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The heavyweight division is currently in a state of chaos but, hopefully, it should all become somewhat clearer on Wednesday evening. 

In September last year, everything was relatively straightforward: Anthony Joshua had to dispatch of his WBO mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk, while Tyson Fury simply had to beat Deontay Wilder again, having been legally forced into a trilogy bout with his great rival. The undisputed talk could then resume. 

As we all know, Fury won, Joshua didn’t. The goal posts shifted, but mostly everyone was on the same page. Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn insisted they would immediately trigger the contractually-agreed rematch clause, while Fury was expected to be ordered to fight Dillian Whyte.  

Tyson Fury has been ordered to face WBC mandatory challenger Dillian Whyte

Dillian Whyte has been waiting for a shot at the WBC belt since 2017

Tyson Fury (left) and Dillian Whyte (right) have until 6pm TODAY to agree to a match-up

In the proceeding months, Joshua did, in fact, trigger his contractually-agreed rematch clause, while Fury has, in fact, been ordered to face WBC mandatory challenger Whyte, who has been patiently waiting for his shot since 2017. But, remarkably, the heavyweight landscape still remains unclear; who each of Fury, Joshua, Usyk and Whyte will next fight is still unknown… for now. 

The WBC have set a deadline of 6pm (UK time) on Wednesday for Fury and Whyte to finally negotiate their fight, before purse bids are called and the immediate future of the heavyweight division can be decided. It’s a deadline that has been pushed back three times already, though. 

With the all-important deadline approaching, Sportsmail answers some key questions: What exactly is a purse bid? Why are the Fury-Whyte negotiations proving difficult? Could Fury fight Usyk instead? What has each fighter said on the matter? And what is the expected outcome?

What is a purse bid?   

Let’s start with the easy part. Boxing has been increasingly difficult to follow as the years have gone by but, luckily, this part has stayed the same. 

If a deal between Whyte and Fury can be agreed, there will be no need for a purse bid

Importantly, a purse bid will only be needed if fight terms cannot be agreed between the two camps. 

If Fury, promoted by Frank Warren of Queensbury and Bob Arum of Top Rank, can agree a fight with Whyte, promoted by Eddie Hearn of Matchroom, there will be no purse bid.  

A purse bid, essentially, is a process in which promoters bid for the right to stage a fight. The promoter who bids the highest will win, with that figure then divided by the purse split – which determines the share each boxer will earn from the fight. 

This split differs from governing body to governing body, each of which have their own specific formula in hand. 

Why is Fury vs Whyte proving so difficult to negotiate?

The match-up between Fury and Whyte is core to the chaos currently dominating the heavyweight landscape. It largely holds the key to the division’s immediate future. 

With Joshua and Usyk seemingly tied up by their eagerly-anticipated rematch, initially earmarked for March or April, the WBC ordered Fury to defend his WBC title against mandatory challenger Whyte.  

Negotiations have proven difficult, however. Three deadlines have come and gone, with a fourth now set for Wednesday, January 26 at 6pm.

‘The WBC has received requests from both sides, Fury and Whyte, to extend the free negotiation period which has been granted,’ a WBC statement read last Friday. ‘If there is no agreement a purse offer ceremony will take place on Wednesday January 26.’

The primary issue, as it so often is, is money. The WBC’s rules state that a mandatory challenger will be granted 45 per cent of a purse split, though they can use their discretion to change that percentage. And in the case of Fury vs Whyte, ‘The Body Snatcher’ has been granted just 20 per cent – despite his status of interim champion.  

Eddie Hearn (right) insists Whyte deserves more than 20 per cent of the share with Fury

Eddie Hearn (right) insists Whyte deserves more than 20 per cent of the share with Fury

Anthony Joshua, 32, has triggered a clause to order a rematch against Oleksandr Usyk

Anthony Joshua, 32, has triggered a clause to order a rematch against Oleksandr Usyk

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman insisted the figure was based on previous earnings, with Fury reportedly receiving £20million for his trilogy bout against Wilder, while Whyte is said to have taken home £4m after avenging his defeat to Alexander Povetkin in their rematch. 

Whyte, unhappy with this decision, has been in a dispute with the WBC regarding the split, as well as a more long-standing arbitration case regarding the length of time it has taken him to receive a world title shot.       

