Hearn reveals regret at snubbing easier opponent option for Joshua for Ruiz bout

Eddie Hearn has revealed he had the choice whether to go with Andy Ruiz or Trevor Bryan to replace Jarrell Miller for Anthony Joshua’s debut in America last year.

The unheralded Ruiz Jr would get the nod after Joshua’s original opponent Miller failed multiple drug tests and the Mexican would shock the world by knocking the unified champion out and claiming his world titles.

Joshua’s reputation took a serious beating due to the brutal loss, the first of his career, and the heavyweight’s promoter admitted he wished he had gone with Bryan in the immediate aftermath of the fight at Madison Square Garden.

‘Everyone who knows that fight knows Jarrell Miller failed his drug tests and we brought in an opponent three or four weeks before,’ Hearn told IFL TV.

‘You start thinking to yourself, was it my fault? Should I have not suggested Ruiz.

‘Ultimately Rob (McCracken) and AJ have the final say, but collectively as a team we all approved Andy Ruiz.

‘When we announced Andy Ruiz, we got pelted. And then afterwards it was “oh my God, I can’t believe Hearn chose Andy Ruiz, what was he thinking?”

‘Then you starting thinking did I fu*k up? I feel 90 or 95 times out of a 100 AJ should beat Andy Ruiz.

‘But then I had the opportunity to go with Trevor Bryan. He was cheaper and a lot worse and he had Don King, but he looked good in a pair of shorts.

‘I was thinking to myself why the fu*k didn’t I just go with Trevor Bryan? But it’d have been a joke and I’d probably got even more stick.

‘It was the first time I felt I’d maybe let my concern for what people think help me make the decision.’

While Joshua dealt with a lot of criticism for his loss to Ruiz, the Brit bounced back to get revenge over his rival in their rematch and win back his heavyweight belts.

That victory was the last time Joshua appeared in the ring, with the coronavirus pandemic putting boxing across the world on hold.

Joshua is expected to reschedule his postponed clash with his IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev for late in the year.

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Arsenal star reveals he wants 'dream' move to Boca Juniors

‘I have that desire to go’: Arsenal star Lucas Torreira reveals he wants ‘dream’ move to Argentine giants Boca Juniors well before he’s near to retiring

  • Lucas Torreira has revealed his dream would be to play for Boca Juniors
  • The Arsenal midfielder wants the move in good time before he retires 
  • The 24-year-old said: ‘I want to compete and feel what the Boca world is like’

Arsenal star Lucas Torreira has revealed his ambition to play for Argentine giants Boca Juniors in the near future.

The midfielder insisted he remains happy at Arsenal but wants to join Boca in good time before he retires.

The 24-year-old Uruguayan only joined the Gunners in a £26million to deal from Sampdoria in 2018.

Lucas Torreira has revealed his ambition to one day play for Argentina giants Boca Juniors

Speaking about a future move to Boca, Torreira told Fox Sports Argentina: ‘I imagine a Copa Libertadores night at the Bombonera wearing Boca’s shirt, of course.

‘Right now my head is in Europe and I want to stay for a while.

‘But I have that desire and dream to go [to Boca] – and not just to retire, but to compete and feel what the Boca world is.’

The Arsenal star insists he is happy at the club but wants to move to Boca well before he retires

Torreira revealed that watching the 2018 Copa Libertadores final between Boca and River Plate in Madrid only increased his desire to one day join the Argentine club.

He added: ‘My family are big soccer fans and we Uruguayans watch a lot of Argentine football.

‘It is one of the most important in South America, very passionate, so from a very young age this affection, this love for Boca was born.

‘I had to go to the Madrid final and when the game ended I thought I wasn’t going to be so mad but I was very sad, for the defeat and for how the game had been.

Torreira’s affection for Boca grew stronger after watching the 2018 Copa Libertadores final

‘It was the time I got to see Boca as a fan. It is true that I have great affection for the club and hopefully it will be forever.’

Torreira left South America as a teenager to join Italian club Pescara’s youth academy before moving to Sampdoria where he rose to prominence.

The Uruguay international has been in and out of Arsenal’s team since moving to England but Mikel Arteta will hope to have him available for their Premier League match with Manchester City on June 17.

