Soccer: Manchester United’s Martial loaned out to Sevilla

Sevilla have confirmed the loan signing of Manchester United forward Anthony Martial for the remainder of the season after the France international sealed his desired move away from Old Trafford on Tuesday.

“Sevilla FC and Manchester United FC have reached an agreement which will see Anthony Martial join the club on loan until the end of the current season,” the La Liga side said in a statement.

The 26-year-old has started only two premier league games this campaign with his final appearance coming off the bench in the 1-0 win over West Ham United on Saturday, which now looks like a potential farewell for good.

Martial joined United in the 2015/16 season and scored 79 goals in 269 appearances, but had grown into an increasingly peripheral figure this season.

United interim manager Ralf Rangnick had praised Martial for the way he had conducted himself after the weekend win over The Hammers, despite the forward making it clear he wanted to leave the club.

“I know that he is a top player — one of the best strikers in the Premier League — but we have other players in his position,” Rangnick told reporters.

“It is his wish to leave but, like I said to him, it always takes different parts to find an agreement.”

Earlier in the month Rangnick said Martial had refused to be part of the squad for the Premier League draw with Aston Villa, which the player denied.

Sevilla are currently second in La Liga, four points behind leaders Real Madrid and 11 ahead of Barcelona.

They will hope his goals can keep them in the hunt as they seek a first title success since the 1945-46 campaign.

Martial has also played for Olympique Lyonnais and Monaco in Ligue 1 and was part of the France side that finished runners-up at the 2016 European Championship.

However, he did not make the squad for the World Cup triumph in Russia in 2018.

Rashford, Lingard condemn anti-Semitism after picture with UK rapper

Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard have said they do not condone any form of discrimination after a photo of them with controversial British rap artist Wiley drew criticism.

Wiley, who had his Twitter account suspended after posting a string of anti-Semitic comments on his social media accounts in 2020, posted the photo on Instagram before deleting it.

The Jewish Chronicle newspaper published the picture, which it said was taken in Dubai on an unconfirmed date.

“I’d like to reinforce that I do not and will not condone discriminative language or behaviour of any kind aimed at the Jewish community or any other community,” Rashford tweeted.

“I truly believe that tackling anti-Semitism in and outside of the game requires a greater level of attention and should very much form part of the game’s anti-racism stance.”

Wiley had apologised for his actions two years ago and said he was not a racist.

Watford appoint former England coach Hodgson as manager

Watford have named former England and Liverpool coach Roy Hodgson as manager the day after sacking Claudio Ranieri following Friday’s 3-0 home drubbing by fellow strugglers Norwich City, the Premier League club said.

Hodgson has been brought in to keep Watford in the top flight, a task he achieved for four seasons in a row with Crystal Palace, the last team he managed.

“Watford FC is delighted to confirm the appointment of Roy Hodgson as the club’s manager,” the club said in a statement on Tuesday.

“The ex-England national team boss is joined by his trusted assistant Ray Lewington, who managed the Hornets so admirably from 2002 until 2005.

“Hodgson and Lewington begin preparations immediately for Watford’s next Premier League fixture, away to Burnley on Saturday February 5.”

Ranieri was sacked on Monday after just over three months in charge following a dreadful run of results which has left the club in the Premier League’s relegation zone.

The 70-year-old Ranieri took charge in October after Xisco Munoz parted ways with the club just seven league games into the season and with the team in 14th place.

Watford, promoted to the top flight last season, are now second-bottom on 14 points from 20 games after seven defeats and a draw in their last eight matches. They are two points behind Norwich in the safety zone, albeit with two games in hand.

Watford are the well-travelled Hodgson’s 17th club in a 46-year coaching career. He has also managed four national teams, including England.

Hodgson’s coaching career began in 1976 in Sweden and he has since managed the likes of Inter Milan, Malmo, Blackburn Rovers, Liverpool, West Bromwich Albion, Fulham and Switzerland.

The 74-year-old led England to the Euro 2012 Championship and the 2014 World Cup, but left after they were knocked out of Euro 2016 by Iceland in the first knockout round.

While Hodgson has not won any silverware in England, he took Fulham to the Europa League final in 2010.

Denmark’s Eriksen training with Ajax reserves to build up fitness

Denmark international Christian Eriksen has started training with former team Ajax Amsterdam as he continues his search for a new club following a cardiac arrest on the pitch during last year’s European Championship.

The 29-year-old midfielder received life-saving treatment on the pitch in Denmark’s opening match against Finland in June and has not played since.

Eriksen’s former club Inter Milan terminated his contract in December because the heart starter device that he had implanted is not permitted in Serie A. He has been linked with a move to Premier League side Brentford.

“I’m very happy to be here. At Ajax I know the people, it feels like coming home because I was here for so long,” Eriksen, who played for Ajax between 2010-13 after coming through their youth team, told the club website.

“All facilities are available here and with Jong Ajax I can train at a high level in a group. That’s the perfect foundation for me at the moment.

“I want to be at my best again as soon as possible so that when I find a new club, I can perform well there as quickly as possible.”

Former Tottenham Hotspur player Eriksen was given the green light by doctors last month to resume his playing career.

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