Jurgen Klopp says Henderson and Mane have been able to 'rest'

‘They’ve had two weeks off in the last two summer breaks’: Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool stars Jordan Henderson and Sadio Mane have benefitted from coronavirus shutdown as their bodies have been able to ‘rest’

  • The Premier League was brought to a halt by the coronavirus pandemic in March 
  • Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp compared the enforced break to time off in summer
  • He indicated some of his players haven’t had as much of a break in recent years
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool stars Jordan Henderson and Sadio Mane have benefitted from the coronavirus shutdown as their bodies have been able to ‘rest’.

The Premier League was brought to a halt by the coronavirus pandemic in March and was given the go ahead to restart the 2019-20 season just last week.

Although top-flight stars could work on their fitness levels at home, clubs only returned to small group training again on May 19.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp compared the enforced break to the time off before pre-season

Liverpool manager Klopp compared the enforced break to the time off before pre-season and also indicated that some of his players haven’t had as much time off in recent years.

‘It’s like a summer break, just much longer because usually the players don’t have that long off but we were in contact constantly,’ he told BBC 5 Live Sport.

‘The boys were busy, the boys came back here and looked great. With tests some of them were better than last summer.

Klopp says Liverpool stars Jordan Henderson (above) and Sadio Mane have benefitted time off

‘It was not the break you want because it was stressful, mindset wise, nobody knew how it will be, we were all worried about the situation but the body could rest for the first time for ages for some of my players.

‘Jordan Henderson or Sadio Mane – two weeks off in the last two summer breaks. From that point of view that was good. 

‘But the challenges after that long period with no football, they trained pretty much everyday, but without football how would they be? That looks now in the moment really good.’ 

Klopp has criticised football’s hectic schedule in past and used Mane’s workload as example

Klopp has previously warned about the perils of football’s increasingly crammed calendar and has used Mane’s workload as evidence of the current excess. 

Mane was a central figure for Senegal at the World Cup in Russia and that meant his campaign for the previous season finished on June 28, 2018. He then had a short break before returning to pre-season training, where his first match was against Manchester City in New Jersey on July 25.

He went onto become an integral figure in a season that culminated in Liverpool winning the Champions League – Mane was the Premier League’s joint leading scorer – before he helped Senegal reach the African Cup of Nations final in Egypt, which they lost to Algeria. 

He played 57 times over 359 days; following on from 54 appearances for club and country in 2017-18.

The introduction of the Nations League last year, which Henderson represented England in, added more matches.




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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp makes Premier League vow as Reds close in on title glory

Jurgen Klopp insists his Liverpool players will not down tools once the Premier League title is won and will “try everything” to win all remaining 27 points and set a new league record. The Reds’ chase for a first title triumph since 1990 was put on hold by a three-month enforced break due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

But the Premier League will return on Wednesday June 17, and Liverpool get back to action knowing they need just six points to be crowned champions.

Before the break, they were on record-breaking pace with 82 points from 29 games, picking up 27 wins and losing just once.

While Watford put an end to any hopes of an unbeaten season, Liverpool can still set a new points record – needing to claim 19 points, or at least six wins and a draw, from the final nine matches.

That would see the Merseyside club surpass the 100-point tally Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City set in 2017-18.

And though Liverpool could even win the league in their first match back against Everton on June 20 if City lose to Arsenal days earlier, Klopp insists his squad will not think the season is over as soon as the title race is mathematically over.

“It’s nice to think about it but we are not champions yet and we know that,” Klopp told BBC Radio 5 Live Sport.

“We know we are close but close is not there. There are 27 points left for us and we will try everything to take them all.

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“We are still not champions. We have to play football games and we have to win them.

“We don’t want to stop winning after two games or whatever it is.

“I don’t see results written in the stars; we have to work really hard.”

Liverpool’s players have been back in full contact training in recent days and trained at Anfield on Monday to get used to playing in an empty stadium.

On the condition of his stars coming back to training after being restricted to keeping fit at home, the German boss continued: “Some of them were better than last summer after a shorter break.

When we start, we will have had four weeks – three weeks of contact training together – and that should be enough, it has to be enough.

That makes it impossible for Liverpool to put on the bus parade they had last season, when 750,000 fans lined the city to celebrate as the squad returned from Madrid with the Champions League trophy.

