Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Barcelona make Angel di Maria enquiry

Barcelona have reportedly made an approach to Manchester United to sign Angel Di Maria.

The Argentina international moved to Old Trafford from Real Madrid last summer but has struggled to make an impact in English football.

United boss Louis van Gaal is said to be open to bids for the midfielder, who cost the Red Devils a club-record £59.7m fee. According to Sport, Barcelona have held initial talks with Di Maria and his representatives but are not in full negotiations with United yet.

 The 27-year-old is thought to be willing to move on from Old Trafford after less than a year with United. Di Maria scored four goals in 32 appearances for United last term.
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Liverpool confirm Roberto Firmino signing

Liverpool have completed the signing of Hoffenheim forward Roberto Firmino, subject to a medical.

The Brazil international has agreed a long-term deal with the Anfield club. Liverpool have confirmed that a medical will take place as soon as Firmino's participation in the Copa America is over.

The 23-year-old becomes the club's fifth signing of the summer, following the captures of Danny Ings, James Milner, Adam Bodgan and Joe Gomez. Firmino scored 47 times in 151 appearances for Hoffenheim after joining them from Figueirense in 2010.

The transfer fee paid to the Bundesliga outfit has not been disclosed.
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Steven Gerrard: Real Madrid snub behind Liverpool exit

Steven Gerrard has admitted that being left on the bench for the Champions League trip to Real Madrid made him think that he should end his career with Liverpool.

The former Reds captain was named among the substitutes for the clash in November and only played the final 20 minutes as Liverpool lost 1-0 at Santiago Bernabeu.

Gerrard has said that the decision to start him on the bench signalled the end of his 17-year career with his boyhood club. "This was round about the time when I was doing a lot of thinking about what's next for me because I'd had a couple of initial chats with Brendan saying to me, 'I'm going to start managing your games and I have to look after you and I want you to be fresh and I don't want you to be playing three games in a week because you may be tired' and stuff like that," the 35-year-old told BT Sport. "But this situation was a bit unique because it was Real Madrid and I wanted to play. "I sat on that bench devastated because I wanted to play, so it is one of those situations.

It sort of pushed me into making a decision to move on and try something different." Gerrard has left Anfield to join LA Galaxy.
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Manuel Pellegrini: Jose Mourinho wants to take credit for everything

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has taken a swipe at Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho by claiming that his Portuguese counterpart regularly tries to steal the limelight.

City lost their grip on the Premier League title last season as the Blues took the crown with an eight-point advantage over the North-West outfit.

 During an interview with El Mercurio, Pellegrini opened up about the differences between the two, but has insisted that he does not have an issue with Mourinho. "When he wins, Mourinho wants to take credit for everything - I don't do that," Pellegrini told the Chilean daily. "When I won the Premier League, I didn't say a word. "I don't have any problem with him, he's not my enemy and there isn't any conflict with him but I differ from Mourinho on all fronts. I have no interest in analysing him as a person."

 In last season's league meetings, City and Chelsea recorded 1-1 draws at the Etihad Stadium and Stamford Bridge.
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Jackson Martinez agent confirms Atletico Madrid move

Jackson Martinez has joined Atletico Madrid from Porto, according to his agent.

The player's representative Luiz Henrique Pompeo told Spanish newspaper AS that the deal was completed on Tuesday. "It was sealed today," said Pompeo. "Atletico is a very big club which has had a lot of success in its league and in Europe and Jackson is going there full of desire to do great things."

Atletico were in the market for a striker following Croatia international Mario Mandzukic's move to Juventus earlier this week.
The La Liga side are said to have paid €35m (£24m) to meet the buyout clause in Martinez's contract.
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Napoli complete Pepe Reina signing

Napoli have announced that they have re-signed goalkeeper Pepe Reina on a permanent basis from Bayern Munich.

The 32-year-old spent the 2013-14 season on loan at the Stadio San Paolo from Liverpool, before moving to Bayern last summer to act as Manuel Neuer's understudy.

 Napoli have confirmed that Reina has rejoined them following a successful medical. "Pepe Reina is a player of Napoli," the Serie A club said on their official website. "The Spanish goalkeeper had a medical at Villa Stuart this morning, accompanied by team doctor Dr De Nicola, and then signed the contract with President [Aurelio] De Laurentiis."

The details of Reina's transfer have not been disclosed.
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Southampton refuse to compromise Clyne valuation for Liverpool

Southampton are reportedly refusing to bring down their valuation of Nathaniel Clyne, despite pressure from Liverpool.

The Merseyside outfit are said to be keen to strike a deal for the England international after their initial £10m bid was rejected.

 According to the Daily Echo, the Saints are prepared to sell Clyne if he decides against signing a new deal at St Mary's, but they are unwilling to drop their £15m price tag.

Liverpool are believed to be open to negotiating an improved fee from their last bid, but are currently against meeting Southampton's valuation.
Clyne, who has also been linked to Manchester United, has one year remaining on his contract.
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Arsenal agree £10.9m fee with Chelsea for Petr Cech

Arsenal have agreed a fee of £10.9m with Chelsea to bring goalkeeper Petr Cech to the Emirates Stadium, according to reports.

