Sunday 21 January 2018

Smalling out for 10 weeks

Manchester United's Chris Smalling watches the action during an Olympic Warm Up match at the Manchester Arena, Manchester. Photo: PA
Manchester United's Chris Smalling watches the action during an Olympic Warm Up match at the Manchester Arena, Manchester. Photo: PA

Chris Smalling was ruled out for 10 weeks with a broken metatarsal before Manchester United needed a last-minute Bebe goal to earn a 1-1 draw against local Ajax side in Cape Town.

Smalling remained in Manchester as his team-mates embarked on their tour of South Africa and China in order to reach full fitness after an end-of-season groin injury and suffered the fresh problem in training on Wednesday.

"He's not carrying any luck, the kid, but he's young and we have done the right thing in getting it done immediately and getting him back on the road as quickly as we can," said United boss Alex Ferguson.

Everton close in on Pienaar

David Moyes revealed yesterday he is "much closer" to bringing Steven Pienaar to Everton on a permanent basis. After a 1-1 draw with Motherwell at Fir Park, where Irish defender Shane Duffy gave Everton the lead, Moyes said: "I think we are much closer to Pienaar and hopefully in time I will have something, but I don't quite have it yet."

Celtic given lesson by Ajax

CELTIC, in their new black away strip, slumped to a disappointing 4-0 defeat to Ajax in the Amsterdam ArenA in their final away friendly before the new season kicks off.

The Hoops were reduced to 10 men midway through the second-half when Charlie Mulgrew handled the ball on the line and that allowed Ajax to wrap up the victory from the penalty spot.

Siem De Jong scored a screamer after just 13 minutes before Kolbeinn Sigthorsson and Thulani Serero extended the home side's lead before the half-hour mark. Daley Blind converted the spot kick and despite a string of attacking substitutes late on, Celtic couldn't find a consolation goal.

McCoist hits out at SFA

Rangers boss Ally McCoist is "extremely disappointed" with the Scottish Football Association over their decision to enforce a transfer embargo on the club.

On Friday, Scottish football's governing body said Charles Green's newco had agreed to a transfer ban beginning on September 1 as a "primary condition" of gaining membership of the SFA next season.

However, Rangers quickly released a statement in which chairman Malcolm Murray claimed the SFA's announcement was "premature" and McCoist has reacted strongly to the proposed sanctions.

"I am extremely disappointed that the SFA chose to release a statement when the club has not actually signed any agreement," McCoist said.

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