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Tuesday Kickoff: Van Gaal won’t resign; Benitez cites Real ‘witch hunt’; and more


Louis Van Gaal is not going to resign any time soon it seems.

The Manchester United manager told reporters after the scoreless draw against Chelsea that he will not be stepping down after his side turned in an admirable shift at Old Trafford.

“After this result the fans were applauding. I cannot say that I am very much concerned, but in this football world you never know,” Van Gaal said on Monday.

“When the players can give such a performance with this lot of pressure then it is not any reason to resign for me. I am under contract so it’s not a question of staying, it is a question of fulfilling my contract.”

With the tie, Man United extended its winless run to eight games. Van Gaal wasn’t disappointed with the team’s effort, though. Instead, he was more upset with center official Martin Atkinson, who could have called two penalties in the Red Devils’ favor, says Van Gaal.

Man United is currently sixth on the English Premier League table with 30 points through 19 games played.

Here are some more news and notes:


No matter what he, the team or president of the club does, Rafa Benitez says the media is against them.

The Real Madrid boss told reporters he feels as though there is “a witch hunt” against he and the team because no matter what they do, they always seem to be lambasted by the media.

“It’s clear there’s a witch hunt against (club president) Florentino (Pérez), myself and the entire team. Everything we do or say is criticized, manipulated, taken out of context and anyone with a bit of experience can see that”, Benitez said.

“It’s clearly a witch hunt. Anyone can see it. When people question everything you do, it makes absolutely no difference whether you field a certain player or not. Everyone begins to question your track record. We all have to do that little bit more, starting with me, but we won’t take stock until the end of the season.”

Real Madrid plays an important matchup against Real Sociedad at the Santiago Bernabéu on Wednesday. Midfielder Toni Kroos is hoping to return from injury for the meeting. Meanwhile, Raphael Varane will likely slot in for Sergio Ramos, who is expected to miss another game this season.


Sepp Blatter has apparently given up on FIFA.

The former FIFA president, who was suspended by FIFA’s Ethics Committee for eight years, told German magazine Bunte that he feels betrayed by the international federation he led for so long.

“I now no longer fight for FIFA,” Blatter said in an interview. “They abandoned me. I am now only fighting for myself and my honor.”

Blatter, 79, denies any wrongdoing and is hoping to clear his name as quickly as possible, saying: “After Christmas I will start to fight back.”

Blatter’s entire interview with Bunte will be released on Wednesday.


Barcelona terminated the contract of Sergi Guardiola hours after he signed on Monday. (REPORT)

Manchester City rules out making a move in January to acquire Jamie Vady from Leicester City or Neymar from Barcelona. (REPORT)

West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic says Dimitri Payet is likely to return against Liverpool on Saturday. (REPORT)

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