 The 33-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to North London after losing his position as first-choice stopper at Stamford Bridge to Thibaut Courtois.

 According to Sky Sports News, the Premier League rivals have agreed on a price for the Czech Republic international, paving the way for him to move to the Emirates.
Cech signed for Chelsea in 2004 from French outfit Rennes.
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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Real Madrid want new manager Rafa Benitez to lose weight

Benitez has often been taunted with 'fat' jibes from opposition fans and president Florentino Perez had reservations about appointing him

Real Madrid reportedly want boss Rafa Benitez to lose weight ahead of the season.

The ex-Liverpool chief was named as Carlo Ancelotti's successor earlier this month, agreeing a three-year deal at the Bernabeu.

However according to AS, Real president Florentino Perez has reservations about appointing the Spaniard - because of his public image.

Benitez has often been taunted with 'fat' jibes from opposition fans, during spells in both England and Italy.

After controversially being appointed at Chelsea, he was even mocked by Blues supporters for his weight as they called for his departure.

Benitez was also linked with the Sampdoria post earlier this year, although president Massimo Ferrero said he would need to "see a dietician" before being appointed.

Reports suggest he is planning double training sessions to get his players ready for the new campaign, following a trophyless season under Ancelotti.

Plans to improve Gareth Bale's effectiveness are already underway too, with the Welshman set to return to his favoured left-wing role after a dismal season on the right.

And Jamie Carragher, who played under Benitez at Anfield, is confident his ex-boss will be a success in the Spanish capital.

"At every club he has been at he has won titles," Carragher said. "At Napoli he won the Super Cup and Italian Cup, at Liverpool the Champions League… I think he won a couple of trophies at Inter.

"He always wins titles but at Madrid the pressure is huge and he arrives just after Barça has won the treble.

"Now Madrid need to respond with trophies and Benítez is a coach who always wins something."

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Manchester United legend urges Louis van Gaal to splash the cash on Gareth Bale

Former Manchester United man Dwight Yorke has urged Louis van Gaal to sign Gareth Bale this summer.

Bale has been repeated linked with a move to Old Trafford, and Yorke believes the Welshman is the man who bring back the glory days for Van Gaal's men. 

"I would get Gareth Bale in, that's what United need ... a player who will just take the ball and run," he told the Sun on Sunday. 

"He's British, he's exciting, he's quick, fast, he goes past people and that will lift everyone going forward. That would excite everybody.

"And he will be loved here, he will be far more appreciated because the people here know what to expect.

"The Spanish are hard people, they are used to the likes of Romario and Ronaldo — the dribblers with the silky skills.

"In all fairness Bale is not silky — he is a powerhouse with great pace and that's best for England.

"When he is in full flow he is one of the best in the world.

"That's why Madrid paid all the money for him. If I was signing one player for United this summer, it would be him."

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Jackson Martinez issues 'come and get me' plea to Arsenal

Jackson Martinez admits he's waiting to see if Arsenal make an offer for his services.

The Colombian hitman, who is currently on international duty in Chile for the Copa America, has already revealed he will leave Porto in the summer.

Recent reports have suggested AC Milan are winning the race for his signature, but the 28-year-old is yet to make his mind up.

Martinez admits he would consider a move to Arsenal should they trigger his £25million release clause at Porto.

On the Gunners' interest, the striker said: "It's a big club in one of the best leagues in the world. We have to see if an offer will become a reality or not.
Jackson Martinez admits he's waiting to see if Arsenal trigger his £25m release clause
"The day we'll know where my future goes is near. I still haven't decided, as I'm focused on the Copa America right now.

"Every footballer dreams of enjoying football. If that's in England, Italy or Spain, the important thing is that it feels good."

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Manchester United's move for Cillessen set to be blocked

Manchester United target Jasper Cillessen admits Ajax will block his move to Old Trafford.

United are keen to sign the shot-stopper to replace David De Gea who is expected to make the move to Real Madrid this summer. 

However, however the 26-year-old says the club are determined to stop him from joining the Premier League giants. 

“The Ajax management are going to make it really difficult when the interest becomes concrete," he told the Sunday Mirror. 

If I had planned to leave, I would not have signed a new contract until 2018.

“My old contract was expiring in the summer of 2016 and in that case this summer would have been the perfect moment to leave.

“[Ajax coach] Frank de Boer has been very clear when he received questions about my transfer – he wants to block it."

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Mario Balotelli set to leave Liverpool

Mario Balotelli is set to leave Liverpool on loan, according to reports.

The striker has failed to impress following his £16million switch from AC Milan last summer, scoring just one goal in 15 Premier League appearances.

Liverpool have already snapped up Burnley's Danny Ings on a free transfer, and reports today suggest Brendan Rodgers is weighing up a bid for QPR's Charlie Austin.

The Reds already have Daniel Sturridge, Rickie Lambert, Fabio Borini and Divock Origi on the books, and the Daily Star claims that Balotelli is set to become the fall guy.

It is added that Serie A outfit Sampdoria want to bring Balotelli back to Italy on a season-long loan, although Liverpool would have to subsidise part of his £110,000-per-week contract.
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Harry Kane snubs Manchester United interest for Tottenham stay

Harry Kane has quashed rumours of a Manchester United move by admitting he's happy to stay at 'big club' Tottenham.

