Manchester United told by Peter Schmeichel only buy players that will improve new boss David Moyes's playing squad

John Peters

Manchester United should only make a marquee signing if, and only if, they improve David Moyes’s playing squad, according to .

The new United boss saw several bids for former Arsenal man Cesc Fabregas turned down by Barcelona, as well as ‘ rejected.

United were also linked with world record moves for and Tottenham’s Gareth Bale, but Dane Schmeichel has urged Moyes and new chief executive Ed Woodward not to panic buy, despite the window closing in less than two weeks.

"I would never bring in a player to make a statement," said the 49-year-old.

"Maybe with a new manager and a new chief executive they feel a need to tell the fans Manchester United still have the power and money and can still sign the players.

"That is important because there are a lot of fans out there who are unsure about how financially strong Manchester United are and how committed the owners are to spend the money that is being created by the club.

"But the players have to be an improvement.

"If they are not of the right calibre you stay away from it. You don’t sign a player for the sake of it."

Moyes is expected to return to his former club with vastly-improved bids for Baines and Fellaini, but Wayne Rooney’s future is still unclear with reports suggesting United will let the England man go, providing they can replace him.

after the win over Aston Villa he will return for a third time in a bid to take Rooney, 27, to Stamford Bridge, but Schmeichel isn’t convinced the former Everton man truly wants to leave.

"I know a lot of people thought Wayne was not celebrating with the team when he scored but he had just made two long sprint runs and was knackered," he said.

"He only played 67 minutes for England in pre-season and had not trained that much either.

"Under those circumstances, for him to give us half an hour of top class football and set up the last two goals was fantastic.

"He didn’t look like someone who wanted to get away.

"He looked like someone who really enjoyed playing that game. But he was tired – that was obvious."

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In what has been a turbulent first pre-season as United boss for Moyes, Schmeichel hopes United’s present squad remains intact when the transfer window closes on September 2.

"The squad we have is very strong and broad," he said. "It has loads of different options in many positions.

"It is fair enough to be looking for strong midfield players who can replace someone like Paul Scholes.

"Tom Cleverley is fantastic but he won’t last the whole season because of the way he plays and Anderson is a great player but for some reason he doesn’t always look that fit.

"You need someone in there who can run the midfield with Michael Carrick but if September 2 comes and it is the same squad I am quite happy."

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Yohan Cabaye's Newcastle United future in doubt as boss Alan Pardew admits Toon will struggle to keep star players

Ian MacNicol

Alan Pardew has told Newcastle fans to expect more dark days in the transfer market after confirming Arsenal had not returned with another bid for Yohan Cabaye.

The French midfielder was the subject of a £10million bid from Arsenal on Sunday, leading to the player being left out of the Toon’s , claiming he was unsettled.

And Pardew admitted Newcastle don’t hold all the cards when it comes to keeping their star attractions, as PSG are set to rival , and are struggling to add the players needed to improve the St James’s Park squad. 

"I think the situation with Yohan is an ongoing situation and we will take each day as it comes," said Pardew,

"There’s been one bid and I’ve turned that down, and that’s really all I’m going to comment on that today.

"We’re the sort of club that is not in the bracket where we can dictate a transfer.

"We sometimes have to respond, because we are not in the position where we have got the luxuries of Tottenham or Liverpool.

"For us, we’re poised waiting to see what happens, and we want to make sure we bring in one or two players that affect our first team."

Pardew believes the transfer window will finally kick into life as deadline day draws closer, and has spent time this week running the rule over various transfer targets – mainly in France, which has proven a good source of talent.

But is aware he faces a battle against time to recruit the players he needs, with on-loan Loic Remy still the club’s only signing of the summer after he joined from QPR.

"This is the big week where everything comes up," he said. "I do think there will be business this week across the board, and I certainly hope we’re part of it."

Pardew has still not decided whether to include Cabaye in Saturday’s home clash against former club West Ham United, but his hand may be forced by injuries to both Jonas Gutierrez and Cheick Tiote.

