Jadon Sancho ‘ready to play for Liverpool or Man Utd’ but Real Madrid warning revealed

Jadon Sancho is “ready to play” for the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United, according to former Borussia Dortmund midfielder Steffen Freund. Sancho is linked with a host of Europe’s top clubs after another fine season for Dortmund in the Bundesliga. His assist against Wolfsburg on Saturday made it 16 assists to go with his 14 goals this term.

Sancho is a top target for United heading into the next transfer window.

And Freund says statistics the winger has racked up prove he has what it takes for a big move.

“Jadon is ready to play for Liverpool or Man United, no question, because his stats are unbelievable,” Freund told talkSPORT.

“That shows that he can take the next step.

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“In the Borussia Dortmund side with [Erling] Haaland, [Julian] Brandt improving, with Emre Can signing, with changing to a back-three that suits Sancho.”

However, Freund reckons it would be wise for Sancho to play for Dortmund for another season.

The former Germany international believes there is no rush for Sancho to make the move to another top club yet.

Freund has warned the 20-year-old could turn out like Luka Jovic, who left Eintracht Frankfurt for Real Madrid last summer and has struggled for game time at the Bernabeu.

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“It would be good for him to play for Borussia Dortmund now and next year so that he will have more match time,” Freund added.

“He’s only 20, so why not play for Borussia Dortmund? We’re not talking about Freiburg or Paderborn, we’re talking about Borussia Dortmund, one of the top 20 clubs in Europe.

“Remember Jovic, who moved to Real Madrid from Eintracht Frankfurt, he’s not playing. If you have an offer from Real Madrid you think, ‘I have to go’.

“No, you don’t have to go because the salaries in the Bundesliga are on a good level, too, not as much as Real Madrid or the Premier League, though.

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“But you can earn good money and improve and not make too much of a big step at once.

“So for Jadon to move to Man United with that pressure, they are struggling to qualify for the Champions League, so maybe it’s better to stay another year in Dortmund.”

Sancho is yet to start for Dortmund since the break due to a calf injury.

But Jan Age Fjortoft expects him to start the top-of-the-table clash against Bayern Munich on Tuesday (5.30pm).

“They will play [Sancho], 100 per cent, he will be in there,” Fjortoft told ESPN FC.

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Man Utd turn focus to Timo Werner and Moussa Dembele transfers amid Odion Ighalo exit

Manchester United are eyeing Timo Werner and Moussa Dembele with Odion Ighalo primed to return to China, reports say. The Nigeria international has impressed for the Red Devils since joining on loan in January, scoring four goals from eight games. But, with the player set to leave Old Trafford, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is now eyeing replacements.

Manchester United were criticised by many within the footballing world following their decision to swoop for Ighalo in January.

However he’s proven to be a shrewd acquisition in the time since, with the Nigeria international scoring four goals from eight games.

Ighalo is, though, set to return to the Chinese Super League with Shanghai wanting him back in time for the new season.

And Goal claim United could now swoop for Werner and Dembele, with the pair under consideration behind the scenes at Old Trafford.

RB Leipzig have seen Werner scale new heights following the arrival of Julian Nagelsmann at the start of the season.

The Germany international has scored 24 Bundesliga goals this season, managing seven assists along the way.

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Werner was sublime at the weekend as Leipzig kept their hopes of winning the league title alive with a 5-0 win over Mainz, with the striker scoring a hat-trick.

And it’s claimed that United have him in their thoughts as Solskjaer hunts a replacement for Ighalo this summer.

Another player being considered is Lyon’s Dembele.

The France international was tipped to join United in the January transfer window, only for Ighalo to join instead.

Lyon may have to cut their best players loose this summer in order to raise funds following their failure to qualify for the Champions League.

They finished seventh in the Ligue 1 table following the French government’s decision to scrap the campaign as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

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And he’s been of interest to United for a number of years, with interest dating back to when Dembele played for Fulham.

Since leaving the Cottagers he’s impressed, becoming a key asset for Brendan Rodgers at Celtic prior to his return to France.

And he could be set for a sensational return to England should United decide to go after him at the end of the season.

Meanwhile, Solskjaer recently opened up on what he wants from any new signing – and admitted he preferred players without egos.

“I’d rather have a hole in the squad than an a**hole,” Solskjaer told United We Stand.

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“Personality is so important. We’re a team in a team environment. You want players to have a bit of ego and edge but they have to be able to adapt.

