Man Utd players push to face Burnley before Liverpool clash

Some Manchester United players want their postponed Premier League game against Burnley to take place before they face Liverpool.

United have been playing catch-up all season after having their opening match of the campaign rescheduled due to the late finish to last season.

Their Europa League commitments in August meant they were afforded an extra week’s rest, with the Burnley fixture yet to have been given a new date by the Premier League.

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The Manchester Evening News claim that ‘there is a growing desire’ in the dressing room to have the Burnley trip slotted into the available midweek before taking on Liverpool on January 17.

The Premier League allocated a free midweek to each club in January because of the inability to schedule a two-week winter break, meaning Burnley and Manchester United could play their match on January 12 or 13 as their respective FA Cup third-round ties are the prior week.

‘A dressing room source says United players sense an opportunity to exert pressure on Liverpool and are prepared to forego midweek rest so they can arrive at Anfield having played the same number of league fixtures,’ the exclusive reads.

There is a fear that the Burnley game would have to be played as late as April if a date is not pencilled in soon, as Manchester United will enter the Europa League from February onwards.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer discussed the meeting with the Clarets as recently as mid-December, mistakenly assuming Burnley had a game in the free week commencing January 11.

“I haven’t had a date or a time now because obviously we’re in the Carabao Cup,” he noted.

“We’re still in the Europa League and the first free midweek we’ve got – hopefully we could be in the semi-final of the Carabao Cup – the free week we’ve got after that, Burnley have a midweek game that week, so it could be a long while yet.

“For us, the quicker we can get the game in hand against Burnley played the better so that the league table looks as it should be.”


Arsenal star’s move to Schalke has ‘already been agreed’

Arsenal defender Sead Kolasinac is set to return to Schalke on loan in January, according to reports in Germany.

The Bosnia international came through the ranks with Schalke and he made his first-team debut for them during the 2012/13 campaign.

He spent five years playing in their first team before he left the club at the end of the 2016/17 season. The defender joined Arsenal on a free transfer that summer.

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Kolasinac was a regular first-teamer under multiple managers during his first three years at the club. He made 30-plus appearances in all competitions in each of these seasons.

But his game time has decreased this season with Kieran Tierney being preferred by Mikel Arteta at the left-back slot.

The 27-year-old has only made one appearance in the Premier League so far in 2020/21. The full-back is out of contract at the end of the season.

Sky Germany have reported, as cited by Sport Witness, that Kolasinac is set to rejoin Schalke on loan in January.

The report adds that Schalke have “succeeded in a transfer coup” for Kolasinac. The Bundesliga side sit bottom of the table after failing to pick up a single win from their 13 games.

It also states that the club are looking to resign Kolasinac to help with their “fight to stay up”. The clubs are reportedly far into negotiations as a deal has “already been signed” for Kolasinac.


Khedira ‘working towards’ Prem move amid Spurs, Everton links

Juventus midfielder Sami Khedira says he is “working towards” a move to the Premier League amid links with Tottenham and Everton.

The 33-year-old won the Champions League and La Liga during a successful five years in Spain with Real Madrid, before moving on in 2015, as he joined Juventus on a free transfer upon the expiry of his contract.

Khedira is at the start of his sixth season with the Italian giants. In this time, he has helped them to win the Serie A title in every single year.

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However, he is yet to make a single appearance for the Old Lady this season and it’s likely that he will leave at the end of his contract in the summer.

“There are always ups and downs in every player’s careers,” Khedira told The Athletic.

“I don’t know anyone who’s always on the up. Do you? When I moved here from Real Madrid in 2015, I never thought I’d stay this long. Finding a club that makes you this happy and satisfied was a blessing, and I only have positive feelings about the time I’ve spent here.

“It sounds weird but even now, I love driving to the training ground every day because it’s so much fun being able to work with these amazing people and big personalities.”