Swansea City 5-1 Petrolul Ploiesti recap: Look back at all the action from the Europa League clash

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Swansea City are aiming to play in the Europa League group stages for the first time.

A home win against Romanian outfit Petrolul Ploiesti will see Michael Laudrup’s men on course to reach their aim.

The Liberty Stadium will be rocking as the Swans look to make even more history.

Follow our live coverage from 7pm

Swansea City 0-0 Petrolul Ploiesti

Dinamo Tbilisi 0-5 Tottenham: Recap from Spurs' five goal Europa League win

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Refresh automatically | 6:58 pm

RESULT: Dinamo Tbilisi 0-5 Tottenham Hotspur

A resounding victory from a sharp Spurs side. They can be happy with their performance tonight, goals aplenty, and a clean sheet too.

Townsend looked brilliant, the outstanding performer of the night. Soldado showed that he is a natural centre forward, something that Spurs so desperately needed last season.

The performance tonight might have taken everybody’s minds off a certain Gareth Bale. The Welsh boy wonder would have had a great time of it tonight against Dinamo Tbilisi, shame about his hand/shoulder/foot injury or whatever it is.

But either way, Spurs are looking good. Need to tighten up at the back, there were a few chances that Dinamo possibly should have converted.

They also need to work on the final pass outside the box. If you look at their goals:

A breakaway run from Townsend, who finished from outside of the boxThree crosses from out wide into the boxA shot from Danny Rose outside the box

They were deadly on the flanks, but lacked the final ball when it came to passing it through the middle and getting into the box. As it happens, it didn’t matter tonight, but if they can nail that, Paulinho and Soldado will be deadly this season.

Here’s a picture of Townsend, because he played really well:

Robert Cianflone 

6:48 pm

Mounting pressure from Dinamo Tbilisi, they’ve just remembered that there is a second-leg to this tie, which at least means there’s something to play for.

In their wildest, wildest dreams, if they nick a goal, they might stand a fighting chance of losing 8-1 on aggregate.

6:46 pm

This game is winding down now. Dinamo are beaten, and Spurs are conserving their energy.

Tbilisi have a corner though. It’s a good delivery but it comes to nothing.

6:37 pm

Prediction:

Spurs have put so many goals past Tbilisi that they might even give Adebayor a run out in the second-leg return clash. They can afford to not score any at White Hart Lane.

Maybe Brad Friedel will start up front too.

6:31 pm

SUBDADO!

Kane and Carroll are coming on, and Soldado won’t get to score that hat-trick.

Paulinho and Soldado off, Kane and Carroll on.

The Spurs fans are jumping up and down and singing now. They know that they can expend all their energy in the stands and have a nap on the six hour flight back to London tonight.

6:28 pm

GOALDADO

Soldado nets his second goal of the night, and the fifth goal for Tottenham. Dinamo Tbilisi have fallen apart.

Spurs need to slow down a bit. But the prophecy about calling them ‘boring’ came true. They could easily put a couple more in with 20 minutes to go. Robbie Goaldado will be looking for a hat-trick, surely?

Tbilisi 0-5 Spurs

6:24 pm

Tbilisi 0-4 Spurs

Danny Rose scores with a SUBLIME shot from 20 yards out, right into the top corner. Good effort Danny boy.

Andros Townsend has been the outstanding performer so far. He scored the first goal.

Paulinho gets a pat on the back for attempting a bicycle kick a few minutes before Rose’s goal, and another pat on the back for the getting on the end of Townsend’s cross for the second goal.

Soldado also got on the end of a Townsend cross for the 3rd goal.

6:20 pm

So every time I call the game boring, or say that Spurs aren’t playing well, they score a goal. Spurs are boring boring boring boring boring boring boring.

Seriously though, Townsend is on fire. Some Spurs fans on Twitter are getting a bit excited and comparing him to Bale. He’ll be man of the match at the end of this game, but a match-winning performance against Dinamo Tbilisi doesn’t quite put him in the same league as boyo Bale.

