Tag Archives: united

Robin van Persie signs for BT Sport

Van Persie joins BT Sport's dream team! United striker to appear alongside Bale in ambitious broadcaster's ad campaign

By
Brian Lee

PUBLISHED:

10:54 GMT, 26 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:19 GMT, 26 April 2013

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BT SPORT LOGO

BT Sport's list of big-name signings expanded again today as they added Manchester United striker Robin van Persie to their star-studded line-up.

The broadcaster, who will air 38 Premier League games next season, confirmed the news on Twitter that Van Persie will appear alongside Gareth Bale in ad campaigns for their coverage.

Van Persie leads the Premier League scoring charts this season with 24 goals to his name, one more than Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, and the Dutchman's hat-trick against Aston Villa on Monday night sealed United's 20th top-flight title.

BT have also snapped up Arsenal youngster Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Scroll down for video

Smashing signing: Manchester United striker Robin van Persie will appear on BT Sport's ad campaigns

Smashing signing: Manchester United striker Robin van Persie will appear on BT Sport's ad campaigns

Dream team: Van Persie joins Gareth Bale and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on BT's list of stars

Dream team: Van Persie joins Gareth Bale and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on BT's list of stars

Great news! BT Sport confirmed Van Persie's signing on Twitter

Great news! BT Sport confirmed Van Persie's signing on Twitter

Oxlade-Chamberlain, who signed for the Gunners from Southampton in 2011
and has 10 England caps, will also become a BT Ambassador for the next
three years.

The 19-year-old winger said: 'I am very pleased to be named as a BT
Ambassador and to feature in the adverts and as a guest for BT Sport.

'As a young player, I hope I can bring some real insight into the Premier League, as part of the BT Sport team.'

Simon Green, head of BT Sport, said: 'We are thrilled that Alex has
agreed to sign up for BT Sport. Alex is emerging as an international
star, having broken into the senior team aged just 18.

'His hard work and dedication to improvement has already taken him to
great heights and serves as an inspiration to young football fans that
if you are good enough, you are old enough.'

Regular guest: Arsenal youngster Oxlade-Chamberlain will be appearing on BT Sport next season

Regular guest: Arsenal youngster Oxlade-Chamberlain will be appearing on BT Sport next season

VIDEO: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain joins BT Sport

As well as the rights to show 38 live games a season from the Barclays
Premier League, including 18 of the top picks, BT Sport has also secured
the rights to live top-tier matches from Serie A in Italy, Ligue 1 in
France, Brasileiro in Brazil and Major League Soccer in the USA.

And BT’s acquisition of ESPN’s TV channels business in the UK and
Ireland will bring the rights to show live games for the FA Cup,
Scottish Premier League, Europa League and the German Bundesliga.

BT Sport will also show up to 69 live rugby union games a season from the Aviva Premiership.

In
addition, BT has signed a deal with the Women’s Tennis Association
(WTA) to show up to 800 hours of live tennis, including the TEB BNP
Paribas WTA Championships.

I'm in: Spurs winger Bale has already signed for BT Sport ahead of their Premier League coverage

I'm in: Spurs winger Bale has already signed for BT Sport ahead of their Premier League coverage

And... action: Bale films an advert for BT Sport

And… action: Bale films an advert for BT Sport

Premier League team news – April 27-29

All the Premier League team news ahead of the weekend

PUBLISHED:

07:16 GMT, 26 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

08:52 GMT, 26 April 2013

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Sportsmail brings you the latest squad news on every Premier League team as it breaks throughout Friday.

