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Ousmane Dembélé insists he will not be 'blackmailed' by Barcelona

Ousmane Dembélé has insisted contract negotiations continue at Barcelona and warned he will not be 'blackmailed' after being left out of the squad and asked to leave (Author: Gardener)

Ousmane DembéléOusmane Dembélé has insisted contract negotiations at Barcelona continue and warned he would not be 'blackmailed' after being left out of the squad and told to leave with immediate effect. In a strongly worded statement that left open the possibility of his staying but revealed the seriousness of the collapse in ties with the club, Dembélé said he would "not allow anyone to attribute intentions to me that I never had" or "to speak for me". or my agent, whom I trust completely". He also insisted he 'will not allow anyone to say that I am not involved in the sport project' - precisely the accusation leveled at him by Barcelona's director of football Mateu Alemany. Dembélé reacted after his exclusion from the squad against Athletic Club on Thursday night and a public statement from Alemany ending negotiations for a new contract, in which the director said the player no longer wanted to continue his current contract and resigned Barcelona's intention to move him forward before the end of the transfer window. Alemany suggested Dembélé would not play for the club again because he was not "committed" to his future. The night before, the coach had given Xavi a public ultimatum: renew or leave. Dembélé has six months left on his contract and couldn't agree on a new deal. The club have concluded that the 24-year-old has no intention of continuing, although Xavi said Dembélé said he wanted to stay. If he doesn't leave now, he'll have to spend the next six months in the stands and the club have even explored the possibility of terminating his contract. Barcelona will have to cut his salary if they want to sign players and given the possibility of him leaving for free, they want to save as much on his salary as possible by the summer. However, Dembélé made it clear that he does not intend to be forced out of office and said negotiations would continue in the hands of his agent. There was no obligation to renew. "Today, January 20, with 11 days remaining in the last window before the end of the contract, it is obvious that the player does not want to continue and is not committed to our future," said Alemany. “In this scenario, he and his agents have been informed to leave immediately because we want players committed to our project. “We more or less started talks with Ousmane and his agents back in July. All of these offers were turned down by his agents. "The sporting conclusion, as assessed by the coaching staff, is that we don't want players who are not committed. It's not the club that makes that decision - the manager does - but he has our full support and we think it's an absolutely right decision." Dembélé denied those allegations in a statement, saying that four years of hearing "endless" "gossip", "lies" and people "speaking for me" and trying to "only harm me" are "finally over". "I will not allow anyone to give the impression that I am not involved in the sports project," he said. “I will not allow anyone to speak for me or my representative who I trust completely. "I'm still under contract and fully available to my club, my coach. I always gave everything for my colleagues and also for all club members. I'll leave it to my agent, it's his territory. My field is the ball, playing football, sharing moments of joy with my teammates and the fans. The Spanish players' union released a statement telling Barcelona that it is illegal to threaten to eject a player in order to force him to sign a contract.

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Premier League result, full time standings and reaction tonight

Follow all the action at Brentford Community Stadium as the Red Devils look to get back into the top six (Author: Gardener)

tonightEmma Raducanu "still has a lot to learn," said her defeated first-round opponent Sloane Stephens, who sounded hurt at how Raducanu verbally challenged her early in their first-round match.

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Ralf Rangnick shows Cristiano Ronaldo who's boss at Manchester United

Ralf Rangnick was questioned by Cristiano Ronaldo after substituting him in Manchester United's game against Brentford, forcing Rangnik to remind him who's boss. (Author: Gardener)

Cristiano RonaldoRalf Rangnick was questioned by Cristiano Ronaldo after substituting him in Manchester United's game against Brentford, forcing Rangnik to remind him who's boss. Ralf Rangnick was quizzed by Cristiano Ronaldo after substituting him in Manchester United's game against Brentford, forcing Rangnick to remind him who's boss. Manchester United clinched all three points against Brentford last night after losing a 2-0 lead at Aston Villa just a week earlier. This week, however, the Manchester United manager learned his lesson. Ralf Rangnick made the right changes to see the game over the line. In the 71st minute of the game, Rangnick made two substitutions, one of which brought superstar Cristiano Ronaldo for club captain Harry Maguire. The Manchester United boss on Athletic's Laurie Whitwell revealed what the Portugal striker said to him. Ralf Rangnick quickly put Ronaldo in his place when he told him the move was in the side's favour. "He (Ronaldo) said: 'Why me, why did you dismiss me?' I said I had to make the decision for the team, for the club.