Torreira has been out with an ankle injury but declared last week that he is now close to being back to full fitness after the coronavirus-enforced break gave him more time to recover.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta will hope to have Torreira fit and available for Manchester City clash




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WBC chief Sulaiman reveals he is 'excited' about Mike Tyson's comeback

‘I am supporting it 100%’: WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman reveals he is ‘very excited’ about Mike Tyson’s mooted boxing comeback… but insists the 54-year-old’s return will be handled with ‘absolute care’

  • Mike Tyson, 54, is rumoured to be planning a boxing comeback this year 
  • The former world heavyweight champion has been in training during lockdown
  • WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman has backed ‘icon’ Tyson to return to the sport
  • Yet Sulaiman did make the point that his return needs to carry ‘no additional risk’
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman has backed Mike Tyson’s comeback to boxing, but emphasised that his return would be handled with ‘absolute care’ from a medical standpoint. 

The 54-year-old has been training during the coronavirus lockdown, sparking speculation about an exhibition return, with a trilogy fight against Evander Holyfield mooted by both camps. 

This week, Tyson made an appearance at an TNT Pro Wrestling event but it is his return to the boxing ring which has left fans, and the WBC president, excited.  

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman is excited about the prospect of Mike Tyson’s comeback

The 54-year-old has been sharing videos of his intense workouts during the current lockdown

‘I am very excited, very happy,’ Sulaiman told Boxing Social

‘He has brought great positive attention to the sport. Why? Because Mike Tyson is a hero and an icon.

‘He fell in very difficult times, as many has done, and now it’s boxing that is bringing him back.’

However, though keen for the former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world to return, Sulaiman insisted that Tyson’s return would be handled with care, given his 15-year absence from the sport.  

The 54-year-old has been out of action for 15 years, having retired from boxing in 2005

‘Of course, it will be with the absolute care of the medicals, of the testing, the complete protocol to make sure whoever is in the ring is in top shape and has no additional risk. 

‘I am supporting it 100% and if someone wants to say he wants to fight for the title, I will say he will and the WBC will be there!’

UFC president Dana White insists his old friend Tyson is planning a boxing comeback as rumoured, saying his team have ‘something big’ lined up.  




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Cesc Fabregas reveals first conversation with Mourinho at Chelsea

‘He drew the team on a sheet of paper and said it would win the title’: Jose Mourinho said Chelsea would finish top when Cesc Fabregas joined… and admits he would have called people ‘crazy’ if they said he would move there when he was Arsenal captain

  • Cesc Fabregas worked under Arsene Wenger, Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho 
  • The Spaniard revealed what was said during his first conversation with Mourinho
  • He told Fabregas he would win the league and drew the team out on some paper 

Cesc Fabregas has opened up on how in his first meeting with Jose Mourinho at Chelsea, the Portuguese boss drew out his team for the season on a piece of paper and was adamant that side would win the Premier League. 

Mourinho has rarely suffered a crisis of confidence and when trying to bring Fabregas to the club, he laid out to the Spaniard just how he expected to finish as champions with ‘two signings’ – Fabregas and Diego Costa. 

Speaking to Rio Ferdinand in the first episode of the former Manchester United defender’s Locker Room series on YouTube, Fabregas told all on that first conversation.  

Cesc Fabregas opened up on what Jose Mourinho said to him before he joined Chelsea

The Spaniard explained how Mourinho drew out a team on paper that would win the league

‘On the first day I met him he told me “I need two players,”‘ Fabregas explained. 

‘”I am going to sign Diego Costa and if you come..” He drew me the team on some paper and said this team is winning the title on the first day I met him. He only needed two players. Thibaut Courtois was already coming but he said, if you come, we win the title.’ 

The 33-year-old joined Chelsea in a five-year deal before the start of the 2014-15 season and Mourinho was proven right come May of that season when Fabregas and his team-mates had the league title in their grasp.  

Mourinho (right) wanted a couple of additions but was praised highly in the video by Fabregas

Fabregas sat down to speak with Rio Ferdinand (right) as part of his new series on YouTube

Chelsea finished eight points clear of Manchester City that season and it was to be the first of two league titles at the club for Fabregas.   

But Fabregas admitted that the idea of playing for Chelsea was totally ‘crazy’ when he was Arsenal captain.  

The two London teams have a bitter rivalry and Fabregas joked that he would not have believed anyone who told him he would end up playing for both. 

