European Super League: Juventus still convinced by overall project as Milan withdraw

By Sports Desk April 21, 2021

Juventus remain convinced over the validity of a European Super League but admit the planned breakaway competition cannot possibly go ahead following a raft of withdrawals.

Milan followed Serie A rivals Inter in pulling out on Wednesday, as did Spanish side Atletico Madrid in a move welcomed by head coach Diego Simeone.

All six English teams – Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham – ended their involvement on Tuesday following widespread criticism of the proposal, including from some of their own players and coaches.

Juve president Andrea Agnelli confirmed to Reuters that the mass exodus of the Premier League contingent had effectively ended the possibility of a Super League going ahead – for now at least.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Bianconeri made clear the necessary procedures required for clubs to end their involvement have yet to be completed, as well as outlining how such a tournament still has merit from a sporting and commercial viewpoint.

"With reference to the press release issued by Juventus on April 19, relating to the project to create the Super League, and the subsequent public debate, the issuer specifies that it is aware of the request and intentions otherwise expressed by some clubs to withdraw from this project, although the necessary procedures under the agreement between the clubs have not been completed," a statement read.

"In this context, Juventus, while remaining convinced of the validity of the sporting, commercial and legal assumptions of the project, believes that it currently has limited possibilities of being completed in the form in which it was initially conceived.

"Juventus remains committed to building long-term value for the club and for the entire football movement."

Milan's U-turn came after taking into consideration the reaction from supporters to the tournament. The founding members would have been involved each season regardless of their performances in domestic leagues, a rule that received widespread condemnation.

"We accepted the invitation to participate in the Super League project with the genuine intention to deliver the best possible European competition for football fans around the world and in the best interest of the club and our own fans," Milan said in a statement.

"Change is not always easy, but evolution is necessary for progress, and the structures of European football have evolved and changed over the decades.

"However, the voices and the concerns of fans around the world have clearly been expressed about the Super League, and Milan must be sensitive to the voice of those who love this wonderful sport.

"We will continue to work hard to deliver a sustainable model for football."

Related items

  • Los Angeles FC aiming for 'long-term partnership' with Bale Los Angeles FC aiming for 'long-term partnership' with Bale

    Los Angeles FC want to form a "long-term partnership" with Gareth Bale, not just an agreement for six months before the World Cup.

    That is the message from LAFC's co-president John Thorrington, who spoke for the first time on the reported one-year deal to bring the Wales international to the United States.

    Bale revealed on Sunday he would join the MLS side when his Real Madrid contract expires and is said to have turned down a return to Tottenham, alongside an offer from hometown club Cardiff City.

    The 32-year-old will hope to prove his fitness before the World Cup in November, but Thorrington insists LAFC aim to keep Bale beyond the tournamnent in Qatar.

    "I'd love to get into specifics but, as policy, I don't," Thorrington told reporters when asked about the finances behind the deal. 

    "What I can tell you is that LAFC and Gareth are hoping that this is a long-term partnership and step for Gareth and his family.

    "It was never about six months just for the World Cup. We were always talking about longer-term than that. That was very clear from Gareth and his representative.

    "Obviously, we expect him to be a top, top player for us and in this league, but we will do so sensibly.

    “When Gareth is looking at what he needs to do, his priority will be at LAFC, we are absolutely sure of that, but we're not naive to the fact that he, like some other players of ours, have a World Cup on the horizon."

    LAFC lead the Western Conference in MLS after a 2-0 victory over New York Red Bulls.

    Steve Cherundolo's side host LA Galaxy on July 9, the first fixture after Bale could arrive, and Thorrington hopes to have the forward in action by then.

    "We don't have a firm date. Our window opens in early July and that will be the first time we can register him," he added.

    "We still have to go through immigration paperwork and things like that but we are hopeful that in the next week to 10 days we'll be able to take care of that for him and his family, to welcome them to Los Angeles and in order for him to start to get up to speed with the group and get his fitness up.

    "The first game he would be potentially available for would be the game we have here on July 8."

    World Cup winner Giorgio Chiellini has also signed for LAFC from Juventus this month, but Thorrington assures neither the centre-back nor Bale have moved for financial reasons.

    "You don't win five Champions League trophies, you're not the most valuable player of recent times, if you don't have that hunger," Thorrington continued.

    "We did our due diligence and I'm really excited about what this change of scene will mean for Gareth and his ability to focus on playing.

    "If Gareth was making this decision with a financial motive, he wouldn't be in MLS. I think what he saw in LAFC is a unique opportunity to make a real impact."

  • The three Man Utd youngsters who could be breakthrough stars for Erik ten Hag The three Man Utd youngsters who could be breakthrough stars for Erik ten Hag

    Erik ten Hag is the latest boss Manchester United have turned to in their pursuit of success in the post-Alex Ferguson era.

    David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have failed to meet expectations since Ferguson's retirement in 2013, leaving Ten Hag with a difficult challenge on his hands.

    Aside from getting results right on the pitch and challenging for honours, Ten Hag also has the task of bleeding young talent into the first-team fold on a regular basis – something his predecessors have all continued to do despite their eventual failings.