United are believed to be in for the England striker but Kane says he is committed to his boyhood club after penning a new deal in February.

And Kane is willing to pass up the opportunity of playing Champions League football with United next season as he believes Tottenham is the right stage for him.

“Tottenham are a big club,” Kane said, “and that is the way people have to see it.

“I am at a big club now, I am enjoying my football and that is the way I am looking forward to next season."

Kane said he is not aware of any approach from United but that he is flattered by hearing of their interest.

“Obviously I am aware,” he said. “I have been watching Sky Sports and I have seen there is interest. But that is all I know. It is flattering for other clubs to maybe be interested. But, as I say, I am happy at Spurs and I am looking forward to the future at Spurs."

Kane was unable to help England Under-21s to victory as they went down 1-0 to Portugal in their Euro 2015 opener against Portugal last night. England now play Sweden here in Olomouc on Sunday.

“We know we what we have to do,” Kane said.

Obviously it was a disappointing start but that's tournament football for you and it is how you react.

“Hopefully we can react well and keep trying to play our way, get the win on Sunday and try to move forwards."

England have not won an Under-21s Euro finals game in open play in six years but Kane believes this group are able.

"We are a very, very good team but we haven’t been doing it in tournaments,” he said.

This is a high pressure game but (how you deal with it) is what makes you a top footballer.
Harry Kane
“As a country, we have to get behind each other. It starts on Sunday. We know what we have to do. I think you could see we played well [last] night.

“It is fine margins and hopefully a few things will go our way. We will try and push on and there is a long way to go.”

Kane believes coming through the challenge of the next week – and hopefully for two games more – on the biggest stage at this level will make him a better player in the long run.

“We had done well in qualifying,” he said. “This is a high pressure game but (how you deal with it) is what makes you a top footballer.

“You have got to deal with those moments. There are definitely things that we can work on. We have got to go back, regroup and stick together. We have got to look forward to Sunday.”
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John Obi Mikel agrees Chelsea exit

John Obi Mikel has reportedly agreed a deal to join Al Ain.

The Chelsea midfielder found himself largely surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge this season as Jose Mourinho led his side to the title.

And while the Dubai outfit are yet to agree a fee with the Blues for the Nigerian, it seems a move to the Middle East is only a matter of time.

According to reports in Nigeria, Mikel has already agreed personal terms at his new club.

The player's agent Babawo Mohammed said: "It is now left for Chelsea and the Dubai club Al Ain to agree on a transfer fee."

Reports yesterday suggested Mikel was close to joining Turkish outfit Fenerbahce, despite having two years remaining on his current deal at Chelsea.

But it seems that the Istanbul outfit's hopes have been scuppered by interest from Al Ain.

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PSG make £28.5m bid for Atletico star Griezmann

Paris Saint-Germain have made a £28.5million bid for Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann, according to reports.

Griezmann was heavily linked with Chelsea earlier in the transfer window.

The French forward has a £43million release clause in his contract that Chelsea are reportedly unwilling to meet.

And reports in Italy suggest that PSG are now ready to test Atletico's resolve to keep the 24-year-old.

PSG have previously been linked with a move for Manchester United's Angel Di Maria or Juve star Paul Pogba.

But it is thought the French giants only have money for one big-name signing this summer due to Financial Fair Play rules.

And Griezmann could now be that man as long as Chelsea aren't spurred into action by PSG's move.

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Ten things Liverpool fans need to know about new signing Joe Gomez

Liverpool have completed their fourth summer signing welcoming youngster Joe Gomez to Anfield.

Liverpool have completed the signing of Joe Gomez from Charlton
The 18-year-old has signed a five-year deal at Anfield in a £3.5million move. 

But who exactly is the defender?

We bring you 10 things you should know about the promising young star. 

1. Gomez impressed quickly after joining the Charlton Athletic academy in 2010. The youngster made his under-18s debut at the tender age of 13. 

2. Has represented England at under-16s, 17s and 19s levels and in May 2014 was part of the squad that won the European Under-17 Championship in Malta and Gozo.

3. He was named in UEFA's team of the tournament after playing every minute of England's five games. 

4. Gomez made 24 senior appearances for Charlton last season and won their Young Player of the Year award after some impressive performances. 

5. The versatile youngster can play at both right-back and centre-back, however, he considers his long term position as a centre-back. 

6. His dominant 6ft 2in imposing frame has no impact on his impressive pace that can help him play on the right. 

7. Considers Rio Ferdinand, Jamie Carragher and Sami Hyypia as his role models. 

8. He made is senior debut, and played the full 90 minutes, in the 4–0 League Cup victory over Colchester United at The Valley on 12 August 2014.

9. His league debut came a week later in the 3-2 home win against Derby County.

10. Gomez made more successful tackles (five) than any other player during that victory over Derby. 
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Liverpool weigh up move for Fernando Llorente

Liverpool have reportedly turned their attention toward Juventus striker Fernando Llorente after their pursuit of Aston Villa hitman Christian Benteke hit a snag.

The Reds have been heavily linked with a move for the Belgian marksman but are said to be unwilling to meet Villa's £32.5m valuation of the 24-year-old.