6:17 pm

GOAAAAAAAL

Soldado scores a tap in, and it’s an easy tap in because of how good TOWNSEND’s run down the right hand side was.

It’s Tbilisi 0-3 Spurs

6:15 pm

Time for a powernap?

It’s turning into a bit of a snoozefest at the 56 minute mark. If you need a powernap then get your head down for ten minutes, we’ll wake you up when someone scores, or at least tries to score.

6:07 pm

Vouho, who came on before half-time, has won an early second-half corner for Tbilisi, but it comes to nothing.

Vouho is number 99 by the way. Wasn’t that Ronaldo’s squad number on Fifa 98, despite him actually being called "Number 9" on the game?

6:05 pm

And we’re back!

We’re back in action in Georgia, there’s a sub for Tbilisi at half time, Papava is on for Glisic… as if you care.

Papava is a slighty more attacking option, although Glisic was actually making some decent runs down the sides.

6:00 pm

While it’s half time, why not crack the oranges out and enjoy a bit of light reading?

If you missed the action from Europe and the Premier League last night, then you can.

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5:54 pm

It’s half time.

DINAMO TBILISI 0-2 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

It’s actually been a fairly open game, but Dinamo really needed to put away their chances, and they didn’t. It could be 2-2 at the moment.

That said, Spurs have improved throughout the half, and after Villas-Boas gives them a half-time pep talk in his typically, err, relaxed style, then they’ll probably come out in the second half and bring the pace of the game down, eliminating any potential threat from Dinamo.

If they can find that final pass in Dinamo’s box, they’ll probably score a few more too. They’ve been rushed in their approach, barring Townsend’s cool cross to find Paulinho for the second goal.

5:49 pm

In other news, Dijilly Arsene Dit Patrick Vouho has just replaced Xisco up front for Dinamo Tbilisi. The stadium announcer decided to avoid that one altogether.

It means Dinamo now have two all-out centre forwards on the pitch. With Dvali and Dijilly Arsene Dit Patrick Vouho presumably forming a partnership.

5:45 pm

Great work from Townsend for the assist, beautiful little cross into the six yard box and Paulinho finds himself on the end of it.

He neatly heads it down into the back of the net, and despite a valiant effort from Tbilisi, it’s looking like a routine victory is on the cards for Spurs.

Probably the most casual finish you’ll see this week.

5:40 pm

Mousa Dembele sees yellow, no need to make the tackle really. He goes into the book while the Dinamo fans jump and and down and sing.

Presumably, because they are so far away from the actual pitch with that running track in the way, they still haven’t seen Tottenham’s goal yet.

By our calculations, the light will reach them in about 10 minutes, while the players are in the dressing rooms for half time.

5:38 pm

It’s a corner for Spurs, Danny Rose crosses it into the box from the left hand side, and the keeper Loria (number 77 for some reason) spills it and is lucky not to concede a goal.

And the Spurs corner leads to… nothing at all.

5:34 pm

Yellow card for right back Khurtsilava. It narrows down the search for the culprit of the previous yellow card. It definitely wasn’t Khurtsilava or he’d be off the pitch.

But Dinamo now have two defenders on yellow cards, 30 minutes into the game.

The tide seems to be turning again in Tottenham’s favour now, they’re enjoying some time spent in Tbilisi’s half, and every time their opponents try and break forward, they’re regaining control.

Sigurdsson and Dembele are both having good games at the moment, Sigurdsson to score next perhaps?

Clive Rose 

5:28 pm

Dinamo just went close, and they’re beginning to look a bit dangerous down the flanks. Glisic is getting forward and trying to get the ball into Dvali, but Spurs have done well to avert the two big chances their opponents have had so far.

But Tbilisi are getting more and more of the ball, and Merebashvili was unlucky not to get a free kick on the right hand side for a trip from Danny Rose.

Naughty boy, Danny.