‘If you ask me when I was 23 years old and captain of Arsenal that I would be so happy to play for Chelsea, I would have said that you are crazy,’ he added. 

‘But my understanding with the club, everyone who works at the club, the players, I was just so happy. We had some great coaches and again you can see it is a club who wants to win, who is hungry for titles. 

Diego Costa (right) was one of the two players that Mourinho told Fabregas that he needed

Fabregas went on to win two Premier League titles during his time playing at Stamford Bridge

‘That was what I wanted. I knew going with Mourinho was important for my career.’ 

Fabregas, who now plays for AS Monaco in Ligue 1, departed Chelsea in 2019. 

The Spaniard won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and a League Cup as part of his trophy haul.  




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Danny Rose reveals he wants to play for Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers

Tottenham’s on-loan star Danny Rose reveals he wants to play for Brendan Rodgers… but jokes ‘someone will have to buy Ben Chilwell first’ when asked about possible link up at Leicester

  • Danny Rose has revealed he wants to play for Brendan Rodgers before he retires
  • Tottenham defender, who is on loan at Newcastle, has just 13 months left on deal
  • Rose briefly worked with Rodgers during a loan spell at Watford in 2008-09
  • He joked Ben Chilwell will have to be sold if he was to join Rodgers at Leicester

Danny Rose has revealed he would like to play for Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers before he finishes his career. 

The Tottenham left-back, currently on loan at Newcastle, has 13 months left on his contract at Spurs but is thought to be surplus to requirements in north London. 

Rose worked with Rodgers briefly during a loan spell at Watford in the 2008-09 campaign and ever since that period, he has been keen to revive the arrangement. 

Danny Rose is currently on loan at Newcastle but has just 13 months left on his Tottenham deal

Rose admitted he wants to play for Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers before he retires

‘Getting to work with him for two months was brilliant,’ said Rose. ‘As an 18 or 19-year-old, I had never experienced training sessions like that before. 

‘His ideas in training… it was brilliant and I have always said that he is somebody I would love to play for again.’ 

When asked whether he would seek a move to Leicester, Rose joked to the Lockdown Tactics podcast: ‘Someone will have to buy Ben Chilwell first.’ 

Ben Chilwell is currently Leicester’s No 1 left back but had attracted interest from Chelsea

Chilwell was a prominent summer target for Chelsea before the coronavirus pandemic changed the face of football, and it is unclear whether the Blues would now be prepared to pay a sizeable transfer fee for Chilwell, who is under contract until 2024. 

Leicester are currently well-covered at left-back, with title winner Christian Fuchs providing expert back-up for Chilwell and James Justin able to operate on either flank. 

Rose turns 30 on July 2 and Spurs would lose him on a free transfer next summer if they could not agree a sale before then. 


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Uncle Toni reveals why he 'prefers' Nadal to face Federer rather than Djokovic

Toni Nadal, the uncle and former coach of Rafael Nadal, revealed he prefers his nephew to face Roger Federer rather than Novak Djokovic because they ‘have a way to beat him’.

Uncle Toni can’t say the same for world No. 1 Djokovic. Devising a game plan for the 17-time Grand Slam champion, in his words, is more ‘difficult’.

It shows in the head-to-head records. Nadal trails Djokovic 29-26 but leads Federer 24-16. Djokovic is also up 27-23 on Federer.

‘For us it was always more difficult to play against Djokovic,’ Toni Nadal told Eurosport. ‘Because it’s not about who of them is better.

‘For us, when we play against Federer, we have a way to beat him. In my mind, before going on court, I know what we have to do.

‘When we play against Djokovic, many times we didn’t know exactly what we had to do. This is more difficult, for me. I prefer to play against Federer.’

That said, Toni Nadal still rates Federer as the greatest of all time (GOAT), for the time being, at least.

And he admitted he would support ‘elegant but effective’ Federer if he wasn’t emotionally tied to Nadal.

‘For me, he’s a wonderful player,’ he added.

‘I like to watch Roger Federer a lot. If I wasn’t the uncle nor the coach of Rafael, I would want Federer to win all the matches.

‘But at the end, I like how he plays, because he’s very elegant but he’s very effective too.

‘I know Federer is the best ever with I don’t know who; maybe Rod Laver or maybe Rafael, he’s not too far. But at the moment Federer is the best.’

