Jose Mourinho ‘happy’ to stay at Manchester United, claims agent

Week by week speculation mounts over the position of the United boss. His agent insists Mourinho will not walk, however. (AFP)
Updated 07 December 2018

Jose Mourinho ‘happy’ to stay at Manchester United, claims agent

  • Mendes rubbishes rumors Portuguese boss is about to call it quits at Old Trafford.
  • Mourinho explains will big-money signing Fred is a bit-part player at United.

LONDON: Jose Mourinho is very happy at Manchester United and has no plans on leaving Old Trafford any time soon.
That is the message at least from the Portuguese’s agent Jorge Mendes who was responding to rumors Mourinho was unhappy and ready to return to the Real Madrid dugout.
“There have been more rumors of Jose Mourinho leaving Manchester United. It’s totally untrue,” Mendes said.
“José is very happy at the club and the club is very happy with him. He has a long-term contract with Manchester United and is fully committed to the club in building a solid winning project.”
United face Fulham at home today sat in eighth place, eight points off a Champions League spot. And Mourinho said that United must get stronger defensively before he is ready to give Fred more games.
United spent £52 million ($66 million) on buying the Brazil midfielder from Shakhtar Donetsk in June but he has made just six Premier League starts.
Fred was left on the bench this week as United drew at Southampton and was dropped from the squad altogether on Wednesday as Mourinho’s side twice fought back from behind to secure a point against Arsenal.
Mourinho has made clear that Fred’s time will come, but does not believehe is ready.
“I think that when the team is defensively stronger and doesn’t need in midfield people who are more worried about giving balance in the team than creativity, and the day we are stronger defensively, then the horizons change for Fred.”


Russian athletics champ blasts own sports authorities

Updated 11 December 2019

Russian athletics champ blasts own sports authorities

  • Lasitskene, a three-time world champion, has in the past been critical of Russia’s athletics federation

MOSCOW: Russian high jump world champion Maria Lasitskene on Tuesday accused her country’s own sports authorities of failing to protect athletes from the deepening doping crisis, in a rare public broadside at top officials.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on Monday handed Russia a new, this time four-year, ban from top global sporting events, including the next summer and winter Olympics and the 2022 soccer World Cup, for tampering with laboratory data.

The ruling means Russian athletes cleared to compete at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will do so under a neutral flag. But Lasitskene and some other Russian track and field athletes face additional obstacles to being cleared for competition.

“I’ve already missed one Olympics and one-and-a-half years of international competition,” Lasitskene wrote in an open letter addressed to Russia’s sports authorities.

“And it seems that’s not the end of it. So who ultimately is to blame? Who’s going to give me back what I’ve lost?” she wrote in the letter published on Russian sports media outlet Championat.Com.

Lasitskene, a three-time world champion, has in the past been critical of Russia’s athletics federation, which has been suspended for doping since 2015, and has been one of the few Russian athletes to voice her anger publicly.

World Athletics, the global body governing athletics, last month halted the reinstatement procedures for Russia’s athletics federation after its president and six others were provisionally suspended for serious breaches of anti-doping rules.

As a result of these fresh sanctions, World Athletics also said it was reviewing the process it has used in the past to clear some Russians, including Lasitskene, to compete internationally as neutrals.

“Why have we arrived at a situation when an athlete is supposed to be delighted about getting neutral status?” Lasitskene wrote.

“Was the Sports Ministry and Russian Olympic Committee really happy with the Russian athletics federation’s work?”

The president of Russia’s Olympic Committee, Stanislav Pozdnyakov, on Monday dismissed the sanctions against Russia as inappropriate and excessive.