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Manchester United ‘want Real Madrid’s Federico Valverde and could use Paul Pogba to get their man’

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manchester united want real madrids federico valverde and could use paul pogba to get their man

Manchester United want to sign Real Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde and could use Paul Pogba as a potential makeweight in a deal, according to reports. 

The Uruguayan has become an important part of Zinedine Zidane’s side over the last couple of seasons and has a £640million release clause in his contract. 

United could look to bolster their squad even further following the midfield acquisitions of Bruno Fernandes and Donny van de Beek in 2020. 

Manchester United want to sign Real Madrid main man Federico Valverde, according to report

Manchester United want to sign Real Madrid main man Federico Valverde, according to report

Manchester United want to sign Real Madrid main man Federico Valverde, according to report

Reports also claim United could use Paul Pogba (above) as a makeweight in the Valverde deal

Reports also claim United could use Paul Pogba (above) as a makeweight in the Valverde deal

Reports also claim United could use Paul Pogba (above) as a makeweight in the Valverde deal

And according to The Sun, the Old Trafford club could use Paul Pogba as a bait to convince Real Madrid to let Valverde go over the next year or so. 

Pogba has recently had a one-year extension to his Manchester United contract activated, meaning he is tied down to the Red Devils until the summer of 2022.

However, the Frenchman has been heavily linked with a move away to Real Madrid over the past few 12 months and recently revealed he dreams of playing at the Santiago Bernabeu. 

Pogba (right) has been linked with a move to 'dream club' Real Madrid over the past year

Pogba (right) has been linked with a move to 'dream club' Real Madrid over the past year

Pogba (right) has been linked with a move to ‘dream club’ Real Madrid over the past year 

The midfielder said this week while on international duty with France: ‘Yes, all football players would love to play for Real Madrid. 

‘It is a dream for me, why not one day?’

Pogba’s position in the Manchester United squad was questioned once again after he was dropped from the starting line-up for his side’s 4-1 win over Newcastle on Saturday. 

Valverde has become an vital part of the Real Madrid side and won the LaLiga title last term

Valverde has become an vital part of the Real Madrid side and won the LaLiga title last term

Valverde has become an vital part of the Real Madrid side and won the LaLiga title last term

United’s reported interest in Valverde implies that the Premier League club are preparing for life after Pogba as they look to return to the top of the English game. 

The Real Madrid midfielder played 33 times for Zidane’s squad as Los Blancos reclaimed the LaLiga title from the grasps of arch-rivals Barcelona.

Valverde has played five times for Madrid this season, scoring just once. He is expected to play a key role in his side’s Spanish top-flight title defence as well as their Champions League quest this season.  

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Ex-WWE champ and AEW star Jake Hager to make shock return at Bellator 250 as he makes switch back to MMA

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ex wwe champ and aew star jake hager to make shock return at bellator 250 as he makes switch back to mma scaled

JAKE HAGER is making a shock return to the MMA cage next week.

The AEW wrestling star will compete in his fourth professional fight when he battles Brandon Carlton at Bellator 250.

Jake Hager will return to the Bellator cage next Thursday

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Jake Hager will return to the Bellator cage next ThursdayCredit: AP:Associated Press

The event takes place at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut and is headlined by a middleweight championship clash between Gegard Mousasi and Douglas Lima.

Hager, 38, is maybe better known to wrestling fans as ‘Jack Swagger’ from his WWE days.

He spent 11 years working for Vince McMahon before leaving to pursue his MMA dream.

Hager remains undefeated inside the cage and will be looking to extend that record against Carlton.

He began his Bellator career with impressive back-to-back first-round submission victories against T.J. Jones and J.W. Kiser. 

However, his most-recent outing ended in controversial and frustrating fashion for the 6ft 7in former WWE world champion.

His fight with Anthony Garrett at Bellator 231 ended in a no contest after Hager was adjudged to have landed multiple knees to his opponent’s groin.

Despite his upcoming fight, Hager has still been a regular on AEW’s weekly Dynamite show.

He is billed as one of the promotion’s most dangerous men and is part of Chris Jericho’s heel faction the Inner Circle.

Calton is 2-0 as a pro, with both wins coming via TKO this year.

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

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Rapid Vienna vs Arsenal FREE: Live stream, TV channel, kick-off time and team news for Europa League match

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rapid vienna vs arsenal free live stream tv channel kick off time and team news for europa league match

ARSENAL begin their Europa League challenge with a tough trip to face Rapid Vienna.

The Gunners reached the final of this competition two seasons ago, only to be beaten 4-1 by Chelsea in Baku.

Arteta's men are searching for an opening day win in the group stages

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Arteta’s men are searching for an opening day win in the group stagesCredit: AP:Associated Press

Rapid meanwhile narrowly missed out on reaching the Champions League after going down to Gent in the qualifying rounds.

When is Rapid Vienna vs Arsenal?

  • This Europa League group game will be held on Thursday, October 22.
  • Kick-off is at 5.55pm BST.
  • It will be the first ever competitive meeting between the two sides.

Which TV channel and live stream can I watch it on?

You can catch this game live on BT Sport 2.

If you want to stream, grab the BT Sport app to watch on a number of devices.

EE customers can watch for FREE – simply text SPORT to 150.

You can cancel at any time.

What is the team news?

The Gunners will be without Rob Holding, Willian and Dani Ceballos for the Europa League clash.

