Jose Mourinho has grown “frustrated” by Manchester United’s failure to make more than one signing so far this summer, according to reports.
United confirmed the capture of Swedish center back Victor Lindelof from Benfica last month for £31 million ($40 million), but Mourinho’s wish list is far from complete.
At the end of last season, after United won the Europa League, its third trophy of the season, Mourinho said he was “tired of football” and would be leaving transfer dealings to Ed Woodward, the club’s vice-chairman.
The Portuguese manager is believed to want at least three further signings, strengthening different departments of his squad. The midfield and attack are the two main areas Mourinho is focusing on, with Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic and Real Madrid’s Alvaro Morata the two top targets.
Related: Jose Mourinho ‘Hopeful’ of Announcing Second Summer Signing This Week
United will fly to Los Angeles on Sunday to begin its pre-season tour of the United States, and Mourinho wanted to see the new arrivals ready to board the flight with his team, according to the Daily Mirror.
Matic is expected to cost United £40 million but Chelsea is waiting on the arrival of Monaco midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko before allowing the 28-year-old Serbian to leave Stamford Bridge.
Morata, 24, is a direct replacement for Zlatan Ibrahimovic after the 35-year-old Swede was released by United at the end of last season, having finished the campaign as the team’s top scorer. According to Spanish newspaper Marca, Real Madrid is holding out for £79 million for Morata.
Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic was also said to be a target for United this summer with Mourinho keen to have a deal complete this week. According to Sky Italia, an improved offer of £40 million has been made to bring the Croatia forward to Old Trafford.
LA Galaxy, Real Salt Lake, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Barcelona are among the opponents for United’s tour of the States.
When Mauricio Pochettino stands alongside Pep Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, it will be little over 14 months since the two coaches met for the first time in the Premier League. This time, the pressure is different on both.
As it did in October 2016, Manchester City will take on Tottenham on the back of a mammoth winning run that has taken Guardiola’s team to the top of the Premier League. He is, even more than back then, seen as a revolutionary in English football, forming an unstoppable force at the Etihad Stadium.
Yet last year predictions of a wipeout were wrong, as Pochettino produced a tactical masterclass that saw Spurs become the first team to stop City from scoring and, more importantly, the first to win against it. That game set off a run of five without a win for City, which allowed Chelsea the chance to take top spot in the Premier League, a position it stayed in until the end of the season.
But, back then, City’s lead at the top of the table was only four points. Tottenham’s victory at White Hart Lane saw Pochettino’s team go just one point behind City and increased the pressure on Guardiola in his first few months in charge.
This time, Guardiola is settled in at the Etihad. He has now brought in the tools that make the title win look an inevitability, even in the middle of December. In contrast to last season, City is already 18 points ahead of Spurs after just 16 games. City's victory at Old Trafford in Sunday’s Manchester derby also opened up an 11-point lead over second-place Manchester United.
Pep Guardiola, left, and Mauricio Pochettino at White Hart Lane, October 2, 2016. Shaun Botterill/Getty
Spurs, meanwhile, has been beaten by its closest rivals so far this season. Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United have all won against Pochettino’s team, while it has also dropped points against Burnley, Swansea and Leicester City. Dreams of lifting the Premier League title will have to wait another year for Pochettino—or, possibly, until Guardiola decides to take on another project.
The pressure on Pochettino is mounting, however, as his team is sixth in the table, dead last in the mini table between the top teams. Only seven points separate Spurs and United but Pochettino can’t risk being cut adrift. The need for points is already desperate.
Fortunately for Pochettino, Tottenham has hit a bump in form. After going three Premier League games without a victory, Saturday’s 5-1 thumping of Stoke City followed a 3-0 win over Apoel Nicosia in the Champions League.
With the prolific Harry Kane in his squad, Pochettino has a flicker of hope to put an end to City’s record-breaking winning run in the Premier League. But it tends to be Guardiola’s light that shines brightest this season.
Jimmy Kimmel Mocks Trump Over 'Fire and Fury' Book Claims: Why Did These Idiots Let Michael Wolff in the White House?
Despite President Donald Trump’s best efforts to block the publication of explosive new book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff, pretty much the entire world has been talking about the revelations in the nonfiction release this week—including Jimmy Kimmel.
On Thursday’s episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live, the comedian roasted Trump for giving the book even more publicity by threatening to sue publisher Henry Holt and Co. through his lawyers. The publisher responded by moving forward its publication date from January 9 to Friday.
“If you don’t want people to read a book about you, why would you take legal action to stop people from reading the book about you?” Kimmel questioned, echoing the notion of the Streisand effect. “Threatening the writer with legal action is literally the dumbest move you can make if you want to keep it on the down-low.”