“In March 2019, players were physically tired, mentally tired and we had injuries. The players started with negative thinking, whereas now it’s positive thinking.

“There were other things I didn’t like last year, some personal agendas which couldn’t be sorted out until the summer.

“There will always be players who want to play more in football, but if a team is to be successful then players have to be available at different times.

“I feel in this group we don’t have one bad apple.”

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Liverpool legend chooses between captain Jordan Henderson and Reds hero Xabi Alonso

Liverpool legend Steve Nicol holds Jordan Henderson in a higher regard than former Reds midfielder Xabi Alonso. Liverpool skipper Henderson has been instrumental in his side’s charge to 25 points clear at the top of the Premier League table. The 29-year-old is also one of the favourites to win the PFA Player of the Year award.

Former Spain World Cup-winner Alonso won three major honours during his five-year spell at Liverpool, including the 2005 Champions League.

However, Henderson also helped Liverpool lift the same trophy last season, which puts him ahead of Alonso in the eyes of Nicol.

Though Nicol admits as stand-alone players, Alonso was better than Henderson.

“Well you have to say that Henderson’s been more effective because Liverpool have won the Champions League and he’s pushed them, he’s one of the main reasons why they’re going to win the Premier League,” Nicol told ESPN FC.

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“As great a footballer as Alonso was, I think the influence that Henderson has had on this team has been bigger than Alonso had.

“Listen, as football players, Alonso’s a better technician than Jordan Henderson. I don’t think that’s in question.

“So it becomes the biggest impact and I think no doubt Henderson’s made a bigger impact in this Liverpool side than Alonso did for the team he played for.”

Today marks 15 years since Alonso helped Liverpool come back from three goals down to beat AC Milan in Istanbul, with the Spaniard scoring the equaliser.

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But Jamie Carragher, who played the entire match at centre-back, insists he did not believe Liverpool could come back from 3-0 down at half time.

Carragher told Sport Bible: “Probably the whole world is laughing at you at half-time or almost saying, ‘Well that’s what Liverpool are really…’ It’s almost like you’re stunned. Stunned into silence.

“So I was just thinking I didn’t want it to be 5-0 or 6-0. If the game had’ve finished 3-0 it’s not the end of the world.

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“But I can’t say there was any belief there that we’d go on and win the game or get back into the game.

“It was more trying to save face more than anything.”

“3-1 gives you hopes, 3-2 gives you belief. But that just sparked something with the support, with the players on the pitch.

“It was inevitable that something was going to happen to make it 3-3, I just felt that.”

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Chelsea ace Ross Barkley could have been next Steven Gerrard, says ex-Everton defender

Ross Barkley could have become the best English midfielder since Steven Gerrard, according to ex-Everton defender Mark Hughes. The 33-year-old claims Barkley had the potential to match the Liverpool legend both domestically and internationally but the Chelsea ace is yet to fulfil that promise.

Barkley came through the Everton youth system, making his senior debut as a 17-year-old at the start of the 2011/12 season.

The playmaker went on to feature 179 times for the Toffees but his development stalled before a controversial £15million move to Chelsea in January 2018.

Barkley has struggled to nail down a first-team spot at Stamford Bridge and Hughes, who currently plays for Accrington Stanley, believes the midfielder had some of his natural flair coached out of him following his breakthrough.

Comparing Barkley’s teenage development to that of another Everton prodigy, Hughes told Tribalfootball.com: “If Wayne Rooney was playing at that age now, I’m not saying it would get taken out of him, but I look at someone like Ross Barkley when he was at Everton, and he came in a bit of a street footballer, but I think managers and even fans they sort of take that out of them.

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“I love when a young lad comes through, and he was the one who I thought could be the next Steven Gerrard for Everton.

“You could have built a team around him. I thought he could’ve been the best midfielder England had since Steven Gerrard.

“But because the way he played, he used to run with the ball and sometimes he’d get it taken off him. That’s the hardest part of football – taking people on.

“Then the fans would get on his back because he’d given it away. He just started passing it.”

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Hughes progressed through the academy at Everton and made three senior appearances for the Goodison Park outfit before leaving for Northampton Town in 2007.

The defender has since played for a host of Football League clubs while also enjoying a brief spell with North Queensland Fury in Australia.

Now a regular at Accrington, Hughes reveals a frustration that Barkley has not been able to do more with his obvious ability and emulate the success of Liverpool icon Gerrard.

“He just had that little street footballer taken out of him,” he said.

“I like to watch things as a neutral now, I do support Everton but now I watch the two teams tactically when I go to games.

