Wayne Rooney Says Farewell England Game Is a ‘Huge Honour’ as He Responds to Backlash

​Wayne Rooney says that his farewell match against the United States is a ‘huge honour’, and hopes he will be the first of many players to receive such a tribute.

Rooney, England’s all-time record goalscorer, will make his final international appearance – his first in over two years – against the USA on Thursday.

“It’s a huge honour for the Football Association to grant me this game,” said ​Rooney, as quoted by ​the Guardian.

“To play and be involved in the squad, see some old team-mates and Gareth Southgate, and some of the coaching staff, will be a great moment.

“To pull on the England jersey again in front of the fans will be a way of me to say thank you for the support they’ve shown me over my time playing for England.”

The decision to give Rooney one last call-up has attracted criticism from some quarters, but ​Southgate has defended the decision and Rooney says it could be a trendsetter for deserving players.

“Everyone is entitled to their opinions,” Rooney said. “The most important thing is that we both felt it was the right decision.

England v Scotland - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier

“I think as a country we haven’t done anything like this before, I hope that in 10-15 years we are sat here for somebody else, say ​Harry Kane, somebody who could go on and get the scoring record.

“I think the FA are trying to move in a different direction and celebrate the players who have made an impact for their country. It will divide opinion because it’s the first one, but hopefully there will be more.”

Southgate has confirmed that Rooney will not start the match, he will not wear the captain’s armband and, contrary to reports, he will not wear the number 10 shirt which now belongs to ​Raheem Sterling.


Kyle Walker Deletes Twitter Poem Gloating Over Manchester United Following Derby Win

Kyle Walker posted and then deleted a tweet mocking rivals Manchester United following Manchester City’s derby day win on Sunday afternoon. 

Pep Guardiola’s side maintained their two-point lead on Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table as they defeated their neighbours 3-1 on home soil.

Manchester City v Manchester United - Premier League

The win earned the blue half of Manchester bragging rights, while several players took to social media following the win. However, Walker seemingly got a little carried away before backtracking on his gloating.

There have been numerous screenshots across social media platforms showing a poem posted by Walker on his personal Twitter account.

‘Our opponent was red,” Walker wrote. “We heard the away fans boo, we’re twelve points ahead and just like violets, Manchester is blue.” 

It now seems the right-back, who started and played the full encounter at the Etihad Stadium, has deleted the tweet from his account. 

Playmaker David Silva opened the scoring for City in the first-half before striker Sergio Aguero doubled the lead just after the break.

United were awarded a penalty 10 minutes later, which was converted by Anthony Martial, but substitute Ilkay Gundogan secured all three points when he rounded off a sublime 44-pass move.

Manchester City v Manchester United - Premier League

As a result of that win, City remain unbeaten in the league this season, whilst their rivals, who are now 12-points behind them in the table, have already lost four of their league encounters during this campaign.


Man City Ace Fernandinho Puts Club Rivalry Aside to Help Man Utd’s Fred Adjust to Life in England

​Manchester City star Fernandinho has reportedly put club rivalry aside to help Manchester United’s summer signing Fred adjust to life in England.

The Brazil international has struggled to make an impact with the Red Devils since arriving in the Premier League, and has looked a yard off the pace after managing to recover from an injury that saw him ruled out of the 2018 World Cup. The former Shakhtar Donetsk man has made just six league starts so far this season, scoring one goal.


According to the Metro, Man City ace Fernandinho has taken ​Fred under his wing, and has offered him advice on how to improve his play. The 25-year-old was dropped by his manager José Mourinho following an abject performance against ​Bournemouth, and will need to work hard to wrestle his way back into the United starting lineup.

In a summer of minimal transfer activity for the Red Devils, Fred was the club’s most expensive signing, and arrived for a hefty fee believed to be in the region of €59m. While the player undoubtably needs time to adapt to the rigours of the ​Premier League, he is in danger of being branded a flop if he isn’t able to up his game in the coming weeks.


A resurgent Fred could be exactly what United need to reignite their faltering season, which has seen them slip to 8th in the league table – 12 points off current leaders Manchester City. While manager José Mourinho may look to sign some new talents in January, having Fred return to his best could provide his midfield with the creative spark its been sorely missing.

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​​In other news, ​Manchester City are believed to have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Ajax youngster Matthijs de Ligt, after reports emerged claiming that Juventus had arranged to hold talks with the player over a potential move to ​Serie A. The Netherlands international has been tipped as a real star for the future, and has built up a formidable reputation at the age of just 19.


Man Utd in Talks With Antonio Valencia & Ashley Young Over New 12-Month Contracts

Manchester United are reportedly in talks with veteran defenders Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young over new one-year contracts.

The pair, who are both 33, have shared the captain’s armband at Old Trafford this season despite the fact that both are out of contract at the end of the season.

Manchester United v Valencia - UEFA Champions League Group H

But a report from The Guardian claims that talks are underway with the pair over 12-month extensions, which would commit them to the club until June 2020.

Formerly a flying winger when he first joined United from Aston Villa for up to £20m in 2011, Young has reinvented himself as a full-back over the last couple of seasons. The 33-year-old has also become a regular captain and led out the team in the Manchester derby on Sunday.

Young’s transformation has been such that his 38 appearances in all competitions in 2017/18 is bizarrely the most he has made during a single campaign in seven years as a United player.

Valencia meanwhile has kept his place in the team this season, despite the arrival of Diogo Dalot from Porto over the summer. The Ecuadorian has taken on the mantle of United’s captaincy following Michael Carrick’s retirement last summer, but has recently been out of action after undergoing mouth surgery.

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The ageing duo are two of many United players with expiring contracts. Juan Mata, Ander Herrera, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are all on deals that run out in 2019.

David de Gea and Anthony Martial also have contracts with 2019 expirations, although the club holds an option to extend both of those deals until 2020.


Juventus to Offer Man Utd One of Three Players in Exchange for France Star Paul Pogba

Serie A giants Juventus are reportedly still dreaming of a Paul Pogba return and are now drawing up plans to get the French midfielder back on their books amid his reported unhappiness at Manchester United.

According to a report from Express, the Italian champions are looking to make one of three players available to the Red Devils as a makeweight in a potential deal for the World Cup winner.

Juventus v Manchester United - UEFA Champions League Group H

Juve sporting director Fabio Paratici, also an administrative target for United, is said to be toiling over a package for the English side. And the report claims he will give United the options of Medhi Benatia, Alex Sandro or Mario Mandzukic.

The above have all been wanted by United at different points and the Old Lady are prepared to let one of them go in exchange for ​Pogba, as well as a substantial fee.

The player was asked about a potential return to Juve after United’s 2-1 Champions League win in Turin last week and did not rule it out.

Juventus v Manchester United - UEFA Champions League Group H

“Who knows? I’m with United now,” he told reporters following the question. “There is so much talk about this, but am happy to be playing for Manchester United. It was wonderful coming back here, although it felt weird going into the ‘away’ locker room.

“I was so accustomed to the Juve one.

“The reaction of the fans really moved me, as I missed them and Italian football. It was great to be back in this stadium, where I started out and won big trophies.”