JAY-Z looked more like Jay-ZZZZ when he met ardent fan and Manchester United target James Maddison. The sad-faced rapper almost turned into a napper, whereas gleeful Leicester midfielder Maddison appeared as if he had just scored a cup final winner when t

Rap legend Jay-Z looks far from thrilled as he meets Leicester star James Maddison at Puma event

read Rap legend Jay-Z looks far from thrilled as he meets Leicester star James Maddison at Puma event

news Rap legend Jay-Z looks far from thrilled as he meets Leicester star James Maddison at Puma event

Info Rap legend Jay-Z looks far from thrilled as he meets Leicester star James Maddison at Puma event

view Rap legend Jay-Z looks far from thrilled as he meets Leicester star James Maddison at Puma event
about Rap legend Jay-Z looks far from thrilled as he meets Leicester star James Maddison at Puma event
  • 2019-09-19 00:50:04 3 months ago
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JAY-Z looked more like Jay-ZZZZ when he met ardent fan and Manchester United target James Maddison.

The sad-faced rapper almost turned into a napper, whereas gleeful Leicester midfielder Maddison appeared as if he had just scored a cup final winner when they posed for photos.

 James Maddison and Jay-Z look smiles apart in this photo as the Leicester star's adoration of the hip-hop legend seems unrequited
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 The surprise partnership begins to click as Three Lions' hopeful James Maddison and rapper Jay-Z settle down for a chat
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 James Maddison joked Jay-Z was "with a fan" as the superstar pair mingled at an event for sportswear giant Puma
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England hopeful Maddison took the chance of a snap with Beyonce's husband Jay-Z at a Puma event.

And the ex-Norwich star posted the resulting pictures on social media, with the jokey caption: "James Maddison with a fan."

Meeting hip-hop hero Jay-Z was the perfect way for Maddison to shrug off the disappointment of being left on the bench as the Three Lions won two Euro qualifiers last week.

Maddison remained uncapped at senior level after former England Under-21 team-mate Mason Mount came on ahead of him in both the 4-0 win over Bulgaria at Wembley and the 5-3 success over Kosovo at Southampton.

'HUMBLE, TOP GUY'

And although Jay-Z initially appeared as if he had got a glum deal in meeting Maddison, the music legend lightened up as he grinned and chatted freely with the 22-year-old.

Maddison, of course, could not resist putting up more snaps of the unlikely duo.

In one caption he labelled the 49-year-old American "an inspiring, humble, top guy. Great to meet you Jay. Blessed."

Back on the pitch, Maddison's early-season form has surpassed even his breakthrough campaign for the Foxes last term.

With Manchester City and Liverpool among his many admirers. the playmaker has already supplied two assists in five games for Leicester.

Just this week, in fact, Old Trafford boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was linked with a £60million-plus move for Maddison next summer.

That would follow United's signing of Leicester and England centre-back Harry Maguire for £85m, a world record for a defender.

As Jay-Z's wife Beyonce might say, it seems Old Trafford chiefs are Crazy in Love with the Foxes' hottest home-grown talent.

 Foxes sensation James Maddison grabbed the opportunity for a host of photos with one of his music heroes, American rapper Jay-Z
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Rap legend Jay-Z looks far from thrilled as he meets Leicester star James Maddison at Puma event

Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves: 'Europa League not affecting Premier League'

Midfielder Ruben Neves has dismissed fears Wolves' Europa League adventure has hurt their Premier League hopes.

Nuno Espirito Santo's side host Braga in their opening Group K fixture at Molineux on Thursday still winless in the top flight.

They are 19th, having lost 5-2 at home to Chelsea on Saturday, with doubts over whether the squad can cope with domestic and European games.

But Neves has come out fighting and insisted, after six qualifying games which started in July, the Europa League has no bearing on their domestic form.

The 22-year-old said: "Fatigue doesn't have anything to do with it, we're all top players and are used to it. The Europa League doesn't have anything to do with our position in the Premier League.