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“And he was the one when I think to myself I felt sorry for him a little bit, even though he’s earning £100k a week at Chelsea.

“He could’ve been Everton’s Rooney, that local lad coming through.”

Barkley is yet to fully convince the Chelsea supporters of his talents, despite notching up 72 appearances for the Blues in all competitions since his move south.

The 26-year-old is behind N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Jorginho and Mason Mount in the pecking order at Stamford Bridge, although eye-catching performances before the coronavirus lockdown drew praise from manager Frank Lampard.

Barkley has won the FA Cup and Europa League since moving to Chelsea but has some way to go in order to match Gerrard’s trophy haul while he is 81 caps shy of his fellow Scouser’s international tally.

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Man Utd and Liverpool handed Ferran Torres transfer boost as Valencia face £89m dilemma

Valencia are likely to reduce Manchester United and Liverpool target Ferran Torres’ asking price ahead of the summer transfer window. Torres is considered as a promising young talent as he has already amassed a staggering total of 88 appearances for the Spanish giants in the last three years despite his young age of 20.

The winger’s recent performances this season, in which he has recorded six goals and seven assists in 35 games across all competitions, has led to interest from the Premier League with United and the Reds keeping tabs.

Valencia rate the Spain Under-21 international very highly but his contract runs out in June 2021 and an extension has yet to be agreed.

According to The Athletic, the club are not keen on letting Torres enter the last 12 months of his contract with the risk of losing him for a much lower price or even for free.

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That is why the Mestalla outfit would be open to selling him in the summer for a value that would still be significantly lower than his £89million release clause.

Therefore, United and Liverpool’s hopes of signing the forward have significantly increased, provided that they are still interested.

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The Reds, though, appear to be prioritising two key Bundesliga targets in RB Leipzig star Timo Werner and Bayer Leverkusen ace Kai Havertz.

Werner has hinted that he would be keen on moving to Anfield as he described the Merseysiders as the best team in the world and also dubbed Jurgen Klopp as “one of the best managers in the world”.

The Germany striker said: “There’s one of the best managers in the world with Jurgen Klopp, and he is also German.

“Many things suggest that I would maybe fit in [at Liverpool] very well with my playing style.

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“But I don’t think about that at the moment because we have so much to do with Leipzig.

“I know that Liverpool is the best team at the moment in the world. When you’re linked with that team it makes me very proud.

“It’s a pleasure but I know in Liverpool plays a lot of good players and I have to improve myself to learn many more things to get on that level, to play there.”

United and Liverpool, though, are currently focused on the ongoing campaign as they are hoping it will be restarted in June following its suspension last March due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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Jamie Carragher reveals Liverpool didn’t believe they could turn Istanbul final around

Jamie Carragher claims Liverpool didn’t believe they could turn the 2005 Champions League final around during half-time and were more focused on saving face. The Reds completed arguably the best comeback in the history of football exactly 15 years ago in Istanbul when they won the European cup final against an amazing AC Milan side.

Milan opened the scoring after just one minute with legendary captain Paolo Maldini before Hernan Crespo scored a brace in just five minutes to stun the Merseysiders.

Liverpool went back to the dressing room 3-0 down and Carragher admits there was not much belief that they could get back into the game as they mostly worried about avoiding a heavier defeat.

The legendary defender felt like the whole world was laughing at Rafa Benitez’s squad and that affected the team’s mentality.

Carragher told Sport Bible: “Probably the whole world is laughing at you at half-time or almost saying, ‘Well that’s what Liverpool are really…’ It’s almost like you’re stunned. Stunned into silence.

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“So I was just thinking I didn’t want it to be 5-0 or 6-0. If the game had’ve finished 3-0 it’s not the end of the world.

“But I can’t say there was any belief there that we’d go on and win the game or get back into the game.

“It was more trying to save face more than anything.”

But Liverpool did the unthinkable as they levelled things up with three goals in just six minutes thanks to Steven Gerrard, Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso.

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The game went to penalties where Reds goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek put together a stunning performance to award Benitez’s men the trophy.

Carragther added: “3-1 gives you hopes, 3-2 gives you belief. But that just sparked something with the support, with the players on the pitch.

“It was inevitable that something was going to happen to make it 3-3, I just felt that.

“When you go back to being a kid on the street or in the school yard where tactics and understanding of the game just sort of goes out the window because you’re getting carried away with the goals and that and it’s just like, ‘Right, let’s go again’.

