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Marc Skinner explains Jackie Groenen’s Manchester United exit

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Marc Skinner has admitted that Manchester United were not expecting to lose Jackie Groenen during the summer transfer window, but described the deal to sell the midfielder to PSG as ‘good business’.

Groenen had stated in early September that she was expecting to stay at United ahead of the 2022/23 WSL campaign. However, the 27-year-old made the switch to PSG on Thursday – one week after the English transfer closed, meaning United were unable to bring in a replacement.

Groenen was set to be out of contract in June, and would have been able to sign a pre-contract at another club in January before moving on for free in the summer.

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“I said last week, I was asked quite honestly the question and I said at that moment we hadn’t received any kind of offers for anyone but every player for every club has a price, and especially where we’re now looking at the end of a contract; in three months time, Jackie could have signed a pre-contract somewhere else,” Skinner explained.

“So for us it was a deal that matched what the club would take for Jackie but also it ends up being a good deal for all.

“I understand the fans may be frustrated at the moment, but there are plenty of players that have the opportunity to step up and show their qualities. So for us, we wasn’t expecting that to happen but it was a moment that is good business for everyone involved.”

Marc Skinner is naturally disappointed to lose Jackie Groenen

Marc Skinner is naturally disappointed to lose Jackie Groenen / Charlotte Tattersall/GettyImages

Reports in the Dutch media stated that PSG had paid €150,000 to land Groenen, but Skinner refused to confirm the fee, simply labelling it ‘a good price for both parties’.

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The United boss explained that although there had been interest in Groenen before the English transfer window closed, no formal offer was submitted until after the window shut.

“There was interest before that window but in all honesty it was not until that point that the offer came in that it was acceptable for us to even think about letting Jackie go,” Skinner added.

“For us it was beyond that window, we had interest prior to that, but it was beyond that window when we actually got a deal that will help us build into the future plan as well, so that’s the reality of it.

“Of course conversations go but unless people show their true intent, you don’t take them seriously.”

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Eric Cantona suggests David Beckham has made ‘big mistake’ with World Cup ambassadorship

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Eric Cantona has insisted that ex-professional footballers such as former Manchester United teammate David Beckham have made a ‘big mistake’ in becoming ambassadors for this winter’s World Cup in Qatar.

There have been several major criticisms regarding the showpiece tournament, largely relating to Qatar’s human rights record and its treatment of migrant workers.

Cantona, one of football’s most outspoken and charismatic figures, revealed in January that he would be boycotting this year’s World Cup.

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“It’s only about money and the way they treated the people who built the stadiums, it’s horrible. And thousands of people died. And yet we will celebrate this World Cup. Personally, I will not watch it. I understand football is a business. But I thought it was the only place where everybody could have a chance,” he told The Athletic.

He also said that he does not expect players to take up the same stance, adding: “If you have a player who says, ‘I will boycott the World Cup’, you say, ‘Bravo’. But you cannot condemn a 20-year-old player, who has a 10-year career, who lives in a world surrounded by people from football 24 hours per day.

“But do speak about the federations, speak about the politicians, who have the power to say, ‘No, we do not go to the World Cup’. We cannot be disappointed if players don’t want to boycott the World Cup, because at the top, the politicians, the presidents, the federations, the ministers…the real power, everywhere in the world, they have the power to boycott it. It is too easy to say the players.”

Cantona was then asked what he thought of ex-players, such as global icon Beckham, endorsing the World Cup and Qatar’s efforts in ambassadorial roles and if he would take on such a job.

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“I would not do it at all. I do completely the opposite. In January 2022, I started to say that. Maybe I was the first one,” he replied.

“But I am free to do it. And of course, an ex-player paid to do this kind of thing…It could be they don’t know what has happened there.

“Or, if they know it, I think they did wrong. I think they made a big mistake. A big, big mistake.”



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Mohamed Salah to return to Liverpool after being released from Egypt duty

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Mohamed Salah is set to leave the Egypt national team camp ahead of schedule and return to Liverpool training.

The forward scored twice in a 3-0 win against Niger on Friday, but manager Rui Vitoria has confirmed that his star man will be rested for Tuesday’s friendly with Liberia.

Salah will not be at risk of injury while on international duty and will now head back to Merseyside ahead of Liverpool’s return to Premier League action.

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The Reds welcome Brighton to Anfield on Saturday, with Roberto De Zerbi taking charge of his first Seagulls match after replacing Graham Potter in the dugout.

Jurgen Klopp’s side head into the encounter having won just two of their opening six Premier League games, and sit four points behind Brighton in the table.

Scott SaundersGraeme BaileyToby Cudworth and Sean Walsh bring you a brand new episode of Talking Transfers. The team discuss Jude Bellingham’s future, Bayern Munich’s interest in Harry Kane, widespread Premier League interest in Mykhaylo Mudryk and plenty more. Available on all audio platforms.

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download the episode in full!

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Salah has scored just two Premier League goals so far this season, while Liverpool are yet to see the best of summer signing Darwin Nunez.

Liverpool’s last two matches have both come in the Champions League – a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Napoli and a narrow 2-1 win over Ajax – due to postponements in relation to the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Their last league outing was their 0-0 draw in the Merseyside derby at Everton on September 3.





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RUMOUR: Man Utd could launch shock Pickford swoop as they consider letting De Gea go

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RUMOUR: Man Utd could launch shock Pickford swoop as they consider letting De Gea go

Manchester United may consider a shock bid for Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in the midst of uncertainty encompassing David De Gea’s future, reports propose.

As per the Telegraph, United are not persuaded they need to broaden De Gea’s agreement, which runs out in June and procures him an astounding £350,000, and could allow him to go free of charge in June.

The Spanish shot-stopper, who was omitted from Luis Enrique’s Spain squad for the international break, suffered a poor start to the season with a raft of errors most notably at Brentford.

And United are also dealing with a high wage bill that reached a Premier League record of £384million last season.

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The Red Devils announced earlier this week that their salaries have increased by a whopping £61.6m from the previous year.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s return as well as Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane’s arrivals led to a 19.1 per cent increase in their salary bill as well as a net loss amounting to £115.5m.

United are assessing their long-term plans and a change between the sticks can’t be ruled out, even though De Gea, 31, has improved recently and has been integral in the last 11 years at Old Trafford.

That could bring England’s No1 Pickford, 28, into the frame come January.

The Everton shot stopper has various clubs carefully monitoring his situation as he will have just one year left on his Everton contract at the end of the season.

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The England international is also a homegrown player, which is very appealing to his suitors.

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