Manchester United have announced that 17-year-old attacking midfielder Angel Gomes has signed his first professional contract with the club.
The youngster, who has made numerous strides since joining the Red Devils as a six-year-old, was being eyed by several outfits around Europe, with Barcelona rumoured as being the most keen on snatching him up.
But United have finally tied him down and fans can now rest easy as the starlet isn’t likely to leave Old Trafford anytime soon.
A statement on their ?official website reads: “
“Manchester United has always been a big part of my life,” he declared. “I have been with the club since the age of six and it was a proud moment for me when I made my first team debut.
“This club is renowned for giving home grown players opportunities to progress into the first team and that was a major factor in me signing my first professional contract at this great club.
“I am still young but am looking forward to continuing my development with the help of the coaching staff and I will take every opportunity that comes my way.”
“I am delighted that Angel has signed his first professional contract with the club,” Red Devils Boss Jose Mourinho chimed in.
“I gave him his first-team debut at the end of last season which made him not only the youngest Manchester United player to play in the Premier League era but also the youngest player to represent Manchester United since Duncan Edwards in 1953.”
Barcelona star Andres Iniesta has said that Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho would be an important signing for the Spanish side if they manage to get him.
Barca made several attempts to lure the Brazilian to the Camp Nou over the summer and succeeded on that front. But it was Liverpool who stood in their way, despite the player’s willingness to leave the Merseyside.
The Catalan side are expected to make a fresh approach next year, while they have also been linked to Palmeiras defender Yerry Mina. According to Iniesta, the two players would be “important reinforcements” if signed.
“But nothing has happened, so it’s difficult.”
The midfielder has also given his take on the circumstances surrounding Javier Mascherano, who is rumoured to be ready to leave the club over playing time woes, as well as Cristiano Ronaldo’s recent Ballon d’Or capture.
“I would like Javier to stay here,” he said to Spanish publication Marca.
“He’s a very important figure in the group. We’ll see what happens, both sides are working on an outcome that won’t hurt the club.”
“The choice to decide the winner is always fair,” he added, making reference to Ronaldo. “
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Lionel Messi Hopes Football Will ‘Repay the Debt’ Owed to Him After Miraculous Argentina Performance
Barcelona and Argentina forward Lionel Messi has admitted that he hopes football will “repay the debt” that manager Jorge Sampaoli claimed owes him.
Messi produced a miracle when Argentina needed him most in the nation’s final World Cup qualifying match, and he almost single-handedly managed to secure his country’s ticket to Russia 2018.
And now, reflecting on the qualification, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner hopes to be repaid by the footballing gods:
“I hope football will repay the debt,” he explained in an interview with FIFA.com (via Marca)
Messi and his side made their way to the World Cup final back in 2014 – eventually losing to Germany in extra time, and the 30-year-old admits that even now the memories of that night haunt him:
Heading into the summer, the South American country hopes to be able to emulate the kind of form that made them so successful in 2014. But despite a less than impressive qualifying campaign, Messi reckons something has changed now that they know they’ll be in Russia when the World Cup comes around:
“After the Ecuador game, the team feels different,” he continued. “Argentina has let go of all the fear and tension that came with that match. This changes the atmosphere a lot.”
Argentina find themselves in Group D for the World Cup, along with Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria.
Vives, who spoke on behalf of Barcelona’s board of directors, made the claim in response to rival player Cristiano Ronaldo’s comments following his recent fifth Ballon d’Or win.
“Respect to the Ballon d’Or and to Cristiano Ronaldo,” Vives said at a press conference,
“We have always considered him a great player and a great competitor.
“But here at the Camp Nou, we can see the best player in history every 15 days, which is Messi.”
He also explained other decisions that were made at the club’s latest meeting.
Here’s an interesting yet pointless stat…
Lionel Messi is the only player to have scored a competitive goal for Argentina in 11 months.
— HLTCO (@HLTCO) October 10, 2017
Regarding Javier Mascherano’s decision to leave the club in January, Vives only had positive comments to add about the Argentinian defender.
“Mascherano has earned respect,” he indicated.
“As the coach said, after the January window, the club should come out stronger and not weaker.
“The general interest of the club is above the individual wishes of any of us, including the player.
“The player is listened to and taken into account.”
Vives also commented on the Champions League Round of 16 draw, in which the Catalan club were drawn against English side Chelsea.
“We had a 43% chance of being drawn against them and it happened,” he noted.
“It motivates us, they are a great rival.
“To win the Champions League, you have to beat big teams.”
Whilst he was visibly frustrated during the recent draw against his old team, Valencia, Alba was back to his best form against Villarreal and was full of praise for his on-field relationship with the star Argentinian.
The pair’s link-up play together has been something of a marvel, with several of his goals being directly assisted by Alba.
“Whenever I can, I look to Messi because he scores almost every time,” he explained in his post-match interview, as reported by ?Marca.
“Messi is the best in history and a very important player for the team. This is not just from a football perspective, but also a personal one.”
Barca struggled for most of the fixture to break down a strong-willed home defence, but Alba feels as though the three points his side took home were well deserved.
“We’re very happy, this result cost us a lot,” he admitted. “We have done a great job, especially in the second half.”
Villarreal were forced to play the final half hour with ten men, following Dani Raba’s poor challenge on Sergio Busquets prompting a straight red card, although Alba was reluctant to comment much on the incident.
“The dismissal can be interpreted in many different ways,” he confirmed. “It’s a hard decision. I can’t tell if it’s a yellow or a red.”