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“But that all changed after it went to 3-3. We had something to hold on to. It’s funny, football, isn’t it?

“Where you’re going for something and you keep going you think, ‘Well, why wouldn’t you just keep attacking?’

“But there’s also that thing in the back of your head where you’ve also got something to hold on to now .

“And I’ve also said this, I think AC Milan gave one of the best performances I’ve ever seen in a European cup final except for six minutes where it was a miracle and strange things happened.”

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Man Utd star Bruno Fernandes picks favourite Premier League moment so far

Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes has named the club’s 3-0 win over Watford as his favourite Premier League moment so far. The 25-year-old joined the Red Devils from Sporting Lisbon back in the January transfer window. And he’s been sensational ever since, boosting the club’s chances of finishing in the top four and securing a return to the Champions League.

Fernandes has been magnificent for United since joining from Sporting, being directly involved in six goals from eight games.

There have been some big moments for the Portugal international, who flourished in key victories over Chelsea and Manchester City.

However, Fernandes has now told United’s official website that the club’s 3-0 win over Watford was his favourite moment so far.

“The game I would like to watch would be the game where I scored my first goal, against Watford,” Bruno said.

“I want to feel – not exactly how I would feel in the game – but I can feel the game, the atmosphere and everything when I score.

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“[If I watch this] I can have the motivation to keep training and keep the focus on the return of the game [after the COVID-19 pandemic].”

Many at United think Fernandes will only get better.

The Portugal international will likely be deployed alongside a fit-again Paul Pogba if and when the Premier League returns.

Pogba has been out of action since December.

He will return to the pitch with a point to prove, though, with the 27-year-old a divisive figure among supporters.

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And Fernandes recently defended Pogba for his inconsistency, expressing a belief that he can’t be expected to do the same things as the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

“We can say in football that people normally forget what you do good when you have a mistake,” Fernandes said.

“You can do good for 34 games, and one game you do bad and everyone will remember that.

“Paul is coming from a bad moment, because of the situation.

“When he played also, the club and the team was not good, because the expectations are high for Paul, because Paul is a top player and Manchester United pay a lot for him, and expectations are a lot for him.

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“It’s normal when you are in that situation you don’t play like a superstar, because everyone expects from Paul like they expect from (Cristiano) Ronaldo at Juventus or (Lionel) Messi at Barcelona.

“Everyone expects this from Paul in Manchester, because they know he has the qualities for this.

“Also this is confidence in Paul. The team, we have a lot of confidence in Paul.”

United where on an 11-game unbeaten run before the coronavirus crisis.

And the club are confident they’ll be able to pick up where they left off when football comes back again.

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Man Utd star Bruno Fernandes reveals favourite Cristiano Ronaldo memory for club

Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes has fondly recalled the club’s famous 2008 Champions League final win over Chelsea. And he’s hailed Cristiano Ronaldo for the goal the Juventus star scored that day. The Red Devils won the prize on penalties with Edwin van der Sar the hero.

Manchester United beat Chelsea in the 2008 Champions League final on a dramatic night in Moscow.

The Red Devils took the lead through Ronaldo, who out-jumped Michael Essien to power the ball past Petr Cech.

Chelsea levelled through Frank Lampard just before the break, with the current Blues boss capitalising on a slip from Van der Sar.

The Blues looked the favourites to win the match with Lampard and Didier Drogba striking the woodwork.

But it was United who ended up reigning supreme, winning the trophy via an enthralling penalty shootout.

And Fernandes has fondly recalled the match and hailed Ronaldo for the stunning header he produced that night.

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“I think from history I have maybe one game – the Champions League final when Cristiano scores with the header,” he told the club’s official website.

“After this, he misses a penalty, I think it’s the same one right, against Chelsea? This one.

“I think it was a great final and for Cristiano it was one of the best games yet, because he scored an amazing goal with a header. He doesn’t jump, he flies.

“After this, he missed the penalty, but United won the Champions League and at the end we see him crying on the ground because he won the Champions League.

“It was one of the most important games in the history of Manchester United.”

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The game is largely remembered for John Terry’s penalty miss.

After Ronaldo had fluffed his lines, the Chelsea captain at the time had the chance to win the west London giants the trophy they crave most.

However, Terry ended up missing with United going on to win the prize.

And he was recently mocked by Rene Meulensteen, who claimed the Aston Villa coach wasn’t focused enough in the decisive moment.

“If Drogba had been sent off earlier in the game I think we would have been able to capitalise properly, but it seemed to spur Chelsea on,” he told Planet Football.

