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Man United in hunt for Swansea winger Daniel James – sources

Manchester United are among a number of clubs in a race to sign Swansea City winger Daniel James, sources have told ESPN FC.

United, Everton, Newcastle and Leeds are all reported to be interested in the 21-year-old winger.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer refused to comment on speculation about a move for James at a news conference on Friday, but sources have told ESPN FC that the Wales international is one of the players on his list of summer targets.6

Any deal would depend on United matching Swansea’s valuation, which is around £15 million.

James scored two goals in 20 games in the Championship this season and has been capped twice by Wales, who are managed by Solskjaer’s former United teammate Ryan Giggs.

Sources have told ESPN FC that Solskjaer is looking to strengthen every area of his squad over the summer, with a forward, defender and at least one midfielder his priorities.

A number of senior players could leave, with doubts over the futures of Matteo Darmian, Marcos Rojo, Eric Bailly, Juan Mata, Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Ander Herrera and club captain Antonio Valencia are set to depart on free transfers after Sunday’s final game of the season against relegated Cardiff at Old Trafford.

Antonio Valencia’s Manchester United exit reminds fans of better days

Antonio Valencia is as renowned for sentiment as he is for speaking English, but romanticism has not been lacking in his recent social media output. The Ecuadorian international is about to leave Manchester United and Sunday’s final game of the season against relegated Cardiff City will be the last that the club plays with him on the books.

“I want to enjoy until the last moment with you Man United” was just one example of the relationship-ending tone set by the 33-year-old’s recent posts and Valencia, who has not played for United since a 2-0 win at Newcastle on Jan. 2, is likely to have the chance to say goodbye properly this weekend.cheap nike nfl jerseys china

History will remember Valencia as a very good player — “He’s a been a fantastic servant to the club,” manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said on Friday — during the 10 years since he arrived from Wigan Athletic. He is the current squad’s longest-serving player, with 338 appearances and 25 goals, and ranks 47th on United’s all-time list for games played.2

Valencia was bought to replace Cristiano Ronaldo, who left Old Trafford for Real Madrid in 2009. Initially, the man who supported Boca Juniors and Ecuadorian side Nacional as a child and idolised Francesco Totti thought there was a disciplinary issue when Wigan manager Steve Bruce called him into his office, only to discover United were interested in him.

Sir Alex Ferguson told his new signing that his job was to beat players and cross to the forwards. It was one trick, but it worked; Valencia set up Wayne Rooney’s winner in the League cup final as part of an impressive debut campaign in Manchester.

“I had a good first season (he was named in the 2009-10 PFA team of the year) and my family came to see the final games when we beat Spurs 3-1 at Old Trafford,” Valencia once told me. “A few weeks earlier, we beat Bayern Munich 3-2. It was one of my best games, a really exciting match against one of the best teams in the world. We’d already knocked AC Milan out of the [Champions League], we were playing well but then we lost 2-1 in Munich. We knew we had to play well in Manchester and we did. Unfortunately we went out on away goals.”cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

As well as having to take the place of Ronaldo, who won the Ballon d’Or in his final year at United, Valencia had to contend with an unsettled right-back situation behind him.

“Unlike with previous partners on the right where I had a 50/50 partnership, my legs had gone playing behind Antonio,” Gary Neville tole me. “Ronaldo said: ‘I attack, you defend!’ With Antonio, I needed him to defend and attack for me and I sat there hoping that he’s do that and cover me. He was 90 percent and I was 10 percent.”

Valencia broke his leg against Rangers in September 2010, but returned to play a role in his club’s run to the following year’s Champions League final, which he started vs. Barcelona. In 2011-12, having signed a new contract, his form saw him named United’s player of the year and players’ player of the year.

Harry Froling now confident of NBA capabilities

After two seasons, and 30 games, playing college basketball, Harry Froling still wasn’t sure if he was good enough to take his game to the next level.

Now, following a Rookie of the Year winning season in the NBL, Froling is confident he has what it takes to step up to the American professional level as he gets set to begin NBA workouts this week.

“I left college with doubts in my mind, like maybe I can’t do this, then I went back to Australia and going against Josh Boone, former NBA player, Shawn Long, who should be in the NBA, [Andrew] Bogut, playing in the NBA right now … I’m having good games against these guys and I’m like, I can do this,” Froling tells ESPN from Miami, where the center has been prepping for his upcoming workouts.

“It just re-sparked me and now I’m just all guns blazing. I’m super excited and giving it my all and whatever happens I’m just giving it my all right now.”china nike nfl jerseys cheap5

Froling has multiple teams interested in having him work out for them, and sources tell ESPN that he already has work outs for the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, OKC Thunder, Utah Jazz, New Orleans Pelicans and the San Antonio Spurs planned. His team workouts will begin on May 10, so in the meantime Froling is working with an individual trainer to familiarize himself with the American style of game.

