United on track to break revenue record

Manchester United are on track to become the first British club to earn more than half a billion pounds in a year. 

The Red Devils have announced a quarterly profit of £18.6 million and a total revenue of £133.8 million, which is 26.6 percent higher in comparison to the same period in 2015. 

United’s commercial revenue for the second quarter stood at £66.1 million, a 42.5 percent rise from last year. The club’s broadcasting revenues rocketed up 31.3 percent, while sponsorship revenue climbed from £1.6 million to £37.4 million. 

As a result of the surge in profits, the club expects their revenue for 2016 to sit at £510 million even though the Red Devils have already been knocked out of the Champions League.

"Our strong commitment to investing in our squad, youth academy and the broader club are ultimately underpinned by our financial strength and the hard work and dedication of everyone at the Club," United vice-chairman Ed Woodward told reporters. "Our solid results off the pitch help contribute to what remains our number one priority - success on the pitch." 

Oscar rules out China move

Chelsea midfielder Oscar has insisted that he will not be heading to China and has said he is committed to the Stamford Bridge outfit. 

The Blues reportedly rejected a £57 million offer from Jiangsu Suning for the 24-year-old, with the Chinese Super League side having successfully negotiated the transfer of Brazilian midfielder Ramires from Chelsea for £25 million last month.

However, Oscar, who is contracted to Chelsea until June 2019, has made it clear that he wants to continue plying his trade with the reigning Premier League champions.

"I want to stay here for a long time," Oscar told Chelsea TV. "I want to win more games, more trophies, because I love Chelsea, I love the fans. I like the city, my family like it here.

"I don't have [a reason to] change the club. Everyone likes me here and I'm very happy here."

Oscar has scored eight goals and notched up three assists in 28 games in all competitions this season.

Lazio crush lacklustre Verona

Lazio compounded misery on bottom placed Verona with a demolition in a free scoring affair on Thursday.

  • Alessandro Matri, Stefano Mauri, Felipe Anderson, Balde Keita and Antonio Candreva score for Lazio.
  • Luca Toni and Leandro Greco score for Verona.
  • One goal scored in the first-half and six goals in the second.
  • Lazio dominate possession at home

Match summary
Lazio thrashed Verona 5-2 courtesy of goals from Alessandro Matri, Stefano Mauri, Felipe Anderson, Balde Keita and Antonio Candreva in a dominant performance at the Stadio Olympico.

Lazio opened the scoring just before half-time with a strike from Alessandro Matri inside the box. Danilo Cataldi contributed the assist in the 44th minute to ensure his side went into the interval with the psychological advantage.

Lazio attacker Felipe Anderson was the first to have a shot at goal in the third minute which saved by Verona goalkeeper Alberto Grassi.

Verona had their first sight of goal when Pawel Wszolek evaded the defence after a through ball from Leandro Greco, but he was offside.

Felipe Anderson came close to opening the scoring for Lazio but his shot was off target after receiving a pass from Senad Lulic.

The opposition replied with a strike moments later when Luca Toni took a shot from an acute angle. Toni was the most threatening player for Verona but his header on the half-hour mark flew wide of goal.

When it appeared the match would enter the break goalless, Matri converted inside the box.

Lazio picked up from where they left off in the second half when Stefano Mauri made it 2-0 after a shot from close range in the 50th minute.

In the 69th minute Felipe Anderson extended the lead with an easy tap-in.

Verona would not go down without a fight though after Leandro Greco and Luca Toni got on the score-sheet in the 72nd and 79th minute respectively.

Keita and Antonio Candreva helped Lazio pull away and ensure the demolition with goals in the 82nd and 90th minute respectively.

Sunderland terminate Johnson deal

Sunderland have terminated the contract of winger Adam Johnson with immediate effect after admitting to sexual activity with an underage girl.

The former England international pleaded guilty to admitted one charge of grooming and another of sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl at Bradford Crown Court.

The case against the 28-year-old will continue on Friday where he will answer two further counts of sexual activity with a child, which he denied.

"In light of Adam Johnson's guilty pleas, the club has today terminated his contract with immediate effect. The club will make no further comment," the club said in a statement.

Payet inks Hammers extension

West Ham United have confirmed the five year contract extension of France midfielder Dimitri Payet. 

The 28-year-old, who has been instrumental for the Hammers since joining in the summer from Marseille, inked a deal until 2021. 

Reports are suggest that the playmaker will be earning £125 000 per week in the deal that is worth £35 million.