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Ralf's universe takes shape as Manchester United comes together

Mason Greenwood's goal at Brentford came straight out of the Rangnick playbook of quick turnovers and direct running (Author: Gardener)

RalfSomething surprising happened after 62 minutes at Brentford Community Stadium. Ralf Rangnick's Manchester United – that jumbled jumble of soldered and bolted limbs on his stretcher – unexpectedly jumped to his feet, arms raised to meet the light. United were already leading 1-0 at that point. The first half belonged to Brentford, United who produced periods of slow possession interspersed with intense spasms in which the players seemed to be trying to execute Rangnick's press and pass but instead dished out a torrent of incoherent energy, like a pigeon caught in a trap was eaves. At this point, the players in pudding yellow shorts produced the only Ralf Rangnick moment of this Ralf Rangnick reign from time to perm. It was a beautiful goal and best of all, it came straight out of the playbook of quick turnovers and direct running. Scott McTominay won the ball in United's half and played an immediate forward pass. Cristiano Ronaldo conjured up a sweeping chest thrust down the barrel of Bruno Fernandes, who aimed straight at goal with only green in front of him. To his right, Mason Greenwood was already ducking into cover to take Fernande's pass and get to the finish before sprinting to the away section: the culmination of a move that took four seconds and three passes to cover 60 yards, that of two Players on the sprint side finished side-by-side like the medalists at the 60m World Indoor Championships. At that moment, it felt like a flare of something. He wants youth, energy and constant running. want it. Are we really here, back down to the atomic level, down in the mud of basic human stuff, like, do you even want to do that? It's probably unfair to question the underlying motivations of these players. What we saw here in the first half hour was the inability to carry out the plan. There's no point just telling people what to do. Rangnick has talked a lot about "second balls" since coming to England, a strange sort of localized obsession. Do we really want Rangnick to do this? Do we really want Rangnick to do this? We have a hundred Englishmen in reserve who can talk about second balls. Shouldn't he be talking about rotational pressing and possession in the third period? United didn't win second balls early, or first balls, or even third balls. Brentford won those duels and might have scored three times with a competent finish. But then again, it's now five years since Thomas Frank showed up in west London, five years of goggle-eyed, oddly magnetic passport and press energy. This team is in many ways a version of the latest United draft. Rangnick fielded a side with that evolving vision in mind, with some faces settling and a 19, 20 and 22-year-old in the starting XI. But early on United were strangely error-prone, strung together tightly but always out of step, like a group of men learning line dancing, turning the wrong way, tiptoeing, falling over bar stools. The second half saw an abrupt change of pace as United emerged boosted, revved up and ready to go. The first goal came from a moment of fast forward brilliance from Fred. He took the ball from Diogo Dalot, looked up, registered Anthony Elanga's diagonal run on the edge of his field of vision and produced an instant clipped pass to cross his trajectory. Elanga had time to make a handsome hard contact, adjust his feet and nod the ball past Jonas Lössl, who at that moment seemed surprised, looking up and realizing he's keeping goal in a football game. The third goal was another moment from Total Ralf as McTominay recaptured the ball, putting it back in front and a quick move ended with a good finish from Marcus Rashford. That was another superb 90 minutes from McTominay, who in this Rangnick version of 4-3-3 is asked to play closely with Fred in a sort of double-headed midfield ogre, strangling space and always putting the ball forward. Rangnick loves players who execute a plan who have no ego who enjoy those collisions and McTominay is well suited to that. Go forward. Grab the passports. Rangnick could be good for him. And for all the mess, luck, bad ending of Brentford, there was at least a flicker here, a glimpse of this alternate, Ralf-shaped universe.

