MANCHESTER UNITED FIGHTING ON FOUR FRONTS CONCERNS JOSE MOURINHO

Jose Mourinho says that he is becoming troubled over Manchester United’s battle over four trophies with the season reaching its climax.

United host St Etienne in the first leg of their last-32 Europa League tie at Old Trafford on Thursday night, followed by Blackburn in the FA Cup on Sunday with a trip to Wembley a week later for the EFL Cup final against Southampton.

If they make the FA Cup quarter-finals, United’s Premier League clash at Southampton on March 12 will be postponed, causing further headaches over fixture build-up.

“We cannot choose competitions at Manchester United,” – said Mourinho. “We know that our situation is really complicated.”

“We know that the Europa League is also a competition where we play on Thursdays and that makes it even more difficult for us.”

“The accumulation of FA Cup and League Cup and the match postponements makes it really hard for us. If we progress in the competitions we will be in trouble in May. We cannot choose competitions, we play them to win.”

“It’s also a good way to give the team experience – international experience is always a plus. The Europa League is not a competition we want to play, but it’s a competition we play and we respect it.”

“We are in a good phase, we work hard and progress. There was a difficult moment for us when we lost two away matches, but then we managed to play with our best teams and tried to progress which we did.”

“The plus is that it’s another opportunity to qualify for the Champions League.”

United’s hopes of making the top four have been boosted in the last two weeks with league wins against Watford and Leicester while seeing their rivals Tottenham and Liverpool take a stumble.

Their next Premier League challenge will be at home to Bournemouth on March 4, live on Sky Sports 1 from 12.30pm.

Mourinho added the following: “We have two doors still open. One is the Europa League, but we know we’re in the last 32, not even the last eight or four, so there’s a long way to go.”

“In the Premier League the door is also open, but we still have a long way to go.”

BOB BRADLEY OPENS UP ABOUT SWANSEA CITY FAILURE – ‘American first and foremost’

After getting sacked by the club, the former US boss talks about the challenges he faced being the first American manager in the Premier League.

It was never going to be easy for the first American coach in the Premier League to gain the support he needed from both the players and fans, but Bob Bradley was ready for the challenge.

After bouncing around the globe — coaching the US and Egypt national teams along with stints in Norway and France — Bradley earned the right to attempt to break the barrier. Midway through a disappointing season, he was tasked with bringing Swansea City out of the relegation zone in October 2016.

“The team had started poorly and the takeover by American owners had angered the club’s supporters. But managing at the top level of English football was the ultimate challenge. I had worked hard to prepare for this opportunity. I had to go for it”, Bradley wrote in The Players’ Tribune.

Bradley gained eight points through his first eight games, but it wasn’t long before he drew the negative headlines that appear to have been the beginning of the end of his brief career with the Welsh side. Following two straight away losses, Bradley started to show just how much of an outsider he was in the Premier League.

Fair or not, people started to turn on the coach for using American soccer phrases.

“My postgame interview after a 3–0 loss to Middlesbrough only made matters worse,” he wrote. “I said that we needed to show more resilience ‘on the road’ (the English prefer the word away), and referred to a penalty kick as a ‘PK.’ People on social media screamed that American sports terms had no place in the Premier League.”

After a 4-1 loss to West Ham the following week on Boxing Day, the American experiment came crashing down. Bradley returned to the training ground the next day and went about his normal routine with his staff and players. Then he received a phone call.

“As they say in the Premier League, I got the sack,” he wrote.

“I failed. Failed to put my stamp on the team at Swansea. To give it a real identity. A real personality. I never managed to find the right balance between attack and defense. I couldn’t find the answers for this group to play with the commitment and passion that so many of my other teams possessed. We never found consistency or confidence.”

Bradley lasted a grand total of 85 days in the Premier League. Swansea went back to the norm, signing English manager Paul Clement.

While Bradley admits Clement has done a great job bringing the Swans four points out of relegation at the moment, he points out the fact that he didn’t have a preseason or transfer window to really put his mark on the club.

“Yes, Paul benefited from the transfer window that I never had. But that’s football,” Bradley wrote. “It can be a tough business and it’s important to respect good work. Full credit to Paul.”

Bradley’s future is now up in the air. But whether he returns to MLS, where he began his professional coaching career after working in the college ranks, or gets another opportunity in Europe remains to be seen. There is one certainty for Bradley though.

“For as much experience as I’ve had with the game all over the world, I am an American first and foremost.”