"Payet has become an instant fans' favourite since joining the Hammers in June 2015, earning widespread praise and respect and becoming the subject of English football's newest and best terrace chant!," the club said on its website.

Bhengu eager to play

Disgruntled SuperSport United striker Phumelele Bhengu is hopeful that coach Stuart Baxter will give him a chance to play regularly.

After joining United at the beginning of the season, Bhengu struggled for game-time under the previous coach Gordon Igesund, who was fired after a string of poor performances. 

Bhengu confessed his frustrations from the bench while watching his team struggle for form this season after five wins, six draws and seven losses in the league.

"For the couple of days he has been with us I have learnt so much already from him. We are still going to learn under him so it's a good thing," Bhengu told Goal.

"I would say it is my first season at SuperSport and when I joined SuperSport there were players who were in the team before that are doing well. At the moment so for me it is to keep on working hard in the team and wait for my chance."

Makudubela denies Pirates link

On-loan Golden Arrows winger Mahlatsi Makudubela has downplayed the speculation linking him with Orlando Pirates.

The 25-year-old is eager to grab regular game-time at Arrows after joining on a loan deal until the end of the season from Platinum Stars.

After struggling to break into the starting line-up at Dikwena, Makudubela intends to grab the attentions of possible suitors with his free agency approaching in June.

"Those are just speculations...for now this is my home and I'm looking forward to making the most of it and helping the team win games," Makudubela told KickOff.

"I'm looking forward to doing well for the club and I'm enjoying it...so far so good. I haven't been playing for a long time, so with game-time under my belt I hope and I know it will get better."

After failed contract extension talks with Dikwena, Makudubela says it was best for him to secure a loan move.

"That is when the agreement was reached that I should come and play for Golden Arrows on loan, which I saw as a good opportunity for me to come this side."

Langerak thrilled to get Stuttgart debut

Stuttgart goalkeeper Mitch Langerak has expressed his delight at finally making his long-awaited debut for the German club on Wednesday.

The Australia international ended a five-year association with Borussia Dortmund in the off-season when he made the switch to their Bundesliga rivals.

However, a thigh injury sustained during pre-season, coupled with surgery a couple of months later to remove a cyst on his knee meant that Langerak spent much of the campaign watching from the sidelines.

But his frustrating wait came to an end in midweek when he featured in the DFB-Pokal clash with Dortmund and impressed against his former employers, despite conceding three goals in a 3-1 defeat.

"It was a wonderful feeling to finally be on the pitch here at the Mercedes-Benz Arena after nine months out," Langerak told the club's official website.

"I would naturally have liked to leave the field of play as the winner against my former club. We put on a great performance, particularly in the second half, but we were unfortunately unable to turn things around."

Xhaka sees Citizens as next step

Borussia Monchengladbach captain Granit Xhaka has opened the door for a future move to Manchester City after admitting he sees them as the next step in his career.

The 23-year-old midfielder has expressed a desire to ply his trade in England's Premier League and was heavily linked with Arsenal and Liverpool during the past two transfer windows.

However, should Xhaka decide to end his association with Gladbach, he would prefer the Etihad Stadium as his next destination, while ruling out any chance of joining the influx of footballers moving to China.

"I can only speak for myself, but at my age I would never go to China, for no money in the world," the Switzerland international told SportBild.

"The sporting perspective and everything else would need to be right. Honestly, you want experience such a positive vibe, such a togetherness in football often. That counts too.

"And should I one day want to make the next step, it also has to be an improvement. But true, it's difficult to say no when Manchester City want you and you could play there. That much I have to admit. But I'm certainly not the only one."

Johnson left out of Black Cats squad

There is a cloud hanging over the future of Adam Johnson after he was left out of Sunderland's matchday squad for the visit of Manchester United on Saturday.

The 28-year-old midfielder pleaded guilty to two charges on Wednesday relating to sexual activity with a minor and is due to stand trial on Friday on two similar counts.

The Wearsiders initially suspended Johnson after he was arrested in March 2015, before bringing him back into the fold for the tail-end of the season, while they confirmed last week he would be eligible for selection during the trial.

However, Black Cats boss Sam Allardyce revealed in his pre-match press conference on Thursday that the former England international would not be in his plans for the clash with the Red Devils this weekend.

"He'll not be available for this weekend," Allardyce said of Johnson, who has made 19 Premier League appearances and scored his second goal of the season against Liverpool on Saturday in a 2-2 draw.