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Karanka admits help from Mourinho might dry up

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Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka would not be surprised if the help he has received from old friend Jose Mourinho dried up now they are Premier League rivals.

Aitor Karanka and old friend

Aitor Karanka and old friend Jose Mourinho

The 42-year-old Spaniard will take charge of his first English top-flight game on Saturday when he sends his promoted side into battle with Stoke at the Riverside Stadium.

A day later, Manchester United counterpart Mourinho, who he worked under during their time together at Real Madrid, will be in the dugout at Bournemouth on his return to the Premier League.

The Portuguese has been a regular source of advice and affirmation since Karanka launched his coaching career on Teesside two and a half years ago, but while they remain close, the Boro boss is not expecting many tips this time around.

Karanka said with a smile: “We are friends and that’s the most important thing. When you are friends, you are always trying to help your friend.

“But now we are playing for the same – not the same, but in the same league…

“I learnt a lot with him and I wish him all the best this season – except when he plays against us.

Stoke’s visit to the north-east will see Boro back among the big boys for the first time in seven years, something which seemed a distant prospect the day in November 2013 when Karanka accepted chairman Steve Gibson’s offer to step into management in his own right.

Asked if it was a long-held dream to work in the Premier League, he said: “Of course. When I came here two and a half years ago, the team was two or three points above the relegation positions and now for everybody it’s a dream, so imagine for me as a coach!

“It’s my first experience, so let the dream keep going.”

Karanka is aware of his relative inexperience but is relishing the prospect of going head to head with the likes of Mourinho, Pep Guardiola, Antonio Conte and Jurgen Klopp.

But he is also conscious of what it means to the whole town to have secured a return to the top flight.

He said: “It’s a big challenge for me, but I think it’s a good challenge for the football club too because after seven years, the club is in the Premier League, it is on the Premier League map and for that reason everybody is going to watch Middlesbrough playing every Saturday.”

Meanwhile, Karanka remained tight-lipped on the club’s ongoing pursuit of Cardiff full-back Fabio da Silva with a deal understood to be close.

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Arsenal

Premier League Transfer News Update: Ozil, Morata, Paquet, Martial, Ramsey

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Mesut Ozil

Though the transfer market is currently closed, clubs are being linked with some players ahead of the upcoming winter transfer window.

Here are some players making headlines in the transfer media.

Mesut Ozil and Anthony Martial could be engaged in a swap deal

Manchester United are reportedly set to offer want-away striker Anthony Martial plus cash to Arsenal so as to receive Mesut Ozil in return.

According to Daily Mirror, Mourinho is willing to reunite with the retired Germany international at Old Trafford and he’s ready to do everything to see that happen in January.

Arsenal target Brazilian Lucas Paquette despite United’s interest

Le10 Sports are reporting that United and Arsenal are set to compete for Brazilian playmaker Lucas Paquette, who has two caps for the Selecao. The youngster is valued at £44m by Flamengo but it’s yet to be seen if both clubs are ready to spend big on his signature.

West Ham target Chelsea striker

Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata could be joining the Hammers in January as Manuel Pellegrini is hoping to lure the Spaniard to the Bet365 Stadium.

The former Manchester City manager hasn’t hit the ground running with the team after five round of matches this season and he’s looking to bolster his team’s attacking prowess in the second half of the season.

Ramsey’s uncertain future

Arsenal are yet to convince the Welshman to commit his future to the Emirates stadium, despite all their efforts to see that happen before the end of this month.

Though talks are still ongoing but the Express claims both parties are not having a smooth talk as many would have wanted.

Pirlo sees nothing stopping Pogba’s return to Juventus

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EPL

It is surprising to see that Liverpool star is still carrying a strap on his shoulder

Olumide Alake

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Salah

Liverpool fans got the shock of their lives after Egypt International, Mo Salah took off his shirt to change to another one.

However, the camera moves close to the Liverpool star and we noticed that he is still carrying a strap over his shoulder after the face-off between him and Sergio Ramos in the Uefa Champions league.

Mo Salah has suffered a shoulder injury that saw him leave the field of play in tears after a collision between him and Spain International, Sergio Ramos.

The injury had dampened the morale of the  Reds players as the went on to lose the final to Real Madrid.

This injury affected Mo Salah in the world cup tournament in Russia as he was unable to perform for his home country Egypt.

With four months passed in the injury that took place at Kiev, many would have believed that Salah will have been back to normal.

However, the strapping may be a precaution owing to the fact that shoulders that have been dislocated are prone to popping out of the joint again.

With this new revelation, Liverpool fans hatred for Real Madrid defender and Spain International has just soared higher as fans still believe he injured Salah on purpose.

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EPL

Video: What PSG fans did to Xerdan Shaqiri whenever he wanted to play a corner

Olumide Alake

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shaqiri

The first leg of the UEFA champions league between Liverpool and French side, Paris Saint Germain, which went down on Tuesday ended in victory for the Reds but the effect from the match still lingers on.

Liverpool had led the scoreboard in the first half with goals from Daniel Sturridge and James Milner only for Kylian Mbappe and another PSG player to equalize the goals for their club.

However, before the late goal from Roberto Firmino, Coach Jurgen Klopp brought in 26-year-old Swiss player, Xherdan Shaqiri to find a last-minute goal.

The Swiss player was seen making diverse efforts in other to get a victory goal for the Reds.

One of the efforts from Shaqiri was playing corner kicks for the Reds.

However, the shocking thing was that every time Shaqiri moves to play a corner kick for Liverpool, PSG threw bottles of water at him.

Despite this, Xherdan Shaqiri would turn to the Reds fans and urge them to jeer their team on and cheer up.

Well, it turned out the match ended in a victory not just for Liverpool but for Shaqiri, who refused to give up.

The winning goal for Liverpool came from Brazil star, Roberto Firmino.

Chelsea vs Cardiff City:  6 Facts to note from the match 

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