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Manchester United's striker Marcus Rashford ended speculation about his future by signing a new long-term deal that will keep him at Old Trafford through to 2028. Image Credit: AFP

Manchester: After the most prolific season of his career, Marcus Rashford committed himself to five more years at Manchester United on Tuesday.

The England forward ended speculation about his future by signing a new long-term deal that will keep him at Old Trafford through to 2028.

Rashford scored 30 goals in all competitions last season, with his form helping fill the void left by Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit in November as he established himself as a key part of a United team which qualified for the Champions League and won the English League Cup.

“I joined Manchester United as a 7-year-old boy with a dream. That same passion, pride, and determination to succeed still drives me every time I have the honour of wearing the shirt,” Rashford said in a statement released by United. “I’ve already had some amazing experiences at this incredible club, but there is still a lot more to achieve and I remain relentlessly determined to win more trophies in the years ahead.”

Rashford has made 359 appearances for United since rising through the club’s youth academy. He has scored 123 goals.

His return to form last season under United manager Erik ten Hag came after a year battling with his fitness, which saw him lose his England place before being recalled for the World Cup last November.

“As a United fan all my life, I know the responsibility that comes with representing this badge and feel the highs and lows as much as anyone,” Rashford said. “I can assure you that I will give everything to help the team reach the level we are capable of, and I can feel the same determination around the dressing room. I couldn’t be more excited for the future under this manager.”

Also Tuesday, United signed experienced defender Jonny Evans on a short-term deal so he can take part in upcoming preseason games in Edinburgh and San Diego.

Evans, an academy graduate, had been training with United’s under-21s while considering his options following his departure from relegated Leicester at the end of last season.

United set to sign Onana from Inter Milan

Manchester United are closing in on the signing of Inter Milan goalkeeper Andre Onana for a fee of £47 million ($61 million), multiple UK media outlets reported on Tuesday.

Onana, 27, played a major role in Inter’s run to the Champions League final and previously worked with Ten Hag at Ajax.

The Cameroonian will reportedly sign a five-year deal at Old Trafford to become the successor to David De Gea as the club’s No 1 goalkeeper.

United will pay an initial €51 million with a further €4 million due in performance-related add-ons.

De Gea left the Red Devils earlier this month after 12 years at United.

The Spaniard struggled with Ten Hag’s preference to play out from the back and Onana appears a far more natural fit for the Dutch coach’s philosophy.

Onana joined Barcelona as a 14-year-old after being spotted as Samuel Eto’o’s academy in his homeland.

After failing to make the first team at the Camp Nou, Onana joined Ajax in 2015 and won three Eredivisie titles under Ten Hag in the Netherlands.

However, his career was temporarily rocked in 2021 by a doping ban for taking a banned diuretic.

Onana claimed to have accidentally taken a drug prescribed to his wife and had a one-year ban reduced to nine months on appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

He joined Inter on a free transfer just over 12 months ago when his contract at Ajax expired.

Onana made only 24 Serie A appearances as he shared goalkeeping duties with Samir Handanovic in the Inter captain’s final year at the club.

But he was an ever-present in the Champions League, keeping eight clean sheets in 13 games as Inter reached the final for the first time in 13 years.

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Brazilian striker Neymar, 31 underwent a surgery on his right ankle in early March.

Neymar back training with PSG

Brazilian striker Neymar has returned to training with Paris Saint-Germain but Portugal left-back Nuno Mendes has ruptured a tendon in his right hamstring, the French champions said Tuesday.

Mendes, 21, suffered a thigh injury in May and picked up a further problem with his hamstring during the summer but not during training, PSG said, adding he “will remain in treatment for the next few weeks”.

Neymar, 31, who underwent surgery on his right ankle in early March, returns to the squad.

“After participating in individual training on the pitch last week, Neymar is expected to partially participate in collective training this week,” PSG said.

After physical and medical tests, the players all joined the PSG Campus in Poissy, in the western suburbs of Paris, for group training on Tuesday.

Italian midfielder Cher Ndour, crowned European U19 champion on Sunday, is resting, while French 2018 World Cup winner Presnel Kimpembe continues his recovery from an Achilles tendon injury and is expected back in early August.

Midfielder Fofana joins Al Nassr from Lens

Ivory Coast midfielder Seko Fofana has joined Al Nassr from Ligue 1 side RC Lens on a contract until 2026, the Saudi Pro League club said on Tuesday.

The financial details were not disclosed but French media said the transfer fee was around €25 million ($28.10 million).

“Al Nassr has officially signed with the Ivorian star Seko Fofana. We wish him good luck with our stars,” the club said on Twitter.

The 28-year-old joined Lens in 2020, where he scored 21 goals and provided 11 assists in 112 appearances, helping the club consolidate their place in the French top flight.