Source: http://www.goal.com

NEW: TRUMP AIDES WERE IN COSTANT COMMUNICATION WITH SENIOR RUSSIAN OFFICIALS DURING THE CAMPAIGN

 

High-level advisers close to then-presidential nominee Donald Trump were in constant communication during the campaign with Russians known to US intelligence, multiple current and former intelligence, law enforcement and administration officials tell CNN.

President-elect Trump and then-President Barack Obama were both briefed on details of the extensive communications between suspected Russian operatives and people associated with the Trump campaign and the Trump business, according to US officials familiar with the matter.

Both the frequency of the communications during early summer and the proximity to Trump of those involved “raised a red flag” with US intelligence and law enforcement, according to these officials. The communications were intercepted during routine intelligence collection targeting Russian officials and other Russian nationals known to US intelligence.

Among several senior Trump advisers regularly communicating with Russian nationals were then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort and then-adviser Michael Flynn.

Officials emphasized that communications between campaign staff and representatives of foreign governments are not unusual. However, these communications stood out to investigators due to the frequency and the level of the Trump advisers involved. Investigators have not reached a judgment on the intent of those conversations.

Adding to US investigators’ concerns were intercepted communications between Russian officials before and after the election discussing their belief that they had special access to Trump, two law enforcement officials tell CNN. These officials cautioned the Russians could have been exaggerating their access.

Trump dismissed the claims that his advisers had close ties to Russia in a tweet Wednesday.

“This Russian connection non-sense is merely an attempt to cover-up the many mistakes made in Hillary Clinton’s losing campaign,” Trump tweeted.

CNN has reached out to Flynn for comment. In an interview, Manafort emphatically denied that he was in contact with Russians known to US intelligence.

“That is 100% not true, at least as far as me. I cannot believe that they are including me in anything like that. I have not been involved in any of these activities” – he said.

Manafort said he did not know where US officials got the idea that he was in contact with suspected Russian operatives during the campaign but said he never spoke with any Russian officials during that time.

“I don’t remember talking to any Russian officials, ever. Certainly during the time we’re talking about,” he said, calling the allegations “boggling.”

“I have knowingly never talked to any intelligence official or anyone in Russia regarding anything of what’s under investigation. I have never had any connection to (Russian President Vladimir) Putin or the Russian government before, during or after the campaign” – he said.

Manafort said the FBI has not contacted him about the allegations and said he was not aware of any other Trump campaign officials or people close to Trump being in touch with Russians known to US intelligence.

Manafort, who has held business ties with Russian and Ukrainian individuals, also emphasized that his work for the Yanukovich government in Ukraine should not be interpreted as closeness to the Russians. He said that he worked for Yanukovich during a time when Ukraine was “moving into the European orbit.”

The extensive contacts drew concerns of US intelligence and law enforcement officials in part because it came at a time of Russian cyberactivities targeting mostly Democratic Party political organizations.

Post-election intelligence briefings on Russian meddling in the US elections included details of those communications, which included people involved in Trump’s businesses.

The communications were gathered as part of routine US intelligence collection and not because people close to Trump were being targeted.

The FBI and US intelligence agencies continue to try to determine what the motive for the communications were.

One concern was whether Trump associates were coordinating with Russian intelligence operatives over the release of damaging information about the Hillary Clinton campaign.

“If that were the case, then that would escalate things,” one official briefed on the investigation said.

KIM KARDASHIAN AND KANYE WEST WENT OUT FOR VALENTINE’S DAY DINNER DATE

Kimye is feeling the love this Valentine’s Day!

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West celebrated the holiday in each other’s company with a fun-filled dinner date at Carbone in New York City. Kim rocked a high-waisted velvet maxi skirt, midriff-baring bandeau and oversized puffer jacket while her man kept it casual in a brown leather bomber, jeans and white tennis shoes.

The duo arrived to the celeb-loved Italian restaurant together on Tuesday evening, a day before the rapper-designer will unveil his latest creative project for New York Fashion Week, Yeezy Season 5.

Kanye organized quite a special day for his wife of nearly three years. Despite being “very occupied” planning the show, he surprised Kim with “whole bundle” roses and as well as jewelry.

Before heading to dinner, the “Ultralight Beam” rapper had one more major surprise for Kim – a massive floral wall!

Source: http://www.eonline.com

 

 

MANCHESTER UNITED IS PREFERRED CHOICE FOR THOMAS MEUNIER

Paris Saint-Germain full-back Thomas Meunier has admitted that if he were to move to the Premier League, Manchester United would be his preferred choice. He reveals that he dreams about playing for Manchester United.

Jose Mourinho is expected to be given a huge transfer budget this summer to bolster in preparation for a Premier League title charge next season.