“I’ve got to try and get in the best shape that I can, that’s one of the big things, just getting used to the pace of the game – it’s different over here to what it is in Australia,” Froling says. “I know that from what I’ve experienced in college, and with the NBA stuff, that’s a different level.”cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

Although he doesn’t know what to expect from the workouts, Froling is confident that his team is doing a thorough job making sure he’ll be ready for whatever comes next at him.

“I’m just working out pretty much full on all day,” he says. “And that’s just a lot of the drills that we’re gonna do and that can be expected, of what Ronnie [Taylor, his trainer] knows that teams are gonna do in the workouts. A lot of just trying to get better.”

Spurs emerge from Ajax defeat with hope — something they didn’t have after 30 minutes

So in the end a 1-0 defeat turned out to be a relatively decent result. When Donny van de Beek had the penalty area to himself in the 15th minute, sat Hugo Lloris down and passed the ball into the corner of the net, it seemed utterly implausible that it would be the only Ajax goal of the night.

Ajax had sliced through the Spurs defence with such ease, Van de Beek finding himself in so much space because the home side almost looked hypnotised by the passing and movement in front of them that it seemed to slip their mind to mark him.

“The way we conceded the goal was so painful,” Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino said, genuinely looking in pain as he spoke.

Spurs looked utterly suffocated. At one stage, Victor Wanyama tried to bring ball out of defence but was immediately set upon by three Ajax players and relieved of possession before he could even think about starting an attack. It was like a trio of velociraptors jumping on a lumbering stegosaurus.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

And yet, it might turn out to be enormously costly for Erik ten Hag’s side that they didn’t score a second in this period of dominance. After that opening salvo, they almost seemed to back off, either because no mortals could keep that pace up for longer, or they perhaps loosely assumed they were so much better than Spurs that the result of both match and tie was inevitable.6

Afterward, Ten Hag conceded that his team could and should have made more of their initial superiority, also admitting that his team “did not anticipate” Tottenham’s change in approach, their more direct and physical style.

Perhaps we should give Spurs more credit for the shift in the game. Pochettino switched formations after about 20 minutes, moving Danny Rose into midfield, and then Jan Vertonghen’s horrible-looking injury — knees buckling when he was initially allowed to return to the pitch, after his nose ploughed into the back of Toby Alderweireld’s head — actually turned out to be, from a tactical perspective at least, a positive.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Moussa Sissoko changed a Champions League semifinal. For his side. For the better. Lots of strange things have happened in the world in the past few years, but that’s among the more curious. Or, more accurately, would have been curious nine months ago. Sissoko’s influence faded in the latter stages of the game, but his initial impact after replacing Vertonghen allowed Spurs to take more control of midfield, and to play in that more direct manner that Ten Hag didn’t expect.

Spurs decided that the way to stop Ajax was to plug the holes in midfield, which Sissoko helped with hugely, and then aim as many crosses as possible at Fernando Llorente. There’s no shame in that: You win games of football by being better than your opponent at the things you’re good at. It’s no good trying to compete with the things they’re good at, just for the sake of it.

Five questions that will decide Sixers-Raptors

Less than a week ago, the Toronto Raptors looked indomitable. After polishing off the Orlando Magic with four consecutive wins, the Raptors handled the Philadelphia 76ers in the opener of their conference semifinals by playing the kind of ferocious team defense that often signals championship potential. With a 45-point performance in Game 1, Kawhi Leonard added to what was shaping up to be one of the great individual postseason campaigns in NBA history.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

The 76ers, on the other hand, looked a mess — an offense stuck in the mud, no response for Leonard, and a star center in Joel Embiid who was rendered ineffective by either health issues, Marc Gasol’s resistance or a combination of both. The Sixers found some defensive answers in Game 2, as they escaped Toronto with a split, and although they maximized Jimmy Butler in the half court, a lot of offensive questions remained.

In Game 3, the Sixers assembled an exhibition of their best-case basketball. In 95 possessions, they were able to find quality shot opportunities in a variety of ways — a pick-and-roll attack led by Butler, clever off-ball actions to free up the likes of JJ Redick, Tobias Harris and Ben Simmons, a dash of mismatch basketball and a handful of timely transition buckets.6

Meanwhile, the Raptors were unrecognizable in Game 3. One of the smartest units in basketball looked befuddled in the half court, unable to capitalize on its multifaceted skill sets to find creative solutions to the problems posed by the Sixers’ long, versatile defense. Leonard managed an efficient 32 points, but as Kyle Lowry said after the game, “We have to help him.”

For the Raptors, there might be fewer hands to provide that help. Pascal Siakam is listed as doubtful as he nurses as right calf contusion suffered during the loss on Thursday night.