 

Swansea 5-1 Petrolul: Emphatic Swans victory hailed by Laudrup

Stu Forster

Michael Laudrup hailed his Swansea history boys after they moved to the verge of the Europa group stage.

The League Cup winners, who dispatched Malmo previously, again impressed with a comfortable win against Romanian outfit Petrolul Ploiesti.

The Swans were 3-0 up at the break after a brace from Wayne Routledge either side of Michu’s tap-in.

Wilfried Bony and sub Alejandro Pozuelo netted second-half goals, before a spectacular consolation from Gheorghe Grozav.

It means Swansea, in Europe for the first time since 1991, are now on the brink of another landmark.

Boss Laudrup, whose side visit fellow Europa League hopefuls Spurs on Sunday, said: “I think we dominated. They scored a goal but it was a difficult one to avoid and was a great goal.

“To win 5-1 is a fantastic result before the second leg. My players did well, especially in the first half.

“We are very close to getting to another historical moment by reaching the group stage. We have to finish the job.”

England hopeful Routledge was outstanding, using his pace and trickery on the flank to press his claims for a call-up from Roy Hodgson.

Laudrup added: “If you play well you always have a chance.”

The hosts quickly asserted their dominance. Routledge opened the scoring in the 14th minute when his right-foot shot was deflected in by Ovidiu Hoban.

They doubled their lead in the 22nd minute when Michu netted his second of the season after Pablo Hernandez’s shot was saved.

Routledge then made it 3-0 three minutes later with a brave header at the back post.

He could have had a first-half hat-trick but he hit the bar when Michu put him through.

Swansea continued to dominate after the restart when Bony had a shot saved on to the crossbar.

Bony then forced the Swans’ fourth with a shot which squirmed under keeper Peterson Pecanha in the 58th minute.

Substitute Pozuelo got in on the rout with a clever lofted finish in the 70th minute from Michu’s pass.

It leaves the Capital One Cup holders in a great position for the group stage.

But there was still time for the visitors to score the goal of the night from Grozav’s spectacular overhead kick.

Rickie Lambert assured Pablo Osvaldo will not be a threat to his Southampton place

Saints fc/Digital South

Rickie Lambert has been assured his place at Southampton is safe – despite the arrival of record signing Pablo Osvaldo.

Osvaldo is set to make his Saints debut at home to Sunderland tomorrow after moving to St Mary’s from Roma in a £15million deal.

Saints boss Mauricio Pochettino believes Lambert (above) – who scored for England against Scotland last week – and Osvaldo can form a deadly partnership.

Pochettino said: “Rickie has shown time and again that he’s a very ­important player for us. He welcomes the fact Osvaldo is here as it is going to help him raise his game. I think they’ll find it easy to play together.

“All great players know how to get along on the pitch, regardless of the ­characteristics they have.”

Southampton set a new Premier League record for fielding the youngest set of full-backs after Luke Shaw and Calum Chambers, both 18, lined up against West Brom last weekend.

And Pochettino added: “I’m happy with all the players that have come from the academy. You need a good mix of experience and youth to achieve the perfect balance.”

Watch highlights of Pablo Osvaldo in action below:

 

Punish racist chanting at Port Vale by closing section of their ground, FA are urged

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The FA has been urged to consider closing part of Port Vale’s ground after another spate of racist chanting by their fans.

The Football League has also been put under pressure to shut down the Railway Paddock stand at Vale Park after home fans there chanted at rivals Bradford: “You’re just a town full of Pa***” during last weekend’s League One match.

A precedent has been set by Italian authorities, who ruled a section of Lazio’s stadium will be closed for this Sunday’s Udinese game after racist taunts.

FA chairman Greg Dyke and League chairman Greg Clarke have been asked by Kick It Out trustee Garth Crooks to follow the Serie A lead and take stronger action.

Two years ago, Port Vale midfielder Exodus Geohaghon was forced out because of vile racial abuse from his own fans.

