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Matic in talks over new Man Utd contract after club activate one-year extension

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Nemanja Matic will stay at Manchester United for another season and could agree to a new contract beyond 2021.

Manchester United are in talks with Nemanja Matic over a new longer-term contract after activating a one-year extension to his deal.

Stats Perform understands the Red Devils have exercised the option to extend the midfielder’s existing contract, which was due to expire at the end of this season.

Discussions have also begun over a fresh deal that could keep Matic at Old Trafford beyond the end of 2020-21.

The news reflects Matic’s growing importance to manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plans just months after the 31-year-old admitted he was considering his future last year.

The Serbia international, signed from Chelsea in 2018 for a reported fee of £40million, made only three Premier League starts before the start of 2020.

Speaking to Stats Perform about his plans in December, he said: “To be honest, I don’t know yet what I’m going to do.

“I spoke with the club, I said that until my last day at the club I will do my best and be professional.

“In football, you never know what’s going to happen. My family is happy here, I’m happy, so we will see what the next step is, if I will leave or stay, but whatever we decide I’m sure that we will decide for the best.”

However, injuries to Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay saw Matic establish himself as first-choice midfield partner for the in-form Fred, and he has only missed three matches in all competitions since the turn of the year.

His form has helped United enjoy a run of 11 games unbeaten across European and domestic matches and he was one of the standout performers in the 2-0 Premier League win over Manchester City on March 8.

In January, Matic admitted there was plenty of interest from other clubs as he entered the final six months of his deal, but he made it clear his preference was to stay at United.

“I can’t tell who is asking for me but for sure, when you play at Manchester United, many clubs are looking to sign you,” he said to reporters. “That’s not only me, it’s for every player – especially when you’re out of contract.

“My first option is Manchester United, but if they decide something else then there are always solutions.”

 

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Transfer

Reports: Real Madrid target Liverpool’s Sadio Mane, Juventus take decision on Cristiano Ronaldo future

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Liverpool star Sadio Mane is reportedly being pursued by Real Madrid.

Could Liverpool part with Sadio Mane?

The star forward is a key member of Jurgen Klopp’s side, who won the Champions League last season.

However, Real Madrid are reportedly ready to test Liverpool’s resolve.

TOP STORY – MADRID SET SIGHTS ON MANE

LaLiga giants Real Madrid are targeting Liverpool star Sadio Mane, reports The Mirror.

Mane has established himself as an integral part of Liverpool’s squad after arriving from Southampton in 2016.

However, Madrid believe they could tempt Liverpool with a £140million (€154m) offer.

 

ROUND-UP

– Tuttosport’s frontpage has the headline “Hands off Ronaldo”. Sunday’s newspaper features a story which says Juventus and Cristiano Ronaldo want to continue together as the Serie A champions look to sign a “real number nine” amid links to Mauro Icardi. The Argentina international is on loan at Paris Saint-Germain from Inter.

– PSG expect Neymar to leave at the end of the season, with ESPN claiming the Ligue 1 giants value the Barcelona target at €150m. Neymar left Barca for PSG in a world-record €222m deal in 2017.

– According to the Express, Chelsea are preparing a £85m (€93m) bid for Bayer Leverkusen’s Leon BaileyLiverpoolArsenal and Manchester United have also been linked to the 22-year-old.

– Gazzetta dello Sport claims PSG are keen on Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic, who is contracted to the Italian giants until 2023. While Pjanic could leave Turin, Emerson Palmieri could arrive as Juve eye the Chelsea full-back.

 

– United have offered goalkeeper Dean Henderson a new contract worth £100,000 per week, reports The Sun. Henderson is on loan at Sheffield United.

– The Mirror says UnitedBorussia DortmundBayern Munich and Chelsea have all met Birmingham City’s asking price for teenage sensation Jude Bellingham.

– Liverpool are ready to offload Xherdan ShaqiriDejan LovrenNathaniel Clyne and Adam Lallana at the end of the season, according to the Liverpool Echo.

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El Clasico hero reveals he ‘had three days’ to choose Real Madrid over Barcelona

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Real Madrid’s El Clasico hero Vinicius Jr. revealed in a recent interview that he almost joined Barcelona in 2017, before making the decision to sign for their arch-rivals within three days.

Speaking to FourFourTwo, Vinicius said, “It was right after I came back from the 2017 South American Under-17 Championship in Chile, that rumours started saying that Barcelona and Real Madrid were interested.”

“There were already a lot of rumours in the press also, but I never believed them.”

“Eventually it happened: both Real Madrid and Barcelona put offers on the table and I had only three days to make my decision.”

“I always wanted to play for the greatest club, so that’s why I chose Real,” he said.

“My parents visited both clubs and liked them more. It matched with what I already wanted, and I felt their project was better for me,” the Brazilian added further.

“They give a lot of minutes to the younger players, like me, and were going through an outstanding period of success in the Champions League back then.”

“Fortunately, I played a lot of games in my first season,” the 19-year-old went on, before concluding:

“Now I have surpassed 50 matches for Real Madrid – few players achieve that at such a young age.”

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Roberto Carlos: I wanted Neymar at Real Madrid a long time ago

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Real Madrid and Brazil great Roberto Carlos wanted Neymar at the LaLiga giants long ago.

Roberto Carlos revealed he would have liked Brazil star Neymar at Real Madrid a “long time ago”.

Neymar joined Paris Saint-Germain from Barcelona in 2017, but has been linked with a return to Camp Nou and a possible blockbuster switch to Madrid.

Carlos, a Madrid and Brazil great, said he wanted Neymar at the Santiago Bernabeu long ago.

“If it were up to me, [Neymar] would already be here a long time ago, but life is not how one would like it,” Carlos told Fox Sports Radio.

“These great players always have to play for the best clubs in the world. Real Madrid today is a reference for any player.

“Do you want to win the Champions League? Come to Real Madrid.”

Carlos won four LaLiga titles and three Champions Leagues with Madrid, while he was also a 2002 World Cup winner with Brazil.

Madrid’s current left-back, Marcelo, has been out of favour with Brazil, with his last international appearance coming at the 2018 World Cup.

Carlos hopes the 31-year-old can eventually make a return for the national team.

“Everyone deserves a new opportunity and I think Marcelo is growing again to be the Marcelo I saw play, with joy, who does things that only he can do on the field,” he said.

“I hope he returns to the national team and disputes the position with Filipe [Luis], Alex Sandro and Renan Lodi.”

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