When asked about not playing, Khedira added: “It’s unusual for me, and I’m not satisfied.

“I’m a competitive guy, I want to play. But in the meantime, I’ve adjusted to the situation and try to make the most of it. I’m part of match-day preparation and video analysis. My influence is still there. I see myself as a bit of a mentor for the younger players. I’m keeping my energy levels and motivation high.

“But at the end of the day, I want to be on the pitch and fight for points. That’s why I’m trying to change the situation or leave Turin to do what I enjoy most: playing football.”



On a potential move to England, Khedira continued: “The Premier League is still missing in my collection, to play there would be the icing on the cake.

“There are fewer breaks in the game and many counter-attacks, but this is what I like. I’ve done a lot of extra sessions with fitness coaches to get myself ready for a higher pace and intensity. I’ve done extra sessions with fitness coaches to get myself ready for the pace and intensity in the Premier League.

“My gut instinct and passion tell me I need to play football, if possible in the Premier League. I’m working towards that.”

Khedira has been linked with moves to Spurs and Everton with two of his former managers currently in charge of those clubs.

Recalling Spurs boss Jose Mourinho, Khedira said: “He has a way of convincing people, there’s something in his eyes.

“He’s very direct, very demanding, working with him is no picnic, because he doesn’t do things by half. If you don’t perform, you’ll get it in the neck.

“But you understand that’s because he values you as a player. The maximum is not enough for him, he pushes you to your limit. That’s how I’ve become the player and the person I am today.”

And Khedira has revealed he still talks with Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti, he said: “We’ve kept in contact over the years. Him and Jose are both amazing personalities from whom I’ve learned so much, about the game and about myself. They’re both at clubs that play an important role in the league. So let’s see what happens.”



Arteta: ‘Right mixture’ of youngsters key for Arsenal

Mikel Arteta has insisted that playing “eleven kids is impossible” as he hopes to strike the right balance for his Arsenal squad.

After a poor starting to the season, Arsenal’s form has picked up of late. They were seven games without a victory in the Premier League which left them down in 15th.

But this run came to an end via a impressive 3-1 win over London rivals Chelsea. They followed that up with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Brighton on Tuesday night.

Johnny Nic: One person at every Premier League club who made 2020 less bad

These victories have moved the Gunners up to 13th and they are now nine points adrift of Everton in fourth place.

Throughout their poor run, some were lobbying for Arteta to play more youngsters in the league after they had shone in the Europa League.

Arteta obliged against Cehslea as Bukayo Sake, Emile Smith-Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli all started. The trio impressed and they all made the starting XI again against Brighton.

In an interview cited by Arseblog, Arteta suggested that it is vital for Arsenal to have the right amount of experience and youth in their first-team:

“We know that our club has a history of bringing players through the academy and it’s in our DNA.

“We want to keep doing it and I think I’ve done it since the day I came through that door, but they need the right process, they need the right players around them and you have to respect the timing of their development.

“There is nothing worse than rushing those players when they are not ready. If they are ready and they respond, then keep doing it.

“You don’t have to hold them back because you know their energy, their passion and what they want to do. They can run and sprint and do whatever they want, but they need experience as well.

“Eleven kids is impossible. When you have the right mixture then these kids start to become more senior players and they start to have a little bit more experience and they are in a good development phase, let’s go for it.

“But you have to be cautious as well.”


Reason TNA Fired Brooke Hogan, Details On When Exactly She Was Released

As we reported earlier, Brooke Hogan has officially been released by TNA Impact Wrestling as an active performer for the company.

According to multiple sources, the Hogan release went down earlier this week, likely on Tuesday or Wednesday. As noted in the initial article, the story was making the rounds in the WWE locker room at the most recent television taping, so word has been out for a few days now within the industry.

Another report notes the split between Brooke Hogan and Impact Wrestling was an amicable one. Apparently there is no big incident that led to her release, as she was just another casualty of TNA budget cuts.

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