Guardiola isn't the best, Mourinho is – Matthaus

The former Bayern Munich player believes the Portuguese coach is more direct with his players and believes the Spaniard could leave the club soon

Lothar Matthaus has hailed Jose Mourinho as the best coach in the world, insisting he is better than Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola.

The Portuguese manager has won league titles with Porto, Chelsea, Inter and Real Madrid, while Guardiola oversaw the most successful spell in Barcelona’s history and has won two Bundesliga titles with Bayern so far, while both coaches have lifted the Champions League twice.

The pair have been seen as the two leading coaches in football at the moment, though Matthaus believes the Chelsea boss is more advanced.

“Pep is not the best coach in the world,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “I prefer Mourinho. He is the No.1, because Mourinho is more transparent and more direct than Guardiola.

“I’ve been told that from the players he has coached: He tells you everything to your face.”

Guardiola’s future at Bayern has become uncertain, with the coach tied to the club until 2016, though he admits he has not decided if he will stay.

Matthaus, though, believes the Spaniard is on his way out of the Allianz Arena in the near future and wants former Borussia Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp to replace him.

“He will go,” the former Bayern player said. “What sense does it make to wait until winter to renew your contract? Either you do it now or you’re going. 

“I have a lot of respect for Guardiola, he has won so much, but he must be clearer. Why don’t you just sign a deal? Speak clearly!

“I have a German favourite to succeed him: Klopp. There are two foreign candidates: Mourinho, but he will not leave Chelsea, and Carlo Ancelotti.”

The 54-year-old former Germany international also touched on Bayern’s Mario Gotze and Schalke youngster Julian Draxler, both of whom he does not believe have the mentality required to reach the top level.

“They are good, young and technically sound, but they do not have the character of a champion. 

“There is always something missing for them to be at 100 per cent. If you’re Götze and not playing, then go to the coach and he puts you on. But he does not do that. 

“The two are not guys like Carlos Tevez, Andrea Pirlo or Arturo Vidal.”

Fiorentina warn Roma: Salah is ours

The Egyptian’s transfer fiasco continues to rumble on as Viola co-owner Andrea della Valle has fired another warning shot to their Serie A rivals

Fiorentina co-owner Andrea Della Valle has warned rivals Roma that Mohamed Salah is contracted to the Florence club.

The contractual ownership of the Egyptian forward has become a complicated matter this summer, with the Viola embroiled in a bitter battle with the player and his agent.

Fiorentina are looking to secure Salah on a permanent basis after last season’s impressive loan from Chelsea, but he refused to turn up to training and his agent said he would not be returning to the Artemio Franchi.

Della Valle had already claimed that “lawyers will solve” the debate about who owns Salah’s rights following confirmation from the Serie A side that they would be suing the 24-year-old for breach of contract.

Jose Mourinho has stated there’s no way Salah is staying at Stamford Bridge and Roma have emerged as the frontrunners to sign him, though Della Valle was keen to stress he’s still a Fiorentina player.

“We have a contract in our possession that we will exercise,” the Fiorentina chief told Corriere dello Sport when asked about Salah joining another club. “The player was persuaded into agreeing to this action by his agent.”

Della Valle also commented on the lack of transfer arrivals this summer for Paulo Sousa’s men, who defeated Barcelona 2-1 on Sunday thanks to early efforts from Federico Bernardeschi.

“Soon all the scepticism will go away,” he added. “I am convinced this new era with Sousa after sacking Vincenzo Montella will be a success. The transfer window runs until August 31, there’s time.

“I ask fans to continue to believe in me. When you swap coaches, it’s normal to have a few weeks of adaptation. All around us are teams awash with money, too.”

Referencing Bee Taechaubol’s purchase of 48 per cent of AC Milan, Della Valle added: “The big teams have all strengthened and I’m happy for Silvio Berlusconi as it’ll be a lot easier for Milan to navigate the market with an extra €400 million.”

FA accepts Mourinho criticism of Wembley surface after Chelsea defeat

The FA has conceded that the national stadium’s field of play is not yet of the desired standard, following criticism from the Blues’ boss after Sunday’s Community Shield

The Football Association (FA) admits the Wembley pitch needs to be improved after Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho hit out at the quality of the playing surface.

The Portuguese coach watched on as his side lost 1-0 to London rivals Arsenal in the Community Shield on Sunday, and afterwards claimed the pitch was “a disaster”, as he fell to his first defeat against Arsene Wenger in their 14th encounter.

In response, the FA issued a statement conceding that the condition of the surface was not yet up to the desired standard.

“We appreciate the feedback on playability and will continue to improve the quality of the pitch, which we have every confidence in as it matures,” a spokesperson said.

“In this instance it is simply that the pitch is less mature than we would ordinarily wish for football, given the summer concert season and the early start to the football calendar.”

Wembley hosts the Rugby League Challenge Cup Final at the end of August before football returns to the national stadium on September 8th, as England continue their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign with a crucial clash against Switzerland.

Ramsey: Pressure on Arsenal to win trophies is nothing new

The Gunners playmaker believes his team can handle the expectation on them to achieve silverware and is optimistic of a successful campaign after winning the season curtain-raiser

Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey says the pressure on his teammates to win major trophies is “nothing new” and believes the club can achieve big things in 2015-16.

The domestic season in England got underway at Wembley on Sunday, with the Gunners defending the Community Shield by beating Chelsea 1-0 thanks to a first-half strike from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Arsene Wenger’s men lifted the FA Cup for the second year running last term and despite ending the campaign 12 points adrift of champions Chelsea, Ramsey is confident of closing the gap.

“There’s always pressure on Arsenal to go out and win games and win trophies. It’s nothing new to us as players,” the 24-year-old said. 

“We know what we’re capable of doing. We have a great team, a great squad. So we’re just excited as well about what this season may hold for us. We all feel confident that we can achieve something this year.”

The North Londoners begin their campaign at home to West Ham before an away trip to Crystal Palace and the Welshman acknowledges the significance of building early form.

“It’s important just to go into the start of the season focused on these games and to get off to a good start, because that’s what we lacked last season.

“If we do that and keep everybody fit we’ll have a good chance. We have to get off to a good start because last season Chelsea were strong throughout the season and they stayed top for basically the whole season.

“Hopefully everybody can have a successful and fit season. Competition is good and we have a lot of quality and strength in depth.”

Juventus will never sign Isco or Oscar – Marotta

The Bianconeri chief says there is no chance either player will end up at the club, but remains keen on signing another midfielder

Juventus managing director Giuseppe Marotta has warned that signing Isco or Oscar this summer will be impossible.

Bianconeri coach Massimiliano Allegri recently admitted he was a big admirer of both players, but Marotta says there is no chance either player will end up at the club.

“We are looking for a midfielder to add to our squad, though not necessarily a particular type of midfielder,” he told Quotidiano Sportivo.

“They will join an eclectic group of midfielders that include Paul Pogba, Claudio Marchisio, Sami Khedira and Roberto Pereyra. Paulo Dybala can play in attacking midfield, too.

“Isco and Oscar are both stellar players, but in the case of Juventus – unfortunately, for now – we will never be able to sign them.”

Marotta also stressed that the future of Pogba depends entirely on the player, with the club having rejected a recent €80 million bid from Barcelona.

“In modern football, the decision of the player is paramount,” he added. “Look at Tevez, for instance [who Juve let return to his boyhood club Boca Juniors this summer].

“It’s obvious we would like to keep Pogba, but we cannot afford to give him a crazy salary whereas some clubs can pay him almost twice as much.”