Consequently, manager Brendan Rodgers has begun to search elsewhere and has identified the Spain international as a plan-b option, according to the Daily Mail.

The Bianconeri's signing of Mario Mandzukic is expected to push the 30-year-old further down the pecking order in Turin, prompting Llorente to leave the club.

His contract with the Italian champions expires in 2017.
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Besiktas want Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli

Besiktas have expressed an interest in Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli, according to reports.

The Italy international has scored just four goals for the Reds since joining from AC Milan for £16m last August.

According to Turkish newspaper Haberturk, Besiktas will have money to spend once the reported sale of Demba Ba to West Bromwich Albion has taken place, with Balotelli their primary replacement.

If the 24-year-old forward joins the Turkish giants, it would be the sixth club of his career.
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Busquets - 'Barcelona can win treble every season'

Sergio Busquets believes that he and his Barcelona teammates boast enough quality to win the treble every season.

The Catalans swept all before them last term by winning La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Champions League in a memorable first season for coach Luis Enrique.

The average age of Enrique's squad is just 26, and Busquets feels that the 2014-15 campaign can be the start of a trophy-laden era for the Blaugrana.

"The joy of winning is permanent, you cannot take it away," he told El Pais. "All you want is more, more, more. And we have players of incredible quality, a super young team and a unique opportunity to extend this level of performances.

"In the Champions League final, if you take away Dani Alves, Javier Mascherano and Andres Iniesta, I don't think there was anyone over 30-years-old in our team.

"Marc-Andre Ter Stegen is super young and Neymar, Jordi Alba, and the rest - we are all between 23 and 28 years. We can win the treble every year, no one is invincible, but we have huge potential."

Busquets, 26, played a prominent role the last time Barcelona won the treble - in 2009 under Pep Guardiola.
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Manchester City to meet Liverpool's £50m valuation of Raheem Sterling

Manchester City will reportedly meet Liverpool's asking price and splash out £50m to bring Raheem Sterling to the club.

Liverpool have not baulked over their valuation of the England international, having turned down two bids from City already.

City are keen to bring English talent to the club, according to the Express, and do not want to miss out on the 20-year-old, with Real Madrid also said to be interested.

The two-time Premier League champions will also test Arsenal's resolve as they look to make a move for Jack Wilshere.
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PSV reject Zenit's £10m Wijnaldum bid

Zenit have seen a £10million offer for Georginio Wijnaldum rejected by PSV as the club seek a replacement for Premier League-bound Axel Witsel.

PSV have rejected a £10m bid for Georginio Wijnaldum
The Russian outfit are said to be desperately searching an attacking midfielder to fill the gap that will be left by Witsel's switch.

Witsel, 26, is understood to have caught the eye of Chelsea and Manchester United, with £24million bids expected for the player this summer.
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John Scales: Why Chelsea NOT Man Utd or Arsenal will be the team to beat next season

Chelsea will still be the team to beat again next season.

That is according to former Kop star John Scales.

The Blues romped to the title last term and it was their first Premier League crown in five years.

Chelsea's summer signings all proved to be a hit success, most notably Diego Costa, who hit 20 goals in the league.

And Scales, who was speaking at the Twickenham Academy’s 3G pitch funded by the Football Foundation, thinks the Jose Mourinho factor will make Chelsea tough to topple next season.

"Mourinho is probably the most outstanding manager in world football at the moment," Scales told Express Sport.

Jose Mourinho savouring Chelsea's title success last season
"I will always back Chelsea as they have the best coach.

"Mourinho is the boss. You saw it with the likes of Rodgers last season. Any chinks in their armour will be exposed. 

John Scales thinks Chelsea are the favourites for the title
"I think all the managers will find it tough to win the Premier League next season."

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Newcastle delay £15m Charlie Austin bid

Newcastle United have delayed their £15m bid for Charlie Austin amid rumours the striker wants to stay in London, according to reports.

The 25-year-old, who made Roy Hodgson's latest England squad, is expected to leave Queens Park Rangers this summer.

Austin scored 18 Premier League goals for the club, but that was not enough to save them from relegation.

New Newcastle boss Steve McClaren is said to be interested in the Berkshire-born player, according to the Daily Mail, but Austin does not want to leave London.

West Ham United and Chelsea also have Austin on their radar, with QPR holding out on £15m for their star striker.
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Has Petr Cech's move to Arsenal been confirmed?

Has former Arsenal star Lauren confirmed the signing of Petr Cech from Chelsea?

Petr Cech is set to join Arsenal in a £10million move
The ex-Gooner my have slightly jumped the gun by taking to Twitter to welcome Cech to the Emirates. 

"All the best to Cech. Long time without stability in that position and another great gooner move to get the Premier League," he wrote. 

The Chelsea veteran is expected to make Arsenal history by becoming the highest paid keeper in the club's history.

The 32-year-old is set to join Arsenal in a £10million move that will see him pocket £100,000-a-week. 

Cech had reportedly turned down a whopping £15,000-a-week move to PSG in favour to stay in London where his family are settled. 
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Chelsea 'wouldn't sell Oscar for £715m'

Max Allegri claims Juventus cannot force Chelsea to sell Oscar this summer.

The Brazilian midfielder is reportedly high up on Juve's list of summer targets.

