Solskjaer looks to turn frowns upside down at Manchester United
"I don't think anyone has been on the bench more than me!"
Laughter in the Manchester United press room. Something that has not been heard since the arrival of Jose Mourinho. But now the Special One is the Special Gone, a considerably happier presence has been speaking to the media on Friday - the new stand-in coach, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, a footballer who made a fine reputation as a player for being quite the super sub and is more than happy to joke about it.
The Norwegian was speaking ahead of Saturday's away clash against Cardiff, a chance for the United players to prove that there's nothing wrong with themselves as players and that all the fault for a lackadaisical season so far lies at the departed feet of Mourinho.
That's certainly the theory of Solskjaer who feels that one big task in the locker room is "about getting these players enjoying playing football again." "At Manchester United, you play without fear, you play with courage," added the Norwegian who admitted that he wanted the United gig full time.
United currently stand sixth in the table and could end Friday 22 points behind Liverpool at the top of the Premier League standings with Jurgen Klopp's men in action today in an away clash against an in-form Wolves side.
The Locker Room will be peering into the possibility of Jose Mourinho making a return to Real Madrid. That's underway at 7PM ET / 4PM PT.
Arturo admits anger management issues as Barca pass on Rodrigo Caio
From a happy-go-lucky Norwegian at Manchester United to a grumpy Chilean at Barcelona and Arturo Vidal.
The Barca midfielder has been talking about what constitutes a temper tantrum in the modern world when posting an angry face emoji on social media after being left out of a side that took on Tottenham in the Champions League in October. "It was a little bit of a heated thing, but it is in the past," said Vidal who now apparently accepts the concept of no 'I' in team.
Elsewhere in the Barcelona world and on Thursday, Barcelona signed Jeison Murillo on loan from Valencia, however it could well have been Brazilian centerback, Rodrigo Caio joining up at the Camp Nou.
Brazilian outfit, Globesporte, is claiming that the Sao Paolo man had a medical in Brazil but injury issues that have previously prevented moves to Atletico Madrid and Valencia in the past, saw Barcelona passing on the player and moving onto Murillo instead.
Get the latest news from Barcelona and also Real Madrid on the eve of a Club World Cup final on the XTRA at 7PM ET / 4PM PT.
Balotelli given extra holidays as Arsenal seek Ozil exit
Good day, bad day for Mario Balotelli. The Italian footballer has been given special permission to take an extra long Christmas holiday by Nice boss, Patrick Vieira. The bad news is that it's because Balo is not wanted anywhere near the club by his French manager. "I let him start his Christmas vacation a little early," revealed Vieira who says that he needs to find a "solution" to his errant charge.
Arsenal has reportedly made the decision to send Mesut Ozil out on loan in January. That all sounds fine apart from the fact that finding a club to pay the German's $400,000 a week salary could be tricky.
Another German has made himself available to the transfer market as well. That player is RB Leipzig and Germany striker, Timo Werner, who looks set for an inevitable move to Bayern Munich.
Our Sports Burst live show will bring you all this and so much more at 12PM ET / 9AM PT on our beIN SPORTS USA Facebook page.
A Basque derby and Bundesliga battle for supremacy
It's football Friday!
La Liga gets into gear on today to kick-off the final round of games before a short winter break in Spain. Two unlikely teams looking to end the round in the top six as a pleasing Christmas present are leading the way starting off with Getafe at Girona.
That game is followed by a big Basque Country derby that sees Alaves, currently in sixth, away at Real Sociedad, a team that really has been out of sorts this season. It's all live on beIN SPORTS from 1:20PM ET / 10:20AM PT.
The Bundesliga has a big-hitter today with a first against second clash. What's more, neither team is called Bayern Munich. Borussia Dortmund is looking for a quick bounce-back after suffering a first league defeat of the season midweek. The league leaders are taking on second place Borussia Moenchengladbach.
The XTRA is the place to be a 7PM ET / 4PM PT for all the best of the day's action.