Tuesday, 7 March 2017
Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic will miss an FA Cup quarterfinal match against Chelsea on Monday and two Premier League games after admitting to a charge of violent conduct for elbowing an opponent during a match.
The English Football Association said Tuesday that Ibrahimovic will serve a three-match ban following the incident during United's 1-1 draw against Bournemouth on Saturday.
Ibrahimovic elbowed Tyrone Mings in the face, moments after the Bournemouth defender appeared to step on the side of the striker's head. Ibrahimovic was charged retrospectively because match officials did not see the incident.
Ibrahimovic will miss United's league games against Middlesbrough and West Bromwich Albion.
Monday, 6 March 2017
Barca Superstar Likely to Be Offered Maximum €35m-a-Year Deal by Catalans as Contract Talks Continue
Barcelona are ready to make a maximum offer of €35m-a-year to star man Lionel Messi, as they look to end months of speculation and tie the Argentine down for the long-term.
The €35m figure reported by Spanish newspaper Marca is thought to be the highest financial offer the Catalans will make to the player, as the club consider the impact that such a big-money deal would have on their finances.
Whilst this latest offer remains someway off of what Chinese Super League team's are reportedly willing to give the Argentina international, it is thought that the striker himself is looking beyond the money side of his contract and has several other conditions he would like to be met before any decision regarding his future is made.
With Barcelona seemingly set to exit the Champions League at the last-16 stage having lost their first-leg tie 4-0 to French champions PSG, many believe that the club's time at the top of Spanish football could be over and that a major squad overhaul is needed in the next few years.
As his 30th birthday approaches, Messi is all-too aware that his career is entering the twilight period and he is keen to seek assurances from Barcelona that the club will still be capable of winning La Liga titles and Champions League trophies over the next few seasons.
The future of the team is currently shrouded in uncertainty as manager Luis Enrique announced last week that he will step down at the end of the season. Messi is unlikely to commit to a new deal at the Nou Camp until a decision on the new head coach is made and the forward himself can understand the new manager's vision for the squad.
Whilst there remains several teething issues on the pitch between the two parties, Messi's own personal life is also rumoured to be a factor and with both his wife and son said to be happy with life in Spain, it's likely that the family's preferred choice will be to remain where they are and see Messi commit his long-term future to Barcelona.
United remained sixth in the Premier League after being held to a 1-1 draw by Bournemouth on Saturday, their seventh Old Trafford stalemate of the season.
"The reality is we are losing too many points at home. These matches at home against Hull, Burnley, Bournemouth, Stoke -- it's more of the same," the Portuguese boss told British media.
"If you look at the points we've lost at home -- all the matches where we draw -- you're thinking about 10 or 12 and, with these points we wouldn't just be speaking about the top four, we'd be speaking about the top two or the top one."
Despite being unbeaten in the league since losing at Chelsea late October, United have failed to turn dominant performances into victories, leaving them three points off fourth-placed Liverpool with one game in hand.
"Are we dead in relation to the top four? No. We are not dead -- there are matches to play, points to win, points to lose, points to fight for -- but the reality is we are losing too many points at home," the 54-year-old added.
United visit Russian side Rostov in a Europa League tie on Thursday before switching their focus on an FA Cup quarter-final away at Chelsea