LA Galaxy striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has made a sensational ‘come and get me plea’ to former club Manchester United. The 37-year-old believes he could “easily” still play in the Premier League after his previous spell at Old Trafford, where he scored 17 goals in 33 appearances.
He also confirmed that if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs him, he “is here.”In the above interview, Ibrahimovic states he is concentrating on the project at LA Galaxy but didn’t rule out a potential move to his former side. “The Lion still roars, yes. I could still play easily in the Premier League.” he said. “If United need me, I’m here. But right now Galaxy have me and that’s what I’m concentrating on.”I did my job in Europe. I enjoyed it. I have 33 trophies that I brought with me and hopefully I can win something here and then we will see where I finish.
Ibrahimovic stormed the Premier League when he joined the Jose Mourinho regime, scoring a remarkable 28 goals in 46 games in his first year.However, towards the end of the 2016/17 season, the Swede picked up a serious knee injury in a Europa League quarter-final match against Anderlecht.While he was trying to regain his fitness, the veteran striker refused to accept any wages from the club. The veteran forward was eventually released by the club on amicable terms but was soon re-signed for the second half of the 2017/2018 season.The former AC Milan and Barcelona striker clearly has a soft spot for his former club and in the interview, he spoke about United’s recent 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace.He also mentioned “giving advice” to ex-teammate Paul Pogba. “I look, I look, I look,” he said. “I saw the last game and I think they were unlucky. If they score the penalty, it’s a different game but a game in England is not finished until its finished.”Anything can happen, especially in the last minutes where everything is in the heat of the moment.”I also speak with him [Pogba]. A lot of advice I give – but nothing I share with you!”
Would you like to see Zlatan in the Premier League again? Do you think he would be a success at Old Trafford under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer?Let us know in the comments.
Fernandes’ 100th minute penalty hands Man Utd win at Brighton
However, Neal Maupay’s handball was penalised by referee Chris Kavanagh after he had blown for full-time and Fernandes converted from the spot in the 100th minute.
Pre-season hopes that United could mount a title challenge to their biggest rivals Liverpool and Manchester City dissipated after a dire display in losing 3-1 to Crystal Palace last weekend.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer resisted the temptation to make wholesale changes and got more of the same for the first 45 minutes as Brighton controlled the game.
Leandro Trossard hit both posts with shots from outside the box, while Adam Webster’s looping header came back off the crossbar.
It took United 33 minutes to muster a flowing move involving the front three of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, and Mason Greenwood, who found the net but the goal was ruled out for offside against Rashford.
Brighton finally got their reward when the tireless Tariq Lamptey burst into the box from right wing-back and was clipped by Fernandes.
The United midfielder was lucky to escape a second yellow card, but Maupay ensured they did pay the penalty with a cheeky chip down the middle of the goal as David de Gea dived to his left.
However, the lead lasted just three minutes as from a fiercely driven Fernandes free-kick, Nemanja Matic turned the ball back across goal and Lewis Dunk turned the ball into his own net.
VAR came to the rescue of both sides within the first 10 minutes of the second half.
United had already conceded a penalty in consecutive games for the first time in 11 years in the Premier League and thought they had given a away a second spot-kick of the match when Paul Pogba was penalised for pulling back Aaron Connolly.
However, Kavanagh overturned his initial decision when he saw a replay of the incident.
At the other end, United’s front three was beginning to click as Rashford swept home Greenwood’s low cross but this time VAR ruled against United with the goalscorer marginally offside.
There was no stopping Rashford moments later when he raced onto Fernandes’s ball over the top and left Ben White trailing on the ground before his deflected effort found the top corner.
Brighton’s bad luck continued when March became the next player to hit the woodwork as his low shot across De Gea came back off the inside of the far post before Trossard smashed against the bar with just the Spanish number one to beat.
The Seagulls seemed to finally have their reward when March ghosted in at the back post to head home Alireza Jahanbakash’s cross.
But in a chaotic finale, Harry Maguire’s header from a corner struck Maupay’s arm and to Brighton’s dismay, a penalty was awarded.
Fernandes has never missed a top-flight penalty and stayed cool under the pressure to ensure Solskjaer’s men escaped with all three points.
Chelsea sign Senegalese goalkeeper Mendy from Rennes
Chelsea on Thursday announced the signing of goalkeeper Edouard Mendy from Rennes on a five-year deal for a reported fee of £22 million ($28 million).
The Senegal international will compete for a starting spot with Kepa Arrizabalaga, who has struggled for form and confidence at Stamford Bridge.
He is Frank Lampard’s seventh senior signing of a busy summer following the arrivals of Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, Ben Chilwell, Kai Havertz, Thiago Silva and Malang Sarr.
