United vs. Bayern for Sancho
Manchester United face competition to land Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho this summer, with sources telling ESPN that Bayern Munich made enquiries about him before the coronavirus shutdown.
Sancho has a contract until 2022 at Dortmund, but there is an agreement in place between club and player that will allow him to leave this summer if someone meets his asking price, which is believed to be around €120 million. While the looming transfer market is largely an unknown given the state of the game on and off the pitch amid the coronavirus crisis, sources have told ESPN that Dortmund believe they can still hold out for a major fee instead of accepting a cut-price deal.
Manchester United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, sees Sancho as one of the key pillars in his United rebuild and sources have told ESPN that United are the favourites to land him, but they have a battle on their hands to convince the 20-year-old to leave Germany.
Bayern are also in the market for Manchester City’s Leroy Sane, who remains a priority target, but sources have told ESPN they are keeping their options open and will press ahead with a bid for Sancho if any move for Sane stalls.
Any bid from Bayern is likely going to have to include a premium given that they would be after yet another key player from their main league rivals. Sources have told ESPN that Dortmund do not want to keep pushing the narrative that they are a feeder club for their domestic rivals. Mario Gotze, Robert Lewandowski and Mats Hummels have all left Borussia for Bayern in high profile deals in the past.
Bayern are eager to create a team that can push for Champions League glory again, having last won it in 2013 after beating Dortmund 2-1 at Wembley. — Stephan Uersfeld
Pep slapped on head
Pep Guardiola introduced a new game at Manchester City training following his arrival at the club four years ago, which is still in action today.
Each player has to pass the ball as close as possible to a defined line on the training pitch, with the closest being crowned the winner. However, if your ball goes over the line, you’re eliminated.
One day last season, Guardiola decided to play his game with some of the players. In his first attempt, he sent his ball over the line, immediately finishing last. That day, the penalty was a slap behind the head.
Benjamin Mendy and Bernardo Silva were among the players involved. Before Guardiola received his forfeit, he jokingly said: “Watch out how hard you slap me because I have not yet decided who is playing this weekend!”
Maybe worried about not being picked, Silva was very kind and only brushed the back of his manager’s head. Mendy, on the other hand, was more generous with his slap while bursting with laughter like everybody else.