So what is the secret to beating Federer?

Toni Nadal said: ‘When we play against Federer, we know – at least, that’s what I said to Rafael – we have a way to beat Federer: play two, three, four times with a high ball over his backhand and then you can go forward and take the lead.’

Simple, right?

Toni Nadal and Carlos Moya were speaking to Eurosport as part of its Players’ Cut series which this week features Rafa Nadal. Players’ Cut airs from 6pm each evening this week on Eurosport 1.

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James Maddison reveals desire to win trophies

‘Fingers crossed I can now make that next step’: James Maddison reveals his desire to win trophies after starring for Leicester in Premier League rise

  • Leicester City playmaker James Maddison declared his desire to win trophies 
  • Maddison was gutted by Foxes’ Carabao Cup semi-final defeat by Aston Villa
  • Midfielder has attracted strong interest from several top Premier League sides  
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Leicester star James Maddison has revealed his desire to win trophies – putting the Premier League’s top sides on alert as they plot transfer moves this summer.

The midfielder has impressed since joining the Foxes in 2018, scoring 16 goals in 73 games and making his senior England debut against Montenegro in November as his club climbed up to third in the Premier League table before coronavirus shutdown. 

Yet, with the Foxes eliminated in the Carabao Cup semi-finals this season, Maddison has yet to earn his first silverware at the club, and could be tempted to move in a bid to add to his trophy cabinet. 

James Maddison is keen to win trophies having so far failed to earn one while at Leicester

In a Puma Football Instagram Live chat chat with Thierry Henry, Maddison said: ‘It has only really come in the last year or two, but my biggest goal now is to win trophies.

‘In my house I have a trophy cabinet and there are not many in there. There are individual awards but no trophies. I want trophies.

‘When we lost over two legs to Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup semi-finals, it is a feeling I have never had before and that’s when I knew something has to change.

‘It was heartbreaking. Fingers crossed I can now make that next step.

‘We have Chelsea in the FA Cup quarter-finals and hopefully we get to play that.

‘My mouth gets wet when I walk around the Leicester training ground and the stadium and see the pictures of them winning the league and hear the players talk about it.’

Maddison explained how he drew inspiration from Manchester City playmaker David Silva

Maddison also revealed how he has been inspired by Manchester City playmaker David Silva and has learnt from the Spaniard.

He added: ‘When I was coming through and watching the Premier League, he was the one that really helped me as I started to understand the game properly.

‘He was like me in a way because he was smaller and a bit weaker and a bit late in development but the way he caressed a ball and received it was amazing.

‘I cannot think of anyone with a better weight of pass in the Premier League.

‘The first time I played at the Etihad with Leicester I had to beg the kit man to get me his shirt. I studied him and to share a field with him was brilliant.’

 




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Jari Litmanen reveals he had 'never felt in such bad shape'

Former Liverpool and Ajax star Jari Litmanen reveals he had ‘never felt in such bad shape’ after contracting coronavirus… but has now recovered after four weeks with illness

  • Finland’s record appearance holder Jari Litmanen contracted coronavirus
  • It took the 49-year-old four weeks to fully recover from the deadly virus
  • The ex-Liverpool, Ajax and Barcelona player says he caught the illness at home
  • Though he didn’t go to hospital, Litmanen says he’s ‘never felt in such bad shape’
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Jari Litmanen has divulged details after suffering from coronavirus, saying ‘he’s never been in such bad shape.’

The former Liverpool, Ajax and Barcelona midfielder, who retired in 2011, was diagnosed with COVID-19 and took four weeks to recover fully, as well as two extra weeks of rest and recuperation. 

Litmanen, 49, who holds the record for most caps for Finland with 137 appearances over a 21-year international career, spoke in depth about his symptoms. 

Jari Litmanen has opened up about how he has coped with contracting coronavirus

The former Finnish international played for Liverpool for 18 months from 2001-2002

‘There was a fever, headache, muscle aches, shortness of breath and everything possible,’ Litmanen said, as reported by Unibet. 

‘It took four weeks to recover from coronavirus and since then there has now been a couple of weeks of recovery.

‘Fortunately, the pains or shortness of breath was never so severe that I would have had to go to the hospital, but I was able to get the disease at home.

‘Getting sick was very tiring, and sometimes it was really heavy. Physically, I’ve probably never been in such bad shape. 