Manchester United laughing at Chelsea boss Mourinho's mind-games says Jonny Evans

Matthew Peters

Jonny Evans has hit back at Jose Mourinho and told the Chelsea boss he is wasting his time trying to unsettle Manchester United.

After a summer spent , Mourinho lobbed his first verbal grenade of the new Premier League season the United side that won the title by 11 points last season could not be classed as great.

The move was clearly designed to get under the skin of players as they prepared for their first term without Sir Alex Ferguson at the helm – and the visit of Chelsea to Old Trafford next Monday.

But United made light of Mourinho’s remarks with and, ahead of their clash with , defender Evans said he and his team-mates laughed off the Special One’s jibe.

“It’s all just mind games, really,” said Evans. “It’s maybe his way of trying to unsettle us, but we don’t read too much into that kind of thing and, as players, we laugh at that kind of thing.”

Although Mourinho led Chelsea to back-to-back titles in his first two seasons in charge, Evans questioned whether the Portuguese will have the same impact on the Blues second time around.

Chelsea have started their second spell under Mourinho with two wins to top the early league table, but they were lucky to and looked ordinary at times.

“Everyone’s been saying that he will make a big difference to Chelsea but we’ll have to wait and see if that will be the case,” said Evans.

“Mourinho’s a good manager and I am sure he’ll make a big impact on them. But it’s maybe going to be over the next month or two before we realise who’s going to be challenging for the league.

“Managers have a big influence and that’s why they are in such high demand. That’s why Mourinho is in high demand – because he’s been so successful.

“Obviously they have a big impact on the team with the way they set them up. I think a lot of the time it’s all about spurring the team and trusting the players.

“I think Mourinho had that spell at Chelsea where he gave them a lot of confidence and they were successful at that time. But it remains to be seen if he can have that impact again.

“I thought Chelsea played well in their opening game. It took Hull quite a while to get settled into it, as it was their first game back in the Premier League.

Action Images 

“Chelsea were impressive and they closed down well. It was probably similar to the way Real Madrid played against us last season at their place.

“It was a very high tempo game and I am sure he’ll be wanting Chelsea to play the same.

“You don’t expect to come up against your big rivals as soon as this but it’s at home and is the manager’s first game so I am sure everyone at Old Trafford will be up for it.”

United’s new boss, David Moyes, has complained about his side’s tough start to the Premier League, which sees them face Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City in their first five games.

Although Moyes hinted there had been a deliberate attempt by the Premier League to hand the champions a tough start to ensure a closer title race, Evans said he and his team-mates cannot afford to gripe about the fixture list.

“You don’t think about it as a player,” he added. “Our job is just to focus on the football and make sure we just go out and perform, look out for yourself in the game and make sure you put in a good personal performance.

“Hopefully, the rest will come through. So, as a player, it’s hard to look into it [the fixtures] with us losing the first game last season at Everton and going on to win the league. It’s a long season and players are mindful of that.”

Despite the belief the champions will come from a three-horse of the Manchester clubs and Chelsea, Evans claimed another team could force their way into the mix, citing Tottenham as potential title candidates following their summer of big spending.

“It’s not just us three,” he said. “There are other teams around who can have a big impact on the league and, you never know, another team could surprise us.

“There’s a lot of competition out there and every team has a lot of quality. Spurs have spent a lot of money, so it’s going to be a good, open season.”

Evans spoke at the launch of a three-year deal between United and Apollo Tyres, who will build football pitches made from recycled tyres across the UK and India – the first being part of a play zone at Old Trafford.

Nicolas Anelka given time away from West Brom on compassionate leave

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Nicolas Anelka has thrown his future into serious doubt at West Brom after just one game amid claims he may retire.

The enigmatic French striker, 34, cleared his locker out at the club’s training ground on Thursday.

He will miss Albion’s Premier League game at Everton on Saturday on compassionate grounds.

The Baggies insist he is on leave following the death of Eric Manasse, a football agent and friend.