And despite sealing a deal for Mario Mandzukic, Allegri admits he is still looking for a player who can play wide in a 4-3-3 formation.

He told Sky Sports Italia: "We are completing the squad. You can have money to spend, but if the parent clubs don't want to sell, then you can have €1bn (£715m) and not get anywhere.

"Will we sign a winger who can play 4-3-3? The last pick could well have those characteristics, yes."

Jose Mourinho has repeatedly insisted that Oscar would not be sold this summer having only recently signed a contract extension at the club.

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Chelsea consider bid for Everton defender John Stones

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is considering making a bid for Everton’s England international defender John Stones.

The former Barnsley player currently with the England Under 21s in the Czech Republic is amongst a short list of potential summer signings as Mourinho looks to strengthen his title winning defence.

Chelsea are also keen on Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane but the Spaniards insist the Frenchman is staying put. 

They have been in negotiations over Atletico Madrid’s Toby Alderweireld who spent last season on loan at Southampton.

But Stones is highly regarded within Chelsea and would also help Mourinho’s side meet the required Premier League quota of home reared players.

Stones has matured since his bargain £3 million move from Barnsley in January 2013 into a ball playing central defender with bags of potential.

Everton would be loathe to part with a player they rate at around £15 million but manager Roberto Martinez could use the money to strengthen his own squad.

He is trying to sign Crystal Palace’s central defender Scott Dann and Barcelona winger Gerard Deulofeu who spent a season on loan at Goodison Park.
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Southampton boss Ronald Koeman blasts foul-mouthed Memphis Depay

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman has criticised new Manchester United signing Memphis Depay for his foul language and inconsistency.

The Dutch youngster has joined Manchester United in a £25million move from PSV Eindhoven, however, Koeman believes they have overpaid for the unpredictable 21-year-old. 

“I think they paid a lot of money," he told the Sunday Mirror. 

“Because it is United, where they already spent £200m on players like Angel Di Maria, such a big figure is put in perspective.

“He won’t play every game. I have learnt, while I am here in England, that Dutch players can’t make the jump to the top of the Premier League easily. And young players can’t play 38 games anyway.

“And I see another lack of quality with the Dutch kids, that I have also noticed with other young stars in the Premier League: they don’t communicate! They behave like individuals. Stuck to their smartphones."

The Saints boss has been tracking Depay for the last five years but was unimpressed by his attitude on and off the pitch. 

Ronald Koeman has criticised Memphis Depay for his attitude on and off the pitch

He said: “I watched the young Memphis Depay often enough. I was doing scouting work on him when he was playing in the Under-16 side for PSV Eindhoven, and there was this game against FC Twente.

“I always work with a list of five specific qualities: skills, tactics, physique, attitude, personality. I did not get any higher with my average ratings than 5.6 out of 10.

“And you know what brought the rating down most of all? The rating for his personality.

“It is only because of the fact that I could not go any lower than zero out of 10, otherwise I would have rated him well below that.

“It was absolutely disgusting, the foul language that boy used towards his fellow players and towards people in the crowd."

Koeman has admitted that Southampton did try to sign Depay last year, however he knew that once United came knocking, the south-coast side had no chance. 
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Manchester United close in Schweinsteiger deal

Manchester United are closing in on a deal for Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, according to reports.

United are confident they can tempt Schweinsteiger away from Germany.

And according to the Sunday Mirror, the Red Devils are nearing a £7.5million deal to land the midfield star. 

The Germany international has one year left on his contract and Louis van Gaal has tasked transfer negotiator Ed Woodward to make the move happen. 

It is thought that Schweinsteiger is tempted by the prospect of reuniting with Van Gaal, whom he played under at Bayern from 2009-2011. 

Germany legend Lothar Matthaus said: “Schweinsteiger needs a coach who will play him according to his strengths, and Van Gaal will do that."

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Rio Ferdinand: Liverpool and Tottenham must be joking over Sterling and Kane valuations

Rio Ferdinand has branded Liverpool's £50million valuation of Raheem Sterling "a joke".

The former Manchester United and England defender also laid into Tottenham striker Harry Kane, claiming English players are "overpriced".

Liverpool have already rejected two bids from Mancehster City for Sterling, 20, and are holding out on their valuation of the wiger.

United, meanwhile, are keen to secure Harry Kane's signature during the off-season but Spurs are resolved to keep their man, who says he is happy in north London.

English players are soooo overpriced right now it's a joke! Kane & sterling have huge potential but 40m & 50m...aguero 38m & sanchez 32m!!!

— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) June 20, 2015
Look at the amount of PL & CL games I had played in before the @manutd move...oh and a world cup! Don't compare me please! There are others

— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) June 20, 2015
And Ferdinand said on Twitter that the pair were not worth their valuations, especially considering the price City and Arsenal respectively paid for South American stars Sergio Aguero and Alexis Sanchez.

He wrote: "English players are soooo overpriced right now it's a joke! Kane & Sterling have huge potential but 40m & 50m…Aguero 38m & Sanchez 32m!!!"

Harry Kane playing for EnglandGETTY
Rio Ferdinand has ridiculed Harry Kane's (left) and Raheem Sterling's valuations
Ferdinand then came under criticism from some followers, who pointed out he transferred from Leeds United to the Old Trafford club for around £29m back in 2002.