"It's been a beautiful journey into the Europa League and it's a historic moment for Wolves, we're going to do our best.

"It hasn't been an easy start to the season – we've had extra Europa League qualifying games and the Premier League is the best league in the world.

"You are always going to have these moments in the season and we need to return to winning ways as soon as possible.

"We have these games ahead of us and the most important thing is the game tomorrow.

"Our objective is to win the game. It'll be difficult but we're going game-by-game."

Boss Nuno has no injury worries with Ryan Bennett available after he was left out of the squad against Chelsea.

Braga have also struggled in Portugal's Primeira Liga, sitting a point above the relegation zone after one win in their opening five games.

Nuno added: "They are a very balanced, competitive, team and there are no favourites. Braga have some very good players. It'll be a great game.

"We're focused on our team, we hope to match them. I don't know what they are going to do, they are organised and well managed.

"This is not a new experience, we're in our third season. We've always had an idea of building a highly competitive team which would be a match for any opponent."

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Mason Greenwood in line to feature for Manchester United in Europa League

Mason Greenwood will spearhead a young Manchester United side in Thursday’s Europa League opener against Astana, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer calling the 17-year-old one of the best finishers he has ever seen.

After two years back at European football’s top table, the Old Trafford giants are preparing to kick-off a gruelling Europa League campaign at home to the perennial Kazakhstan champions.

United lifted the trophy when they last played in the competition in 2016-17, when manager Jose Mourinho’s side bulldozed their way through to the final with an experienced squad.

Manchester United v Cardiff City – Premier League – Old Trafford
Manchester United’s Mason Greenwood has been backed by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Martin Rickett/PA)

The inclusion of Greenwood is most eye-catching, having been confirmed as a starter after four substitute appearances this season.

“He is still very young, Mason, but he’s maturing,” Manchester United manager Solskjaer said. “He’s developed so much in the last six months since I came in.

“I remember the kid who just wanted to play with mates in the Under-18s. And now he’s knocking on a door, he’s ready to play these games.

“For me, he has been in the Under-21s with England, he’s tasting it more and more. And his appetite for football must be growing.

“I just don’t want to put too much pressure on him, apart from go out there and enjoy yourself.

“Work hard, close down because when the ball lands in your feet I know you’re going to score anyway. I know you’ll make the right finish. Keeper might make a fantastic save but he’s one of the best finishers I’ve seen.

“It’s just that enjoyment, express yourself, go out at Old Trafford because there’ll be 11 Astana players living the dream tomorrow.

“It must be one of the biggest games of their careers for some of these players, but I want it to be a memorable one for our players as well and Mason is one of them.”

Manchester United Training Session and Press Conference
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to give youth a chance (Martin Rickett/PA)

Solskjaer intends to change tack as his side embark on their Europa League journey as the manager focuses on the youth at his disposal.

“It’s a process and for these, we trust them,” the United boss said.

“It’s for them to grow as players but also human beings – that responsibility of being robust enough to go out at Old Trafford.

“It’s not just about enjoying yourself because you’ve got to get results.

“And if you don’t throw them in you don’t know what you’ve got so, for me, I don’t see this as any other way of doing this because I’ve always done this wherever I’ve been.

Axel Tuanzebe will face Astana
Axel Tuanzebe will face Astana (Martin Rickett/PA)

“I’ve not been too many places but that’s my belief as a coach that you have to give them a chance, an opportunity.

“Especially forward players. They’ll win you games. Defenders it’s a shift, find a way to win a game and keep them out.”

Solskjaer confirmed academy graduate Axel Tuanzebe, 21, will be in the line-up against Astana, 28 months since last starting a match for United at Old Trafford.

A knock sees Daniel James join Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial and Luke Shaw on the sidelines, with Fred coming into midfield and back-up goalkeeper Sergio Romero getting the nod ahead of David De Gea.

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