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9 hours ago

New chapter added to Van Gaal's fluid football vs. Mourinho's pragmatism

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho says his team are prepared to play Manchester United this weekend.

Louis van Gaal had only been Barcelona manager for a few months and, although he already knew the young Jose Mourinho offered much more than just being a translator, he hadn't realised just how much. That would come, but thanks to an unlikely source.

It was September 1997 and the Catalans were preparing for a Champions League away match with Newcastle United. Before the game, Van Gaal's then assistant, Gerard van der Lem, had been discussing the English side's attack, and was rather dismissive....

16 hours ago

Mario Balotelli shirt storm, Neymar case dropped before Clasico

ESPN's Fernando Palomo highlights the advantages and disadvantages of each side ahead of El Clasico.

TOP FIVE STORIES

1. Neymar case dropped (Monday, Oct. 21)

In between all the post-weekend analysis, previews of a Champions League week and pre-Clasico build-up, the news that the Barcelona member who brought legal proceedings against the club for allegedly concealing the true cost of signing Neymar had dropped his case was buried somewhat. Jordi Cases' accusation -- that Barca hid payments over and above the official 57.1 million-euro fee -- led to an unprecedented opening up of the books on the...

 By Musa Okwonga
18 hours ago

Angel Di Maria holds the key to defeating Chelsea's midfield

Huge game this weekend in the Barclays Premier League, as the past greats of English football, Manchester United, take on the champions-elect, Chelsea. Ian Fiveankles explains EXACTLY what happens in this match, so you don't even have to watch it.

Well, here it is: the first formidable test of Manchester United's season, and one that finds them in uncertain health. Chelsea, their visitors, arrive in a mercifully weakened state, with both of their best forwards -- Diego Costa and Loic Remy -- diminished by injury.

While Remy looks likely to miss out on Sunday's game at Old Trafford, the state of Costa's fitness remains unclear. The Spain international, who has nine league goals already this season, was rested for his team's 6-0 victory over...

20 hours ago

Manchester United-Chelsea reunites Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho

Louis van Gaal believes Manchester United can still win a Premier League title. The ESPN FC panel think otherwise.

When Britain's football writers held a gala dinner in honour of Jose Mourinho this year , Louis van Gaal stood up to pay a handsome tribute to the talent and loyalty of his old Barcelona sidekick.

At that stylish evening in a swanky London hotel, Van Gaal had only the Netherlands and the World Cup on his mind. Little did we know then that the two friends would soon be locking horns in an Old Trafford confrontation between Manchester United and Chelsea.

The only safe bet is that they will share a...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff
1 day ago

Real Madrid prepare to sign Javier Hernandez to permanent deal

With three goals in just four league outings, Chicharito has convinced Real Madrid to loosen the purse strings...

Wait, the transfer window is closed? That's news to the Transfer Talk crew. There are still plenty of transfer-related rumours around the world!

Carlo signs off on Chicharito

After just four appearances in their famous white kit, Carlo Ancelotti and Real Madrid have been sufficiently impressed with Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez to want to tie him down to a permanent deal at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The Daily Express says that there is an option-to-buy clause in the Manchester United man's loan deal...

 By Michael Cox
1 day ago

Angel Di Maria and Juan Mata set for reunion with Mourinho

Louis van Gaal believes Manchester United can still win a Premier League title. The ESPN FC panel think otherwise.

Manchester United have broken their record transfer fee twice in 2014, with vastly different levels of success. Juan Mata has rarely sparkled since his 37.1 million-pound move from Chelsea in January, but Angel Di Maria has been in impressive form, having been signed for 59.7 million pounds in the summer. Jose Mourinho, who visits Old Trafford with Chelsea this weekend, might have predicted how things would go.

Mourinho, of course, has coached both, and his perception of the duo tallies closely...