But the 36-year-old had an answer for his detractors.

"Look at the amount of PL & CL games I had played in before the @manutd move...oh and a World Cup! Don't compare me please! There are others," he wrote.
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De Gea 'tells teammates he wants to leave Manchester United'

David de Gea has reportedly told his Manchester United teammates that he wants to leave for Real Madrid.

The Spanish goalkeeper is widely expected to join the La Liga giants this summer, having been at Old Trafford since 2011.

Having talked with United teammates, reports the Daily Mail, many at the club believe that a return to Spain is imminent for the 24-year-old.

United have been linked with a host of goalkeepers to fill his potential vacancy, including Ajax's Jasper Cillessen and Tottenham Hotspur's Hugo Lloris.

However, United boss Louis van Gaal may choose to stick with Victor Valdes, who is currently second choice behind De Gea.
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Joe Gomez: Why I SNUBBED Arsenal and Man City to join Liverpool

Joe Gomez admits Liverpool's history and playing style were a key factor in making the move to Anfield.

Joe Gomez has joined Liverpool on a five-year deal
The 18-year-old has agreed a five-year deal with Liverpool after completing a medical yesterday.

And the former Charlton ace admits it was an easy decision to join the Reds. 

"The club has got great history and it's a great club, and one that I've always been following from when I was young," he said. 

#LFC are delighted to announce the signing of England U19 international Joe Gomez from Charlton Athletic.

— Liverpool FC (@LFC) June 20, 2015
"The style of football and the top players here was somewhere that I wanted to go and get better and learn, and play good football. It was an easy decision.

"It's flattering to know that a massive club like this were interested in me. 

"That was one of the main things - I knew how great the club is. That's why it was an easy decision to come here. To know that a place like this was interested and knew about me was great."
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Tottenham Hotspur to offer Andros Townsend, Aaron Lennon for Saido Berahino

Tottenham Hotspur are ready to offer Andros Townsend and Aaron Lennon to attempt to secure a deal for West Bromwich Albion forward Saido Berahino, according to a report.

The 21-year-old has been linked with a move away from The Hawthorns this summer, with Spurs and Newcastle United among the teams interested in the striker's signature.

However, Tottenham are said to believe that offering Townsend and Lennon along with cash will push them ahead of the Magpies in their attempts to strike a deal with the Baggies, according to The Mirror.

Berahino scored 14 goals in the Premier League last season for Tony Pulis's men.
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Edin Dzeko's agent: 'No contact with Chelsea'

Edin Dzeko's agent has rubbished rumours that Chelsea have made a move for the Manchester City striker.

The Bosnian has been linked with a move to Roma in recent weeks, and now Chelsea are reportedly interested.

Dzeko's agent, Irfan Redzepagic, told Nezavisne: "Every day he's linked with another club. First Atletico Madrid, then Roma and now Chelsea."

"I'm bored of repeating that these stories are not true. He hasn't rejected any offers because there hasn't been any offers. The chances of him leaving are zero."

Chelsea are looking to strengthen up top after Didier Drogba announced that he was leaving the club.
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Newcastle United weigh up Ashley Cole move

Newcastle United boss Steve McClaren is reportedly weighing up a season-long loan move for ex-Chelsea and Arsenal defender Ashley Cole.

The 34-year-old left the Blues on a Bosman last summer to join Roma but his spell in the Italian capital has not gone to plan after making just 11 Serie A appearances.

Furthermore, Cole is poised to become coach Rudi Garcia's third-choice left-back next season behind Vasilis Torosidis and Jose Holebas.

Consequently, the former England veteran - who has 108 caps - is said to be considering his future and, according to the Daily Star, McClaren will offer him an escape route.

His contract at the Stadio Olimpico expires next summer.
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Barclays Premier League's most passionate and happiest fans revealed

A new study analysing which 2014/15 Premier League teams had the highest and lowest proportion of vocal supporters on Twitter, has implicated Chelsea and Stoke as possessing the least passionate fans.

The research crowned fans of relegated Burnley the most passionate, and in a separate study crowned Swansea's supporters as the most positive, with QPR's suffering fans the least.

The results of this Twitter study, carried out by creative communications agency Shine Communications, has tipped last season’s Premier League table on its head with some surprising results as the table indicates.

Chelsea fans are the Premier League's least passionate on Twitter, according to Shine Communications' study

Chelsea fans are the Premier League's least passionate on Twitter, according to Shine Communications' study

Blues supporters may well be passionate at Stamford Bridge but fail to impress on social media

Blues supporters may well be passionate at Stamford Bridge but fail to impress on social media