“If we become champions, whatever celebrations are possible we will do as a team internally and with all our supporters in the moment we are allowed to do so again,” Klopp added.

“I can promise that if it happens, there will be a parade as well. Whenever. Who cares!

“We only need one day when everybody is able to come and then we will do that.”

“You never know after a summer break how you will be when the season starts again and it is a little bit similar to this time.

“From the first match, we all play for absolutely everything.”

Klopp has also promised that should Liverpool end the club’s lengthy wait for a league title – as now seems inevitable – then the fans will get the party they crave… eventually.

Matches will be held behind closed doors for the foreseeable future and mass gatherings are also prohibited.

As it stands, people can meet in groups of up to six people provided strict social distancing guidelines – which require people to stay two metres apart – are adhered to.

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George Floyd death: Liverpool and Chelsea among Premier League clubs to show support for Black Lives Matter movement

Liverpool, Chelsea and Newcastle players have all taken a knee in a show of support for the Black Lives Matter movement, following the death of American George Floyd.

Floyd died on May 25 after a white police officer, who has since been charged with his murder, held him down by pressing a knee into his neck.

A number of Liverpool players, including James Milner, Virgil van Dijk and Andy Robertson, tweeted pictures of the squad on one knee around the centre circle at Anfield on Monday with the message, ‘Unity is strength #BlackLivesMatter’.

Unity is strength. #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/sSu2sarAXa

The squads at Chelsea and Newcastle followed suit on Tuesday, after footballers Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho had both called for “justice” over Floyd’s death, which has led to protests across the United States.

“It is something where we want to use our position to express that we are living in a world where we have to try to improve it for the future, to be a better world with more love, without hate,” Cezar Azpilicueta told Chelsea’s official website.

“We have seen recently the result of racism and we see every day that that kind of hate has to be eradicated from society, and we have to play our part.”

Before training at Cobham this morning, the Chelsea players and coaching staff formed the letter H, for humans, and knelt in a show of support for the #BlackLivesMatter movement. pic.twitter.com/yI6kAywa93

Manchester United forward Rashford said society is “more divided than ever” in a powerful anti-racism message on Monday.

The 22-year-old wrote on Twitter: “I know you guys haven’t heard from me in a few days. I’ve been trying to process what is going on in the world.

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“At a time I’ve been asking people to come together, work together and be united, we appear to me more divided than ever. People are hurting and people need answers.

“Black lives matter. Black culture matters. Black communities matter. We matter.”

#blacklivesmatter pic.twitter.com/LSEeQ61YRz

It follows England team-mate Sancho revealing a message calling for “justice” after scoring for Borussia Dortmund on Sunday.

Sancho put Dortmund 2-0 up 57 minutes into their Bundesliga match against Paderborn, before removing his jersey to reveal an undershirt with a message reading “justice for George Floyd”.

  • Sancho scores hat-trick in Dortmund rout
  • Bundesliga table | results | fixtures

Sancho, who came through Manchester City’s academy before moving to Germany in 2017, and team-mate Achraf Hakimi were both shown a yellow card for removing their shirts during the tribute.

Solid performance from the team!! Delighted to get my first career hat trick, a bittersweet moment personally as there are more important things going on in the world today that we must address and help make a change. We shouldn't fear speaking out for what's right, we have to come together as one & fight for justice. We are stronger together! ❤️ #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd 🙏🏼

A post shared by Jadon Sancho (@sanchooo10) on

The 20-year-old, who was part of the England squad that was subjected to sickening racist abuse in last year’s Euro 2020 qualifiers in Montenegro and Bulgaria, went on to score a hat-trick in the 6-1 victory.

Those tributes came after another Bundesliga player, Borussia Monchengladbach’s Marcus Thuram, went down on one knee after scoring earlier on Sunday in an apparent tribute to Floyd.

Thuram, the son of 1998 World Cup winner Lilian Thuram, briefly accepted the congratulations of his team-mates during the 4-1 win over Union Berlin, before dropping to his knee for five seconds with his head bowed.

Thuram later took to Twitter to say: “Together is how we move forward, together is how we make a change #BLACK–LIVES–MATTERS.”

Together is how we move forward, together is how we make a change 👊🏿 #BLACK_LIVES_MATTERS pic.twitter.com/7OJUWqTLQZ

Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger posted a photo of the Frenchman’s celebration with the caption “R E S P E C T!” and “no explanation needed”.