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Manchester United draw Chelsea in Continental Cup semifinals after Arsenal win

Man United are on the verge of a place in the Continental Cup final after beating Arsenal 1-0 on Wednesday night. (Author: Gardener)

Manchester UnitedManchester United drew Chelsea in the semi-finals of the Continental Cup. United beat Arsenal 1-0 in the quarter-finals of the competition on Wednesday, progressing thanks to Alessia Russo's goal. That game appeared to be going into overtime until Katie Zelem scored a free kick in the 85th minute which Russo headed in brilliantly. United met Chelsea in the semi-finals of the Conti Cup on Thursday afternoon, meaning the London club, currently second in the Women's Super League, are the only team yet to keep the Reds from reaching the final. United boss Marc Skinner revealed his "pride" in United's performance when asked how he felt after the quarter-final win. Absolute pride in the work ethic, the togetherness, the commitment, everything we asked for and we were always in the game to do what we wanted to do," Skinner told MUTV. If United beat Chelsea in the semi-finals, will United play against Manchester City or Tottenham.

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Russo goal sees Man Utd past Arsenal

Alessia Russo scores in the 85th minute of Manchester United's 1-0 win over Arsenal to advance to the semi-finals of the Women's Continental League Cup. (Author: Gardener)

Alessia RussoLast updated on .From the section Women's Football Last updated on .From the section Women's Football United, third in the Women's Super League, are aiming to win the League Cup for the first time.

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Cristiano Ronaldo's Brentford strop tests Ralf Rangnick and the harmony at Manchester United

Cristiano Ronaldo was visibly angry when his manager picked him up at the Brentford Community Stadium on Wednesday night after he questioned the attitude of United's young players just this week (Author: Gardener)

Cristiano Ronaldo'sThe NCAA has adopted a sport-by-sport approach to transgender athletes, aligning the organization with the US and International Olympic Committees. If there is no national governing body, the international governing body policy of that sport would be in effect.

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Liverpool and Manchester United transfer target Ousmane Dembele is set to leave Barcelona in January

Barcelona striker Ousmane Dembele will leave Barcelona in January, according to a report. (Author: Gardener)

Ousmane DembeleBarcelona striker Ousmane Dembele is set to leave the club in January, according to a report. The player, who is off contract with the Catalan club in the summer, could leave on a free transfer in a couple of months and has been linked with Premier League giants Liverpool and Manchester United. Negotiations between Barcelona and the 24-year-old and his representatives have been ongoing for some time but now the club seems to have made a decision on his future. As reported by Fabrizio Romano, Barcelona director Mateu Alemany said Dembele no longer wants to be part of the club's project and needs to leave before the January transfer window closes. Barça-Dembélé, it's over Barcelona director Alemany announces: "It is clear that Dembélé does NOT want to continue with Barcelona. This is certainly an interesting development after weeks of speculation about Dembele's future. The France international has the potential to be among the best players in the world but simply hasn't played at Barcelona in his injury-interrupted career in Spain. A discount to get the player six months early now seems on the cards, but despite Jurgen Klopp's admiration for the player, his injury record and wage demands could put Liverpool out of the running. With Kylian Mbappe set to join Real Madrid in the summer, it wouldn't be a surprise if PSG choose Dembele as his replacement.

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Manchester United continue to struggle for consistency but emerge victorious as a team of two halves

The Red Devils could have been out of the game by the break; Instead, they were out of sight and headed into the closing stages of the game (Author: Gardener)

Manchester United"He's been doing that for the past few weeks, brilliant saves in the first half," said De Gea. "He's one of the best goalkeepers in the world, I would say."

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Who Makes Your Team?

Choose and share your Manchester United line-up and starting XI for the Premier League game against West Ham United at Old Trafford. (Author: Gardener)

Manchester UnitedChoose your Manchester United formation and starting line-up. It's up to you how you go about it - you can go with the team you want the boss to pick, or the one you think he will.

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