With OG Anunoby still recovering from an appendectomy, no comfortable options exist for Toronto should Siakam be unable to dress in Game 4. Anunoby is the ideal understudy at the power forward spot, with size, athleticism and range to keep defenses honest.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

The Raptors like the pace and ball movement they’ve traditionally gotten from lineups featuring Lowry alongside backup guard Fred VanVleet. But that would be a painfully small backcourt for a Raptors team already at a size disadvantage. Guard Norman Powell has a few inches on VanVleet, yet that would still necessitate upsizing Leonard to the 4 spot.

The Raptors could start Serge Ibaka, although the backup center has struggled during this series, looking downright detached at crucial moments. Alternatively, Raptors coach Nick Nurse could plug in Patrick McCaw into the starting lineup, which would maintain the rotation — although it’s worth asking, given the poor performance of the backup units, whether that rotation is worth preserving.

Siakam’s emergence has been one of the dominant themes for the Raptors this season, giving them another potent attacker who presents matchup nightmares. Siakam’s scoring output has also alleviated pressure on Lowry, allowing Lowry to facilitate, manage and keep mouths fed.

Broncos have focused free agency and the draft on fixing the offense

The Denver Broncos have wandered the we-didn’t-make-the-playoffs wilderness for three seasons now, and it has turned one of the league’s throw-deep executives into a one-day-at-a-time guy.

“I’m really at the point that we’re going to take this thing one day at a time,” Broncos president of football operations/general manager John Elway said. “Obviously, it’s been disappointing the last couple years, and I’m excited about the new staff and the new players we do have, but it’s one step at a time. I’m just kind of — I don’t want to get too far ahead, but I’m excited with the guys that we have. But again, as I said, this thing is one step at a time, so we’ll keep it that way.”

That’s a long way from his “there’s no Plan B” statement after he signed Peyton Manning, but that’s what 5-11 and 6-10 the past two seasons will do to you.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

Elway’s solution to the losing? Fix the offense this offseason. While he has said that the team needed more “continuity” in its offense to be better, the Broncos also simply faced a talent deficit. For the first time in his tenure, Elway has combined the most money spent in free agency with the team’s premium draft picks on offense.4

They traded for quarterback Joe Flacco, made Ja’Wuan James the highest-paid right tackle in the league and used the first three picks of their draft on offense, taking tight end Noah Fant, guard/center Dalton Risner and quarterback Drew Lock.

Fant and Risner figure to be starters by September. Elway has promised patience with Lock, but he called him the Broncos’ “quarterback of the future” after the team traded up in the second round to select him.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“I think that, first of all, we improved in the offseason with the addition of Joe Flacco and bringing him in, and Ja’Wuan James at the right tackle,” Elway said after the draft. “… Then going with Noah and Dalton with the first two picks, we feel like they can come in and help us also. … Obviously, Noah can stretch the field. Joe’s going to — to me, we still believe he has tremendous upside in his career — so we feel a lot better about that. … We feel much better sitting here now today than we did coming out of last season with where we are and the additions that we’ve made.”

Elway added coach Vic Fangio’s staff to those changes, including offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello and offensive line coach Mike Munchak. The Broncos have hitched their hopes to an updated version of the West Coast offense that Scangarello brings with him after being on Kyle Shanahan’s staff in San Francisco and to Flacco having some miles left on his career odometer.

But the Broncos have approached the past few months with a focus on a talent upgrade on offense. In three consecutive playoff misses, they haven’t finished higher than 22nd in points scored or higher than 17th in yards per game, and they finished 28th and 31st on third down the past two seasons.

Cano: MRI negative, expect return this week

Robinson Cano expects to return to the New York Mets’ lineup later this week after an MRI taken Monday on his injured left hand came back negative.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

Cano was not in the Mets’ starting lineup against the Cincinnati Reds one day after being hit on the hand by a pitch.

Initial X-rays came back negative, but Cano underwent further testing, including the MRI, on his hand earlier Monday.6

The veteran second baseman told reporters that his hand was still swollen but that he expects to miss only one or two games.

Cano was hit by a fastball while attempting to check his swing in the first inning Sunday against the Milwaukee Brewers. The eight-time All-Star is batting .270 with three home runs in 26 games this season, his first with the Mets.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

Jeff McNeil will start at second base and bat leadoff Monday against Reds starter Tanner Roark.

Griffin has knee surgery, will be ready for camp

Detroit Pistons star forward Blake Griffin has undergone arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.