Litmanen, pictured in 2018 at the UEFA Nations League draw, has now recovered from the virus

‘On the other hand, when I was sick for four weeks, when it was a little tighter, I didn’t really miss football or any other sport. The thoughts were a bit elsewhere…’  

Litmanen only spent 18 months at Liverpool after moving from Barcelona in January 2001, missing all three finals in the ’01 treble season due to a broken wrist. 

He then signed for Ajax for a second time, and also signed for Fulham in 2008 but never made an appearance for the first-team, due to serious heart concerns. 




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Nemanja Matic reveals all on life behind the scenes at Man United

From players hiding after losing under Jose Mourinho, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s improvement as Manchester United boss and Bruno Fernandes’ stunning impact… Nemanja Matic reveals all on life behind the scenes at Old Trafford

  • Nemanja Matic refers to former boss Jose Mourinho as ‘an amazing coach’
  • Matic won the Premier League with Mourinho and joined United to play for him
  • The Serbian, 31, says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has improved and will win trophies

Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic has revealed that players would hide from Jose Mourinho at their Carrington training ground if they had lost a game.

Mourinho signed the Serbian during his second spell in charge of Chelsea and also during his time as United manager. 

Despite their growing relationship and mutual respect, Matic has outlined the environment at training in which players could expect if they had lost under Mourinho.

Jose Mourinho signed Nemanja Matic when in charge at both Chelsea and Manchester United

 He featured in every game before resting for the last two during Mourinho’s United campaign 

‘It depends. If you win, he’s the best guy ever,’ Matic said via an Instagram Q&A session with Football Beyond Borders. ‘But if you lose, you’re hiding from him at the training ground. But he’s an amazing coach.’

United purchased Matic for £40million in the summer of 2017 after being recruited by his former Chelsea boss Mourinho. 

Under Mourinho, Matic was an ever-present figure in the Premier League during his first season with the Red Devils. 

So it was always going to have some effect on him when Mourinho was sacked towards the end of 2018.

Initially, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s arrival saw Matic sitting on the bench more often than not 

Recently Matic has turned around his fortunes as a Manchester United player with his fine form

JOSE MOURINHO’S TROPHIES

Porto

  • Primeira Liga X2
  • Taca de Portugal
  • UEFA Champions League
  • UEFA Cup

Chelsea

  • Premier League X3
  • FA Cup
  • League Cup X3

Inter Milan

  • Serie A X2
  • Coppa Italia
  • UEFA Champions League

Real Madrid

  • La Liga
  • Copa de Rey
  • Manchester United
  • League Cup
  • UEFA Europa League

Initially, a change in manager didn’t do Matic any harm. He featured in each of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first nine league matches – of which they won eight – before an injury ruled him out.

It was on his return that problems arose. After two matches back he was dropped to the bench, before being left out of the squad entirely.

However, due to the midfield crisis at United – with Scott McTominay joining Paul Pogba on the sidelines – Matic was handed a lifeline.

The 31-year-old has since played an integral role in United’s resurgence which had seen them close the gap on fourth-placed Chelsea before the Premier League hiatus due to the coronavirus crisis.

Since December United have kept eight clean sheets in the 14 matches, the Serbian has played. He’s started eight of the last nine, missing the other through suspension.

Despite a difficult start to his time under Solskjaer, Matic has nothing but good things to stay about his boss.

‘Ole is a great manager. I think he has improved a lot since he came to United, and he is different now,’ Matic said.

‘I’m sure he has a great future here, and he will win us trophies.’

Since being reintroduced to the first XI in December, United have triggered a clause in Matic’s contract to extend his current deal by a year.

The midfielder had just over two months left on his contract, but United have opted to extend his stay until at least 2021.

Matic, 31, says that he spends a lot of time talking to players his own age, like Paul Pogba

Matic also says that he has a close relationship with Juan Mata who is a year old at 32-years-old

Despite being one of the older members of the squad, Matic insists he gets on well with everyone in the team.

‘There is not one guy who is not a good person in our changing room,’ he said.

‘I’m 31 now, and some of the players are ten years younger than me. I speak more to players my own age, like Paul [Pogba], David [de Gea] and Juan [Mata], but I set next to Mason Greenwood in the dressing room, so we’ve got to know each other too.’