Liverpool striker Rhian Brewster, who like Sancho was part of the England squad that won the 2017 U17 World Cup, highlighted the urgent need for change.

Brewster, who has spoken previously of suffering racist abuse on the field, wrote on Twitter and Instagram: “This is way deeper than just pointing out who’s staying quiet and who’s speaking up.

⁣This is way deeper than just pointing out who’s staying quiet and who’s speaking up. Unfortunately for us black/brown people etc, this is a real life & everyday occurrence in so many different ways. For years & generations we’ve been screaming out for change and to be heard 1/3 pic.twitter.com/Lo3pvJlTQJ

“Unfortunately for us black/brown people etc, this is a real life & everyday occurrence in so many different ways. For years & generations we’ve been screaming out for change and to be heard yet the pain continues…”

  • Hamilton hits out at F1 for ‘silence’ over George Floyd
  • Serena, Osaka, Gauff take stand against racism

Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton posted #BlackLivesMatter to his 5.7m Twitter follows, which featured a video of a young black American girl in tears about inherent racism in society.

Tennis player Serena Williams tweeted Nike’s powerful ‘Don’t Do It’ video along with the message: “Don’t pretend there’s not a problem in America”.

Kick It Out urges all players to kneel for Floyd

Kick It Out chairman Sanjay Bhandari has urged all players to take a knee for Floyd because “we’re all hurt by racism”.

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Preston get positive Covid-19 test AFTER full-contact training

EXCLUSIVE: Preston North End get a positive coronavirus test back AFTER their first full-contact training session to put their Championship restart plans into disarray

  • The positive coronavirus test was revealed after training on Tuesday afternoon  
  • It came after Preston North End took part in their first full-contact session 
  • Striker Jayden Stockley returned a positive test for coronavirus last week 
  • The Lancashire club are sixth in the Championship and pushing for promotion 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Preston North End’s restart plans were thrown into disarray on Tuesday when a positive coronavirus test was revealed after their first full-contact training session.

The Lancashire club, sixth in the Championship and chasing a first season in the top flight since 1960, are understood to have arranged a squad match at the Springfields training ground.

Their full contact session is believed to have been staged before the latest round of coronavirus results had been returned by club doctors.

The positive test for coronavirus has caused more disruption for Alex Neil’s Preston North End 

The identity of the individual who has contracted Covid-19 is unknown but the result is prompting concern that a portion of Alex Neil’s squad may now have to self-isolate for a fortnight.

The Government’s track and trace guidelines released last week state that anyone who has come into contact with the virus should self-isolate for 14 days.

That would leave some PNE players with just four days’ worth of full training before the Championship is due to return. They would be able to train alone at home in the meantime.

Preston announced on Saturday that striker Jayden Stockley had tested positive for Covid-19

It is the second confirmed Covid-19 case at Deepdale after Preston announced on Saturday that striker Jayden Stockley tested positive and is self-isolating. Stockley is understood to have been involved in a non-contact session a day prior.

Tuesday’s worrying developments will serve as a real headache for the EFL, who had worked hard to resume the second tier in line with the Premier League, and raises questions over the viability of Project Restart in the top two divisions.

Championship clubs were permitted to begin contact training on Tuesday once they submitted updated policies to the EFL. Preston and league leaders Leeds United were among those teams to begin.




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Arteta 'planning personal talks with Aubameyang over new Arsenal deal'

Mikel Arteta ‘is planning personal talks with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang over a new Arsenal deal’ as he looks to use his vision for the future to convince £50m-rated striker to ignore interest from Barcelona, Chelsea and PSG

  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s contract at Arsenal expires in summer of 2021
  • Gunners boss Mikel Arteta will try to convince Aubameyang to sign a new deal
  • Spaniard will speak about his plans to build a young team around Aubameyang
  • He will also insist the club can win trophies and play in the Champions League
  • Barcelona, Chelsea, PSG and Inter Milan have all shown interest in the striker 

Mikel Arteta will take a ‘hands-on approach’ to convincing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang that his long-term future lies at Arsenal, according to The Telegraph.

The striker’s current contract, which is worth around £200,000 a week, expires at the end of next season and the club are yet to offer him an extension.

Arteta, however, believes Aubameyang can continue to be a star in his team beyond the summer of 2021 and wants to sit down with him to discuss a new deal.