The Pistons said the procedure Wednesday was successful and addressed the issue that caused soreness in the knee across the last two weeks of the regular season and the postseason. They said Griffin is expected to be fully recovered before the start of training camp in September.cheap nfl jerseys china nike6

The 30-year-old forward mostly avoided injury this season, playing in 72 games, but he missed four of the final six regular-season games and the first two of the Pistons’ first-round playoff series against the Milwaukee Bucks because of the troublesome left knee injury.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

He averaged a career-high 24.5 points per game, along with 7.5 rebounds and 5.4 assists. He also made a career-high 189 3-pointers, shooting 36 percent from beyond the arc. This is the most games he has played since he appeared in 80 in 2013-14 with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Russell ‘definitely’ wants to return to Nets

All Star guard D’Angelo Russell “definitely” hopes to return to the Brooklyn Nets next season but knows that, as a restricted free agent, much of what happens in the offseason will be beyond his control.

“I definitely want to be here. But I also know it’s a business, too. So I’m not going to play that role like I don’t know what could possibly happen,” Russell said Wednesday after the team conducted its exit interviews. “Say somebody comes here that I have to be a part of (a transaction to acquire them), I know that could be a possibility. So I just want to stay in this moment and not speak too soon about anything.“cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Russell helped lead the Nets to 42 wins and a playoff berth this season. The 23-year-old averaged 21.1 points and seven assists in 80 regular-season games and earned his first All-Star appearance.

Teammates and Nets coach Kenny Atkinson lauded Russell for his leadership, improved conditioning and professional approach to the game. Russell was asked on Wednesday whether the Nets would have an advantage over other teams this summer due to his success and development in Brooklyn.5

“Yeah, for sure, for sure. I don’t know any other teams, I don’t know any other GMs or coaches. I don’t know any of those people. I know where I’m at. So it definitely gives you that advantage,” said Russell, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft.

The Nets will have the right to match any offer made to Russell this summer. But it could be challenging for the club to create the cap space to sign a max free agent while keeping its rights to Russell, who shot 36 percent from the floor in Brooklyn’s five-game first-round series loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

So Nets GM Sean Marks may be faced with a difficult decision regarding Russell, who was acquired in a 2017 trade with the Los Angeles Lakers.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Russell’s teammates who spoke to the media on Wednesday all said they’d like him to return.

“We’ve obviously built a great chemistry together playing together the last couple of years, and I feel like it’s only going to get better growing in the future,” Caris LeVert said. “Whatever they decide to do, I’ll obviously support it, but I’d love to play with D’Angelo.”

In general, Nets players said that the franchise should be considered a free-agent destination this summer following their 14-win improvement from a season ago.

“The story before this was that the Nets were the worst team in the NBA. Even when we weren’t the worst team, we still were in the eyes of the public,” center Jarrett Allen said. “So just coming in here and showing we made the playoffs and we’ve got a lot of young talent, we made it a more attractive destination.”

Yanks’ Frazier to IL; Stanton’s recovery hits snag

On the day the New York Yankees finally got back one reinforcement from their 13-man injured list, manager Aaron Boone disclosed some less promising news about two other banged-up stars.

According to Boone, outfielder Clint Frazier will go on the injured list on Thursday, thanks to a left ankle injury that popped up this week and has been more temperamental than previously believed.

An MRI revealed “enough in there” to shut Frazier down, Boone said.

“Some partial tear and stuff that it’s going to cost him the 10 days,” Boone said, adding that he didn’t know at the time the exact nature of what was partially torn. “The good news is we feel like [the IL stint] will be short. [Doctors] feel like it’s 10-14-day thing. Maybe a little less. So we don’t feel like it’s a long thing.”

Several hours before announcing the update on Frazier, Boone revealed that fellow outfielder and designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton’s recovery from an arm injury has hit a snag. Although the left biceps strain that landed Stanton on the IL on April 1 has completely healed, Boone said Wednesday that a separate, “residual” left shoulder problem has appeared.

Boone didn’t specify the nature of the injury but said Stanton in recent days has been dealing with “stuff” in his left shoulder.

“He’s just kind of had it,” Boone said.china nike nfl jerseys cheap6

Once, early in the 2013 season while he was with the Marlins, Stanton was scratched from a game because of a sore left shoulder. He was listed as day-to-day with the injury over the next six days before returning to the lineup. He hasn’t been formally diagnosed with any other shoulder ailments during his big league career.

Upon arriving in Anaheim with the rest of the club earlier this week, Stanton had a cortisone shot, Boone said.

“He’s in day two or three of not swinging,” Boone said.

The Yankees will let the effects of the shot settle into Stanton a little longer before he’s able to pick up a bat. The plan is to leave the superstar in Southern California this weekend while the rest of the team travels to Northern California for its scheduled three-game series at San Francisco.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

A native of suburban Los Angeles, Stanton has rehabbed from other injuries in Southern California in the past, and the Yankees will be allowing him to do that for the next several days. When the Bronx Bombers conclude their three-city road trip with a visit to Phoenix to face the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday, Stanton will join them.