Sigurdsson not up for sale, says Swansea owner

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Gylfi Sigurdsson

Swansea have dismissed reports they have agreed to sell Gylfi Sigurdsson with owner Steve Kaplan insisting the club are determined to keep the Icelandic playmaker.

Sigurdsson is expected to be in big demand this summer and reports on Tuesday suggested that Swansea had agreed a £25million transfer fee with Everton for the 27-year-old.

But Swansea want to keep a player who scored nine goals and had 13 assists in the Premier League season just finished, with Kaplan revealing that the club’s American owners spoke to Sigurdsson over the weekend.

“We all know how important Gylfi is, just as he knows how much he’s valued and loved here,” Kaplan told WalesOnline.

“There’s been interest in him before – there were some pretty big enquiries about him last summer and in the January window – but we didn’t want to sell him then and we don’t want to sell him now.”

Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins revealed three months ago that Sigurdsson – who signed a new four-year contract last August – was the subject of “substantial offers” during the January transfer window.

Everton have been linked with Sigurdsson for some time, but Swansea moved quickly to dismiss reports that a bid from the Toffees had been accepted.

“There has been no contact between Swansea City and Everton,” said a club spokesman.

“As far as the owners, the chairman and the manager are concerned, they want to keep Swansea City’s best players.”

Sigurdsson definitely falls into that category after an outstanding year which last week saw him named Swansea’s player of the season.

After winning the award for the second successive campaign, Sigurdsson said he was happy at Swansea and would only leave the Liberty Stadium if the club wanted to sell him.

“I signed a new contract in the summer and I’ve got three years left,” Sigurdsson said.

“So it’s down to the club if they want to sell me. But I was very happy when I was on loan here and then again in the last three years. I’m not trying to leave, I’m not desperate to go or anything.”

Sigurdsson has scored 37 goals in 131 appearances during two highly successful spells at Swansea.

The former Hoffenheim player had a loan stint at Swansea in 2012 and returned in 2014 after a difficult two-year stay at Tottenham in which he completed 90 minutes in only nine of his 58 league games.

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Griezmann rates '6 out of 10' odds for a move to United

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Speculation over future: Griezmann.

French international striker Antoine Griezmann said Monday he had a six out of 10 chance of moving to Manchester United from Atletico Madrid.

After saying a transfer to the English Premier League was “possible”, 26-year-old Griezmann was asked to rate the possibility out of 10.

“Six,” he said without hesitation on French television channel TMC.

Atletico are likely to be powerless over top-scorer Griezmann’s ability to leave with a number of clubs willing to meet his 100 million euro ($109 million) buyout clause.

Griezmann joined this season’s losing Champions League semi-finalists Atletico in 2014 for 30million euros after five seasons at Real Sociedad.

Manchester United are not for the moment guaranteed Champions League football next season, Jose Mourinho’s team aiming for victory over Ajax in Wednesday’s Europa League final for a spot after finishing sixth in the Premier League.

Source: AFP

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Mata reveals Mourinho’s fierce desire to win Europa

Alam Khan 23/05/2017
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Super Spaniard: Mata.

Juan Mata is confident Jose Mourinho can bring back the glory days to Manchester United because ‘he hates to lose’.

The Old Trafford-outfit turned to the Portuguese last summer after David Moyes and Louis van Gaal failed to prove worthy successors to Sir Alex Ferguson.

United have lifted the EFL Cup this season, but a sixth-placed finish in the Premier League means they must now win tomorrow’s Europa League final against Ajax to fulfil their target of reaching next season’s Champions League.

And Mata, 29, believes Mourinho’s fierce will to win in a results-driven profession can justify him as the right man for the club.

“Well, we all hope that,” said the Spaniard, who also worked with him at Chelsea. “He hates to lose – and that is a fact.

“I think he is the same and hasn’t changed. The circumstances have changed, the club, with obviously a different squad, but that’s it.

“Obviously he has been in so many finals and the mentality that he gives to the players, to be in a final, but win that final, is very important for him and for us obviously. That is what he is good at, speaking about how we can do that mentally and how we can be ready mentally.

“Everyone has their own personality and their own ways of thinking about football, the way to play and win.

“And I think to be a manager at the top level you need to have that because otherwise nowadays in football there is no patience in football.

“If you don’t win you are out, that is how it is.

“Obviously if you are the manager or a player for this football club you have high demands.

“You know, it doesn’t matter if Sir Alex Ferguson just left, it doesn’t matter about the size and quality of the squad, you are always asked to reach the top.

“And I’m confident that sooner or later we can deliver that.”

Mata, who won the Europa League with Chelsea in 2013, a year after their Champions League triumph, admits United’s players have been watching Champions League games together and “wishing next season that we are there”.

“The Champions League is the best competition in that you don’t play and it’s a competition this club should be playing in every season,” he added.

“Now the situation is that we are playing in the Europa League and if we win it as I did a few years ago, it’s a double bonus, as it’s a trophy and a Champions League spot.

“And I keep believing and thinking positively about winning big trophies here. I’ve seen the fans behind us all the time, both in the good times and the bad times, giving us their strength, so I imagine myself with the fans really, really happy after winning big trophies, starting from this Wednesday, but hopefully also in the following season.

“They have been so good to us in not the best moments, I imagine myself in the best moments and it will be crazy.”

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