Sports World: Solskjaer wants to tie down Martial, de Gea

Solskjaer wants to tie down Martial, de Gea

MANCHESTER • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may only be in charge of Manchester United for the remainder of this season, but the interim manager wants to see goalkeeper David de Gea and winger Anthony Martial sign long-term contracts at Old Trafford.

United have activated one-year extensions for both players in recent weeks, meaning they are tied to the club until the end of next season. But they remain locked in talks with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward over longer deals.

" For me, I hope I can help or guide these players to maybe tip them over to thinking they want to stay at this club," said Solskjaer.


Napoli fans show support for Koulibaly

MILAN • Thousands of Napoli fans showed their support for Senegalese defender Kalidou Koulibaly, who was subjected to racist chanting at Inter Milan in midweek, by wearing masks and holding up his picture before their team's Serie A game against Bologna on Saturday.

Posters with the message "Siamo Tutti Koulibaly" ("We are all Koulibaly") were visible throughout the Stadio San Paolo during the game which the hosts won 3-2.

Koulibaly was targeted by monkey noises and racist chants at the San Siro on Wednesday, before being sent off for sarcastically applauding the referee.


No slip-up for Gerrard as Rangers beat Celtic

GLASGOW • Steven Gerrard emerged victorious in the Old Firm clash with his former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers as Rangers deservedly beat bitter rivals Celtic 1-0 on Saturday.

It was Rodgers' first defeat in 13 meetings with Rangers and puts Gerrard's side level on points with Celtic, though the latter stay top courtesy of a better goal difference. Ryan Jack's deflected goal on the half-hour mark proved the difference in a match Rangers largely dominated.


Pavlyuchenkova starts season strong

BEIJING • Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova got off to a sizzling start as she beat Ana Bogdan of Romania 6-0, 6-1 in just 53 minutes at the Shenzhen Open yesterday.

Compatriot Maria Sharapova, returning from a shoulder injury, will play her first competitive match since September against Switzerland's Timea Bacsinszky today.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 31, 2018, with the headline 'Sports World'. Print Edition | Subscribe