Mikel Arteta is reportedly planning to hold personal talks with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

The striker, pictured celebrating against Everton in March, is yet to sign a new contract

The Telegraph claim that the Spaniard is confident that his personal approach can make a difference to Aubameyang, who is desperate to play Champions League football again.

The Gunners appear certain to miss on a top four spot this season, but Arteta will tell the 30-year-old that he wants to build an exciting, young team around him.

The former Manchester City assistant will also look to impress Aubameyang and his father by laying out his plans to return to Europe’s top competition and bring trophies back to the Emirates.

The coronavirus crisis is partly responsible for Arsenal failing to offer the Gabon star a new contract and they aware that they may have to sell him this summer if he does not put pen to paper.

Aubameyang tussles with Reiss Nelson (left) and Sokratis during a training session on Monday

Arteta believes he can convince Aubameyang to stay at Arsenal with his vision of the future

Barcelona showed interest in Aubameyang in January, but the Spanish giants were unable to meet the Gunners’ £50million valuation.

PSG, Chelsea and Inter Milan have also been keeping tabs on his situation, with Arsenal likely to accept closer to £35m this summer as he enters the final year of his deal. 

Arteta is hoping things don’t get to that stage and he is willing to take the lead on negotiations rather than leave it to Arsenal’s transfer chiefs.

Aubameyang has scored an impressive 61 goals in 97 appearances for the club since joining from Dortmund for £56m in January, 2018. 




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Five Barcelona stars test positive for coronavirus ahead of La Liga restart

Barcelona stars and coaching staff tested positive for coronavirus ahead of a return to training but have now fully recovered. All five players were asymptomatic and have since gone on to make a full recovery.

The results were discovered through tests taken before a return to training in May and pose no problems for the club ahead of La Liga restarting.

Barcelona return to action against Mallorca on Saturday, May 13 as they look to win the title.

Quique Setien will hope his team can beat rivals Real Madrid in a close race for the La Liga trophy.

JUST IN: F1 confirm TWO British Grands Prix at Silverstone as new 2020 calendar is released

La Liga fixtures

Thursday, June 11

Sevilla vs Real Betis (10pm)

Friday, June 12

Granada vs Getafe (7.30pm)

Valencia vs Levante (10pm)

Saturday, June 13

Espanyol vs Alaves (1pm)

Celta Vigo vs Villarreal (5pm)

Leganes vs Valladolid (7.30pm)

Mallorca vs Barcelona (10pm)

Sunday, June 14

Athletic Bilbao vs Atletico Madrid (1pm)

Real Madrid vs Eibar (7.30pm)

Real Sociedad vs Osasuna (10pm)

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Man Utd debunk Jadon Sancho transfer theory involving one player – EXCLUSIVE

Manchester United want to strengthen their side this summer with the signing of Borussia Dortmund and England winger Jadon Sancho. The 20-year-old underlined his talents by scoring his first ever hat-trick at the weekend for the Bundesliga giants.

Last week reports emerged that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had offered Alexis Sanchez as part of a swap deal to bring Sancho to Old Trafford.

But Express Sport understands no such bid was made and United have not included the former Arsenal man in any plans to sign their top target.

Sancho has been in sensational form this season, netting 20 goals and providing 20 assists in all competitions.

That has alerted the likes of United, Chelsea and Liverpool to his talents but Express Sport understand the Red Devils are the frontrunners.

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Sancho is keen on a move to the club and is good friends with Marcus Rashford.

Sanchez has been a flop at Old Trafford since his move from Arsenal and is currently on loan in Serie A with Inter Milan.

Antonio Conte’s side are not expected to make the deal permanent though, leaving United with a problem in finding a new club for the 31-year-old.

United boss Solskjaer has made a point of recruiting young talent that can develop at Old Trafford and become long-term stars for the club.

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It is all part of his plan to bridge the gap to Liverpool and Manchester City and compete for major honours again.

Sancho is keen to buy into the project and United have even reserved the No. 7 shirt for him if a deal is struck this summer.

One sticking point for the deal could be Dortmund’s demands of over £100million for the winger.

With the coronavirus pandemic ongoing, there is an image problem in spending such a hefty amount on one player in the next transfer window.

United would have the financial capability to pull off a deal of such magnitude for Sancho though.

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Wes Brown believes Sancho can bring qualities similar to Cristian Ronaldo to Old Trafford if the club can seal a transfer.