Hearn last week insisted an 80/20 split was ridiculous, and though indicating a fight between the pair looks likely, he asserted that he will make sure his man gets a fair cut.  

However, and it’s a big however, there is also the potential that Fury won’t fight Whyte at all, and will instead take on Usyk for all the marbles.  

Is Fury vs Usyk a possibility? 

It’s possible, but perhaps not probable. While the negotiations between Fury and Whyte rumbled on, and after Joshua triggered his rematch clause to face Usyk, interest emerged from the Middle East to stage an undisputed showdown next. 

For this to happen, both Joshua and Whyte would have to agree to step aside. Of course, a hefty amount of cash would be involved.  

Earlier in the week, The Telegraph reported that Joshua would be willing to accept a £15m step-aside, allowing Fury and Usyk to fight for the WBC, WBA, WBO and IBF titles in an historic event. He would then fight the winner later in the year. 

Anthony Joshua called claims he will accept £15m to step aside 'bulls***' in an Instagram clip

Anthony Joshua called claims he will accept £15m to step aside ‘bulls***’ in an Instagram clip

Joshua swiftly responded online, insisting, ‘I’m the man in control of my destiny’ and stressing he hadn’t seen a contract. But, importantly, he didn’t outright deny the suggestion that he may step aside.  

Hearn later revealed he would sit down with Joshua and his management on Tuesday (yesterday) to discuss their options, while Usyk’s promoter Alexander Krassyuk, though acknowledging the fight against Joshua remained ‘the basic option’, stated they have been in talks with Fury since November. 

Having already pushed back purse bids on three occasions, the WBC are gunning for a swift solution. And if Fury is to fight Usyk next, it’s likely a deal would need to be agreed before Wednesday’s deadline.  

What have the fighters said?

With such politics at hand, it’s not particularly surprising that none of the fighters are currently happy. 

Fury, who has typically remained vocal throughout, was visibly frustrated in a video he posted across social media on Tuesday. 

‘Tick, tick, tock,’ he said. ‘Is Whyte going to fight me? Is Joshua going to step aside? Let me know because I am sick of looking at these bums. I am sick of listening to their excuses.’

He then on Wednesday added: ‘I tell you what boys, there’s some pack of cowards out there, and some pack of bull**** talkers. I’ll tell you that now. ‘[They’re] making all the demands in the world, you cowards! Come and fight!’ 

Meanwhile, Whyte posted a video with the caption: ‘I just want f***ing war, that’s all I want is to go to war with the best. F*** all this he said she said bulls***.’ Tagged were Hearn, Fury and Joshua. 

Whyte showed his clear frustration in a video posted onto his Instagram on Tuesday

Whyte showed his clear frustration in a video posted onto his Instagram on Tuesday

Fury, perhaps hinting a bout against Whyte would be next, responded, saying: ‘Good man, let the wars begin.’ 

Joshua, as stated, angrily responded to the news of a potential step-aside. He said: ‘I’m hearing people say, “AJ accepts £15 million to step aside”. I haven’t signed a contract, I haven’t seen a contract. So as it stands, stop listening until it comes from me.

‘I’m the man in control of my destiny, I’m the man that handles my business, I’m a smart individual and I make calculated decisions every step of the way. Don’t listen to other sources. If I tell you something then you know it’s real.’

Usyk has been the least vocal of the quartet. Essentially, he and his team want to fight Fury next, but if it’s Joshua first then so be it.  

What’s the expected outcome?

There are so many uncertainties here, and it’s difficult to predict the exact outcome. 

However, the likelihood as things stand is that Joshua will fight Usyk once more, while Fury and Whyte will go head-to-head. 

Whyte is the biggest obstacle here. If he wasn’t involved, an undisputed clash between Fury and Usyk would be easier to make. 

You can understand why Joshua would step aside. He has a monumentally difficult task ahead of him in a rematch against Usyk, which is simply to regain his belts. Step aside and he gets his shot at the undisputed championship, either against Fury in an all-time historic bout, or against Usyk, who he would have fought anyway. He’d also make a lot of money. 

It remains likely that Joshua and Usyk will go toe-to-toe once more in an enticing rematch

It remains likely that Joshua and Usyk will go toe-to-toe once more in an enticing rematch

Stepping aside makes less sense for Whyte. Would he then have until after Joshua fights the winner? Would there be another rematch clause inserted? After waiting circa five years for a shot at the title, would he really forgo his chance for a lump sum?   