2014/15 Premier League table for most passionate fans on Twitter  Most Passionate Fans (Twitter noise per fan)2014/15 Premier League table based on happiest fans on Twitter Happiest Fans (% of positive sentiment from fan posts on Twitter) 
1. Burnley 0.471. Swansea City  98%
 2. Everton 0.37 2. Burnley 96%
 3. Leicester City 0.36 3. Aston Villa95% 
 4. QPR 0.33 3. Stoke City 95%
 4. Crystal Palace 0.33 3. Chelsea 95%
 6. Aston Villa 0.31 6. Crystal Palace 94%
 7. Newcastle 0.28 6. Manchester City 94%
 8. West Brom 0.27 8. Hull City 93%
 9. West Ham 0.26 9. Newcastle 92%
 10. Man Utd 0.24 9. West Ham 92%
 11. Southampton 0.23 9. Spurs 92%
 11. Spurs 0.23 9. Liverpool 92%
 13. Hull City 0.2213. Leicester City 90%
 14. Sunderland 0.1914. Southampton 87%
 15. Swansea 0.16 15. Everton 84%
 15. Liverpool 0.16 15. Arsenal 84%
 17. Arsenal 0.15 17. West Brom 83%
18. Manchester City  0.13 17. Man Utd 83%
 20. Stoke City 0.12 20. Sunderland 82%
 20. Chelsea 0.12 20. QPR 82%

The research looked at the number of followers each team has and the amount of mentions each team received in order to calculate how passionate each individual fan is.

Behind Sean Dyche’s Burnley, and despite watching their teams fight relegation for much of last season, came the fans of Leicester City (3rd), QPR (4th) and Aston Villa (6th). 

Despite watching their heroes win trophies and secure European football in the Champions League and Europa League, the proportion of Twitter fan support for some of the country’s so called 'big' clubs like big-spending Manchester City (18th), FA Cup winners Arsenal (17th) and Liverpool (15th) saw their supporters firmly in the bottom half of the table.

Fans of Jose Mourinho's title winning Chelsea (20th) are rooted firmly at the foot of the standings for displaying digital passion.

Burnley fans scored highly regarding being both most passionate and happiest on Twitter

Burnley fans scored highly regarding being both most passionate and happiest on Twitter

Danny Ings' goals for Burnley last season may have contributed to Burnley fans' happy presence on Twitter

Danny Ings' goals for Burnley last season may have contributed to Burnley fans' happy presence on Twitter

Supporters of Manchester United were seen to be the joint second most unhappy fans

Supporters of Manchester United were seen to be the joint second most unhappy fans

In the battle to see which of last season’s Premier League fans were the most positive, roaring support from the digital terraces, Garry Monk’s Swansea topped the charts ahead of Burnley (2nd) and Aston Villa (3rd).

Given that there team was in League Two ten years ago it seems as if Swans fans are delighted by the club's ever-growing status in the Premier League and are expressing their content on social media.

The study therefore indicates that it’s not the biggest and most successful clubs with the most content supporters on Twitter - supporters of Manchester United were seen to be the joint second most unhappy fans.

David Wiles, Director at Shine Communications commented: 'In a world where all top flight clubs and most of their players have a social media presence, the support of fans online is becoming as important as their support at matches. 

Garry Monk’s Welsh side Swansea topped the Twitter positivity charts

Garry Monk’s Welsh side Swansea topped the Twitter positivity charts

'Tellingly, the results highlight that winning games and trophy success doesn’t equate to social media contentment or engagement amongst fans, as in both cases some of the Premier League’s biggest clubs perform poorly. 

'It's the smaller, sometimes less successful clubs, whose fans have the strongest support, the most positivity and arguably the most realistic expectations.'

Shine's study calculated the total number of fans each club has on Twitter, along with the total amount of posts and mentions each club received on the social network. 

This allowed them to calculate the level of social media buzz and activity for each club, per fan, along with the percentage of positive sentiment fans were displaying about their team.

 A Swansea fan poses for a photograph before his team's Premier League match against Cardiff in 2014

 A Swansea fan poses for a photograph before his team's Premier League match against Cardiff in 2014

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Arsenal to double Jack Wilshere salary

Arsenal are reportedly poised to double Jack Wilshere's salary in order to stave off interest from Manchester City.

The 23-year-old midfielder has emerged as a reported target for the Citizens, who need to bolster their amount of homegrown players and the England ace fits the bill.

Speculation is rife that Manuel Pellegrini is planning a £40m bid, but the Gunners will thwart their overtures by giving him a bumper new five-year deal, according to The Mirror.

The report goes on to claim that Wilshere would earn twice as much as he currently does in North London if he signs it.

He has three years left to run on his existing deal.
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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Boca confident of signing Carlos Tevez

Boca Juniors president Daniel Angelici has suggested that it is only a matter of time before reported Liverpool target and Juventus striker Carlos Tevez rejoins the club.

The Argentine, currently at Copa America, has been linked with a move to Anfield, with reports on Monday stating a Premier League side had lodged a bid.

Tevez, 31, is said to be keen on leaving the Bianconeri this summer and was recently told by Juve chief Giuseppe Marotta to make a decision on his future by the end of this week.

"I want to be cautious with the arrival of Carlitos at Boca," Angelici told TyCSports.

"You have to respect Juventus, the club where he still has a contract, but I'm sure Tevez will stay at Juve or return to Boca.

"We spoke to Carlitos about his future, but at the moment we're leaving him in piece to concentrate on the Copa America. Afterwards, he'll decide with his club where his future lies, but I'm sure, if not now, it'll be next year [that he returns]."

Tevez, who began his career with Boca, joined the Italian champions in 2013 from Manchester City.
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West Ham United close in on Alex Song deal

West Ham United are reportedly close to tieing up a permanent deal for Barcelona midfielder Alex Song.