The comedian added: “I wasn’t going to buy the book. I was going to read excerpts in magazines and move on. But now Trump’s lawyers are going all-out to try and stop it from being published, I’m buying 20 copies. I can’t buy enough of this book—I’ll buy it for my parents, my in-laws, my cousins, I’m going to walk up and down block stuffing books into my neighbors’ mailboxes.”
Extracts from Fire and Fury have been published this week by New York magazine, The Guardian and GQ and paint a bleak picture of Trump’s year-long presidency, including claims that he never wanted to be president.
But one shocking excerpt about Trump’s personal behavior caught Kimmel’s attention.
Kimmel read an extract in which Wolff detailed how the president reportedly enjoys seducing his friends’ wives by persuading “the wife that her husband was perhaps not what she thought.”
“Then he’d have his secretary ask the friend into his office; once the friend arrived, Trump would engage in what was, for him, more or less constant sexual banter. Do you still like having sex with your wife? How often? You must have had a better fuck than your wife? Tell me about it. I have girls coming in from Los Angeles at three o’clock. We can go upstairs and have a great time. I promise.… And all the while, Trump would have his friend’s wife on the speakerphone, listening in,” Wolff continues.
Kimmel joked that it “was like Fifty Shades of Orange or something” and added: “No wonder his only friends are Fox & Friends. Who does that to his friends?”
Trump slammed Wolff, who claims he had access to the White House and conducted 200 interviews for his book, in a fiery missive on Twitter Friday. He denied Wolff was granted any access to the White House and said his book is “full of lies.”
But, said Kimmel, if Wolff’s claims he was given White House access are true, “Why did these idiots let him in the White House in the first place? That alone indicates poor decision-making.”
A very valid question considering Wolff’s book pretty much tears Trump’s presidency a new one.
Jeff Goldblum Playing All 4 ‘Sex and the City’ Characters in a Reboot Is Everything the Internet Wants
Kim Cattrall smashed the dreams of Sex and the City fans when she said there wouldn’t be a third sequel last month, but the internet might have found a savior in Jurassic Park star Jeff Goldblum. It’s nothing more than a fantasy, but when writer Gennefer Gross suggested on Monday the beloved actor play all four characters, the idea went viral.
Gross shared four photos of Goldblum: The photo of him shopping was labeled Carrie; the picture of him seductively looking at a woman was called Samantha; the image of him looking coy had Charlotte’s name and the one of Goldblum giving the stink eye was branded Miranda.
The pictures of Goldblum were taken for a GQ article and Gross made them her own by adding the characters’ names, the writer told Newsweek. The only one she didn’t get from GQ was the Miranda picture, which she grabbed from Google.
“Like most of the Internet," Gross explained to Newsweek, "I am also enchanted with the wondrous enigma that is Jeff Goldblum, so when GQ published a recent article — complete with photos that show the full range of Jeff Goldblum-ness — the one with him dashing out of a boutique with shopping bags, in particular, struck me as so very Carrie Bradshaw. So, as one of many comedy writers who shares jokes on Twitter, I got inspired to find a photo of him that represented each of the Sex and the City characters—especially after the whole debacle over the SATC 3 movie going bust.
“And," she added, "if anyone could pull off playing four different characters, it's him! I thought my followers would get a kick out of it, and that it may get some decent likes, but I was not remotely prepared for the response that's still locking up my phone as likes and retweets continue to come pouring in rapid fire."
By Tuesday, the post had over 29,000 likes and was shared thousands of times. “Honestly, this is a genius idea,” she tweeted. “I think I may have just singlehandedly resurrected SEX AND THE CITY 3.”
With that much support for Goldblum, maybe Cattrall’s proclamation last month doesn't matter. She was asked about reprising her role of Samantha in December, but said, “Thank you, but no, I’m good," to producers.
Jeff Goldblum might star in a "Sex and the City" reboot and play all four of the main characters, if fans get their way. Above, he is pictured in New York on April 19, 2016. Getty Images
They tried to persuade her, but Cattrall was not moved, she said during an October interview with Piers Morgan. “It’s quite extraordinary to get any kind of negative press about something that I’ve been saying for almost a year of ‘no,’ that I’m demanding or a diva,” Cattrall said. “And this is really where I take to task the people from ‘Sex and the City,’ and specifically Sarah Jessica Parker [who played the lead, Carrie], in that I think she could have been nicer.”
It was long rumored Cattrall didn’t get along with her co-stars, and she didn’t shy away from the gossip. “I don’t know what her issue is, I never have,” she said about Parker.
From left: Cynthia Nixon, Kristin Davis, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall on October 1, 2003, in New York City. Evan Agostini/Getty Images
She’s not close with Cynthia Nixon, who played Miranda, or Kristen Davis, who played Charlotte. “They all have children, and I am 10 years older. And since specifically the series ended, I have been spending most of my time outside of New York, so I don’t see them,” she said. “The common ground that we had was the series and the series is over.”