He told MUTV: “Talent and excitement. We need someone exactly like that at the club.

“We’ve had them over the years and I’m sure if we were to sign him he would bring that excitement back to the club. It would be good for the team as well.

“We’ve had players like that in the past, like with Cristiano Ronaldo.

“They’re the type of player who draw three or four defenders out and make the game a lot easier for the other players.

“If we could do it, it would be a brilliant signing.”

United are all set for the Premier League restart and will look to leapfrog Chelsea to finish in the top four.

That would ensure Champions League qualification and make them a more attractive club for prospective new players to join.

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Common sense must prevail in football’s response to George Floyd’s death – even Fifa understands

As is the case with a lot in football right now, many are looking to Germany, to see what’s next. The Bundesliga yet again offers a test case for the game. Except, this goes way beyond football, and the key question is whether it goes beyond politics.

The German federation announced on Monday it was reviewing the cases of Jadon Sancho, Achraf Hakimi and Weston McKennie over their protests against the death of George Floyd by a Minneapolis policeman.

“Part of these examinations is to ascertain whether during matches and on the pitch are the right place for these actions,” DFB vice-president Rainer Koch said. “As is the case internationally, the game should remain free of political statements or messages of any kind.”

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When you look internationally, though, the global governing body is effectively stating the opposite.

“Fifa fully understands the depth of sentiment and concerns expressed by many footballers in light of the tragic circumstances of the George Floyd case,” a statement read. “The application of the laws of the game… is left for the competition’s organisers, which should use common sense and have in consideration the context surrounding the events.”

This, for a body so often criticised for getting it wrong, was an example of Fifa striking exactly the right tone.

They didn’t get it exactly perfect, mind. The Fifa Twitter account initially put up a post celebrating Sancho’s assist stats, featuring a photo of the forward displaying his “Justice for George Floyd” message. That was later deleted, and the photo replaced, which didn’t seem like common sense.

Sancho’s protest is likely to be a common sentiment. Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur all put up social media posts in support – Liverpool’s and Newcastle’s featuring their squads taking the knee in training – to go with countless players from Marcus Rashford to Jordan Henderson.

That makes the Bundesliga example all the more relevant, and instructive, since there are likely to many more following Sancho, Hakimi and McKennie on the pitch.

The German federation should heed Fifa’s advice. This is not the time to get bureaucratically procedural. It is a time for common sense, and a human appreciation for common good.

If a federation ends up punishing players for such protests, we are likely to hear the usual defences that there has to be a blanket attitude to political expression, because the football authorities can’t police every individual action or risk being accused of some kind of bias or favouritism.

There is actually a small amount of logic to the argument, but it only extends so far. The game inherently makes these decisions all the time.

As should really be a pat cliche in its own right now, football and politics cannot be separated. They are intertwined, with the latter inherent to the former. The very organisation of a match can be a political act. You only have to look at Athletic Bilbao’s official player policy, related to Basque nationalism.

Any basic first XI is fundamentally an organisation of people. To go much further, you only have to look at the segregation of teams in Apartheid South Africa. Fifa were one of many sporting bodies to ban the country. The game has thereby always made these distinctions. They’ve also done so very concretely relatively recently.

Law Four of the game was actually rewritten just over two years ago to cover precisely this, and was repeatedly referenced when Pep Guardiola wore a yellow ribbon for Catalan independence. The comments of then FA chairman Martin Glenn are also instructive.

“To be very clear, his yellow ribbon is a political symbol, it’s a symbol of Catalan independence,” he said at the time. “There are many more Spaniards, non-Catalans who are upset by it… things that are going to be highly divisive, and that could be strong religious symbols – it could be the Star of David, it could the hammer and sickle, it could be a swastika, anything like Robert Mugabe on your shirt – these are the things we don’t want.

“We have re-written Law Four of the game so that things like a poppy are OK.”

Many, like James McClean and Nemanja Matic, think that the poppy is not OK. But the wider point is that if that is where the line is drawn, protests about George Floyd are obviously a long way inside the right side. The FA’s own social media post was encouraging in this regard.

Kick It Out chairman Sanjay Bhandari was correct in telling the Guardian “this is almost above politics” and is “about right and wrong”. “This is someone who was killed on the streets by the police. This is about seeking justice for him and others like him. I don’t see that as being political. That’s human.”