It seems more likely that Whyte will instead reluctantly agree to a 20 per cent split and fight Fury if his appeal to increase his share is rejected. 

There is, of course, also the possibility that the purse bid deadline will be pushed back once more, and again we’ll be left in limbo. Let’s hope not.  


Mike Tyson claims he still hasn’t been paid in full for his comeback fight against Roy Jones Jr in November 2020 as boxing legend lifts lid on ‘really tricky’ situation

  • Mike Tyson has claimed he still has not been paid in full for his comeback fight
  • Tyson, 55, competed for the first time in 15 years vs Roy Jones Jr 14 months ago 
  • The eight-round exhibition bout was promoted by Triller in November 2020 
  • Iron Mike said the situation is ‘really tricky’ and he has not been paid in full 


Mike Tyson has claimed that he is still owed money from his comeback fight against Roy Jones Jr 14 months ago, describing the situation as ‘really tricky’. 

The boxing icon returned to the ring for the first time in 15 years in November 2020, taking on fellow great Jones Jr in an eight-round exhibition bout promoted by Triller.

The pay-per-view garnered a mammoth 1.6million purchases, equating to around £60m in box office revenue. Tyson, 55, is understood to have earned £7.4m from the event but has claimed that he has not been paid in full.

Mike Tyson has claimed that he has not been paid in full for his exhibition bout 14 months ago

Mike Tyson has claimed that he has not been paid in full for his exhibition bout 14 months ago

When quizzed as to whether he had been paid on Nelk Boys’ podcast, Tyson said: ‘Most of it, but there’s still a bunch that’s held up and I can’t even say anything about this.

‘Yeah, it was really tricky.’

Sportsmail has contacted Triller for comment.

Iron Mike also cast doubt over his boxing future, suggesting that the sport had become a ‘burden’ once again. 

He said: ‘I don’t think I will [fight] either but you never know again.

Tyson, 55, returned to the ring in November 2020 to fight Roy Jones Jr on a Triller card

Tyson, 55, returned to the ring in November 2020 to fight Roy Jones Jr on a Triller card

Iron Mike earned around £7.4m for the bout but said he hasn't been paid in full for the fight yet

Iron Mike earned around £7.4m for the bout but said he hasn’t been paid in full for the fight yet

‘Every 12 to 13 months, boom, something is missing. Like, something is missing. Boom, I’m missing muscle mass, boom, it’s always something different.

‘Guys want to fight me for $100million. I don’t think I’ll ever do stuff like that anymore.

‘I wanted to do it the first time, just for fun, to have fun. Some people took it to another level and made it financial and the fun went out of it.’

After his fight with Jones Jr, Tyson announced his intentions to step in the ring again with Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis linked with a clash against the boxing legend.

Tyson also suggested that he currently has no interest in returning to the ring in the future

Tyson also suggested that he currently has no interest in returning to the ring in the future

Speculation has also surrounded Tyson taking on either Logan Paul, 26, or Jake Paul, 25, but the veteran insists that a bout against either social media influencer is dead in the water.

Tyson said: ‘I’m not even interested in doing this stuff.

‘If it was back when it first started, yes, and we were both fighting on the same card and both active, yeah I would do it but it just turned bad.

‘It didn’t turn out right.’

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Barcelona ‘CANNOT register Alvaro Morata until they free up the wage bill’ with cash-strapped Catalans’ pursuit of Juventus star at risk of falling through ‘unless Ousmane Dembele accepts a reduced salary’

  • Barcelona face a race against time to adjust their finances to sign Alvaro Morata 
  • New boss Xavi is desperate to sign another striker this January transfer window 
  • However, FFP rules mean that the club are unable to register any new players
  • Ousmane Dembele could hold the key to signing Morata if he agrees a pay cut 


Barcelona face a race against time to adjust their finances accordingly to allow Alvaro Morata to register for the club, with their pursuit of the Juventus striker reportedly at risk of falling through due to Financial Fair Play (FFP).

The cash-strapped Catalans are desperate for a striker this month, with new coach Xavi looking to bolster his options owing to a lack of confidence in his current options, Luuk de Jong and Memphis Depay.

