World Cup Star’s Father Confirms Contact From Barcelona Over Potential Summer Transfer

Mexico star Hirving Lozano made his mark in the 2018 World Cup when he put the Germans to the sword on Sunday, scoring the only game of the match to produce one of the tournament’s most shocking results.

The 22-year-old currently plies his trade at Dutch outfit PSV Eindhoven, but he has been a target for many other clubs for quite some time. 

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Manchester United were believed to be one of the player’s strongest suitors before he left Pachucha for the Netherlands last summer, and Everton are now reported as having a keen interest.

Barcelona, though, have also taken notice of the youngster’s exploits, with various sources claiming an approach has already been made. And Lozano’s father has since confirmed as much in an interview with ESPN Radio Formula.

“There are, yes, approaches, but still nothing is very clear, we will talk after the World Cup,” he revealed.

“I think that when the World Cup finishes we will see the reality, if he will stay in PSV or if he will go to another team.”

Lozano scored 17 goals and assisted eight more in 29 league appearances for PSV last season, giving them a huge push in their run to the Eredivisie title as they pipped Ajax by four points.

The club will obviously hope to keep him, yet they may not be able to refuse an offer from the cash-strapped Spanish side, who are known to pursue their targets relentlessly.

Mexico, meanwhile, will play their second game of the tournament against South Korea on Saturday. Another win would see them seal qualification for the knockout round. 

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3 Key Battles Which Could Decide Belgium’s World Cup Clash Against Tunisia on Saturday

Belgium will take on Tunisia in Moscow on Saturday, in what could prove to be a crucial Group G clash in the FIFA World Cup. A Belgium victory would virtually guarantee their place in the last 16, after a 3-0 win over Panama in their opener.

Realistically, Tunisia need at least a draw in order to keep their slim hopes alive, after their heartbreaking 2-1 defeat by England on Monday. It looks unlikely that the Eagles of Carthage will be able to contain Belgium for 90 minutes, but the Red Devils can’t afford to be complacent. If Roberto Martinez’s side play as poorly as they did in the first half against Panama, Tunisia have a reasonable chance of earning a point.

Nevertheless, if they are to match their achievement of 2002 – when they held Belgium to a 1-1 draw in the World Cup group stages – Tunisia will need to neutralise several exceptionally talented attacking stars. Here are three of the key battles which the underdogs will need to win in order to frustrate the much-vaunted Belgians on Saturday:

1. Kevin de Bruyne vs. Ellyes Skhiri

On Saturday, Tunisia’s defensive midfielder Ellyes Skhiri will have one of the least enviable jobs in world football – keeping Kevin de Bruyne quiet for 90 minutes.

The Belgium and Manchester City playmaker is one of the most gifted passers and crossers in the world – as he demonstrated with a sumptuous assist for Romelu Lukaku against Panama. He also has a penchant for spectacular long range strikes.

Seeing as Skhiri and his midfield colleagues struggled to cope with the creative powers of Jordan Henderson in their clash with England, de Bruyne could give them a very torrid time indeed.

2. Eden Hazard vs. Dylan Bronn

The agile Chelsea winger may have had a relatively subdued game against Panama, at least by his high standards, but only an incredibly foolish defender would underestimate Eden Hazard’s capacity to produce something from nothing. He’s the kind of player who can do nothing for 89 minutes and then score a wonder goal.

Dylan Bronn proved against England that he’s a highly competent full back. However, ‘highly competent’ may not be good enough against a player of Hazard’s calibre. 

Bronn also showed against the Three Lions that he likes to push forward – which could prove fatal against Hazard.

3. Romelu Lukaku vs. Syam Ben Youssef & Yassine Meriah

From Tunisia’s point of view, perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the England game was the nature of the goals they conceded – both of which owed a great deal to poor marking. 

If Tunisia’s centre backs give Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku as much freedom as they gave England’s Harry Kane, they can expect to be ruthlessly punished.

Although Lukaku had a frustrating season with Manchester United in the Premier League, he remains one of the deadliest strikers in European football. On Saturday, he’ll be looking to add to the impressive brace he scored against Panama.

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Real Madrid Linked With Complicated Part-Exchange Summer Swoop for Man Utd Star

​Real Madrid are reportedly eying an ambitious summer move for Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku as a replacement for Karim Benzema and would even offer Cristiano Ronaldo to the Old Trafford club in exchange after growing tired of his contract demands.

The wild gossip comes from Spanish outlet Diario Gol (DG), claiming that Real have identified Lukaku as a younger alternative to 30-year-old Benzema – incidentally, the Frenchman no longer has great fellow countryman Zinedine Zidane fighting his corner at the Bernabeu.

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The rather complicated story alleges that Real remain unprepared to meet Ronaldo’s request of a new contract worth €45m per year, a proposed deal that would see him out earn Lionel Messi and become the world’s highest paid player once more.