Simply click on your team (when it appears in blue) in the fixture list below to find out who is injured and who is back in action…

Premier League team news: Everything you need to know

SATURDAY

Manchester City v West Ham (12.45pm)

Everton v Fulham (3pm)

Southampton v West Brom (3pm)

Stoke City v Norwich City (3pm)

Wigan v Tottenham (3pm)

Newcastle United v Liverpool (5.30pm)

SUNDAY

Reading v QPR (1.30pm)

Chelsea v Swansea (3pm)

Arsenal v Manchester United (4pm)

MONDAY

Aston Villa v Sunderland (8pm)

Arsenal guard of honour for Manchester United

As Arsenal prepare to give Man United a guard of honour, we ask… what's it all about

By
Sam Cunningham

PUBLISHED:

22:51 GMT, 25 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

00:20 GMT, 26 April 2013

Manchester United are expected be given a guard of honour by Arsenal when they walk out at the Emirates on Sunday – but why

It is not compulsory for any club to provide a guard of honour if they face the newly crowned League champions but is a ceremony agreed between the two clubs.

It is understandable that Arsenal would put one on for United, who first celebrated the Gunners' 1991 league title win, giving them a guard of honour at Highbury.

Old tradition: United clap Chelsea out in 1955

Old tradition: United clap Chelsea out in 1955

The Manchester club have a history of
respecting opponents and they also honoured Chelsea lifting the Premier
League trophy in 2005. To reciprocate, Chelsea did the same for United
two years later. Everton also celebrated United's title success on the
last day of the season in 2003 at Goodison Park.

But it is not exclusive to the modern
era, and occurred as far back as 1955 when United provided one for
Chelsea. It is not just used for title winners either – a guard was
formed in 2011 by United and Sunderland to celebrate Sir Alex Ferguson's
25 years in charge. Newcastle players also applauded Arsenal on to St
James' Park in 1994 when they won the European Cup-Winners' Cup.

The exact origin of the Guard of
Honour is not known, but early examples date back centuries ago to
Ancient Greece. The Ancient Greek poet Homer wrote about warriors as
fallen heroes who were given a similar ceremony. There are further
examples throughout Classical and Medieval history.

Guard of Honour: United applaud Chelsea on to the Old Trafford pitch in May 2005

Guard of Honour: United applaud Chelsea on to the Old Trafford pitch in May 2005

Guard of honour: United applaud Chelsea on to the Old Trafford pitch in May 2005

Its roots are firmly in the military.
As military historian John Sadler explains: 'Most established armies
have a guard of honour function and individual members are drawn from
the ranks of the elite, selected for their imposing appearance, bearing
and precision. The prime functions are to (a) provide a guard for
visiting dignitaries, (b) for national civic ceremonials and (c) to
honour the dead/fallen comrades.

'In the UK these functions are
generally provided by the Foot Guards and Household Cavalry, though all
regiments and branches of the service would field a guard of honour,
depending on circumstances. It is easy to see how this could transfer to
sport.'

It is an act that demonstrates a huge
level of respect, but one that jars with some players. When Roy Keane
and Gary Neville faced each other applauding Chelsea on to the Old
Trafford pitch in May 2005 for Jose Mourinho's first title, neither
player wanted to look their opponents in the eye. Neville said
afterwards nothing had stuck in his craw more during in his career and
Keane said it was a good experience because it taught him that it was
one he never wanted to go through again.

Fergie time: the United boss is clapped on to the pitch in November 2011

Fergie time: the United boss is clapped on to the pitch in November 2011

Hair today, gone tomorrow… but new style makes Pique a dead ringer for former boss Guardiola

Hair today, gone tomorrow… but new style makes Pique a dead ringer for former boss Guardiola

By
Charlie Skillen

PUBLISHED:

20:07 GMT, 23 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

20:09 GMT, 23 April 2013

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique revealed his new shaved hairstyle in tonight's Champions League semi-final first leg at Bayern Munich, and it makes him look just like former manager – and next Bayern boss – Pep Guardiola.

After wearing a hat during training yesterday, the former Manchester United centre back shocked fans with his trademark spiked look completely gone.

