Alexis Sanchez the 'perfect player' for Manchester United, says Wayne Rooney

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Wayne Rooney has backed Sanchez to inspire the rest of United's attackers.

Record Manchester United goalscorer Wayne Rooney has described Alexis Sanchez as the “perfect” signing for his former club, comparing the Chilean to former strike partner Carlos Tevez.

Sanchez, who seemed set to join Manchester City before United gazumped their neighbours to sign the player from Arsenal, recorded an assist in a man-of-the-match display on his United debut against Yeovil Town in the FA Cup, and although he had a quiet outing in his next match as United lost to Tottenham, he opened his account for his new club in a 2-0 win over Huddersfield on Saturday.

Rooney, who left United to return to Everton last summer after winning every trophy on offer at the Manchester club, was part of a thrilling three-pronged strike force alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez which did the Premier League and Champions League double in 2007-08, and says Sanchez’s arrival could have the same effect as Tevez’s signing in 2007 did.

“For me he’s the perfect player for Manchester United, he’s got aggression, passion, desire and you can see he’s a winner,” he told Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football show.

“That’s sort of what Manchester United have lacked – players around (Romelu) Lukaku who are going to push him on and help him score more goals.

“They are the players you want, almost like (Carlos) Tevez when he joined United.

“Those players lift the others.”

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Who could replace Antonio Conte? Four potential candidates to become the Chelsea manager

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Antonio Conte is on the cusp of being dismissed by Chelsea following his side’s 4-1 thrashing to Watford on Monday.

The Italian’s future had been under the microscope following a period of lacklustre form – which includes three wins, four draws and three losses since the turn of the year.

Here, we take a look at four replacements should Conte leave Stamford Bridge with the Blues way off the pace in 4th spot.

LUIS ENRIQUE
AGE:
 47

NATIONALITY: Spanish

The front-runner for the Chelsea job.

The former Barcelona boss has been out of work since taking a sabbatical from the game after leaving the Camp Nou last May.

The Spaniard departed the club after three years, which included one Champions League title as well as two La Liga and Copa del Rey doubles.

If a new manager was required before the season’s end it is doubtful that Enrique would take the job, however, a summer approach could be possible.

Luis Enrique: Out of work and looking for a new challenge.

GUUS HIDDINK
AGE:
 71
NATIONALITY: Dutch

The Dutchman has enjoyed two interim spells in charge at the club and would be the ideal option if Conte is sacked mid-season.

Hiddink first stepped in during the 2008/2009 season after Luiz Felipe Scolari was sacked – winning the FA Cup, before returning to the club in 2015 following the dismissal of Jose Mourinho.

At 71, Hiddink has buckets of experience in management and is clearly a trusted figure for club owner Roman Abramovich.

A return to Stamford Bridge is surely the perfect short-term fix, before hierarchy at the west London club bid for a marquee boss during the summer.

Guus Hiddink has twice been in the Chelsea hotseat previously.

MASSIMILIANO ALLEGRI
AGE:
 50
NATIONALITY: Italian

One of the favourites to become the next Chelsea manager on the back of a recent report in Corriere dello Sport which suggested the club have already agreed a deal in principle for his services.

The 50-year-old did well to sustain Conte’s success at Juventus – securing three Serie A titles and reaching two Champions League finals.

A new challenge surely awaits Allegri after a trophy-laden stint in Torino, but could it be as Italy’s national manager rather than in the Premier League.

Allegri is being linked with the job.

EDDIE HOWE
AGE:
 40
NATIONALITY: English

Football has been waiting for the Cherries boss to rise up the managerial ladder, and perhaps this could be his chance to showcase his talents if an approach came from the Blues.

Bournemouth’s playing style and incredible journey has earned him plenty of plaudits, but the only negative is he is yet to gain experience at a club who are challenging for trophies.

And with Abramovich showing a lack of patience with his managers for over a decade, the 40-year-old would be more suitable to a mid-table outfit where he may be afforded time to put structures in place.

Ready for a new challenge? Eddie Howe.

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Chelsea are fighting hard for Antonio Conte, says Cesar Azpilicueta

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Antonio Conte's future at Chelsea is uncertain

Cesar Azpilicueta insists he and his Chelsea team-mates are not letting down under-fire manager Antonio Conte.

The Blues were thrashed 4-1 at Watford on Monday night as pressure on Conte’s position intensified.

Eden Hazard looked to have rescued a point for the visitors, who had Tiemoue Bakayoko sent off in the first half, after Troy Deeney had put Watford ahead from the penalty spot.

But the Hornets scored three in the last six minutes to wrap up a comprehensive victory and leave Conte’s future in the balance.

Some bookmakers have suspended betting on the Italian being sacked as Chelsea sit 19 points adrift of Premier League leaders Manchester City and one one point clear of Tottenham in fifth.

The manner of defeat at Vicarage Road is bad enough in isolation but, coupled with the fact Bournemouth won 3-0 at Stamford Bridge last week, there is clearly an issue with the form of the reigning champions.
But Azpilicueta declared after the game that the players were still fighting for their manager.

Asked if he felt like the players were letting Conte down, the Spain international replied: “No. I think if you see the training sessions, we all fight hard.

Chelsea celebrate

“We are the first to be disappointed with the way the last two games went. That’s really hard. We are getting penalised in the bad moments we are having in the game.

“It’s not a long period, but in this league, which is so tough, you get punished as soon as you drop a bit. We are here altogether. We are all disappointed with the result.

“I know that there has been speculation all the time in the five to six years I have been here. As a player, what I want is to come back to the training pitch as soon as possible, to work hard and to get into Monday’s game, to get the three points and to get our confidence back.”

By the time Chelsea kick off at home to West Brom next Monday they could be outside the top four – something Azpilicueta admits would be a bitter pill to swallow.

“It will be difficult if that happens because we were in a very good position – we were fighting for second,” he added.

“But after two defeats we have dropped. The gap (to the teams behind) is getting closer and closer.

“We have to know that on Monday we might start out of the top four but we have it in our hands to get back into it.”

After Hazard’s sublime equaliser it appeared as though Chelsea could even leave Hertfordshire with all three points – only for Watford to respond in scintillating fashion.

Daryl Janmaat scored a well-taken individual effort to restore their lead before Gerard Deulofeu and Roberto Pereyra sealed the win as new head coach Javi Gracia oversaw victory in his first game at Vicarage Road.

“It is a massive win,” Janmaat told the club’s official website. “We needed three points and we did it, we played a great game.

“We knew they were a bit under pressure so we wanted to get on them quick and as soon as possible at the start of the game.

“I think we did well, we pressed them really well. We still had the belief we could win because we had a lot of energy, more than them, and that was the key today.”

Provided by Press Association Sport 

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