Parker confirmed there would be no third movie in September. "We had this beautiful, funny, heartbreaking, joyful, very relatable script and story,” she told Extra. “It’s not just disappointing that we don’t get to tell the story and have that experience, but more so for that audience that has been so vocal in wanting another movie.”
Hey Sarah, maybe give Jeff a call?
Luke Skywalker has meant many different things to Star Wars fans over the last 40 years, so one man’s interpretation was bound to disappoint some. But there’s one disgruntled fan whose voice carries a bit more weight: actor Mark Hamill, the galactic legend himself.
The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson was fairly open about his arguments with the 66-year-old star over Luke. In a previous interview with Newsweek, Johnson said he and Hamill reached a point of trust and understanding after much debate.
However, a recently surfaced video of Hamill in a press junket interview has fans wondering just how heated those arguments got. “I almost had to think of Luke as another character,” Hamill said in the video. “He’s Jake Skywalker. He’s not my Luke Skywalker.”
The interview seems to be from a press junket in London, and was re-uploaded to YouTube on Wednesday. However, it’s hardly breaking news: Hamill has said, many times, that he initially disagreed with Johnson, particularly in regard to a Jedi giving up. But perhaps this particular interview is trending now because of the undeniable note of frustration in Hamill’s voice in the video.
“I said to Rian, ‘Jedis don’t give up.’ I mean, even if he had a problem, he would maybe take a year to try and regroup. But if he made a mistake he would try and right that wrong, so right there, we had a fundamental difference. But, it’s not my story anymore,” Hamill said. “It’s somebody else’s story, and Rian needed me to be a certain way to make the ending effective.”
And then Hamill delivered the final blow: “I had to do what Rian wanted me to do because it serves the story well. I still haven’t accepted it completely, but it’s only a movie,” Hamill said. That comment seems to contradict Johnson’s claim that he and Hamill made their peace over the issue.
Director Rian Johnson kisses actor Mark Hamill during a red carpet in Mexico City in 2017. Yet the two apparently haven’t made peace over Johnson’s interpretation of Luke Skywalker in the “The Last Jedi.” ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images
When Johnson previously spoke to Newsweek about his interpretation of Luke, he said, “I had to go from The Force Awakens, where the one big thing we know about Luke is that his friends are fighting the good fight and he’s isolated himself on an island. He’s taken himself out of the fight. So I had to figure out why, and it had to be consistent with Luke as I knew him. He was a hero. That meant he has to believe he’s doing the right thing by removing the Jedi from the equation.”
Johnson acknowledged he argued with Hamill over the idea of a hands-off Luke. “I had to justify the choices I made to him. It’s not like there was ever a point where he said, ‘OK, that all makes sense to me,’” Johnson explained. “But he got to a point where he said, ‘I can understand why you’re doing these things. I’m going to choose to trust you and go on this journey with you.’ Which was incredibly generous of him creatively.”
In the end, there doesn’t seem to be any bad blood between director and star. Johnson and Hamill are just like any other Star Wars fan—passionate and stubborn when it comes to their Luke.
Giancarlo Stanton’s pursuit of Roger Maris is going down to the final days of the Major League Baseball season.
The race to be named National League MVP is about as tight.
Stanton was back crushing balls on Thursday evening, sending two enormous home runs to left-center field for Nos. 58 and 59 of a season for this or any other age. Statcast measured the second, a ridiculous moonshot that bounced off the back row and windows of Marlins Park, at 118.8 miles per hour, the fourth-fastest in the history of exit velocity being recorded.
That the Marlins hammered the Braves 7-1 was of little significance; for months Marlins games, at least for neutral observers and probably for those inside the park too have been about Stanton’s push towards two landmarks. There’s 60 home runs and then Maris’s mark of 61, bettered only by men who have an asterisks next to their greatest feats. Stanton has a long weekend left to pass Maris: the Marlins end their season with three more games against the Braves at home, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Passing 60, let alone Maris, would surely be enough to make Stanton National League MVP in most other seasons. Counting against him this year, though, is the stone-cold fact that the Marlins aren’t going to the playoffs, and the unusual number of credible contenders lining up just behind him. ESPN ticks them off: Paul Goldschmidt of the Diamondbacks, a playoff-bound team; Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon of the playoff-bound Rockies; Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds. Votto has a case although the Reds will finish a firm last in the National League Central. J.D. Martinez’s slugging feats have garnered as much press, if not more, than Goldschmidt. Arenado and Blackmon may cancel each other out, and they play in rarefied air in Denver. Marlins Park is the 25th-hardest place in the league to hit home runs.
For the Marlins there is only Stanton, still aiming for the back windows of Marlins Park even as the season dies for any team with a losing record. Three more home runs in three games could present an unassailable MVP case.