Emre Can Tipped to Join Either Bayern Munich or PSG With Maurizio Sarri Eager to Sell

​Juventus manager Maurizio Sarri is believed to have told Emre Can he is free to leave the club this summer, with Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain set to battle for his signature.

Following the summer arrivals of both Aaron Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot, Juventus now have seven senior midfielders, and it is widely expected that at least one will be sold before the summer transfer window closes.

Emre Can

According to Corriere dello Sport (via ​Calciomercato), ​Can is the likely casualty of the situation and ​Juventus are ready to part ways with the German this summer.

Club officials had tried to offload both Sami Khedira and Blaise Matuidi, but have failed to find any sides capable of lodging acceptable offers for either player, so they have been forced to try and sell another player.

​Ramsey and Rabiot will obviously be part of the squad, whilst both Miralem Pjanic and Rodrigo Bentancur are expected to be vital players in Sarri’s system, so that means there will likely be no place for Can.

Emre Can

In terms of potential landing spots for the German, Tuttosport (via ​Calciomercato) claim that both ​Bayern and PSG have expressed an interest in signing Can, in the knowledge that a deal could be relatively simple to complete.

The Bianconeri believe that selling Can would help raise a considerable amount of money, which could then be reinvested into the squad. 

They have already brought in Merih Demiral, Luca Pellegrini, Danilo, Matthijs de Ligt and ​Gianluigi Buffon, but there could still be a number of new arrivals.

Maurizio Sarri

Both Mario Mandzukic and ​Paulo Dybala have been heavily linked with moves away from the Allianz Stadium, and losing either could force Juventus to return to the transfer market once more to find replacements.

Selling Can would add a useful sum to their transfer budget, and it is believed that that is one of the most important things for Juventus officials this summer.


7 of the Biggest Opening Day Shocks in European Football History

​Curtain-raisers produce some weird, wild and wacky results.

It’s always difficult to assess a team’s chances after several months away from competitive action and a recent tour of Asia, the United States or any other far-off reaches of the globe. Nevertheless, we always marvel at the sight of an underdog toppling one of the big boys, even if it’s the first fixture of the new campaign. 

Antoine Griezmann

Athletic Bilbao’s ​late victory over Barcelona on Friday night certainly caught the attention of football lovers the world over, whilst Bayern Munich’s ​captivating 2-2 draw with Hertha Berlin was a result few saw coming.

However, those are not the greatest shocks to have occurred on matchday one. Here, we take a look at seven of the biggest opening day upsets from across the continent.

Offenbacher Kickers 6-0 Bayern Munich (1974)

Jonny Hansen

​Die Roten’s record for round 1 fixtures is far superior to any other ​Bundesliga club, with a 6-0 crushing of Werder Bremen in 2016 the joint-largest first game victory since the league’s foundation in 1963.

Fittingly, they were also involved in the only other 6-0 win in a German curtain-raiser. Unfortunately for the Bavarians, they were on the receiving end as Offenbacher Kickers humiliated the reigning European champions in 1974.

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was given a top-flight debut he would never forget on that late-August afternoon, the legendary forward ghosting through the contest as the illustrious Bayern Munich were brought to their knees.

Aston Villa 3-1 Manchester United (1995)


Alan Hansen’s reputation as a pundit went south after ​Manchester United secured a league and cup double at the end of the 1995/96 season. After the Red Devils had lost their first ​Premier League match of the year 3-1 to ​Aston Villa, the Scot made a memorable comment about youth.

Hansen had claimed that (as quoted by ​BBC): “You can’t win anything with kids”. 

In his defence, United’s frailties had just been ruthlessly exposed by a team that finished one place above the relegation zone just three months prior and there were glaring questions about team personnel.

How was the former ​Liverpool defender to know the fame and glory that Sir Alex Ferguson’s young recruits would garner in the coming years? David Beckham, Gary Neville and Paul Scholes were mere mortals back then.

Numancia 1-0 Barcelona (2008)

Thierry Henry

Semi final exits in both the ​Champions League and Copa del Rey, combined with a third spot ​La Liga, had seen Frank Rijkaard vacate his position as ​Barcelona manager in the summer of 2008.

La Blaugrana decided to gamble and gave the reins to Pep Guardiola, who had been coaching in the Barça academy setup since retiring from on-field matters. We all know the success that he would bring to the Nou Camp during his four years at the helm, but it started horribly for Pep.

A star-studded lineup failed to overcome newly-promoted Numancia in front of a 9,000-strong crowd, with supporters swiftly turning on Guardiola and his strange footballing philosophy. Just have a look at a few of the players that started against the minnows: Samuel Eto’o, Lionel Messi, Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Yaya Toure, Carles Puyol… how did they not win 8-0?

Wigan Athletic 0-4 Blackpool (2010)

Alex Baptiste

Having been exiled from the top division of English football since the late 1960s, Blackpool made an unexpected return to the promised land in 2010, courtesy of an enthralling 3-2 triumph over ​Cardiff City in the ​Championship playoff final.