“I am so excited to be joining Chelsea,” said Mendy. “It’s a dream for me to be a part of this exciting squad and to work with Frank Lampard and all of his coaching staff.Â
“I look forward to meeting my team-mates and can’t wait to get started.”
The 6 feet 5 inch (1.96 metre) stopper kept nine clean sheets in 24 Ligue 1 appearances last season, helping the Bretons to finish third and qualify for the Champions League for the first time in their history.
Although born in France, Mendy, 28, opted to represent Senegal at international level.
Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said: “As soon as Petr Cech (technical and performance advisor) and our technical team identified Edouard as the most suitable goalkeeper to complement our existing group, there was only one player we wanted to bring in.
“Edouard arrives following a season of real success with Rennes. He is ambitious for more, and we welcome him to our club.”
Kepa, who cost Chelsea Â£72 million in 2018, has proved error-prone and was dropped twice by Lampard in favour of 38-year-old Willy Caballero last season.
He made another high-profile mistake against Liverpool on Sunday, gifting possession to Sadio Mane for his second goal.
EPL players left divided over keeping Black Lives Matter slogan on shirts
Premier League players are divided on whether to keep the Black Lives Matter (BLM) slogan on their shirts and have left a decision on the sensitive issue until just days before the new season. The Premier League has said the decision rests with the players, whose views will be aired at a pre-season meeting of the club captains this week. The Mail on Sunday understands that some players want to continue with the slogan. The representative of one BAME player indicated that the individual in question felt ‘very strongly’ about the slogan’s part in the ongoing fight against bigotry and two lead. But several sources have said that players are aware of the controversy the message attracted last season when the BLM message was hijacked by a group of extreme activists. They do not want to put themselves at the centre of an ongoing controversy and feel that would be counter-productive. There will be a wish to ensure that black and minority ethnic players are given a strong voice in the decision. Yet only two of the 20 Premier League captains are BAME: Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Leicester City’s Wes Morgan, who also sits on the league’s Black Participants Advisory Group. Kick it Out last week reported 446 incidences of abuse during the 2019-20 season – a 42 per cent increase on the previous campaign – and the organisation’s head of development Troy Townsend said last night that he hoped the shirt slogan would be kept for the new season. He said: ‘We should not let people hijack it. It’s a message through which players have taken it upon themselves to show solidarity to their teammates – not a political message – and it’s cheap to align that to some political movement. Unfortunately, the decision has come down to the wire but I think the captains will drive the message of solidarity. I hope they are not spoken down.’ Both Townsend and Kick it Out chairman Sanjay Bhandari said that nothing had changed since the death of George Floyd in the US on May 25 became a catalyst for the show of solidarity in which Premier League players decided to wear the BLM message instead of their names on shirts. Bhandari said: ‘Racial injustice and inequality didn’t just finish at the end of the season. The players’ greatest power is to push for change and how they do that should be driven by them.’ A decision has been left to the last minute because players have only just returned to training. But it is a more complex one than the decision on whether to take knee – which is set to continue when the new season starts. The Premier League Black Lives Matter logo – designed by Alisha Hosannah, partner of the Watford striker Troy Deeney – was intended simply to send the message that it is unacceptable to treat black people differently to anyone else. But a series of tweets from a ‘Black Lives Matter UK’ account included anti-Israel messages, with calls to de-fund the police and remove Met Commissioner Cressida Dick. The group’s Twitter feed has hijacked the distinctive black and yellow colour scheme of the original US campaign and has built 77,000 followers, with a crowdfunding campaign which has attracted donations of more than £1million. The group has refused to disclose whom its leaders are. Some players feel strongly that this extreme fringe group should not be allowed to block a message which many feel strongly about. Bhandari said: ‘The sentiments of the Black Lives Matter movement mean different things in different countries. In the context of British football, we want to see more black coaches, more Asian players, boardrooms that are not all white and all male and reductions in discrimination and an end to online hate. What we now have to do is translate gestures into action because gestures on their own are meaningless.’ Townsend cited the boycotts staged by NBA and NFL stars and tennis player Naomi Osaka over the shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man, as evidence of the need to maintain solidarity here. ‘The level of protest has only progressed since the end of last season,’ he said. The Premier League issued a statement when the rogue group’s activities came to light, saying it was ‘aware of the risk posed by groups that seek to hijack popular causes to promote their own political views’ and that ‘these actions are entirely unwelcome and are rejected.’ A compromise on the Black Lives Matter slogan would be the introduction of an alternative type of anti-racism messaging on shirts, though the imminent start of the season creates little time to design and agree on one. Logistically, it is not a problem that the decision will be reached possibly 72 hours before the first games of the new campaign. Two shirts must be prepared for each player in the 30-man squads and the task of embossing either players’ names or a slogan is one day’s work for Premier League clubs’ kit staff.
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