“Seko arrived when the club was freshly promoted, with this ambition to help it regain its influence and the continental scene,” Arnaud Pouille, Lens managing director said in a statement.

“Everyone at the club says thank you and shows their respect for what has been achieved. And, proof of his deep attachment to Racing, he will very soon become the first player leaving a club to become a shareholder,” he added.

The midfielder will join Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcelo Brozovic, fellow Ivory Coast international Ghislain Konan, and David Ospina, as the Saudi Pro League club has become an attractive destination for Europe-based players.

Al Nassr, who finished second in the league last season, were banned from registering new players due to outstanding debts, FIFA said last week, until they paid a sum of 460,000 euros ($516,948) to Leicester City for the signing of Nigerian attacker Ahmed Musa.

Bayern sign defender Kim Min-jae from Napoli

Bayern Munich on Tuesday signed South Korean defender Kim Min-jae from Italian champions Napoli.

Bayern said the 26-year-old was joining on a five-year contract but did not give the transfer fee.

Kim joined Napoli last summer and anchored the defence as they won Serie A.

“It’s a new beginning for me,” Kim told the Bayern website. “My first goal is to play a lot of games. In addition, I want to win as many trophies as possible.”

He also posted a farewell to Napoli, and departing coach Luciano Spalletti, on Instagram.

“To my passionate club Napoli, Mister Spalletti, my team mates, and above all to Napoli fans, I would like to express my gratitude.”

Kim has 49 international caps and played in China and then for Fenerbahce in Turkey before joining Napoli.

“He impresses with his physical presence, as well as his mentality and speed,” said Jan-Christian Dreesen, the Bayern CEO.

Bayern also unveiled Austrian Christoph Freund as sporting director.

Freund, 46, will join at the end of the summer transfer window from Austrian champions Red Bull Salzburg where he spent eight years.

He replaces Hasan Salihamidzic, the club’s former player who was sacked in May along with former chairman Oliver Kahn after a relatively disappointing season for Bayern.

Salihamidzic and Kahn took the gamble of parting company with coach Julian Nagelsmann at the end of March, a gamble that did not entirely work.

The club won the Bundesliga as Borussia Dortmund slipped up on the last day of the season but went out in the quarter-finals of both the Champions League and German Cup.

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Christoph Freund will join the German giants from Austrian Bundesliga side Red Bull Salzburg, where he currently holds the same position, and will take charge from Sept. 1. Image Credit: Reuters

Bayern name Freund as new sporting director

Bayern Munich have appointed Christoph Freund as the club’s new sporting director, the Bundesliga side announced on Tuesday.

The 46-year-old Austrian will join the German giants from Austrian Bundesliga side Red Bull Salzburg, where he currently holds the same position, and will take charge from Sept. 1.

Bayern parted ways with club chief executive officer Oliver Kahn and Hasan Salihamidzic in May, just minutes after they clinched their 11th straight Bundesliga title on the last match of the season.

Freund, who has been at Salzburg for 17 years, will replace Bosnian Salihamidzic at Bayern.

“We are convinced that he is the right person to strengthen the team in the future, together with Thomas Tuchel’s coaching team and technical director Marco Neppe,” Bayern’s CEO Jan-Christian Dreesen said in a statement.

“It has been mutually agreed with Red Bull Salzburg, where Christoph Freund has done an outstanding job, that he will still fully shape the current transfer period with his long-time employer and will not join us until the beginning of September.”

Leeds confirm approval for takeover by 49ers’ owners

Leeds United announced Tuesday that the English Football League had approved the club’s takeover by the owners of NFL franchise San Francisco 49ers in the latest example of a US-based group taking a controlling stake in an English team.

Last month, Leeds chairman Andrea Radrizzani said he had agreed a deal to sell his controlling stake in the recently relegated Premier League club to co-owners 49ers Enterprises, which has been a minority shareholder in Leeds since 2018.

Former Norwich boss Daniel Farke was appointed manager at Elland Road on a four-year deal earlier this month, with Leeds bidding to make an immediate return to the Premier League following relegation in May.

Chairman Paraag Marathe said in a Leeds statement issued Tuesday: “This is an important moment for Leeds United and we are already hard at work.

“This transition is a necessary reset to chart a new course for the club. We have already appointed a highly-respected first-team manager with a track record of success, and we are confident Leeds will field a competitive squad to contend for promotion next season.”

Rudy Cline-Thomas, founder of venture capital firm Mastry, who is joining the board as co-owner and vice-chairman, said: “With my family hailing from Leeds, it’s an honour to be able to uplift this incredible community.

“This is more than just an opportunity, it’s a personal mission.”