It is fundamentally political, yes, but – like so many other elements of football – of a wider dimension that should put it beyond reproach and punishment. The game’s authorities now just need to do what’s right.

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Chelsea chief Marina Granovskaia set for transfer meeting to discuss £35m swap proposal

Juventus are planning an audacious swap proposal to sign Chelsea star Jorginho, reports claim. Manager Maurizio Sarri wants to be reunited with the Italy international in Turin and is prepared to offer Federico Bernardeschi in exchange.

Jorginho, 28, joined Chelsea for £50million and arrived on the same day Sarri was appointed as Antonio Conte’s successor in July 2018.

The pair worked together at Napoli and combined to good effect in west London – helping the Blues beat Arsenal to win the Europe League and subsequently secure Champions League qualification.

And with the likely departure of Miralem Pjanic, who’s been linked with a move to Barcelona, the Italian tactician wants Jorginho to fill the void.

However, the financial impact of COVID-19 means Juventus will be looking to negotiate swap deals in the upcoming transfer window.

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Calciomercato claim the Italian champions value Jorginho at around £35million and will look to offer Bernardeschi in exchange.

Juventus signed Bernardeschi, 26, from Fiorentina £35million in 2017 but having completed just three 90-minute appearances in all competitions under Sarri this season – the 24-capped Italy midfielder appears surplus to requirements.

Despite his struggles, Chelsea boss Frank Lampard likes Bernardeschi ‘very much’ and would reportedly consider the exchange proposal.

Calciomercato suggest Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici is expected to hold a sit down meeting with Chelsea officials, who include transfer guru Marina Granovskaia.

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The agent of Jorginho, Joao Santos, has recently denied knowledge of any interest from Juventus – but did praise the club.

“Juventus are one of the top teams in Europe and any player would like to play for them,” Santos told Radio Kiss Kiss.

“I haven’t heard from sporting director Fabio Paratici, he hasn’t called me. Jorginho has three years left on his contract with Chelsea, he’s doing well in London.

“I read about the links with Juve through newspapers and various outlets. I repeat, Juventus are one of the top clubs in football.”

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Odion Ighalo wages: How much does Ighalo earn as Man Utd extend loan?

Odion Ighalo has impressed since arriving at Old Trafford on loan from Shanghai Shenhua during the January transfer window. The Nigeria international has scored four goals in three starts, with Manchester United Ole Gunnar Solskjaer extending his stay.

The Premier League season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic plans are in place for the campaign to resume on June 17.

Ighalo’s loan deal initially expired on May 31 but United have managed to extent his deal until January 2021.

Solskjaer said: “They [Shanghai Greenland Shenhua] have been great towards us, allowing him to play for his dream club.

“It’s been a dream for him and hopefully he can finish what he started and win a trophy with us.”

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How much does Odion Ighalo earn?

According to The Sun, Ighalo takes home £180,000 per week with United.

Upon his arrival, the former Watford striker revealed he took a pay cut in order to secure his loan move to Old Trafford.

He was reportedly earning £300,000 per week in China.

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“I didn’t sleep throughout that night, because it was going to end at 7am, Shanghai time, and the transfer [window] is going to close there,” Igalo said of his move.

“So, from 11pm, there was paperwork, negotiating and all that, for the loan deal and all that, so we are talking and other teams are calling them, wanting me, but I told my agent that this is what I want. I want to come here.

“He said you’re going to get a pay-cut to go to United. I said I don’t care. Make this deal happen. I want to go to United.

“I don’t care how much is the pay-cut, I know that, make it happen.”

Ighalo was drafted in following an injury to Marcus Rashford but he has won United fans over with his dedication.

The striker also feels he has improved as a player working under the tutelage of Solskjaer.

“When I moved to United, I learned a few things from him,” Ighalo told MUTV.

“During games… there was even a game I scored in, and he said ‘You should have scored more if you do this or do that’.

“I thought about it and I know if I would have done what Ole said, I would have scored more. He says: ‘You’re a striker, take the chance’.

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“So I’ve learnt a lot from him, in terms of positioning and how to do one or two things in a game.

“As a striker, it’s good when a striker is coaching you.

“And, as a striker, you benefit even more than the defenders.

“He is someone who has scored goals for a long time and has done a lot for United, so it’s good to learn from him.”

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