “I wouldn’t be that disrespectful to players registered to other clubs.”Martinez also offered an update on a possible departure for Steven Naismith, who has been linked to both Norwich and Swansea recently.“It is in his [Naismith’s] hands to a point. It has to be right for everyone. We are open to Naismith’s situation,” he added.
1 Saido Berahino West Brom boss Tony Pulis insists the club have yet to receive a bid for striker Saido Berahino during the January transfer window.Berahino’s future has been uncertain since handing in a transfer request at the start of the season amid several rejected offers from Tottenham.The rumours reignited when the 22-year-old was left out of the matchday squad at Bristol City for Tuesday night’s FA Cup third round replay, before it was confirmed that he was missing through illness.This week Spurs, along with Chelsea and Newcastle, were reported to have tabled bids but Pulis denied that such an approach had been made.WOULD TOTTENHAM BE WISE TO RESIST THE BERAHINO TEMPTATION?Pulis expects the speculation surrounding his joint-top goalscorer to continue until the transfer window closes on February 1.“The present situation is the club has not received any offers at all so everything is speculation and you can’t stop people talking,” said Pulis at his pre-match press conference on Friday.“I’m more disappointed for Saido. I told him at the beginning of the window the circus starts again.“If something happens, something happens and he understands that from the last window.“Unless he’s sold now, tomorrow or the next two days it could go to the deadline – it’s a good story.”
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityPetr Sykora scored twice and had an assist in his Pittsburgh home debut and the Penguins twice scored goals only seconds apart in a 5-4 victory over road-weary Stanley Cup champion Ducks on Saturday night. In an unusual twist created by the Ducks’ long trip to London to split two games with the Kings last weekend, the Penguins’ first home game was the Ducks’ fifth – and third in four nights – all of them home openers for the opposing team. The Ducks lost in a shootout Wednesday at Detroit before looking visibly fatigued in a 4-0 loss Friday at Columbus. Asked what the Ducks would do on the long flight home, defenseman Chris Pronger said, “Sleep. We’re too tired to get angry.” The Ducks played much better against Pittsburgh but, with a 1-3-1 record, are off to a bad start a year after they began 12-0-4 and 20-2-6 before eventually winning the Stanley Cup. They finally play their home opener Wednesday against Boston. They’re playing short-handed, too, without injured goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere and defenseman Mathieu Schneider and without two stars from the Cup team, defenseman Scott Niedermayer and forward Teemu Selanne. Each is weighing retirement. Jonas Hiller, who started, is the Ducks’ No. 3 goalie, behind Giguere and Ilja Bryzgalov. “We’ll be better when we get our group together,” Coach Randy Carlyle said. Sykora, a longtime Penguins antagonist while with New Jersey, put Pittsburgh up, 4-3, by putting in a rebound of Georges Laraque’s shot in front at 13:32 of the third. After the ensuing faceoff, Sidney Crosby – getting his first point in two games – beat defenseman Chris Pronger to the puck and found Ryan Malone in the slot for Pittsburgh’s second goal in 19 seconds. “I couldn’t ask for a better start at home,” said Sykora, who signed with the youthful Penguins to give them an experienced, Cup-winning scoring threat. “Georges made a great play, he crashed the net and really opened it up for me.” The Penguins, the NHL’s third highest-scoring team last season, scored only 20 seconds apart in the second period as Colby Armstrong and Evgeni Malkin each beat Hiller to make it 3-2. Malkin had a goal and an assist and Gary Roberts had two assists. “Everyone was motivated to play these guys,” Crosby said as the Penguins followed up a season-opening, 4-1 loss at Carolina on Friday. “They’re the champions, and we were all up for this game, playing Anaheim and it’s the home opener.” The Ducks, obviously not wanting to go home after such a long trip with so little to show for it, controlled much of the play early and took a 2-1 lead about 1 minutes into the second period on Ryan Getzlaf’s shot from the slot.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! NHL: Sykora scores twice to lead Pittsburgh to win. By Alan Robinson THE ASSOCIATED PRESS PITTSBURGH – With so many scorers, the Pittsburgh Penguins are capable of putting up a lot of goals in a short time. The dead-tired Ducks found that out – twice – as they ended a two-continent, two-week road trip.
