Mourinho, who was sacked by Chelsea last week, has been linked with the position at Old Trafford after United dropped out of the top four and crashed out of the Champions League at the group stage. But Mourinho’s agent Jorge Mendes, speaking to Globoesporte, insisted there had been no approach from United for his client’s services. “There is nothing,” Mendes said when asked about reports the former Chelsea manager had agreed to take over at Old Trafford. “We don’t know what will happen in the future, but now there is no agreement. There isn’t an official proposal either, that’s not true.” Mourinho is understood to be spending the week in Portugal with his family, but he is looking for a quick return to management and with Van Gaal’s United floundering, the 52-year-old could realise his dream of taking over at Old Trafford if the club’s board decides to dispense with the current manager. Some fans clearly want that to happen. Cries of Mourinho’s name could be heard around Old Trafford on Saturday when United slumped to a 2-1 defeat to Norwich. United were booed off the pitch following their third straight defeat, which left them in fifth position. Three weeks ago, senior United figures insisted Van Gaal had the board’s full support, but after a run of six matches without a win, they have now fallen quiet. It is understood the United board were disappointed in particular at Van Gaal’s failure to lead the team through what was viewed as a relatively easy Champions League group containing PSV Eindhoven, CSKA Moscow and Wolfbsurg. Jose Mourinho’s agent has denied a deal has been struck for his client to replace Louis van Gaal as Manchester United manager. Press Association And a second straight defeat in the league last weekend meant United will head into the busy Christmas schedule outside the top four. Although United could stomach another year out of the Champions League in a financial sense, the damage to the club’s standing in the game would be hit if they were not in Europe’s top club competition next season. And with Mourinho available and willing to take the job, there has been a flood of speculation linking the two-time Champions League winner with United. United will also be aware Pep Guardiola is available in the summer, although he is rumoured to be ready to move to Manchester City instead following his stint with Bayern Munich. On Wednesday, Van Gaal will take questions on his future for the first time since Mourinho was sacked. The Dutchman is due to conduct his weekly press conference at the AON Training Complex in Carrington at 3:30pm. United travel to Stoke on Boxing Day before hosting Chelsea on December 28. Speaking after the loss to Norwich, Van Gaal insisted he had the backing of executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and his own players. ”Ed was very fast out of the dressing room but I feel that support, yes,” the 64-year-old said. ”The most important support is from the players because the players have to do it on the pitch and the chemistry between the players and the manager and his staff is very important.”
Sakkari upsets Venus Williams to reach Silicon Valley semis Gov’t in no rush to rescue animals in Taal Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander, center, is congratulated after being taken out of the baseball game during the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday, Aug. 3, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)LOS ANGELES — In a game dripping with World Series nostalgia, not everybody was willing to embrace the symbolism Friday after the Houston Astros earned a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium.Justin Verlander struck out 14 Dodgers and George Springer brought home two runs on double as the Astros appeared to pick up where last fall’s World Series ended: In a Game 7 victory for Houston.ADVERTISEMENT Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins Dodgers: RHP Erik Goeddel (right lat inflammation) was placed on the 10-day disabled list opening a roster spot for RHP John Axford, who was acquired in a trade from the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday. … LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (left groin strain) will have another rehab outing next week, possibly at Triple-A Oklahoma City, after throwing four scoreless innings for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga on Thursday. … LHP Tony Cingrani (left shoulder strain) received a cortisone shot after a setback in his recovery, but is expected to resume activity next week after a new MRI showed no significant damage in his shoulder.UP NEXTAstros: RHP Lance McCullers (10-6, 4.06 ERA) will pitch Saturday, coming off his fourth career 11-strikeout performance Sunday against the Rangers.Dodgers: RHP Kenta Maeda (7-6, 3.48) will make his first career regular-season appearance against the Astros on Saturday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES But Astros manager A.J. Hinch knows there are still two more games remaining in this series so he wasn’t ready to raise a banner for this one.“We’ve had good vibes since then too,” Hinch said, when asked about last fall. “This is a good place, but let’s not overdramatize it. It’s just a series.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’Perhaps. But none of the players seemed to treat it that way.Verlander was willing to admit that it meant more. In no way was Friday’s game anywhere near a World Series environment, but for a regular-season game in August, the right-hander was impressed. He seemed motivated as well while tying a season high for strikeouts. Peza offers relief to ecozone firms Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ “This is not your average ballgame midweek, this is a big atmosphere, great ballclub with World Series aspirations and we played them in the World Series last year,” Verlander said. “We beat them and we’re in their ballpark. It kind of adds up to a great atmosphere. I expected nothing less and I didn’t feel disappointed. The fans were awesome.”Verlander won his first career regular-season start at Dodger Stadium, giving up one run on four hits over 7 2/3 innings. He pitched well in last year’s World Series but had a loss and a no-decision in his two starts.Springer was the unquestioned star of last year’s World Series against the Dodgers. He had five home runs, including homers in games 4, 5, 6 and 7. It appeared to be more of the same Friday when he worked a walk in the first inning and ripped an RBI double to left in the second that brought home a second run when center fielder Cody Bellinger mishandled the ball. Springer did not think the two runs would be enough.“Not with the past experience with those guys over there,” Springer said. “But our guy (Verlander) was lights out again today. He was in control of the game from the start and he threw the ball well.”The Dodgers’ Joc Pederson led off in the first inning with a home run off Verlander. It was his second straight game he’s led off with a homer and fifth time this season. He has eight in his career.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. After winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk Offense was hard to come by after that for the Dodgers. Chris Taylor had singles in the third and eighth innings off Verlander. Bellinger had a single in the fourth.“We have success when we don’t try to do too much off him,” Bellinger said. “We just look for hard hits. Verlander gets stronger as the game goes on which is pretty crazy. It’s hard to hit.”Verlander struck out the side in both the second and fourth innings and set down Pederson in the eighth inning for his 14th and final strikeout before he was removed. Astros reliever Hector Rondon recorded the final four outs for his 11th save.Wood (7-6) went six innings, but after a visit from a member of the Dodgers medical staff, he was removed as he came out to warm up in the seventh inning. Wood gave up two runs on four hits with four strikeouts and three walks and was diagnosed with the same hamstring cramp that plagued him earlier in the year.“I feel like my last couple of games my stuff has been the best consistently it’s just kind of dotting and nasty,” Wood said. “I’ve been working on getting my hand up and I think my command is hurt a little from that, but the direction I’ve been heading in feels good. I’m trying to shorten my arm swing and have seen that work in the quality of my stuff.”RETIREMENT ‘DREDodgers OF Andre Ethier, who drove in Los Angeles’ only run in Game 7 of last year’s World Series defeat, officially announced his retirement with an on-field ceremony Friday.Ethier, who has not played with any team this season, hit 162 home runs with a .285 batting average in 12 seasons, all with the Dodgers. He was limited to just 38 regular season games the past two years because of multiple injuries.TRAINER’S ROOMAstros: SS Carlos Correa (lower back soreness) played seven innings Thursday on a rehab assignment with Double-A Corpus Christi, was given a day off Friday and is scheduled to play both Saturday and Sunday. … 2B Jose Altuve (right knee soreness) is eligible to come off the disabled list Tuesday, but manager A.J. Hinch said he is not confident Altuve will play in Tuesday’s game at San Francisco. … C Brian McCann (arthroscopic knee surgery) got into a catcher’s squat Friday for the first time since his early July surgery and will start working to build up his strength.