Guardiola

Pique

Spot the difference: Gerard Pique (left) sports a similar look to former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola (right)

Keep it covered: Pique was wearing a hat in Barcelona's training session yesterday to hide his new look

Keep it covered: Pique was wearing a hat in Barcelona's training session yesterday to hide his new look

The shaved head comes complete with a beard, meaning he had more foliage on his chin than his head.

The new look obviously doesn't do him much good on the pitch. Thomas Muller's opener for Bayern was a header past the newly-bald Pique.

Guardiola sports the same look, and
the style is set to be a regular feature at the Allianz Arena with the
Catalan manager replacing Jupp Heynckes at the end of the season.

It's possible that his partner, pop
star Shakira, prefers the 'Pep' look. The couple have been dating since
2010 and celebrated the birth of their first child in January.

Partner: It is unknown whether Pique's partner, pop singer Shakira, likes his new 'Pep' look

Partner: It is unknown whether Pique's partner, pop singer Shakira, likes his new 'Pep' look

Pique and Shakira

Manchester City and PSG agree personal terms with Edinson Cavani

Man City joined by PSG in agreeing terms with 60m Cavani… but Real Madrid are set to pounce

By
Sami Mokbel and John Edwards

PUBLISHED:

15:30 GMT, 23 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:10 GMT, 23 April 2013

Manchester City are closing in on in-demand Napoli frontman Edinson Cavani after agreeing in principle terms with the player over a summer move.

However, David Beckham's Paris St Germain remain in the hunt after striking up a similar deal despite neither agreeing a fee with the Uruguayan's club.

To make matters worse for City, the player himself has set his sights on a dream move to Real Madrid.

Scroll down to watch Cavani in action

In demand: Serie A top scorer Edinson Cavani has agreed deals in principle with Manchester City and PSG

In demand: Serie A top scorer Edinson Cavani has agreed deals in principle with Manchester City and PSG

In demand: Serie A top scorer Edinson Cavani is being tracked by Europe's top clubs, including City and PSG

GOAL MACHINE CAVANI

Edinson Cavani has scored 72 goals and delivered 12 assists in 100 appearances for Napoli in Serie A.

With fears mounting that Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be lured back to Juventus, as revealed in Sportsmail, PSG hope to hijack City’s pursuit of one of Europe’s most accomplished finishers.

Roberto Mancini is desperate to hit the ground running this summer after seeing his title chances damaged considerably last year when Robin van Persie chose Manchester United.

City, then, have agreed in principle to offer 256k per week, though there remains the barrier of his release clause, initially thought to be 53million. Recently, though, Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis insisted it would take an incredible 60million to trigger it.

Getting shirty: The fight for Cavani is likely to be a long and bitter one between Europe's leading clubs

Getting shirty: The fight for Cavani is likely to be a long and bitter one between Europe's leading clubs

Getting shirty: The fight for Cavani is likely to be a long and bitter one between Europe's leading clubs

Asked to clarify the exact amount
needed to prise the 26-year-old away, the president said: ‘We included a
very high buy-out clause in his contract, because we want him to stay.

'The clause does exist, though, and if some nutter is willing to pay €70m for him we are ready to listen.'

Cavani is the top scorer in Serie A this season, with 23 goals, firing Napoli to a likely second-placed finish behind Juventus.

Friends forever: Could Ezequiel Lavezzi, who left Napoli for PSG, play a part in Cavani's future

Friends forever: Could Ezequiel Lavezzi, who left Napoli for PSG, play a part in Cavani's future

His blistering form has led PSG sporting director Leonardo to work overtime behind the scenes to convince him of the Parisien project, with reports in France claiming an offer of 7million per year, plus bonuses, is on the table.

Real Madrid have been favourites to sign Cavani, but due to Ibrahimovic openly courting a return to Juve, plus fears within PSG that they could also lose Ezequiel Lavezzi to AC Milan, competition is more fierce than ever.