Morata, 29, has been strongly linked with an initial loan move to the Nou Camp, having struggled to impress at Juventus. The imminent arrival of Dusan Vlahovic in Turin seemingly paves the way for the Spanish striker to leave the Old Lady. 

Barcelona face a race against time to adjust their finances to sign Juventus star Alvaro Morata

Barcelona face a race against time to adjust their finances to sign Juventus star Alvaro Morata

However, Sport reports that Barca must get their house in order before welcoming Morata to the club.  

FFP rules mean that the Catalans would be unable to register the Spanish striker should they strike a deal with his parent club, Atletico Madrid this month.

As a result, the club’s hierarchy must free up the wage bill in order to make room for the former Chelsea man, and Ousmane Dembele could hold the key to allowing the club to land Morata.

Barcelona boss Xavi is desperate to sign a new striker before the January window closes

Barcelona boss Xavi is desperate to sign a new striker before the January window closes

With Juve on the cusp of signing Dusan Vlahovic, Morata could be on his way out of the club

With Juve on the cusp of signing Dusan Vlahovic, Morata could be on his way out of the club

Dembele has been locked in talks with Barcelona over a new deal, on a reduced salary, with his contract set to expire at the end of the season. 

The Frenchman recently released a statement accusing the club of trying to blackmail him into signing a new contract, yet Dembele and his agent have refused to play ball.

Earlier this month, Barca faced a similar predicament in attempting to register Ferran Torres following his £55million move from Manchester City. On that occasion, defender Samuel Umtiti agreed a wage cut to allow space for the attacker. 

Xavi recently gave an ultimatum to Dembele, saying ‘he knows how it works’ and telling him to ‘decide his future’. 

Yet FFP rules prevents Barca registering him, and Ousmane Dembele could help them land him

Yet FFP rules prevents Barca registering him, and Ousmane Dembele could help them land him

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Francis Ngannou’s ‘tree trunk legs could snap Jon Jones’ in half after just one kick’ if heavyweights collide, warns Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson

  • Francis Ngannou defeated Ciryl Gane to retain the UFC heavyweight title 
  • He is set for some time on the sidelines amid injured knee and contract dispute 
  • But Jon Jones still looks the most likely fight for the champion when he returns 
  • Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson thinks Jones’ leg would get snapped by champ 


Jon Jones would have his ‘leg snapped in half by Francis Ngannou if he fought the UFC heavyweight champion, says Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson. 

The welterweight watched on at the weekend when Ngannou defended his title against Ciryl Gane having showcased his wrestling skills in a surprising turnaround. 

Afterwards, he revealed he had taken the fight with a torn MCL and damaged ACL so could be set for a long spell on the sidelines, particularly with his heated contract row rumbling on. 

Francis Ngannou (right) has the leg size to 'snap' Jon Jones, says Stephen Thompson

Francis Ngannou (right) has the leg size to ‘snap’ Jon Jones, says Stephen Thompson

But when he does return, a showdown with Jon Jones, who has been bulking up for two years, seems the most likely option. 

Ngannou’s ‘tree trunk’ legs would cause serious damage to the former light-heavyweight champion, who is nicknamed ‘Bones’ for a reason, says Thompson. 

‘I just wanna see how big he is compared to the other guys,’ he said on his podcast What’s Up Everybody

‘He’s tall enough, but you’ve seen Jon Jones’ legs and you’ve seen Gane or Francis’ legs? Massive. Tree trunks. 

Thompson says the fight to make next at heavyweight involves Jones making his debut

Thompson says the fight to make next at heavyweight involves Jones making his debut

Jones is bulking up for his first heavyweight fight but remains at loggerheads with the UFC

Jones is bulking up for his first heavyweight fight but remains at loggerheads with the UFC

‘I just feel like they could leg kick Jon Jones one time, just snap it in half. Those are the fights to make.’ 

Whether or not Jones will enter the octagon again remains a mystery after his lack of action over the past two years. 

He has his own contract dispute with the UFC and wants to be paid more money for huge pay-per-view showdowns, as a fight with Ngannou would be. 

It will be fascinating to see how the organisation resolve the issues with their top heavyweight stars over the coming months.  