The Tangerines had been favourites to drop down to the third-tier that season and they were once again marked down as relegation fodder when they began their maiden Premier League campaign.

Though they would ultimately succumb and slip through the trap door, Ian Holloway’s fearless seasiders could always be relied upon for fun. Their reputation as the league’s great entertainers started with an attention-grabbing 4-0 victory away to ​Wigan Athletic, Marlon Harewood hitting a brace as Blackpool stole second position in the table.

West Bromwich Albion 3-0 Liverpool (2012)

Luis Suarez,Gareth McAuley

Brendan Rodgers had worked wonders at ​Swansea City, instilling grit as well as a slick style-of-play to keep the Welshmen’s heads above water in their first season since gaining promotion to the Premier League.

So impressive was Rodgers’ performance in the dugout, that the mighty Liverpool lured him north to Anfield for the 2012/13 campaign. There were serious issues with the club at the point in time, however, and the Northern Irishman was given a baptism of fire at the Hawthorns.

Still getting to grips with his squad, Rodgers helplessly watched on as ​West Bromwich Albion tore them to shreds with a convincing display on opening day. 

Juventus 0-1 Udinese (2015)

Paul Pogba,Paulo Dybala

Four Scudetti had been added to ​Juventus’ enormous trophy cabinet in the space of four years. The Old Lady had fallen agonisingly short of collecting their third European Cup as they lost 3-1 to Barcelona in May. They had a team packed with household names.

None of that mattered when the Bianconeri kicked off their challenge for a fifth successive ​Serie A title at home to Udinese in 2015, a side who had come 16th the year prior. Cyril Thereau got the winner as the contest drew to a close, Paul Pogba and co left speechless as the striker coolly slotted home a late volley.

Newly-Relegated Championship Sides (2019)

Marcus Bettinelli

The Championship is notoriously difficult to navigate. Even so, it was a jolt to the system to see the three sides relegated from last year’s Premier League – ​Fulham, Cardiff and ​Huddersfield Town – all fall to defeat in Round 1.

Jan Siewert was the first manager to pay the price for an underwhelming starts as his spell as Huddersfield boss came to an untimely end on Friday. The Cottagers and Bluebirds both bounced back from their losses, but Town went down once again.


Serie A Giants Form ‘Anti-Juventus Alliance’ to Prevent Mauro Icardi From Joining I Bianconeri

​Inter, Napoli and Roma are ready to come together to ensure that Mauro Icardi never plays for Juventus, and could involve the striker in a hectic merry-go-round.

With Antonio Conte adamant that he does not want Icardi at Inter, Juventus are thought to be one of the Argentine’s primary suitors, especially after they missed out on Romelu Lukaku.

Mauro Icardi

However, according to ​Corriere dello Sport, the three ​Serie A sides are ready to do whatever it takes to ensure that ​Icardi doesn’t end up with ​Juventus, as they don’t want to see their rivals become even stronger than they already are.

As a result, the ‘anti-Juventus alliance’ has been born. All three clubs are on the lookout for new strikers this summer, and they are said to have hatched a plan which would benefit everyone except Juventus.

Icardi could be sold to ​Napoli, who would then allow Arkadiusz Milik to join Roma. Once those deals are done, ​Inter would be free to sign Roma’s Edin Dzeko, ensuring that all three clubs are stronger as they push to end Juventus’ reign of dominance.

I Bianconeri have won eight consecutive Serie A titles, and the fear is that adding Icardi would make Juventus almost unbeatable in Italy.

To add to Inter’s determination not to strengthen Juventus, a separate report from ​Corriere dello Sport claims that, regardless of who Icardi is sold to, they will be made to agree to clause which would forbid them to sell the striker to Juventus after just one season.

Should they fail to sell Icardi to an Italian side, Inter could be forced to look elsewhere. ​Soccer Link state that Monaco are ready to join the race for his signature, having already informed his agent, Wanda Nara, of their desire to sign him.

They have promised Icardi a long-term contract worth around €7m per year, but it is thought that the 26-year-old would prefer to remain in Italy, and specifically with Juventus.

It seems almost certain that Icardi will be sold this summer, although where he will end up is anyone’s guess. There appears to be serious interest from Napoli as part of this three-way swap, but Juventus don’t often accept defeat in the transfer market.


Cristiano Ronaldo Stars in Nightmareish Advert for Asian Shopping Site and No-One Can Explain Why

​CONTENT WARNING: The content you are about to see may cause serious emotional distress and as such, should be approached with caution. Not for the faint-hearted or those who ever want to look at Cristiano Ronaldo with any amount of respect ever again. 

Right, now that’s out of the way, whoever’s having me on just own up. Just admit that you’ve somehow superimposed Cristiano Ronaldo into some bizarre kids’ TV show and sent it to me specifically, and we can all move on with our lives.