The Cameroon international was brought to Upton Park for a season-long loan by former Hammers boss Sam Allardyce last term.

Despite impressing in East London, the 27-year-old is still deemed surplus to requirements in Catalunya, prompting speculation that a permanent switch is possible.

According to, West Ham, under new manager Slaven Bilic, are ready to offer Song a three-year deal, with £5m the transfer fee in question.

His contract at Camp Nou expires in 2018.
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Didier Drogba snub Orlando City

Chelsea legend Didier Drogba has rejected a two-year contract with MLS side Orlando City, according to reports.

The 37-year-old had been linked with a move to the Florida-based side in recent weeks as the club's hierarchy dreamt of pairing him with Brazilian star Kaka.

However, Drogba, who was released by the Blues following a second spell in West London, has turned down the chance to join Orlando, according to Sky Sports News.

The Ivorian, who was Jose Mourinho's third-choice striker last season behind Diego Costa and Loic Remy, netted seven times from 14 starts in all competitions.
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Aston Villa sign Micah Richards

Aston Villa have announced the signing of defender Micah Richards on a four-year deal.

The 26-year-old joins the Villans on a Bosman after being released by Manchester City and will officially seal the deal on July 1.

Villa manager Tim Sherwood told the club's official website: "I'm really pleased to get Micah on board and I'm sure he will prove to be an excellent signing for the football club."

Richards rose through the ranks at City but found first-team chances limited under Manuel Pellegrini and spent last season on loan with Fiorentina.

He has 13 England caps under his belt.
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Liverpool to reject Manchester City's second Raheem Sterling bid

Liverpool have reportedly decided to turn down Manchester City's latest offer for Raheem Sterling.

Earlier this month, speculation claimed that the Citizens had failed with a £25m bid for the England international.

A second approach, which is believed to have been worth around £40m, was lodged earlier today, but the Merseysiders have no intention of accepting it, according to The Mirror.

It has been said that the Reds value the 20-year-old at £50m and they are not prepared to negotiate a lesser fee.
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Napoli take decision on Gonzalo Higuain transfer fee

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has reiterated that in-demand striker Gonzalo Higuain will only leave if a "madman" meets his £72m buyout clause.

Chelsea are among those linked with the 27-year-old, who is reportedly keen to leave after the Partenopei failed to qualify for the Champions League last term.

"The papers don't know what they're writing," De Lauretiis told Sky Sport Italia. "They're inventing a sea of lies.

"The contract will be respected. He'll only go if a madman offers the buy-out clause. However, Gonzalo still belongs to Napoli."

The Argentine's contract expires in 2018.
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Borussia Monchengladbach sign Josip Drmic

Josip Drmic has completed a move from Bayer Leverkusen to Borussia Monchengladbach.

The Foals had been keen to sign the 22-year-old last summer, but he eventually opted to join Leverkusen following a stint with Nuremburg.

However, having failed to hold down a regular spot at the BayArena, the striker has now agreed a four-year contract with Monchengladbach.

"We were interested in signing Josip Drmic last year but on that occasion he chose to join Leverkusen," sporting director Max Eberl told the club's official website.

"We're delighted that everything has come together now. Josip is a quick and dangerous attacker and is going to fit in well."

Drmic, who has been capped 18 times by Switzerland, has been handed the number nine shirt at Borussia Park.
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Inzaghi bitter over Milan sacking

Former AC Milan coach Filippo Inzaghi has admitted that he harbours "bitterness" toward the club after being sacked on Tuesday.

Inzaghi, who enjoyed an 11-year playing career with Milan, was dismissed from his role as coach after guiding them to a 10th-placed finish in his first season at San Siro.

He was promptly replaced by Sinisa Mihajlovic, and the 41-year-old admits to being disappointed over not being given a chance to make amends next season.

"I thank Milan for giving me this great opportunity, I did my best, with all my staff, working every day with desire, passion and dedication, "he wrote on Facebook. "Unfortunately, it wasn't enough, and things didn't go as we hoped.

"There is still bitterness and disappointment that I was not given the opportunity to continue. With a year's more experience I'd have been even more fired-up and knowledgeable... but that's football.

"Milan will always be in my heart, I will support and cheer for them - always."

Inzaghi won two Serie As and two Champions League titles during his playing career with the Rossoneri.
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Martino concerned over Argentina consistency

Coach Gerardo Martino has admitted that he is worried about Argentina even after this morning's 1-0 win over Uruguay in Copa America.

Sergio Aguero's goal on 56 minutes was enough as Martino's men edged out their Uruguayan counterparts, having drawn 2-2 with Paraguay in their opener.

"What I saw basically was 70 minutes similar to the game against Paraguay," he told reporters.

"We had the ball, we tried to create chances, break down Uruguay's scheme, playing between the lines and attacking on the wings. But after that we lost mobility in our passing and therefore we lost the ball.

"It causes us a lot of harm when we don't have control of the match. And if there is one thing to look out for it is the fact that we weren't able to maintain our rhythm for 90 minutes in either of the games."

Argentina, who sit top with Paraguay after two games, conclude Group B by facing Jamaica in Vina del Mar on Saturday
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