'Bones' was given a nickname due to his skinny legs but they have not hampered him

‘Bones’ was given a nickname due to his skinny legs but they have not hampered him 

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Francis Ngannou’s coach reveals details of champion’s torn knee ligaments and ’emotional’ attempts to have him pull out of Ciryl Gane fight… as he claims ‘UFC knew about injury but were not going to do us any favours’

  • Francis Ngannou revealed torn MCL and damaged ACL after UFC 270 win 
  • Heavyweight champion damaged knee in incident during training session
  • Sparring partner went for low takedown and Ngannou’s knee buckled awkwardly
  • Ngannou’s coach has detailed what happened and why they took fight anyway 


Francis Ngannou’s coach has revealed the detail behind the UFC heavyweight champion’s knee injury prior to his win over Ciryl Gane. 

The Cameroon native produced a surprising wrestling-heavy display at the weekend to retain his belt before revealing that he had been severely hampered by injury in the build-up.

He told Joe Rogan: ”A lot of s*** happened. Three weeks ago I hurt my knee. Tore my medial cruciate ligament completely, hurt my ACL and other stuff.’

Eric Nicksick (left) detailed Francis Ngannou's nightmarish training camp and injury

Eric Nicksick (left) detailed Francis Ngannou’s nightmarish training camp and injury 

Ngannou came in with heavy strapping on both knees after his torn MCL and damaged ACL

Ngannou came in with heavy strapping on both knees after his torn MCL and damaged ACL

And now his coach Eric Nicksick has detailed how the injury happened, and the thought process behind Ngannou continuing to fight.  

He told the MMA Hour: ‘Francis was standing southpaw. Francis was kind of piecing him up a little bit, and I could tell the guy was getting anxious, so the guy shot a very, very low single. 

‘It wasn’t like him trying to be mean or anything like that, it was just him taking a shot. 

‘But it was really low, and went onto Francis’ lead leg, which was his right leg being southpaw, and with the shin pads and the knee pad on, his knee kind of buckled funny. 

‘And he cringed and grabbed it, and then got up and kind of moved around a little bit and then actually finished up the rounds.’

He added: ‘We went to the [UFC] PI and got looked at the next day. He had MRI and it was a full MCL tear, and then he had damage to the ACL as well. 

‘So once we heard that, in my mind, I was like, ‘Well, I don’t know how you’re going to be able to move around.’ 

And the close-knit team around Ngannou tried to persuade him not to take the fight against Gane in light of the scans.  

Ngannou weathered the early striking from Gane and then turned the fight around

Ngannou weathered the early striking from Gane and then turned the fight around 

‘Myself, [coach] Dewey [Cooper], [manager] Marquel [Martin], we all suggested that he should [withdraw] — that we didn’t think it was the right move to take this fight,’ Nicksick said. 

‘But we had that come to Jesus moment Friday before we left — and I was emotional, man. I wanted him to understand, like, ‘Dude, this isn’t about us. This isn’t about a paycheck. This isn’t about anything other than the safety for your health and the rest of your career. And as your coach, I have to vocalize that. I can’t just sit here and not say something.’

‘But if you tell me, because you know your body — if you tell me that you can fight and you can make this happen, then I’m not going to mention this sh*t again and we’re going full steam ahead, and you’re going to have my support, no matter what. 

‘But if something goes wrong, I wouldn’t feel right about myself for not saying how I felt.

The champion delivered a surprising performance with wrestling fans have not seen from him

The champion delivered a surprising performance with wrestling fans have not seen from him

‘I wouldn’t have been able to sleep at night if I didn’t. So we had that kind of moment. I wouldn’t say he was mad, by any means. I could just tell it was just kind of a downing moment.’

Ngannou and the UFC have a strained relationship and Dana White snubbed the champion by refusing to strap the belt on him or appear at the post-fight press conference on Saturday night. 

When asked if the UFC knew about the injury or would have made an effort to reschedule the fight, Nicksick said: ‘They knew about it. Yeah, they knew about it. Nah, they’re not going to do us any favors, bro.’

In light of the injury, it is astonishing that Ngannou was able to perform at the level he did, especially with the shift to wrestling putting a strain on the knee. 

But after struggling for the first couple of rounds, the champion transformed the fight to set up a fascinating few months as the UFC decide what their next move is.

