Wednesday’s latest stories from the world of football in ESPN FC’s What’s Trending …
MAN UNITED: Jose Mourinho has joked that football’s kit manufacturers need to help Romelu Lukaku rediscover his shooting boots.
– Mourinho said his team should have been “smoking cigars” before Watford fought back to give Manchester United a scare as his side won 4-2 at Vicarage Road on Tuesday night.
– Mourinho fears Nemanja Matic could have suffered an “important” injury against Watford, while Marouane Fellaini is also battling to overcome a knee injury.
– Injuries took the shine off United’s win over Watford, Mark Ogden writes.
– Ashley Young and Jesse Lingard scored 8/10 in Scott Patterson’s player ratings.
– United’s season rests on winning games against their top-six rivals, Paul Scholes has said.
EVERTON: Sam Allardyce is close to agreeing a deal to be Everton’s new manager following a lengthy search for Ronald Koeman’s successor.
– It is time for Everton players to grab season by the neck when they face West Ham on Wednesday, Luke O’Farrell writes.
LIVERPOOL: Jurgen Klopp has backed Liverpool to show their top-four credentials, saying they have become “stronger” after facing difficulties this season.
– Liverpool under-23s manager Neil Critchley has told ESPN FC that Danny Ward must remain patient as the goalkeeper searches for first-team opportunities at Anfield.
TOTTENHAM: Mauricio Pochettino accused his Tottenham players of lacking fight in Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat at Leicester in the Premier League.
– Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli scored just 5/10 in John Crace’s player ratings.
REAL MADRID: Neymar’s father has said it is too early to discuss the prospect of his son joining Real Madrid but stressed that there are no current plans to leave Paris Saint-Germain.
– Gareth Bale made a welcome return from injury to spare Real Madrid embarrassment in their Copa del Rey clash with Segunda B leaders Fuenlabrada as they drew 2-2.
– Zinedine Zidane refused to criticise his players after they defeated third-tier Fuenlabrada 4-2 on aggregate to progress to the next round.
– Stand-in captain Nacho Fernandez hailed Bale’s “great performance” as a substitute.
– In-form Lyon forward Mariano Diaz has denied he could be set for a quick return to his former club Real Madrid.
– Bale and Borya Majoral both scored 8/10 in Rob Train’s player ratings.
– Madrid are being linked with a move for Chelsea defender David Luiz. More in Transfer Talk.
MAN CITY: David Silva is close to signing a contract extension with Manchester City, sources have told ESPN FC, with Pep Guardiola saying he can have a big impact on the club’s future.
ARSENAL: Santi Cazorla has said he has had to undergo yet another operation on his foot, delaying his return to the pitch even further.
– Laurent Koscielny wants to finish his career at his former club Lorient, the French club’s president has told Canal +.
– Arsene Wenger insists Arsenal’s new chief scout Sven Mislintat will report to him rather than Ivan Gazidis, saying the club CEO has “nothing to do with buying players.”
– Wenger has said goalkeeper Petr Cech is “fitter than ever” and believes he can emulate Edwin van der Sar by playing until he is 40.
– Arsenal have appointed Barcelona’s outgoing director of football Raul Sanllehi as their new head of football relations.
CHELSEA: Ashley Cole has told ESPN FC that Chelsea can still challenge Manchester City for the Premier League title, and claims the Arsenal “Invincibles” side he was part of would beat Pep Guardiola’s men.
– Antonio Conte has told his Chelsea players to focus on taking second spot in the Premier League from Manchester United before thinking about the possibility of catching runaway leaders Manchester City.
– Conte dismissed suggestions that Willian is unhappy with his role at Chelsea, saying that all his players must be “happy” to play for the club regardless of whether they start or come off the substitutes’ bench.
– Chelsea’s head of youth development Neil Bath has led the tributes to former manager Dermot Drummy, who died on Monday aged 56.
WEST BROM: West Bromwich Albion have confirmed the appointment of Alan Pardew as their new manager.
MARSEILLE: Marseille captain Steve Mandanda has suggested to beIN SPORTS that he too might have kung-fu kicked an abusive fan like Patrice Evra, telling his former teammate he has no reason to apologise for losing his cool.
JUVENTUS: Dani Alves has admitted he left Juventus in the summer because he was not enjoying his football in Italy, where he feels he was misunderstood.
– Gonzalo Higuain could still be fit to face former club Napoli despite fracturing his finger this week, according to Juventus teammate Giorgio Chiellini.
AC MILAN: Gennaro Gattuso says he is aware of the level of responsibility after being appointed as AC Milan’s new coach and intends to do the role justice.
– Sumeet Paul on the five things Gattuso must do after replacing Vincenzo Montella.
BARCELONA: Ernesto Valverde has said it is “absurd” that technology has not been implemented in Spanish football after match officials failed to spot that Lionel Messi’s shot against Valencia on Sunday had crossed the line.
– Ousmane Dembele has resumed training with the ball as he continues his recovery from a ruptured tendon.
FIFA: Disgraced former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has repeated claims that ex-France president Nicolas Sarkozy influenced the 2022 World Cup bidding process in favour of Qatar.
BAYERN MUNICH: Dr. Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt has told Sport Bild that returning to Bayern Munich is “like coming back to a family.”
BRIGHTON: Brighton have accused a number of Crystal Palace fans of causing disorder which left two stewards in hospital after Tuesday night’s match between the two rival clubs at the Amex Stadium.
MLS: One of David Beckham’s partners in a bid to form a Major League Soccer franchise in Miami has expressed serious doubts over the future of the project.
– D.C. United will play two to four games at alternative venues next season before Audi Field opens, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.
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