    The likes of Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay have capitalised on opportunities in the past decade after rising through the club's youth ranks – and United have no shortage of players who can follow suit.

    Three players in particular are ones that Ten Hag should be keeping close tabs on, and they could become integral.

    Facundo Pellistri

    The highly rated winger has spent the past 18 months on loan in Spain with Deportivo Alaves, accumulating plenty of first-team opportunities with a total of 33 appearances across all competitions in that period, but just 11 have been as a starter.

    United may feel they can provide those limited opportunities off the bench themselves and, if utilised, can expect plenty of link-up play down the right side from Pellistri – with the majority of his final-third passes during his spell with Alaves coming in that area.

    No team in the top six of the Premier League last season scored fewer goals than United last term (57), with seventh-placed West Ham (60) and eighth-placed Leicester City (62) also bettering that tally.

    The attacking third is an area where Ten Hag needs to find more threat and Pellistri may provide that option, albeit he failed to register a goal or an assist during his spell in Spain. He created seven chances in 753 first-team minutes last season, but none of those were converted.

    With more creativity in the squad at United and better support, Pellistri should be able to improve on his direct return to register more influential moments in matches.

    James Garner

    Garner has helped turn Nottingham Forest from second-tier middlemen to a Premier League outfit – with a play-off victory against Huddersfield Town bringing an end to a 23-year wait for top-flight football.

    In Forest's promotion-winning campaign, loanee Garner was a regular fixture in the side with 41 appearances, 36 of which were as a starter, resulting in four goals and eight assists – with only Brennan Johnson, Lewis Grabban and Philip Zinckernagel being involved in more direct goal contributions.

    Seven of Garner's assists came from set-pieces, with United's overall total in 2021-22 being 10 in that regard – so Garner could play an integral part in improving that return with his deliveries from corners and free-kicks, if Bruno Fernandes can occasionally be shuffled off such duties.

    Crucially for a club like United, Garner has shown he can perform under pressure given his display in the Championship play-off final against Huddersfield – where his accuracy of 88 per cent from 48 attempted passes included completions across the field.

    Forest, understandably, are reportedly interested in bringing Garner back to the City Ground again next season in their bid to remain in the Premier League, but United will assess the 21-year-old in pre-season before making a final decision.

    Alejandro Garnacho

    Earning his senior debut for United in the Premier League clash against Chelsea in April, Garnacho's introduction to the Premier League was merely a cameo at the end of that clash.

    On the final day of the season, in a 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace, Garnacho again came off the bench for an 11-minute appearance and was once more limited with his opportunity to make an impression – though that has already been done in the youth ranks.

    He scored in UEFA Youth League matches against Atalanta and Young Boys. However, it was in the FA Youth Cup where Garnacho made perhaps his biggest impact, scoring in every round bar the fourth as United lifted the trophy – with a seven-goal haul in the competition including a double in the 3-1 victory against Nottingham Forest in the final.

    With Jadon Sancho struggling for consistency down the left for United since his arrival from Borussia Dortmund, Garnacho could return to the first-team fold during the 2022-23 season.

    Opportunities could well come in the cup competitions, including the Europa League, in what will be a frantic season due to the disruption caused by the World Cup in Qatar.

  • Rumour Has It: Liverpool set Salah price tag Rumour Has It: Liverpool set Salah price tag

    Liverpool have reportedly placed a £60million price tag on star Mohamed Salah after it became clear he is unlikely to remain with the club when his contract expires at the end of the upcoming season.

    Salah arrived at Anfield in 2017 in a £36.5m move from Roma and during his time with the Reds he has become one of the best players in the world.

    In his five Premier League seasons, Salah has tallied 118 goals and 50 assists in 180 games, been named PFA Players' Player of the Year twice, collected three Premier League Golden Boots and won the Puskas Award in 2018.

     

    TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL LOOK TO CASH IN BEFORE SALAH WALKS FOR NOTHING

    Liverpool have long since been in contract talks with the Egypt superstar, but recent developments have caused the club to investigate what they could get in return for him entering the final year of his deal.

    The Mirror is reporting Liverpool have decided that £60m is the number they would be comfortable with, but it remains to be seen if there is interest from rival clubs given he could leave Anfield for nothing next year.

    Meanwhile, The Sun claims Liverpool are confident they can land Borussia Dortmund's England midfielder Jude Bellingham at the end of next season.

    Liverpool have already seen Sadio Mane depart for Bayern Munich.

     

    ROUND-UP

    – According to Sky Sports, West Ham are exploring a potential move for Villarreal winger Arnaut Danjuma, who is said to have a £40m release clause in his contract.

    – Sky Sports also claim  West Ham are interested in signing Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse .

    Manchester United are hoping to sell young defender Brandon Williams for £10m, according to the Daily Mail, while The Sun claims the club have made around £100m available for Erik ten Hag to rebuild the team.

    – United have declined Barcelona 's request for the Red Devils to include Harry Maguire in their bid for Netherlands midfielder Frenkie de Jong, according to The Sun.

    – The Athletic say  Crystal Palace are confident they will land 22-year-old Lens midfielder Cheick Doucoure .

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.