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityAlthough the governor has won considerable business backing for his plan, consumer and labor groups say so far he has failed the affordability test. Schwarzenegger suggested earlier this year leasing the lottery to help shore up the state budget, but the idea of using the proceeds for health care is new. The governor said California’s lottery generates less money per capita than many other states. “There is someone who will do a better job, who will get more money for the taxpayers,” Schwarzenegger said. Under one scenario, according to the governor’s finance aides, a private management company would pay $37 billion for a 40-year lease. The state, in turn, would use that money to create a $2billion-a-year annuity to pay for health care (education, which currently receives about $1.1 billion annually from the lottery, would be unaffected). The current price tag on the governor’s health care plan is $14 billion a year. Hoping to rejuvenate lagging negotiations over health care reform, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Tuesday he wants to use the state lottery to help finance his plan that would require all Californians to have health insurance. The Republican governor said at a news conference that he wants to lease the lottery to a private group and use about $2 billion annually of the proceeds to pay for his health care plan, without diverting any lottery funds used for education. The proposal would be just part of a larger health care financing initiative that voters would decide the fate of in November 2008. But before he can go to the ballot, Schwarzenegger must reach agreement with Democrats on a sprawling health reform plan. The main sticking point remains cost: Schwarzenegger wants to require everyone to carry insurance, but Democrats say he must first demonstrate how he would make it affordable for lower- and middle-class Californians. The lottery funding stream for health care, however, would expire within 15 to 25 years, at which point the state would have to find money to replace it. There are also questions about whether the fund would grow fast enough to keep up with spiraling health care costs. Beyond that, advocates for the working class said that a plan that encourages an increase in lottery sales would disproportionately hurt lower-income people, whom studies show spend more of their money on the lottery. “The governor’s proposal would ask more Californians, particularly low-income Californians, to gamble away more of their hard- earned dollars to pay for health reform,” said Jean Ross, executive director of the California Budget Project, which researches issues that affect the working class. Nonetheless, tapping the lottery could allow the governor the sidestep a more politically dicey idea he’d been considering: Asking voters to raise the sales tax to pay for health care. Pollsters said that including a sales tax hike in a health care ballot initiative would jeopardize its chance of passing. Schwarzenegger has made national headlines since he unveiled his universal health plan in January – a plan that some say could become a national model – but it was based on a 10-page document outlining his ideas. Tuesday was the first time that he released an actual bill, spelling out the details. The governor shifted on a few issues. His January proposal included a 4 percent payroll fee on businesses with fewer than 10 employees that don’t provide health care. Now, he proposes exempting only businesses with a payroll of less than $100,000. Those with payrolls between $100,000 and $200,000 would pay 2 percent if they don’t provide insurance; those with payrolls over $200,000 would have to pay 4 percent. A few other changes: Schwarz- enegger dropped a proposed 2 percent tax on doctors’ revenues. And, while he would still bar insurers from rejecting people with pre-existing conditions, he would allow rates to be set based on a person’s health status – within limits – for several years. Schwarzenegger also proposes a new tax credit for some lower- income people who wouldn’t have qualified for subsidies under his original plan. Finally, while he would require everyone in the state to carry insurance, his plan does not spell out what the minimum benefit package they’d have to buy would include. Critics say that could lead to a situation where people are forced to pay hundreds of dollars a month for insurance, but end up with coverage that essentially only covers them in the case of a catastrophe. “If you’re going to require everyone to have insurance,” said Beth Capell, a health care lobbyist who represents labor, “you ought to make sure they’re going to be able to afford to pay the premiums and get good care.” Schwarzenegger said he wants to complete a health care deal with lawmakers within two weeks. [email protected] (916) 441-4603160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!