No? No takers? Fine, then we’ll try and explain this with logic and reason. If you can bear it, take 30 seconds out of your life to have a look at the following advert for south-east Asian shopping website Shopee, and tell me how you feel. 

Yes, I’m struggling with it. I really am. It’s like one of those illusion videos that show a prism imperceptibly changing into a square depending on what angle you look at it from. It just doesn’t compute. 

For those of you who sensibly heeded the warning and didn’t watch it, it starts in fairly normal fashion, with Ronaldo, sporting the number seven on a generic white and black football strip, rattling a free kick into the top left hand corner, before pulling out his signature celebration in front of a packed-out and definitely-not-green-screened stadium.

But then the acid kicks in, apparently, because all-of-a-sudden, children’s voices from around the stadium begin to ring out. They’re saying one thing, and that one thing will forever be burned into the memory of every fool who observed this accursed video: Shopee.

Then everyone’s top turns orange? Then Ronaldo scratches his head, and is handed a booking, before chillingly putting on a demented smile and uttering the phrase himself. Even Ronny has been possessed by the spirit of Shopee, whatever Shopee actually is. The advert doesn’t even explain that much. 

But that’s not even it. His shirt then magically turns Shopee orange, and to the tune of Baby bloody Shark (except the lyrics seem to just be Shopee-pee-pee-pee-pee-pee-peepee, naturally) starts dancing along with his team-mates while rhythmically tapping his phone. 

It ends with him striking a pose and holding up the Shopee logo for all to see, as the jaunty dystopian tune reaches its crescendo (su-per-sho-pping-DAAAAAY). And then we crash-land back into reality, trying and failing to comprehend what on earth we’ve just watched.

How has this happened. What series of events has led to Cristiano Ronaldo, the millionaire megastar and perhaps the most recognisable athlete in Europe, starring in some fever dream straight out of the mind of Charlie Brooker? 

I need explanations, but first I need a lie down after watching this video ten times over. It may have brainwashed me. 

Download Shopee on all your mobile devices, or Shopee will get you too.


Women’s Champions League Draw: Lyon, Arsenal, Man City, Barcelona & More Learn Last 32 Fate

The draw for the last 32 of the 2019/20 UEFA Women’s Champions League has been made following the conclusion of the qualifying groups, with Barcelona, Arsenal, Manchester City, Bayern Munich and Wolfsburg among the contenders looking to topple all-conquering Lyon.

Lyon thrashed Barcelona in last year’s final to win a fourth consecutive Champions League title, with 2018 Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg scoring a hat-trick inside half an hour. This time around the holders will kick off against Russia’s Ryazan-VDV.

Olympique Lyonnais v FC Barcelona - UEFA Women's Champions League Final

If they are to go one better than last season, Barcelona must first beat an improving Juventus side which has won Serie A in each of the last two years and recently strengthened by signing experienced Sweden defender Linda Sembrant.

The Catalans themselves have strengthened since losing the final in May, bringing in prolific Spaniard Jenni Hermoso and Norwegian star Caroline Graham Hansen to add to an already strong squad.

In their first European football since 2014, WSL champions Arsenal have been given the potentially tough task of overcoming Italian side Fiorentina, who landed Australian legend Lisa De Vanna this summer. For Manchester City, meanwhile, it is a tie against Swiss club Lugano.

Jill Roord

Bayern Munich must overcome Sweden’s Kopparbergs/Goteborg if they are to progress. Fellow Bundesliga side Wolfsburg, Champions League winners in 2013 and 2014 and finalists in 2016 and 2018, will meet Kosovan minnows Mitrovica.

2019/20 UEFA Women’s Champions League Last 32 Draw
​Juventus (ITA) vs Barcelona (ESP)
​Hibernian (SCO) vs Slavia Prague (CZE)
​Spartak Subotica (SVK) vs Atletico Madrid (ESP)
Braga (POR) vs Paris Saint-Germain (FRA)​
​Vllaznia (ALB) vs Fortuna Hjorring (DEN)
Chertanovo (RUS) vs Glasgow City (SCO)​
​Ryazan-VDV (RUS) vs Lyon (FRA)
​Arsenal (ENG) vs Fiorentina (ITA)
​Kopparbergs/Goteborg (SWE) vs Bayern Munich (GER)
St Polten (AUT) vs Twente (NED)​
​Anderlecht (BEL) vs BIIK-Kazygurt (KAZ)
​Breidablik (ISL) vs Sparta Prague (CZE)
Mitrovica (KOS) vs Wolfsburg (GER)​
Pitea (SWE) vs Brondby (DEN)​
​Lugano (SUI) vs Manchester City (ENG)
​Minsk (BLR) vs Zurich (SUI)

The two-legged ties will be played on 11/12 September and 25/26 September.

The round of 16 is then scheduled for October, before the competition breaks until late March for the quarter finals. The 2020 final will be played on 24 May at Franz Horr Stadium in Vienna.