Pablo Mari remains sidelined with an ankle injury, while Emile Smith Rowe has a shoulder problem.

Mesut Ozil and Sokratis will play no part after being left out of the Europa League squad.

Match odds

  • Rapid Vienna to win – 9/2
  • Draw – 16/5
  • Arsenal victory – 4/7

*All odds from Ladbrokes and correct at time of publication.

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

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Cheltenham Races: Best betting tips, preview, runners and racecards for the live ITV racing at Cheltenham on Friday

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cheltenham races best betting tips preview runners and racecards for the live itv racing at cheltenham on friday scaled

IF you had any doubt that it’s time to don the tweed and get another log on the fire, then the return of Cheltenham puts an end to that.

Day 1 of the Showcase Meeting gets underway on Friday, and this time the ITV team are in town too. We take a look at the feature races.

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Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

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Race 1 – 1.50 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle

The opening heat sees seven novices go to post and surprise surprise the market is headed by a Paul Nicholls hotshot.

Ask For Glory looks the type on paper to progress this season under the care of the Ditcheat team, but he looks skinny here on his comeback.

He managed to win a weak race at Wincanton back in February, but that was a non-event and he still has something to prove – even considering the form of the yard.

He looks a longer-term project and he might just be vulnerable.

Fergal O’Brien always does well at this meeting and his Global Fame has to be one to consider.

He wasn’t over-faced last season but showed some smart form and he’ll be teed up for this I have no doubt.

But at double the odds it’s the race fit Dan Skelton-trained MIDNIGHT RIVER who sits top of the shortlist.

It’s a race to watch in my book, but his run at Uttoxeter has gone under the radar and he’ll no doubt kick on again over slightly further.

Double figure odds look too big and should be snapped up while they’re around.

Does He Know didn’t achieve as much on his hurdling debut and is shorter in the betting, while Domaine De L’Isle surely has this in mind as a warm-up for a handicap chase down the line.

SELECTION: Midnight River

Race 2 – 2.25 Matchbook Better Way To Bet Novices’ Chase

With last year’s jumps season ending early, there will be plenty of novice chases and hurdles with runners in the mix that would not usually be eligible.

A large number will retain their novice statuses longer into the 20/21 campaign and this race is a good example.

Favourite GALVIN has seven runs over fences to his name, with a second at the Festival a standout.

A repeat of that run would probably be good enough to take this now up in trip. His trainer has already signalled the four-miler is the target this year and he needs to run in this to qualify.

But he should be fit after running through the summer and into early October.

Mossy Fen finished a creditable fifth in the Ballymore and was always going to be a staying chaser down the line.

He makes his chasing bow here, but first time out is probably best-watched.

Soldier Of Love has won four on the trot, but his rating of 144 looks inflated on what he achieved during the run.

Irish raider Doctor Duffy looks the biggest threat to the fancy. He’s another with buckets of experience and his third in the Kerry National is some of the best form on the table.

Ruth Jefferson sends down Clondaw Caitlin. She was a Grade 2 winner last season and shouldn’t be discounted although her day may come later in the season.

SELECTION: Galvin

Race 3 – 3.00 squareintheair.com Handicap Hurdle

This is a race to keep stakes small and leave any bets late – the market should tell you plenty.

Heaps of unexposed horses take their chance in a maximum field of 20 and there are very few I’d be confident of ruling out.

Captain Tom Cat was of interest until the market cottoned on to his chance. Dr Richard Newland won this with a similar type last season and he has to have a great opportunity on his handicap debut.

A mark of 121 shouldn’t be beyond him just yet and capable claimer Cillin Leonard takes off seven.

He opened up a double-figure price but is favourite in most books now. I wouldn’t put anyone off backing him but he wouldn’t be for me at the prices in such a race.

OUR POWER would just get the nod for the Twiston-Davies outfit. He ended last season in great form and why he has to carry plenty of weight, should still be on an upward curve.

His Kempton third was rock-solid form and he built on that with a good win next time out.

Fitness shouldn’t be a concern given the yard he hails from but give the market a check before you put any money down.

At slightly bigger odds Ian Jardine’s Weather Front is also on the shortlist.

Again, he’s more exposed than some, but ran a career best last time out and stays over that trip. He has a fitness edge on a good few too.

The Nicky Henderson pair of Fix Sun and Hijack have obvious claims but look short enough.

TENTATIVE NOD: Our Power

Race 4 – 3.35 Bentley Flying Spur Handicap Chase

On The Slopes will likely be a popular bet in this race, and there can be no doubting he looks a well-handicapped horse.

But he was beat on his return last year and I’d have that in the back of my mind before going in here.

Trainer Harry Whittington took this last season with subsequent Ryanair runner-up Saint Calvados and his Simply The Betts goes in the same colours.

He has the class to take out a race like this and the team have started well. He’s high on the shortlist.

Dolos should get his ground and he shouldn’t be ruled out off top weight. Paul Nicholls will have him ready and he has gone well fresh on most starts.

But I will likely chance Neil Mulholland’s SCARDURA who has progressed steadily of late and still looks ahead of the handicapper.

This is a big step up from a Class 3 at Newton Abbott, but his trainer looks to have found him a good spot and he might just catch one or two a bit cold on their comebacks.

He jumped a bit right last time out and he can’t repeat that here but looks a bet to me at current odds.

SELECTION: Scardura

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

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