But it is said that Real will only pay him €25m plus another €5m in bonuses. The club is apparently taking account of Ronaldo’s age and the impact on the dressing room – his attitude is described as ‘incendiary to the squad’ and president Florentino Perez has apparently been warned about succumbing to his requests by other players, of whom only Isco is named by DG.

If Ronaldo is to stay, he will become the club’s new central striker, replacing Benzema in the team. But the other option is to have super agent Jorge Mendes find a buyer and let him go, with Manchester United unsurprisingly the first destination the report from DG settles on.

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And while it is claimed that United would want Ronaldo, who still holds the club dear for the six years he spent at Old Trafford from 2003 to 2009, Perez has a ‘counter offer’ that would go beyond simply selling the five-time Ballon d’Or winner back to his old team.

It could never be that simple where Los Blancos are concerned.

That is because Real, who would be in the market for a new ‘number nine’ if both Benzema and Ronaldo are to leave the Spanish capital, would demand that Lukaku is part of the deal.

Where this all falls down – you surely knew it would – is that United will not sell Lukaku. Along with Paul Pogba, he is said to be the player that the 20-time English champions are most committed to keeping. The club invested up to £75m just last summer and got 27 goals straight off the bat from the Belgian in his first season.

If United won’t play ball, DG claims Real would then offer Gareth Bale, a player never not linked with a move to Old Trafford, and would ask to have Pogba in exchange instead.

You can see where this is going can’t you?

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And because none of that will happen, DG has ultimately settled on Real chasing 19-year-old Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe. In that scenario, Ronaldo is once again involved in some kind of ‘if you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’ exercise between the two clubs.

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Former Man Utd Starlet Lifts Lid on Mourinho’s Cold Shoulder Treatment After Defection Abroad

​Indy Boonen has lifted the lid on the ice-cold reception he received from ​Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho during his brief spells with the senior side, prior to his decision to depart from the club’s academy in favour of a move to Belgian outfit KV Oostende. 

The 19-year-old forward was labelled as one of the Red Devils’ brightest academy prospects prior to his departure, where he was involved in 32 goals during his time with the under-18s, 19s and 23s. 

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Boonen turned down a new deal at Old Trafford to return to his native Belgium after three-and-a-half-years with the Premier League outfit, where his finishing ability earned him a number of invites from Mourinho to train with the first team. 

Speaking to ​HLN about his experiences with United’s senior side, Boonen revealed the treatment he received by the manager during his appearances at the club’s Carrington training base.

“The first team, that was a different world. You were hardly looked at, not even by Lukaku. I had a few friends, like Ander Herrera and Antonio Valencia, with whom I still have contact,” he said. 

“Mourinho? He did not look at me. He shook my hand, like he did with the other players, but he was very distant. He isolated himself with a few players. He never talked to me.”

Considerable competition for places limited Boonen’s chances at the club in both the senior set up and at reserve level, where he made just 12 starts in United’s reserve side who were relegated from Premier League Two last season.

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His decision to leave the club arose due to the opportunities he foresaw under KVO boss Gert Verheyen, whom he played for whilst representing Belgium’s Under-19 side, as he added: “At United I learned a lot, but now it’s time to play.”

The 19-year-old, who rose through Genk’s famous academy, signed a three-year contract at the Versluys Arena. 

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Image of Gareth Southgate’s Notes Suggest Man City & Spurs Stars Will Miss England’s Panama Clash

​Manchester City star Raheem Sterling could find himself dropped for England’s World Cup clash with Panama on Sunday if a snapshot of Gareth Southgate’s notebook from Wednesday’s training session is a true indication of the manager’s plans for the game.

Sterling partnered Harry Kane up front during England’s 2-1 win over Tunisia in the Group G opener on Monday night, but a host of missed opportunities saw his place called into question.

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And given the way that both Marcus Rashford and Ruben Loftus-Cheek performed after coming off the bench, Southgate appears to be weighing up his options.

Whether intentionally or not, a photographer present at training managed to snap a picture of Southgate’s notes, which appeared to show a first XI with secondary options for each position.


Rashford is listed up front alongside Kane, with Jamie Vardy as the back up, while Loftus-Cheek was put in midfield, with Sterling left out.

Dele Alli was another not listed in the potential starting team. The 22-year-old Tottenham star has been struggling with a thigh injury since the Tunisia game, missing consecutive days of training, and it appears that Southgate may not be willing to risk him unnecessarily.

Aside from the two potential changes, it looks as though Southgate will keep the same team that faced Tunisia. That means places for Jordan Pickford, Kieran Tripper, Kyle Walker, John Stones, Harry Maguire, Ashley Young, Jordan Henderson, Jesse Lingard and Harry Kane.

Following the Panama game, England will then face Belgium in a clash that could well decide who tops Group G. Whoever qualifies will subsequently go on to face the winners and runners-up from Group H – either Senegal, Japan, Colombia or Poland.

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Senegal and Japan were surprise winners in the opening round of Group H games.

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