Ngannou made the right call in continuing to fight and lasted 25 minutes on a bad knee

Ngannou made the right call in continuing to fight and lasted 25 minutes on a bad knee 

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Formula One chiefs announce testing dates and big changes ahead of the highly-anticipated 2022 season… with Thursday media sessions SCRAPPED in favour of three-day weekends ahead of a bumper 23-race calendar 

  • The Formula One season will get underway in Bahrain from March 10-12
  • There are 23 races scheduled on the calendar for the upcoming 2022 season
  • The four-day race weekends will now be cut down to three days in 2022 


Formula One will condense its race weekends from four days into three for the 2022 season as part of a new look setup which will condense 23 races into its calendar.

Drivers will now carry out their media duties on the Friday morning instead of Thursday, with practice taking place later on Friday.

Saturday will remain qualifying day and Sunday will stay as the race day.

Max Verstappen of Red Bull heads into the upcoming 2022 season as defending champion

Max Verstappen of Red Bull heads into the upcoming 2022 season as defending champion

The news regulations state media activities will be for a ‘maximum duration of two hours, finishing no later than one hour and 30 minutes prior to the start of P1’.

All three practice sessions remain an hour long. 

The changes come alongside announcement that pre-season testing in Barcelona will run from February 23-25 and a second test will be held in Bahrain from March 10-12.

Bahrain will also host the first race of the season the following weekend. It ends on 20 November at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. 

Max Verstappen of Red Bull heads into the season as defending champion, wrestling the title off Lewis Hamilton in a dramatic final race of the season in Abu Dhabi in December. 

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Gary Neville knew Wayne Rooney and Ruud van Nistelrooy were ‘certainties’ to be successful at Man United as soon as they signed… as the Sky pundit reveals he was left in awe of the Dutchman’s shooting ability in his first training session

  • Gary Neville knew Rooney and Van Nistelrooy would shine at Manchester United
  • He says they were the only players he was ‘certain’ would be stars for the club
  • Van Nistelrooy scored 150 goals in 219 games for United during his five-year stay
  • Rooney left United as the club’s all-time record goalscorer after years of goals


Gary Neville has revealed he knew Wayne Rooney and Ruud van Nistelrooy were ‘certainties’ to be successful at Manchester United as soon as they completed their moves to Old Trafford.

Neville chalked up nearly 600 appearances for the Red Devils in a glittering career that saw him win eight Premier League titles and the Champions League twice.

He saw plenty of players come in and out of Old Trafford during his 20-year association with the club but has recalled knowing that both Rooney and Van Nistelrooy would be instant hits.

Gary Neville knew Wayne Rooney and Ruud van Nistelrooy were 'certainties' to be successful at Manchester United

Gary Neville knew Wayne Rooney and Ruud van Nistelrooy were ‘certainties’ to be successful at Manchester United

The Sky pundit chalked up nearly 600 appearances for the Red Devils in a glittering career

The Sky pundit chalked up nearly 600 appearances for the Red Devils in a glittering career

Dutch striker Van Nistelrooy joined United in 2001 for a British record transfer fee at the time of £19million from PSV Eindhoven while Rooney signed from Everton for £27m in 2004. 

Neville revealed it took just one training session for Van Nistelrooy to convince him of his ability, while he already knew Rooney would be a success before he joined.

The Sky Sports pundit said: ‘There were two certainties. 

‘The one who I already knew was Wayne Rooney. It wasn’t even a risk, you just knew he would be absolutely unbelievable.

‘Even though we had to wait for him to make his debut because he was injured, I never thought it would be a risk.

Van Nistelrooy joined United in 2001 for a British record transfer fee at the time of £19million

Van Nistelrooy joined United in 2001 for a British record transfer fee at the time of £19million

‘The other one I didn’t know but we spent a lot of money on him and it was Ruud van Nistelrooy.

‘The first time I watched him in training, he did a shooting session and hit one and I went, “woah, you can’t kick a ball like that”. Sometimes you see things in training and just think to yourself, “that’s a proper player”.

‘That was Ruud. He was the one who I didn’t know beforehand that I looked at straightaway in training and thought he was unbelievable.

‘The other one was Wayne Rooney and it was mesmerising to think what he would do for us.’ 

Van Nistelrooy scored a sublime 150 goals in 219 appearances for United over his five-year stay at Old Trafford. 

