Man United Agree Deal To Sign Bruno Fernandes

(FILES) In this file photo taken on March 03, 2019 Sporting’s Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes celebrates after scoring a goal during the Portuguese league football match between Sporting CP and Portimonense SC at the Jose Alvalade stadium in Lisbon. Manchester United have agreed a deal to sign Portuguese international midfielder Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon, the Premier League club announced on January 29, 2020.
PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP

 

Manchester United have agreed on a deal worth up to 80 million euros (£67 million, $88 million) to sign Portuguese international midfielder Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon, the Premier League club announced on Wednesday.

“Manchester United is delighted to announce it has reached an agreement with Sporting Clube de Portugal for the transfer of Bruno Fernandes. The deal is subject to a medical and the agreement of personal terms,” United said in a statement.

Fernandes, 25, has been linked with a move to Old Trafford for many months, but United were previously unwilling to meet Sporting’s valuation.

Sporting confirmed the deal is worth an initial fee of 55 million euros with another 25 million euros in performance-related add-ons.

“Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. Thanks, captain,” Sporting tweeted alongside a video of some of Fernandes’s finest moments for the club.

United are badly in need of midfield reinforcements due to long-term injuries to Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay.

Fernandes has scored 63 goals in 137 appearances for Sporting since returning to his homeland after spells with Udinese and Sampdoria in Italy.

He was also part of the Portugal side that won the inaugural Nations League in June and has scored twice in 19 international caps.

There had been mounting pressure on United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward to land at least one marquee name in the remainder of the transfer window.

Woodward, who has overseen the club’s poor recruitment over the past seven years, had been the target of the fans’ anger in a 2-0 home defeat to Burnley last week that left the Red Devils still six points adrift of the Premier League top four in fifth.

Police have launched an investigation into an attack on Woodward’s Cheshire home on Tuesday night when a hooded group targeted the property with flares and graffiti.

United’s chances of a top-four finish will depend greatly on how they fare in their next two league games at home to Wolves on Saturday and then away to fourth-placed Chelsea on February 17.

Fernandes is expected to watch United in action when they travel to Manchester City in the second leg of their League Cup semi-final on Wednesday, trailing 3-1 from the first leg.

AFP

Sporting Lisbon Sack Coach Peseiro

Sporting’s coach Jose Peseiro gestures from the sideline during the Portuguese league football match between Sporting CP and Boavista FC at the Jose Alvalade stadium in Lisbon on October 28, 2018. PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP

 

Sporting Lisbon have sacked their coach Jose Peseiro following a 2-1 League Cup defeat to second division side Estoril, according to reports Thursday.

Sporting’s fourth defeat of the season proved the last straw for club president Frederico Varandas, according to A Bola daily.

It said Varandas sacked the 58-year-old Peseiro on Thursday to end his second spell at the club having led them to the Europa League final in 2005.

The reins of Sporting, who are only two points behind league leaders FC Porto in fifth place, are now set to be handed to assistant coach Tiago Fernandes on an interim basis.

Although now out of the League Cup, Sporting are poised to qualify for the last 16 of the Europa League. They sit second in Group E, three points behind Arsenal and three ahead of FC Vorskla.

Former Portugal international Paulo Sousa is being tipped to succeed Peseiro, although a pair of former Sporting coaches — ex-Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim and Jorge Jesus — are also reported to be in the running.

AFP

Iniesta Sidelined By Calf Strain

Andres Iniesta. Photo: JOSE JORDAN / AFP

Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta will miss Tuesday’s Champions League meeting with Sporting Lisbon, the Catalan giants confirmed on Sunday.

Iniesta asked to be replaced early in the second-half of Barca’s 2-2 draw at home to Celta Vigo on Saturday, but he could return as early as next weekend for a testing La Liga visit to Villarreal.

“Tests have confirmed that Andres Iniesta has a strain in the calf of his left leg. The player will be out for the next game,” Barcelona said in a statement.

Iniesta is unlikely to be the only Barca star left out for the visit of the Portuguese side with Ernesto Valverde’s men already guaranteed top spot in Group D with a game to spare.

