Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani handed three-match ban

The 33-year-old summer signing produced a match-winning display at Southampton on November 29, providing an assist for Bruno Fernandes before netting a brace in a 3-2 comeback win.

Cavani posted a social media message on Instagram shortly after the match, replying to a message of congratulations using the Spanish term ‘negrito’, which translates as ‘black’.

The Uruguayan swiftly deleted the post and issued an apology after being made aware of the connotations, with the player releasing an apologetic statement the following day saying he was “completely opposed to racism”.

But the FA charged the striker with “misconduct for a breach of FA Rule E3” in relation to his social media post on December 19 and has now banned him for three games.

The FA said in a statement: “Edinson Cavani has been suspended for three games, fined £100,000 and must complete face-to-face education after admitting a charge for a breach of FA Rule E3 in relation to a social media post on Sunday 29 November 2020.”

Premier League Preview: Manchester United v Aston Villa

Ole Gunner Solskjaer’s 2nd placed Manchester United face Aston Villa on New Year’s Day and may have their work cut out if they are to keep up with league leaders Liverpool.

The Red Devil’s have steadily worked their way up the Premier League table in recent weeks and will be looking to continue their good run of form against a Villa side who are unbeaten in their last 5 games.

United haven’t tasted defeat since Arsenal visited Old Trafford on November 1st but Dean Smith’s Villains will be no walk in the park.

Villa come into the game off the back of a Jack Grealish inspired 1 all draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge that manager Dean Smith said showed his teams great character.

This ones bound to be a cracker and takes place on New Years Day at 8pm.

Harry Maguire’s legal team lodge appeal against Greek conviction

United have said the appeal nullifies Tuesday’s ruling in a Greek court and means Maguire has no criminal record ahead of a full retrial.

The England defender had been convicted at a court on the Greek island of Syros for those offences and handed a 21-month suspended prison sentence.

It is understood no date has yet been fixed for the appeal and, while United would like the matter dealt with as soon as possible, they recognise it could be a number of months before the appeal is heard.

A club spokesman said: “An appeal against yesterday’s verdict was lodged this morning by Harry’s legal team. In accordance with the Greek judicial process, the filing of an appeal extinguishes the initial court verdict and nullifies the conviction.

“The appeal has been accepted and will lead to a full retrial in a more senior court. This means that Harry has no criminal record and is once again presumed innocent until proven guilty. Accordingly, he is not subject to any international travel restrictions.”

United’s public support for the player is understood to be an indicator that he will remain as club captain.

His brother Laurence had earlier said there was “no chance” of an apology being issued, after a lawyer representing two Greek police officers said that doing so might lead to a withdrawal of some of the complaints.

Laurence Maguire, who plays for Chesterfield, tweeted: “Absolute no chance Harry will be apologising. Daisy (Maguire’s sister) and no one in the group was interviewed by the police.”

The latter part of the tweet referenced a comment made by prosecution lawyer Yoannis Paradissis, who said it was “strange” that part of Maguire’s defence had been that his sister Daisy had been injected with an unknown substance prior to the incident which led to his arrest in Mykonos last week, when she had made no mention of it when interviewed by police.

Paradissis told BBC Radio Four’s Today Programme on Wednesday: “(The police officers) told me they are still waiting for an apology and they haven’t had any. This is what I find quite shocking and quite unsporting.

“Fair play means when I’ve done something wrong I apologise or at least I say I am sorry for what happened to the other person.”

England manager Gareth Southgate withdrew Maguire from the squad for the Nations League matches against Iceland and Denmark next month after the verdict was announced, having initially selected him.

Asked about Maguire’s claim in a statement on Tuesday that he was the victim, Paradissis said: “We don’t have the same definition of what a victim is then, because how can you be a victim and the policemen have been assaulted, hit, that were just doing their jobs?

“They went home on the day with injuries. How can they not be a victim?”

Paradissis said there was no way that Maguire and his co-defendants, brother Joe and friend Christopher Sharman, could not have known that they were dealing with police officers.

“Of course, because that’s the first thing they said,” he added. “The police officers were there for other duties and they heard a brawl.

“So they heard some people fighting and went there to break up a fight. They said, ‘We’re police, stop fighting’. They were not in uniform but they showed their professional IDs.”

Maguire signed a boot deal with Puma worth a reported £700,000 a year last year.

The sportswear manufacturer declined to comment on Tuesday’s verdict when contacted by the PA news agency on Wednesday morning.

Paul Pogba staying put at Manchester United

The World Cup winner endured a difficult 2019-20 campaign due to injury, but he ended the season strongly as he helped Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side to a third-placed finish in the Premier League.

And his agent Mino Raiola says United will not accept any bids for the player this summer.

He told Sky Sports Italy: “Pogba is key player for Man United, they’ve an important project and he’s 100 per cent included.

“Man United will not accept any bid this summer to sell Pogba. We’re going to speak about a new contract soon, no stress…”

Pogba, whose current deal runs until next summer, last month revealed his desire to win more trophies at Old Trafford.

United have since been beaten in the semi-finals of both the FA Cup and the Europa League, but are back in the Champions League next season thanks to their impressive form following the resumption of the Premier League.