And while Antoine Griezmann has been touted as a potential arrival, the Manchester United boss will also been keen to strengthen his defence.

United have the third best defence in the league and Antonio Valencia has proven to be Mourinho’s most consistent performer at right-back.

Valencia, 31, has a deal until June 2018, but there’s no doubt Jose Mourinho will be looking at alternative options with the former Wigan man coming to the end of his time at Old Trafford and Matteo Darmian looking likely to move on in the summer.

But Darmian has struggled to prove himself as an able deputy in the full-back position in Valnecia’s absence.

And Meunier’s latest comments could put United ahead of the queue should they express an interest in the Belgium international.

“I have always said that one day, I would like to play in the Premier League,” Meunier told Belgian outlet DH.

“I’m very happy in Paris and if I finish my vareer there, it won’t be a disappointment, far from it. But, if one day, I had to leave Paris, why not?”

“On the other side of the Channel, there are the stadiums, the fans, and I’ve never hidden that I’m a big fan of Manchester United, which remains, in my eyes, the real reference in the world of football.” – he said.

When asked about potentially replacing Antonio Valencia at Old Trafford , Meunier replied: “Ah, but you forgot about Antonio Valencia. He’s quite the player. Plus, I’m pretty sure he’s just extended his contract by a year.”

ADELE REFUSES GRAMMY AND THEN BREAKS AWARD IN TWO PIECES IN ORDER TO GIVE ONE PIECE TO BEYONCE

English superstar Adele scooped the coveted Best Album gong at the Grammys – but her acceptance speech was anything but conventional.

Adele teared up after winning the album of the year, giving a huge shout out to Queen Bey, who was also nominated in the top category.

Refusing the award, the south London singer said: “I can’t possibly accept this award, and I’m very humbled and very grateful and gracious but my life is Beyonce, and the album to me, the Lemonade album, Beyonce, was so monumental, and so well thought out.”

“And so beautiful and soul bearing and we all got to see another side of you that you don’t always let us see, and we appreciate that.”

She later added: “You are our light. And the way that you make me and my friends feel, the way you make my black friends feel is empowering and you make them stand up for themselves.”

“And I love you. I always have. And I always will.”

In scenes reminiscent of the Mean Girls movie, Adele did the unthinkable and broke her Grammy for Album of the Year in half on stage at the award ceremony on Sunday night, a happy accident and she declared it truly belongs to Beyonce. She did it, to give a piece to Queen Bey.

DONALD TRUMP’S NATIONAL EMBATTLED SECURITY ADVISER MICHAEL FLYNN RESIGNS OVER HIS CONTROVERSY WITH RUSSIAN DIPLOMAT

Michael Flynn, who is Donald Trump’s embattled national security adviser, has resigned from his post after less than one month in office following reports that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with Russia.

Mr Flynn had been embroiled in controversy since it was revealed that he had a conversation with a Russian diplomat about sanctions prior to the US President’s administration taking office.

The resignation came late at night, at around 11 PM, Washington DC, after further news reports revealed that the White House had been warned last month by then acting attorney general Sally Yates – before she was fired for advising justice department lawyers that the travel ban was “not lawful” – that Flynn was vulnerable to blackmail.

“Unfortunately, because of the fast pace of events, I inadvertently briefed the Vice President Elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian Ambassador. I have sincerely apologized to the President and the Vice Presdent, and they have accepted my apology”, wrote Mr Flynn in his resignation latter.

Kellyanne Conway, senior counselor to the president, had earlier said Mr Trump had “full confidence” in Mr Flynn, before it emerged the President was “evaluating” the adviser’s position.

The contact of Mr Flynn with Russia has been described as “potentially illegal” due to 1799 Logan Act, which bans private US citizens from negotiating with countries with which the US is in dispute.

If he talks were found to be illegal it raises serious questions over whether Mr Trump, who has called for closer ties with Russia, was aware that they took place.

It comes as the White House struggles to quell dissent and mistrust within the National Security Council, where many civil servants feel their advice is being ignored – and have even taken to calling the new administration “the regime”.

In the resignation letter, Mr Flynn said that he held numerous calls with the Russian ambassador to the US during the transition and gave “incomplete information” about those discussions to Vice President Mike Pence.

The vice president, apparently relying on information from Mr Flynn, initially said the national security adviser had not discussed sanctions with the Russian envoy, though Mr Flynn later conceded the issue may have come up.

Mr Trump named retired Army Lieutenant General Joseph Keith Kellog as the acting national security adviser. Mr Kellogg had previously been appointed the National Security Council chief of staff and advised Trump on national security issues during the campaign.