But Anelka took all his belongings from the club’s Great Barr headquarters before speaking with Richard Garlick, West Brom’s sporting and technical director.

And it is believed the player discussed his possible retirement with Garlick in their talks.

Later, Anelka wrote on Facebook: "It is with great sadness that I learned of the death of Eric. He will leave a great void in our lives. I can’t find the words to express my immense sorrow."

The much-travelled forward was ineffective on his debut for Albion in their opening 1-0 home loss to Southampton, during which he was subbed.

But he had looked impressive in pre-season, scoring seven goals.

His form then led to coach Steve Clarke hailing Anelka as a “playmaker” and Clarke launched a staunch defence of the striker’s moody image.

The former France international quit international football at the 2010 World Cup following a spat with coach Raymond Domenech.

But West Brom refute claims that the player has now also retired from club football with immediate effect.

However, the player’s future clearly remains up in the air.

Manasse, who died last Saturday, did not handle Anelka’s summer transfer to The Hawthorns when the striker was represented by his brother Claude.

Anelka signed a one-year contract at Albion with the option for a further year after leaving Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua via Juventus.

But now the likelihood is growing that the Baggies will turn out to be Anelka’s final club – and his debut could even be his last game.

During the course of his career, his stellar CV has also included Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea.

But the striker, nicknamed ‘Le Sulk’, has never been far from controversy.

This latest incident is a huge headache for coach Clarke, who has been struggling to replace last term’s 17-goal loan signing Romelu Lukaku.

But there was some good news for West Brom when they finally got Scott Sinclair on a season-long loan from Manchester City. Clarke has been chasing the out-of-favour winger since MirrorSport revealed his interest on June 26.

Albion have paid a £1.5million fee to take the 24-year-old and will pay half his £52,000-a-week wages. Sinclair endured a nightmare season at City following his £8million move from Swansea last summer, making just three starts.

He then needed surgery at the end of last season to remove a rib after a blood clot was discovered on his shoulder.

Clarke, who worked with Sinclair at Chelsea, said: “He is the type of player we were missing from the squad.

“He’s a pure winger, who is quick, direct and scores goals – he has proven that over his career.”

It is understood the loan agreement between City and West Brom includes an option of a permanent deal for Sinclair at the end of the season.

Arsenal: Sagna happy playing centre-half for injury- and suspension-hit Gunners

Robertus Pudyanto

Bacary Sagna is ready to become a full-time centre-half for Arsenal.

Right-back Sagna was outstanding when played in the heart of defence in pre-season, filled in again away to Fenerbahce in midweek and will be asked to do the same at Fulham on Saturday.

Thomas Vermaelen is already out injured, while Laurent Koscielny is suspended after being sent off during last Saturday’s loss to Aston Villa.

“I enjoy playing at centre-half and will play in any position for my team. Maybe in the future I will play there," said the Frenchman.

“I am not the tallest, so I try to position myself as well as I can and to stay awake. I communicate all of the time and as long as we communicate it makes it easier.

“I enjoy centre-back because, first of all, you run less; but you have to stay focused mentally all the time and stay strong because it’s all about winning the game.

“I still need to improve if I am to play there again but it was great because we didn’t concede any goals (at Fenerbahce) and for defenders that is the most important thing.

“I might be playing centre-back at Fulham because we have injuries and Laurent (Koscielny) is suspended. I will do my best and try to win three points.”

Arsenal are still desperately short of players after signing only striker Yaya Sanogo this summer, but Wednesday’s Champions League play-off win in Turkey has lifted the mood.

Sagna says being able to offer Champions League football – something which looks nailed-on as against Fenerbahce – is vital in helping attract big-name players.

“Getting into the Champions League is so important for the club in terms of moving forward, attracting new players and also for the players and for the fans," he said.

“The pressure was on us because we lost last Saturday and we still had to qualify for the Champions League. We knew we had to perform and get a result.

“Now we have to do the same at Fulham on Saturday.”