VIDEO Napoli frontman Cavani doing what he does best…scoring goals

Rio Ferdinand looks ripped after Manchester United win Premier League title

Ripped Rio! United defender Ferdinand can't play twice a week… but it hasn't stopped him bulking up in the gym

By
Colin Young

PUBLISHED:

08:44 GMT, 23 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

09:07 GMT, 23 April 2013

The body might not be able to manage two games a week anymore but Manchester United’s title-celebrating tweeter Rio Ferdinand looks in pretty good nick to us.

Ferdinand posted pictures of his team-mates celebrating the club’s 20th title from the Old Trafford dressing room following their 3-0 win over Aston Villa.

But it was the photographs taken by the professionals as the United squad cracked open bottles of sponsors’ Barclays’ bubbly which really caught the eye.

Ripped: Rio Ferdinand celebrates after Manchester United clinched the Premier League title at Old Trafford

Ripped: Rio Ferdinand celebrates after Manchester United clinched the Premier League title at Old Trafford

Rio Ferdinand

Ripped: Rio Ferdinand celebrates after Manchester United clinched the Premier League title at Old Trafford

Ferdinand looked particularly ripped and muscly as he sprayed the champers.

It’s not just the torso which looks impressive in the images, but Ferdinand’s bulging biceps.

Ferdinand has played 24 games in his club’s latest title success and he looks certain to be around for another few years to add to his personal tally.

And looking like this. Why not

Great shape: Ferdinand (right) has had his problems with injury but he clearly spends plenty of time in the gym

Great shape: Ferdinand (right) has had his problems with injury but he clearly spends plenty of time in the gym

Rio Ferdinand with Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney

Rio Ferdinand with Rafael

At least now we know what he was up to behind the scenes last month when he turned down his England recall.

Ferdinand may have flown over to the Far East for his television commitments. And he may have fulfilled his obligations to meet and coach youngsters in Dubai before appearing on Al Jazeera.

But quite clearly the 34-year-old defender spent the rest of his spare time in the hotel gym pumping those weights.

Main men: Ferdinand celebrates with Michael Carrick after United's 3-0 win over Aston Villa at Old Trafford

Main men: Ferdinand celebrates with Michael Carrick after United's 3-0 win over Aston Villa at Old Trafford

Roberto Martinez praises old-fashioned Andy Carroll ahead of Wigan v West Ham

Wigan boss Martinez praises 'old-fashioned' Carroll ahead of West Ham clash

By
John Edwards

PUBLISHED:

10:56 GMT, 19 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

15:10 GMT, 19 April 2013

Roberto Martinez has hailed Andy Carroll as a throwback to the old days and admitted he poses a 'unique' threat to Wigan's hopes of staying in the Barclays Premier League.

Wigan are desperate for points to escape the bottom three, but Martinez knows they will have to find a way of combatting Carroll's physical presence against West Ham at Upton Park.

The on-loan striker laid on his side's opening goal, in Wednesday's 2-2 home draw with Manchester United, but also infuriated Sir Alex Ferguson with an aerial challenge that flattened keeper David de Gea.

Scroll down for video

Seal of approval: Roberto Martinez has sung the praises of Andy Carroll (below) before the two meet

Seal of approval: Roberto Martinez has sung the praises of Andy Carroll (below) before the two meet

Carroll

'There is a place for an old-fashioned number nine in the Premier League, and Carroll is proving that,' said the Wigan manager. 'Possession football can be the way for some teams, and we have all seen Spain play with no strikers at all in some games.

'But if you have a very good number nine, and you give him the right service, it can be very effective. Carroll has great power and strength, and the way he attacks the ball in the final third is quite unique.

Physical: Carroll was cricitised for this lunge at David de Gea against Manchester United on Wednesday

Physical: Carroll was cricitised for this lunge at David de Gea against Manchester United on Wednesday

In action: Wigan, with Arouna Kone, are looking to get their survival back on track after losing at Man City

In action: Wigan, with Arouna Kone, are looking to get their survival back on track after losing at Man City

'He is one of the best in the business at that, and he is becoming a very important player for West Ham, particularly with the service he gets from the flanks and the connection he has with Kevin Nolan just behind.