Rooney ended his United career in 2017 as the club's record goal scorer with 253 in 559 games

Rooney ended his United career in 2017 as the club’s record goal scorer with 253 in 559 games

During that time he won all four domestic cup competitions before leaving for Real Madrid in 2006.

Rooney, meanwhile, finished his United career in 2017 as the club’s record goal scorer thanks to his record of 253 goals in 559 appearances.

Neville has previously called the Derby manager the ‘best centre forward I ever saw at United’.

He said: ‘For me he was the best centre-forward I ever saw at Manchester United and ever played with.

‘I have him number one, up front, Cristiano Ronaldo alongside him in every single of the best United teams that I played alongside.

‘That’s the highest compliment I can pay him, because I played with Cantona, Hughes, Yorke, Cole, Sheringham, Solskjaer, Berbatov, Tevez, great strikers from all over the world, not just in England. But Rooney would be my number one.’

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Senegal ‘put result ahead of player safety’, claims brain injury group after Sadio Mane was allowed to play on despite being KNOCKED OUT following a ‘sickening’ clash of heads in AFCON last-16 win over Cape Verde

  • Sadio Mane suffered a serious head injury in Senegal’s win over Cape Verde
  • The Liverpool and Senegal star clashed heads with Vozinha in the AFCON clash
  • Mane carried on playing despite his collision and scored ten minutes later
  • But the Liverpool star was eventually forced off after complaining about his blow
  • Headway CEO Luke Grigg hit out at Senegal and AFCON for risking Mane’s safety


Senegal have been accused of ‘putting results ahead of safety’ after Sadio Mane was forced off with a head injury in their Africa Cup of Nations last-16 win over Cape Verde.

The Liverpool forward received treatment after a collision with goalkeeper Vozinha, who was taken off on a stretcher after being shown a red card, and played on despite appearing to be initially knocked out.

But after scoring the opening goal 10 minutes later, the 29-year-old lay down on the pitch holding his head and had to be helped off and eventually substituted.

Senegal have been accused of putting their results ahead of Sadio Mane's safety after the Liverpool winger's head injury against Cape Verde

Senegal have been accused of putting their results ahead of Sadio Mane’s safety after the Liverpool winger’s head injury against Cape Verde

Mane clashed heads with Cape Verde goalkeeper Vozinha and appeared to be knocked out

Mane clashed heads with Cape Verde goalkeeper Vozinha and appeared to be knocked out

Headway deputy chief executive Luke Griggs said Mane’s team and the tournament organisers’ protocols – concussion substitutes are not permitted at AFCON – had put the player at risk.

‘On the face of it, this seems to be yet another example of football putting results ahead of player safety,’ he said.

‘This was a sickening collision that clearly left both players in enough distress for a concussion to have surely been considered a possibility at the very least.

‘At that point, the principle of ‘if in doubt, sit it out’ should have resulted in Mane being substituted without another ball being kicked.

Mane (left) played on and scored ten minutes later, a move deemed 'dangerous' by Headway

Mane (left) played on and scored ten minutes later, a move deemed ‘dangerous’ by Headway

But Mane (third right) went down again after the collision and had to be taken to hospital

But Mane (third right) went down again after the collision and had to be taken to hospital

‘The image of the player collapsing on the ground and having to be helped from the pitch after scoring his goal should tell you everything you need to know about the impact and the effect it had had on his brain.

‘Yet again, the desire to win is seen as being worth serious risks to players’ health. It is simply shocking that this continues to happen.

‘This is now a real test of leadership for the Confederation of African Football and world governing body FIFA – particularly if Senegal declare Mane fit for Sunday’s quarter-final.

Mane was in good spirits with Vozinha in hospital and was discharged later on Tuesday night

Mane was in good spirits with Vozinha in hospital and was discharged later on Tuesday night

‘If football wants to be taken seriously when it comes to concussion, it simply must take action to enforce and strengthen its protocols.’

A couple of hours after the match, Mane and Vozinha were pictured together smiling and giving the thumbs up from hospital, with the Liverpool forward writing: ‘Everything is fine, thank you all for the messages.’

Mane was later discharged and rejoined his team-mates at their hotel. 

On the injury and subsequent trip to hospital, Senegal manager Aliou Cisse told a press conference: ‘He felt faint, his head was spinning and he had to go there.’