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“When Terry came up to take the penalty, he thought, ‘This is all about me – all the lights are on me.’

“He pushed his captain’s armband up, but he lost focus and slipped.

“The difference with us was that Nani, Anderson, Ryan Giggs and our other penalty takers were clinically focused.

“When Anelka stepped up, I couldn’t watch but I knew, whatever happened, Edwin was determined that he was going to stop that penalty because he was a winner – it was his Federer moment.

“To win the Champions League and share that euphoria with the players, the staff and the fans was an unbelievable feeling.”

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Barcelona put Liverpool on transfer alert as they make Ousmane Dembele available for £39m

Barcelona are willing to accept bids as low as £39million for Liverpool target Ousmane Dembele ahead of the summer transfer window. According to Sport, Barca have put Dembele on the market as they look to cut down on salary expenses following the coronavirus outbreak which has led to massive financial losses.

The Spanish champions appear desperate to offload the striker whose numerous injuries as well as struggles to deliver on the pitch appear to be making him surplus to requirements.

The France international has been previously linked with the Reds who were among the clubs that cooled off their interest due to his current wage of £200,000 per week.

However, Barcelona have massively cut down the 23-year-old’s asking price and that could make the Premier League leaders reconsider.

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The Catalans are hopeful that Dembele’s new rate will attract more interest from Italy and China while Paris Saint-Germain are also likely to make a bid.

PSG are among the few clubs that could match the former Borussia Dortmund star’s financial demands and this recent discount could encourage them to do business with Barcelona.

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Liverpool, though, won’t be keen to break their dominant attacking trio of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane but could be open to potential alternatives.

Timo Werner is among their top targets as he has enjoyed a stunning season with RB Leipzig having scored a staggering 27 goals in 37 appearances across all competitions.

Werner has previously hinted that he would be open to joining Liverpool as he described them as the best team in the world and also dubbed Jurgen Klopp as ” one of the best managers in the world”.

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“Many things suggest that I would maybe fit in [at Liverpool] very well with my playing style.

“But I don’t think about that at the moment because we have so much to do with Leipzig.

“I know that Liverpool is the best team at the moment in the world. When you’re linked with that team it makes me very proud.

“It’s a pleasure but I know in Liverpool plays a lot of good players and I have to improve myself to learn many more things to get on that level, to play there.”

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Rangers face transfer battle after agreeing fee for Man Utd and Liverpool trialist

Rangers are struggling to sign Ross County wonderkid James Graham even though the two clubs have agreed on a transfer fee. Graham and the Gers have yet to shake hands on personal terms while Premier League club Wolves and Championship leaders Leeds are keeping tabs.

According to the Daily Mail, that has affected the Scottish outfit’s plans of signing the 16-year-old wonderkid, who underwent trials at Liverpool and Manchester United last year.

Steven Gerrard’s side are keen on the young forward, who has earned plenty of praise for his displays in the Ross County youth ranks.

However, a deal will be impossible to complete if Rangers fail to agree personal terms with Graham and his representatives.

Meanwhile, the Gers have completed a £4million swoop for Ianis Hagi who will be moving to Ibrox Stadium on a permanent basis.

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Hagi initially moved to Glasgow on a six-month loan from Genk but the Scottish giants had the option to buy the young Romanian..

The talented attacking midfielder is the son of Real Madrid and Barcelona legend Gheorghe Hagi and earned rave reviews for his recent displays.

Romanian super agent Giovani Becali is pleased with that move as he described Rangers as the “Juventus of Scotland”.

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Becali said: “Ianis has just signed for one of the most important clubs in Europe. The deal is complete.

“I would describe Rangers as the Juventus of Scotland. I understand completely why Ianis has chosen to sign for them. They are an extraordinary club.

“The most important thing is that Rangers have carried out their option to buy him and he now has peace of mind about his future for the next few years.

“He has done very well at Rangers, but there was always the worry that they wouldn’t want to sign him up.

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“But I know he has a very good contract there in Glasgow and this is a really smart move for him.”

The Scottish Premiership has been abandoned due to the coronavirus outbreak, which has suspended all football in the UK since March 13.

Celtic were crowned champions for the ninth year in a row whereas Rangers finished second with 13 points adrift of the top.

Ligue 1 has also been cancelled with Paris Saint-Germain winning the title whereas the Eredivisie, which was also called off, didn’t crown a champion as Ajax and AZ Alkmaar shared first place.

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