Pogba has won only the Europa League and EFL Cup since returning to United from Juventus in 2016.

David Brooks is now being heavily linked to Manchester United

David Brooks is tipped to be the next star to leave the Vitality after relegation and would cost around £40million but would be a good alternative should United fail to get the signature of Jadon Sancho.

Elsewhere Italian paper Gazzetta claims Antonio Conte is interested in Manchester United defender Smalling, who had a successful loan spell at Roma last term, has the ‘experience’ to improve his side.

Uniteds defence answers could lie in East London, as West Ham have lowered their asking price for central defender Issa Diop to around £45 million according to Sky Sports.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sees the 6ft4 Frenchman as a potential central defensive partner for Harry Maguire.

United expressed an interest last year, and the opportunity to play in the champions league is said to appeal to the 23 year old.

Alexis Sanchez leaves Manchester United

There was much hype and hope when he arrived from Arsenal in January 2018 in a deal that saw Henrikh Mkhitaryan moved the other way.

It may well go down as one of the worst swap deals in history, with Sanchez more likely to be remembered for his piano-playing viral announcement than any of his 45 appearances.

The the 31-year-old Chile international managed just five goals in red and was allowed to spend the 2019-20 season on loan at Inter Milan – a period in which United covered a hefty portion of his wages.

Sanchez has done enough in Serie A to secure a permanent move, closing a costly and uncomfortable chapter.

The Italian club said in a statement: “FC Internazionale Milano announce that Alexis Sanchez has joined the Nerazzurri on a free transfer. The Chilean forward has signed a permanent contract with the club until 30 June 2023.”

Sanchez had two years remaining on his eye-popping deal at Old Trafford, with his early exit reported to be saving the club around £40million in wages.

Manchester United’s Jadon Sancho transfer nearing completion

England star Sancho has been a United target for some time now, and according to the latest intel from reputable journalist Fabrizio Romano, the club are at an ‘advanced stage’ of talks.

Romano also suggests that Sancho – who has scored 30 goals in 78 Bundesliga appearances for Dortmund since 2017 – would be offered a 5-year deal at Old Trafford.

Although both clubs are said to be in discussions over the player, the biggest factor will be deciding on a fee for the 20-year-old, who has already shown in his short career so far that he has the capabilities to be genuinely world class.

The Guardian’s deputy news editor Ed Aarons claims Manchester United are prepared to spend £90m to secure Sancho’s services, which would be a new record fee for an English player.

Dortmund are pushing United to reach an agreement soon if they want the player, as the German side are keen to press on with finding a replacement.

Reports claim that Dortmund have set Manchester United a deadline of 10th August to sew up the Sancho deal, which is likely to be paid in instalments.

Manchester United eyeing Wolves striker Raul Jimenez

The Mexico striker bagged 17 goals in the Premier League this season, matching the tally he notched last campaign at Molineux whilst on loan from Benfica.

Now reports claim that Jimenez, who signed a permanent contract at Wolves last summer for €30m, is now ‘on his way’ to Old Trafford.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is on the hunt for a striker, something which was embodied in the deadline day capture of Odion Ighalo on loan from a Chinese Super League side in January.

However, with the summer window now extended until October 5th due to the implications of Covid-19, that may allow Solskjaer to be more thorough in the capture of a proven top flight goalscorer.

29-year-old Jimenez is reported to be that man – that’s if you believe the Portuguese press, who are quite insistent that the Wolves man will pitch up at Old Trafford.

Newspaper A Bola and Portugal’s national broadcaster RTP have both suggested that there’s truth in a United swoop for Jimenez, with it being put down to the fact that Wolves have already lined up a replacement.

Nuno Espirito Santo is supposedly in line to bring in Braga striker Paulinho, who has plundered 25 goals and registered 9 assists in 48 games this season.

That is said to be a €30m switch, with Wolves triggering the 6’2” frontman’s release clause earlier this week.

Renowned football agent Jorge Mendes is thought to be the broker for the Paulinho deal.

Of course, this is all translated from Portuguese to English – but RTP are known to be a source who avoid typical speculation.

Alexis Sanchez agrees personal terms with Inter Milan over Manchester United transfer

The Chilean forward joined the Serie A club last summer after a torrid time at Old Trafford, in which he never truly lived up to his potential.

Sanchez’s departure from United was a relief to all involved with the club, from disgruntled fans to no doubt the player himself.

It was never likely that Sanchez would return to Old Trafford at the conclusion of his loan spell at the San Siro, but negotiations still need to be thrashed out between Manchester United and Inter Milan over a possible transfer fee.

Such is the uncertainty surrounding football finances in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is unlikely that Inter will pay the €20m fee United Executive Vice-Chairman Ed Woodward is holding out for, with it understood that the Red Devils are willing to accept €15m.

Whatever is agreed fee-wise, one thing that is for certain is that Alexis Sanchez has agreed personal terms with Inter Milan on a three-year deal, with it claimed the former Barcelona man could earn up to €15m in wages per season.

Manchester United losing those sorts of numbers off their books will certainly give them an advantage when attempting to do business this summer.