However, injury problems are mounting for Valverde with influential centre-back Samuel Umtiti ruled out for two months after tearing his hamstring on Saturday.

AFP

Champions League: Barcelona Expect Tough Clash Against Sporting

ERNESTO VALVERD

Barcelona manager, Ernesto Valverde, said his team would adapt to the tactics of Sporting Lisbon in Wednesday’s Champions League game, even if the home side decided to play defensive counter-attacking soccer.

Valverde said the pace of Sporting’s wingers could cause trouble for the Spanish giants.

“Each team is free to choose which kind of play it wants – defensive or offensive – and we will play in a way to surpass that if they decide to defend individually or zonal marking, we will do our best to overcome that with the arguments that we have from the individual and collective point of view.”

“They won their first match in the Champions League, a match where they were very fast and we need to be very careful with their wingers because they are very fast and they also play very well in midfield, it’s a team that is used to dominating and they also play very well in counter-attack because they have very fast players, so we need to pay attention to them,” Valverde said.

Sporting coach Jorge Jesus said his team had plenty of respect for Barcelona, but still had enough faith in their own qualities to get a desired result from the game.

AFP

Quadri Inspires GD Toledos To Win Portuguese Super Cup

QuadriNigeria’s Aruna Quadri has once again shown his quality as a world class table tennis player when he assisted GD Toledos to retain this year’s title of the Portuguese Cup in Porto.

Playing from the preliminary stage till the final day, Quadri supported by his Portuguese teammates showed class to record 3-0 win against Juncal in the semi-final.

But it was in the final match against fans’ favourite, Sporting Lisbon that Quadri showed class. Despite dropping a game,t he Nigerian and his teammates stayed focused and ensured that the cup remained with GD Toledos.

They won 3-1 to win the title for the third consecutive time.

An excited Quadri believes the success will motivate him as he looks forward to the new week’s Kuwait Open.

“I feel so great winning the title again and team work materialized in delivering the Portuguese Cup once again.

“I have won the title thrice in a row and retaining the title again has increased my confidence for Qatar and Kuwait Opens. I think this weekend matches in the Portuguese Cup has prepared for the next coming pro tours due to the fact that I played some tough matches,” he confirmed.

Meanwhile, as a result of the defeat he suffered at the Africa Senior Championship to Egypt’s Mohammed El-Beiali, Quadri dropped from 30 to 32 in the latest ITTF ranking while his conqueror improved in his rating from 195 to 179 in the world.

Also, for emerging as winner of the ITTF Africa Senior Championship, Egypt’s Omar Assar is ranked 43; a position which exceeds his previous best of 57 in July 2013.

The Oyo State-born athlete admitted that the slide in his world rating would ensure he continues to work hard.

“My ranking going down is a wake-up call although I felt disappointed and at the same time I am happy that I gained more additional point to my ranking bonus points. It is a sign that I must work harder than before and I am finally happy that Africa is having two players in top 50 with Egypt’s Omar Assar now rated 43,” he said.

As the Kuwait Open, one of major series in the ITTF World Tours, serves off on Wednesday February 11; Quadri will be campaigning from the qualifiers as the world’s top 16 will be competing from the main draw having been seeded by the organizers of the championship.

Hazard Warns Costa Ahead Of Arsenal Clash

ChelseaChelsea winger, Eden Hazard, has warned team-mate, Diego Costa to be calm and ignore provocative defenders trying to get him booked.

Costa has received three yellow cards in just six Premier League games, two of which were due to altercations with opposition players.

It is believed that opposition players will make efforts to provoke the Spaniard into lashing out as managers are fast learning that he can be wound-up easily.

Hazard knows the importance of the 25-year-old’s goals, and understands if Chelsea are to continue their march to the title – Costa must resist the urge to react.

He said: “We all know how he will react, he needs to be careful that he doesn’t get too many yellow cards. This is part of the game [opponents targeting him], everyone knows that. He needs to focus.

“He is a very good striker, one of the top three in the world right now. When he is confident, he scores and right now he is confident and in form.”

Costa is almost a certainty to face Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, but is unlikely to be risked against Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League.