Jose Mourinho won't stop Zlatan Ibrahimovic leaving Man United in January transfer window

Andy Hampson 29/01/2018
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Manchester United will not stand in Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s way if he wants to leave Old Trafford, manager Jose Mourinho has said.

The 36-year-old striker, who has missed the last six games after aggravating a knee injury, has been linked with MLS side the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Ibrahimovic signed a one-year contract extension last summer but has been limited to just seven appearances this term.

Mourinho said: “Zlatan is in last year of his contract. If if if – and he said nothing to me – but if if if that is true, and Zlatan wants a future in another club in another country, we are here to help and create conditions to help, not to make his life difficult.”

Mourinho insists, however, that the Swede has not expressed any desire to leave United to him.

Speaking at a press conference, the United boss said: “He told me nothing about it. First time I read something about this is from you, the media. I read from somewhere or saw on some TV channel.

“He never mentioned that to me so I don’t know. The last thing Zlatan told me was he wants to recover totally and help the team.

“He is working hard to be fit – I don’t say injured because he is not injured (now) – but he’s trying to be ready for the demands of Premier League football.”

Mourinho also expressed hope the club can agree a new contract with midfielder Marouane Fellaini.

The Belgian is in the final year of his present deal and there have been reports suggesting he wants to leave the club.

Mourinho has previously appeared resigned to losing Fellaini, 30, at the end of the season but now appears more optimistic.

He said: “He’s a very important player for me, he’s a great professional who is giving everything he can to help the team.

“There is a desire from myself, the board and the player to stay together, that’s our objective. Are we going to agree? I don’t know. What I know is myself, the board and the player would like to have a happy end.

Jose Mourinho, Manager of Manchester United

“I know he wants to stay with us, he knows I want him and the club wants him but then there is a paper to sign and you only sign the paper when you are happy with what is in the paper, so let’s see what happens.”

Mourinho signed his own contract extension last week, committing himself to the club until 2020.

The 55-year-old said: “The club wants he same as I want, it’s as simple as that. Owners, board – they have the same ambitions that I have, they have the same desire to improve at every level.

“We know stability is very important and we made the decision to sign contract with this in mind. We believe in each other, we have common goals.”

Provided by Press Association Sport

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Newcastle make loan enquiry for Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge

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Daniel Sturridge could be on his way to St James' Park.

Newcastle have made an enquiry about taking Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge on loan as the transfer window draws to a close.

Press Association Sport understands the Magpies have made contact over the 28-year-old England international, but that discussions are still at an early stage and his wages could prove a significant obstacle.

The move comes with the club’s pursuit of Feyenoord’s Nicolai Jorgensen having hit an impasse over the two clubs’ respective valuations of the player.

Manager Rafael Benitez is desperate to add firepower to his side for what remains of the Premier League season with Newcastle sitting just a point above the relegation zone.

He had hoped to have all his signings in place by January 20, but to date has managed to land only Chelsea winger Kenedy on loan.

Sturridge has made only 14 appearances for the Reds and scored three goals to date this season and although he has been linked with a move away, manager Jurgen Klopp has insisted he is going nowhere.

“Nothing else to say about that,” Klopp said.

“Even if there would be something it wouldn’t help us, or Daniel or another club to make the deal to that’s why it makes no sense to talk about it. You don’t need me to say anything.”

Provided by Press Association Sport

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Man City boss Pep Guardiola praises Vincent Kompany after latest return from injury

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Vincent Kompany made his latest return on Sunday after a month out.

Pep Guardiola has stressed Vincent Kompany’s importance to Manchester City after welcoming his skipper back into the first-team fold.

Kompany returned for City’s 2-0 FA Cup win at Cardiff on Sunday – the first time the Belgian defender has featured since limping off at Newcastle on December 27 with a muscular injury.

He completed 90 minutes for only the second time in two months, and Guardiola was delighted that Kompany had got through his latest comeback.

“He did 90 minutes and it is a long time that he played in this kind of game,” said Guardiola, who could add to his defensive options by signing Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte before the transfer deadline on Wednesday night.

“It was a lot of long balls, a lot with the physicality.

“Vincent is so important and he did a good performance.”

Manchester City were left counting the cost of a bruising fourth-round tie when Leroy Sane was the victim of a late Joe Bennett tackle right on half-time.

Sane did not reappear for the second half and the German international is expected to have a scan on Monday to determine the extent of the injury.

But first-half goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling kept City on the trophy trail in four competitions.

De Bruyne claimed a candidate for cheekiest goal of the season when he rolled his free-kick under the Cardiff wall, which had jumped en bloc.

“We showed them,” Guardiola said, revealing Cardiff’s practice of jumping in the wall had been noted when City scouted them in their third-round cup replay victory at Mansfield.

“My assistant coach saw the wall jump and after that he decided.

“You always give the information, but I’m sorry – the talent is the talent and the credit goes to Kevin.

“But we did a good performance, we saw them play man to man and we wanted one more man in the middle to play an extra pass.

“If you go to the right they follow to the right, if you go to the left they follow to the left, if you go the locker room they follow you to the locker room!

“So we went to look for one player in the middle and we found that extra pass quite well.”

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