MAN UNITED 19/20 SIGNINGS 

Aaron Wan-Bissaka £50m

Daniel James £15m

Bruno Fernandes £68m

Odion Ighalo £3m loan

Matic even shared his opinion Portuguese midfielder, Bruno Fernandes, admitting he was surprised at how he has slotted into United’s midfield so effortlessly after making the £68m transfer from Sporting to Old Trafford earlier this year.   

‘Because I follow the Portuguese league, I knew he was good – even though he played for Sporting! But I’m very surprised he adapted so quickly to the Premier League,’ Matic said.

‘He brings us a lot of qualities, like the confidence he has on the pitch, he always knows what he wants to do with the ball.’

The arrival of Bruno Fernandes has prompted some of the best performances from the Serb 




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Gary Neville reveals Man Utd's major advantage in catching Liverpool

Gary Neville believes Manchester United have a major advantage in the race to catch Liverpool as they will be one of the few clubs who can spend big in the next transfer window.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are currently 37 points behind Jurgen Klopp’s men in the Premier League.

But Neville believes the impact caused by coronavirus on clubs’ finances mean that United will be one of the few major teams in Europe who could afford a huge outlay this summer.

And the former United defender is confident that Solskjaer’s side will now need less time to close the gap between Liverpool.

‘I just wonder now with what’s happened with coronavirus and the economic rest in football, which clubs are really going to be able to buy Pogba for the reputed £80 milllion, £90m, £100m that was being talked about? Which clubs are paying the huge wages that Paul Pogba is on at Manchester United?’ Neville told Sky Sports.

‘I’m not diminishing him as a player, I’m just talking about the economic situation the whole world finds itself in.

‘Paul Pogba may have to, and may want to, sit at Manchester United for the next 12-18 months, and look at the fact he’s got a club he can play at with Bruno Fernandes, Fred, McTominay, Matic, Maguire, Wan Bissaka, Brandon Williams, De Gea in goal, and then Mason Greenwood, Martial and Rashford up front.

‘You look at that as a core group of players who are a really good age. Manchester United still need to add, three, four five players of really high quality to that and Manchester United are in a position to be able to capitalise this summer in the transfer market because they will be one of the clubs who some sort of ability to do some business.

‘And where Manchester United have found it difficult in this last eight years to keep prices and wages down, they’re going to be in a very, very strong position to hold their nerve this summer.

‘And this is a really important summer for Manchester United. If football can get back in the next few weeks, if Manchester United can continue to play the way they were before the lockdown when they were starting to keep clean sheets, had a good defensive record, the midfield was starting to tick, they were still getting goals out of that front three, you start looking at the glass being half full versus it being half empty and being the 30 points or whatever it is away from Liverpool at this moment in time, which means they are a million miles away.

‘I don’t know why it is but I feel a little bit more confident in Manchester United’s ability to challenge next season, just because what’s happened and the fact they started to play a lot better before this lockdown.

‘If we hadn’t had this virus I think Manchester United could have been two or three years away.

‘Where I think there is a massive change for Manchester United in making them competitive next season is that if you were a top player in Europe at this moment in time, and you had the choice of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Manchester City, Liverpool, Manchester United would likely lose out on those players to go to those clubs because of where Manchester United are at in the cycle of their team and the development.

‘Out of those eight clubs I just named, I think six of them could be completely redundant in the transfer market in terms of spending £50 million, £60m, £70m, £80m.

‘Manchester United’s ability will still be there to do those things. So the reason I’m a little bit more confident is that the number-one players in the world and in Europe this summer will either stay where they are or they will end up at Manchester City, Manchester United, a club who still has the wealth to compete.

‘That’s why I’m more confident that the salaries that Manchester United will be able to offer this summer and the funds they’ll have to compete in the transfer market will mean they get higher in the chain than they would’ve been previously.

‘Just naming two of those clubs, Juventus and Barcelona have taken staggeringly big, significant cuts. They’ve had to take their cut their wages straight back by 50, 60%.

‘I think those clubs are going to find it difficult in cutting their own players’ players in the way they have to then go and spend £70 million on a player.

‘I think clubs are not in as good a financial shape, I’m talking about the super powers, and they are going to have to have a year off I think, and sit with what they’ve already got.

‘I think Manchester United will have funds above what other clubs will have.’

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