Manchester United make Atletico Madrid sporting director top target for new role

David Cooper 12/09/2018
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Atletico Madrid sporting director Andrea Berta (right)

Manchester United’s search for a director of football has moved to La Liga with Atletico Madrid’s sporting director Andrea Berta a leading candidate, according to the Evening Standard.

Old Trafford is set for a major restructure off the pitch and are hoping to make an appointment for the newly created position by the end of the year.

The report says United have registered their interest but are also exploring Juventus’ Fabio Paratici with RB Leipzig’s Paul Mitchell also recommended.

Berta has been with Atletico since joining from Genoa in 2013 but took on the role of sporting director last year.

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Barcelona make surprise acquisition in bid to find French stars like Ousmane Dembele

David Cooper 12/09/2018
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Ousmane Dembele

Barcelona have made a surprise acquisition in the form of beIN presenter Jerome Bigot.

The La Liga champions are delving deeper into the vast talent pools of French football and the Catalan giants, on the recommendation of new sporting director Eric Abidal, have signed the television presenter on a three-year deal as a scout, according to ESPN.

The two worked together while on duty for beIN France and Barcelona legend Abidal is said to have been very impressed by Bigot’s level of knowledge.

French trio Ousmane Dembele, Samuel Umtiti and Clement Lenglet are already key members of Ernesto Valverde’s squad and it is hoped Bigot will be the man to help unlock more talents from the home of the world champions.

According to sources who spoke to ESPN, Bigot has been described as “respectful, loyal and a good professional.”

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Carlos Tevez reveals biggest difference between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo

David Cooper 12/09/2018
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Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have endured entwined careers with the arch rivals forming two separate sides of a football debate – natural talent versus acquired skill.

Both players have achieved a mass of success during their careers using their own brand of style, individually and within a team to capture the imagination of global football fans.

And a former team-mate of the two stars has shed light on the stark differences between them.

Former Argentina and Manchester United striker Carlos Tevez waded into the eternal debate to give some background on Ronaldo and Messi’s training habits.

He told Argentine media (h/t Mirror): “Lionel Messi, I never saw him in the gym. I’ve never seen him train to stop the ball or those exercises.

“It is all natural to him, but on penalties he trained: first he did not take them and now he shoots them all at the corner.

“Cristiano always stopped in the gym after training: for him it is an obsession and, being the best in everything, he always arrived at work early.”

Ronaldo is yet to score for new club Juventus but if his work on the training ground is anything to go by, it won’t be long before he breaks his duck.

Tevez continued: “When the training was set for nine in the morning I arrived at eight and he was already there.

“Even if I arrived at 7:30 he was already there.

“I began to ask myself, ‘How can I get rid of this guy?’ So one day I arrived at six but he was already there! Sleepy, but he was there.”

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