'He was very impressive for England in the European Championships, so it is no surprise to see what he is doing now. If you allow him to use his best attributes, he will be a very powerful and dangerous player for his team. We have to be on our guard for that.'

'No disputing Carroll should have had red card,' says Fergie

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West Ham have quality everywhere, says Martinez

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David De Gea and Patrice Evra taken out by Andy Carroll in Manchester United match at West Ham

Carroll's hit parade: De Gea and Evra feel the full force of striker in collisions that left Fergie furious (and Vidic got a crack, too)

By
Adam Shergold

PUBLISHED:

20:11 GMT, 17 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

21:10 GMT, 17 April 2013

After some lightweight performances earlier in the season, Manchester United have slowly been toughening up young goalkeeper David de Gea to cope with the rigours of the English game.

But no amount of steak and shoulder presses could prepare Spaniard for an Andy Carroll special.

The England striker clattered into De Gea shortly before half-time in this evening's match between West Ham and United at Upton Park, also taking down Patrice Evra in the process.

Collision course: David de Gea manages to punch the ball clear, but Andy Carroll (right) is already in full flight

Collision course: David de Gea manages to punch the ball clear, but Andy Carroll (right) is already in full flight

Face-to-face: There's no going back as the Spanish keeper and the England striker hurtle towards each other

Face-to-face: There's no going back as the Spanish keeper and the England striker hurtle towards each other

Smack! De Gea comes off far worse as Carroll smashes into him, with Patrice Evra sandwiched underneath

Smack! De Gea comes off far worse as Carroll smashes into him, with Patrice Evra sandwiched underneath

Both United players were left nursing bruises on the ground following the forceful barge from behind, which left Sir Alex Ferguson furious on the sidelines as referee Lee Probert declined to show Carroll a yellow.

In a sign that his 'bulking-up' programme is working, 22-year-old De Gea had come through a cluster of bodies to commandingly punch clear a corner before Carrol knocked him down.

It was very different earlier in the
season when opponents would target the keeper as a weak link and
occasionally benefit – notably when a last minute blunder cost United
three points at Spurs back in January.

Ferguson
remonstrated with the fourth official over the incident as the two
teams left the field at half-time and no doubt would have been satisfied
when Carroll was booked early in the second period for another tangle
with De Gea.

But the England striker was not finished there, appearing to catch United defender Nemanja Vidic with his elbow, leaving the Serb furious.

Grounded: Phil Jones, Robin van Persie and Rio Ferdinand appeal as those involved crash to the pitch

Grounded: Phil Jones, Robin van Persie and Rio Ferdinand appeal as those involved crash to the pitch

Furious: Sir Alex Ferguson remonstrates with officials after referee Lee Probert failed to show a yellow card

Furious: Sir Alex Ferguson remonstrates with officials after referee Lee Probert failed to show a yellow card

Round two! Carroll was booked for this collision with De Gea early in the second half

Round two! Carroll was booked for this collision with De Gea early in the second half

Given the elbow Carroll and Vidic go up for the ball and the West Ham striker appears to catch his opponent

Given the elbow Carroll and Vidic go up for the ball and the West Ham striker appears to catch his opponent

Carroll and Vidic

Sir Bobby Charlton says Sir Alex Ferguson will carry on at Manchester United "forever"

Fergie's time will never end: United legend Charlton backs Ferguson to 'go on for ever'

By
John Edwards

PUBLISHED:

14:25 GMT, 10 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:06 GMT, 10 April 2013

Sir Bobby Charlton fired an ominous warning to Manchester United’s main title rivals by insisting Sir Alex Ferguson looks like he will ‘go on forever.’

The United manager is closing in on his 13th Barclays Premier League crown at the ripe old age of 71, but any thoughts of bowing out after avenging last season’s late surrender to bitter rivals Manchester City could not be further from his mind, according to Sir Bobby.