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ‘is LEFT OUT of Arsenal’s mid-season trip to Dubai’ (even though no-contract Jack Wilshere is going!), as they try to offload ex-captain and tell him to train alone in London

  • Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang has been exiled by Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta
  • The Gunners are looking to get rid of the striker in the January transfer window
  • Aubameyang is reportedly uninterested in moving to Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia  


Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has reportedly been left in London while the club head to Dubai for a mid-season training camp. 

According to The Telegraph, Aubameyang has been told to train his own even though Jack Wilshere, who is not even contracted to Arsenal but has been training with them, is included on the trip.

Arsenal are looking to offload the striker, who is on £350,000-a-week, before the end of the transfer window but The Telegraph adds Aubameyang has no interest in heading to Saudi Arabai, where there is interest from Al-Nassr.

Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is not involved in the club's Dubai training camp

Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is not involved in the club’s Dubai training camp

Aubameyang has been exiled by Mikel Arteta after returning late from a trip to France

Aubameyang has been exiled by Mikel Arteta after returning late from a trip to France

For Arsenal, that move would make the most sense financially as Al-Nassr are prepared to pay all of his wages.

But with Aubameyang not prepared to move there, Arsenal may have to entertain offers from Europe where less of his wage will be covered.

Manager Mikel Arteta dropped Aubameyang and stripped him of the Arsenal captaincy after he returned late from a trip to France to visit his mother in December.

The Gunners appear to be missing Aubameyang, having scored just one goal in their last five games and have been linked with moves for other forwards in the January window.

Arsenal are looking to offload Aubameyang and his £350,000-a-week wages in January

Arsenal are looking to offload Aubameyang and his £350,000-a-week wages in January

They held a serious interest in Fiorentina’s Dusan Vlahovic but he looks set to join Juventus in a £62m move.

Arteta and Arsenal also hold interest in Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin. 

The Gunners are sixth in the Premier League table, two points off fourth-place Manchester United with a game in hand on Ralf Rangnick’s outfit.

They are next in action on February 10, away to Wolves. 

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Jesse Lingard’s move to Newcastle is in danger of collapse, despite Ralf Rangnick giving the deal his blessing… as Manchester United hold firm in their demand for loan fee and substantial survival bonus

  • Jesse Lingard’s proposed loan move to Newcastle United is on brink of collapse 
  • The England international had been given Ralf Rangnick’s blessing to move 
  • However, Manchester United are asking for a package worth £15m for the deal 


Jesse Lingard’s move from Manchester United to Newcastle is in danger of collapsing after the two clubs failed to agree terms.

Lingard was given the green light to spend the remaining five months of his United contract on loan at St James’ Park following talks with interim boss Ralf Rangnick on Tuesday.

However, Newcastle are reluctant to pay a loan fee and substantial bonus if they win their battle to stay in the Premier League, as well as footing Lingard’s £100,000-a-week wages. It’s understood the entire package could cost the club’s Saudi owners in excess of £15million.

Jesse Lingard's move to Newcastle United is in danger of collapse during the January window

Jesse Lingard’s move to Newcastle United is in danger of collapse during the January window

United have already rejected offers from Tottenham and West Ham because they are rivals for a top-four place, and now have six days to revive talks with Newcastle or find an alternative option.

Everton have also expressed an interest but there has been friction between the Glazer family and Farhad Moshiri in the past after United pulled the plug on moves for Sergio Romero and Van de Beek.

Now Lingard could be left in limbo until the end of the season when he will end a 21-year association with United and leave Old Trafford as a free agent.

The 29-year-old England international has played a bit-part role again this season, starting just two games under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Rangnick, and is desperate to reclaim a place in Gareth Southgate’s squad ahead of this year’s World Cup.

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe is desperate to add some fresh faces to his squad in the window

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe is desperate to add some fresh faces to his squad in the window

Lingard still wants to join Newcastle, having revived his fortunes with a successful loan spell at West Ham last year, but is becoming increasingly frustrated with United’s stance.

Meanwhile, Crystal Palace are interested in signing Van de Beek, another of United’s peripheral players, on a short-term basis.

Having blocked the Dutchman’s proposed loan move to Everton last summer, United may be more open to offers now with Valencia said to be another option.

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