Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo shoots down Man United links

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Nuno Santo has recently been linked to the Old Trafford hot seat.

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo has refused to entertain speculation linking him and midfielder Ruben Neves with moves away from Molineux.

During the international break, a German newspaper suggested the 44-year-old has been earmarked as a potential successor to fellow Portuguese Jose Mourinho at Manchester United, while Neves has been linked with Paris St Germain.

Nuno dismissed the stories and insisted he is only focused on his day-to-day job at Wolves.

“You know me, I don’t talk about that. It doesn’t make sense,” he said ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash at home to Burnley.

“Now is not the moment to even think. I totally ignore that.”

Asked if he had ambitions of going on to manage at that level, Nuno said: “I don’t do like that. I go on a daily basis. I know what I have to do tomorrow to prepare the boys well, prepare the team for a tough game against Burnley.

“This is the way I look at the future, day by day. We ignore the situations, it doesn’t affect us. The players know the reality, there is no transfers now anyway so there is no point in talking.”

Neves has been linked with a move to PSG.

Neves has been linked with a move to PSG.

Wolves went into the international break on the back of winning their first Premier League game of the season.

Nuno wants his team to pick up where they left off at West Ham when they resume action against Burnley.

“The most important thing is that we established standards in the last game and we must do that again,” he said.

“We must maintain the same standards in the competition. Intensity, the way we play and we have to do it once more and Sunday we have to go for it.”

Wolves could be without Raul Jimenez after the forward, who scored on the opening day of the season against Everton, sustained a muscle injury while away on international duty with Mexico.

Portuguese winger Ivan Cavaleiro is yet to play this campaign due to a back problem and he will remain out.

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Romelu Lukaku: learning from Henry, Drogba, and Anelka "the best thing that's happened to me"

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Romelu Lukaku has been learning from Thierry Henry when on Belgium duty.

Romelu Lukaku has revealed the influence three former Premier League strikers have had on his career.

The Manchester United forward has scored 104 league goals since arriving in England in 2011, equalling Didier Drogba’s overall mark – but reaching that tally in 30 fewer games than his former Chelsea teammate.

“But he has four Premier League [titles] and I have none,” Lukaku responded in a BBC interview when told of his better scoring rate compared to the Ivorian

The Belgian says Drogba, Thierry Henry – a Belgium assistant coach since 2016 – and Nicolas Anelka, another former teammate, have had a major impact on his development as a striker.

“We talk every day,” Lukaku said of Drogba. “He is part of the process. He has been part of the process since I came to the Premier League.

“Even though we haven’t been in the same dressing room for years, he is still part of the process.”

The 25-year-old added that Chelsea legend Drogba was in near constant contact during the World Cup, where Lukaku finished with four goals, tied for second on the scoring charts.

“At the World Cup, he was at the hotel almost all the time.

“Can you imagine at the hotel for the World Cup, where we were staying in Russia? I had Thierry there and Didier here and I had to sit here and take everything in: ‘You did this wrong and you did that wrong, but this you did OK…’

Lukaku says his desire to learn and follow in the trio’s footsteps makes him much more receptive to criticism.

Lukaku enjoys a close relationship with Henry - as well as Drogba and Anelka.

Lukaku enjoys a close relationship with Henry – as well as Drogba and Anelka.

“They know I accept it because I really want to have the same career as they had.

“They can be as hard as they want, but I take it because I really want the same thing. Sometimes when I see Nico as well, those three are the guys when I grew up, they were like my everything.

“For me to have them sharing their experience with me, I take everything in.

“Even if they’re trying to knock me off, it’s no problem. Those guys, they have what I want and they tell me all the time ‘you are dangerous, because you are stronger than we were’ and I debate about pace with Thierry all the time!

“To be schooled by Thierry, Didier and Nico is the best thing that’s happened to me.”

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Mourinho is "cool with everybody": Romelu Lukaku lifts lid on relationship

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Romelu Lukaku has leapt to the defence of Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho.

Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku has lifted the lid on his relationship with manager Jose Mourinho, saying the Portuguese doesn’t “fake his emotions” and is “cool with everybody”.

The comments, made in a wide-ranging interview with the BBC, come after a summer in which the United boss’ relationships with his players have come under intense scrutiny, especially amid speculation of a fractured relationship with star player Paul Pogba.

But Lukaku paints a different picture, questioning the media portrayal of Mourinho.

“People know a side from him which is he’s a winner,” said Lukaku.

“But what I like about him is he’s not going to fake his emotions. When he’s mad, you know he is mad. When he’s happy, you see he is happy.

“I don’t understand why people don’t like the realness about him. When he’s mad at me I know he is mad at me, and I try to do what he wants so he is happy again.”

Lukaku, 25, went on to say that far from there being a tense relationship between Mourinho and the squad, the manager is a “real family guy” who “makes the players laugh”.

“My relationship with him is cool,” the striker said.

“He makes me laugh, he makes the players laugh, he’s a real family guy. He fights for his players, but he’s real. When you’re not happy, you don’t need to fake your emotions.

“People need to appreciate that, at least there are people who are real in this world like him. Because most of the managers in the league, when they are not happy they try to find a way to seem happy.

“You should respect that he wants to keep his own personality and not shy away from confrontation. Here, he really wants us to improve. He is a normal guy, we get along well. He is cool with everybody.”

Mourinho and Lukaku.

Mourinho and Lukaku.

The Belgian conceded that modern-day footballers may not fully appreciate Mourinho’s direct style, adding that his generation of players may have gotten “soft” compared to the previous era.

“Sometimes footballers, we get soft a little bit,” he said. “If I listen to players from back in the day and now, a manager cannot say what he wants to a player because you feel attacked.

“But I don’t feel attacked, because that’s who I am – I am a tough man, but that doesn’t come from football, that comes from my background.”

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