‘There is nothing in his posture that suggests he is beginning to tire,’ said the United director. ‘Far from being tired, he has the same enthusiasm as ever. He is an unbelievable character, and I don’t see him ever losing that drive and enthusiasm.

Carry on, Fergie: Sir Bobby Charlton says Sir Alex Ferguson will go on for ever at Manchester United

Carry on, Fergie: Sir Bobby Charlton says Sir Alex Ferguson will go on for ever at Manchester United

‘He tried to retire once, and it was an absolute failure. Everyone wants to know the answer to that, because he can’t go on for ever. But I look at him and think that’s exactly what he will do.

‘He is a fantastic lover of football, and he is very clever when it comes to identifying a player he wants and coming to the board about it. He knows exactly what to do in those situations, and, to be fair, we try to give him exactly what he wants.

‘We haven’t got many directors at Old
Trafford, and we adopt the view that we need good players to be a top
team and that the manager is the best person to decide on who they
should be.

United heroes: Sir Bobby Charlton and Denis Law get together at Soccerex in Manchester

United heroes: Sir Bobby Charlton and Denis Law get together at Soccerex in Manchester

'We look after the business side of things, Alex the football side, and we give him what he wants. We leave pretty much everything to Alex, in a football sense.

‘The rivalry with City, and the way they have re-emerged, has probably provided him with an extra incentive. He just hates losing, no matter who the opposition are, and the defeat on Monday night will have hurt him.

'But the great thing is, he will pinpoint exactly why we lost and make sure it doesn’t happen again.’

Class of 68: Charlton exchanges shirts with former Benfica and Portugal legend Eusebio

Class of 68: Charlton exchanges shirts with former Benfica and Portugal legend Eusebio

A World Cup winner in 1966, Sir Bobby despairs of England ever lifting the trophy again.

‘When I’m asked about our prospects, I always feel obliged to say we’ve got a chance, but really it’s a fool’s errand,’ he said. ‘If so many places in Premier League teams are taken up by foreign players, we’ve got no chance.

‘Spain are absolutely my favourites for the finals in Brazil. Heaven forbid, but Germany are in with a chance as well, because they are so well coached, and Holland seem to be re-emerging as well.’

Ferran Soriano, Manchester City chief executive, accused of "fraudulent administration" at former club Barcelona

City chief Soriano accused of 'fraudulent administration' at former club Barcelona

By
Pete Jenson

PUBLISHED:

21:58 GMT, 6 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

23:34 GMT, 6 April 2013

Trouble: City chief Ferran Soriano

Trouble: City chief Ferran Soriano

Manchester City chief executive Ferran Soriano may have to answer claims he authorised his former club, Barcelona, to spy on employees’ emails, after Catalonia’s senior prosecutor upheld a complaint by the Catalan club.

Barcelona have accused Soriano and his then fellow director, Joan Oliver, of ‘fraudulent administration and the disclosure of secrets’ and this complaint has now been upheld, meaning the City executive could be called to give evidence at the end of next month.

The case brought by Barcelona centres on accusations that Soriano authorised a cyber intelligence company, Cybex Experience, to embed a device in the server of the club’s internal computer, enabling all internal emails containing certain keywords to be monitored.

Derby: Roberto Mancini's side face Manchester United on Monday

Derby: Roberto Mancini's side face Manchester United on Monday

Barcelona also employed the services of the private investigation firm Metodo 3, who are alleged to have monitored other club directors and even first-team players.

The current Barcelona board’s motivation for the complaint appears to be to ensure the previous regime pays back about three million euros spent between 2004-09 on these services.

But their offensive action has also been seen as a tactic in an ongoing cold war between Manchester City and Barcelona because president Sandro Rosell believes a pledge not to target players from the Spanish side has been broken.

City face their rivals United in the Manchester derby on Monday with their hopes of retaining the Premier League all but gone.

Roberto Mancini's side are 15 points behind United with eight games remaining.