Thursday, November 30, 2017

Barcelona make Willian back-up target if they fail to sign Philippe Coutinho in January

Football news - transfers, fixtures, scores, pictures | The Sun
Barcelona make Willian back-up target if they fail to sign Philippe Coutinho in January

BARCELONA are ready to switch their attention to Chelsea star Willian if they fail with another attempt to sign Philippe Coutinho.

The Spanish giants are desperate to clinch the signing of the Liverpool star when the transfer window opens at the start of January.

Barcelona could switch their attentions to Chelsea midfielder WillianBarcelona could switch their attentions to Chelsea midfielder WillianGetty Images - Getty

Barca saw three bids knocked back at Anfield despite Coutinho putting in a transfer request and asking to make the move to Spain.

The La Liga club’s interest remains and they are expected to come back with another bid for the playmaker when the window opens at the start of the new year.

But Goal claim they have decided to turn to the star’s Brazilian team-mate Willian if they again find Liverpool to hard to break down.

Having lost Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain in a £196million move last summer, Barca have cash to burn in the transfer market.

Barca are expected to renew their bid to sign Philippe Coutinho in JanuaryBarca are expected to renew their bid to sign Philippe Coutinho in JanuaryAFP

And CEO Oscar Grau says the board are prepared to make a concerted effort to make a big signing in January,

Grau said: “We are ready to buy Coutinho in the winter market, or any player the technical staff request.”

RUSSIAN BACK? Inside England’s World Cup base that feels like the end of the world

Coutinho remains the clear first choice at Barca, but they approach the window realistic that Liverpool have no intention of selling their star player.

That is why it is claimed they have looked at other options, with Willian a surprise name near the top of the list.

Willian celebrates his goal against Liverpool - but he is not always a regular in the starting line-up at ChelseaWillian celebrates his goal against Liverpool – but he is not always a regular in the starting line-up at ChelseaPA:Press Association

The 29-year-old has a contract at Chelsea until 2020, but he is not always a regular starter in Antonio Conte’s side.

He is represented by Giuliano Bertolucci, the same agent who looks after Coutinho and also took Paulinho to the Nou Camp from China last summer.

Though Chelsea have no major plans to sell Willian in mid-season, if a big enough offer came in they could be willing to listen.

They know the midfielder is approaching the end of the peak of his career, and if they could find someone to replace him a deal could be struck.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Monday, November 27, 2017

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Former England ace Steven Gerrard blasted over ‘Del Boy’ drinking water deal

Football news - transfers, fixtures, scores, pictures | The Sun
Former England ace Steven Gerrard blasted over ‘Del Boy’ drinking water deal

STEVEN Gerrard has been mocked over health claims made by a trendy bottled water he keeps plugging.

The former England and Liverpool ace, 37,  has been helping to tout Angel Revive Alkaline water, marketed as less acidic than from a tap.

Steven GerrardSteven Gerrard, 37, has been helping to tout Angel Revive Alkaline water – despite no proof it’s of any benefit

The firm behind the new mineral drink claims its pH level “may assist in respect of stomach complaints”.

But on its website it admits there is no proof. Last night constant plugs on Instagram by ex-Kop idol Gerrard left users of the site complaining.

Leon Pisani said: “What a load of b*******.” Alex Howard wrote: “Some fantastic bull**** here Stevie, love it.”

Others on the site pointed out ordinary water can have similar pH levels anyway. Beryl McGee wrote: “Can’t believe you are advertising water in a plastic bottle. What’s wrong with tap water?”

Critics compared Gerrards behaviour to the  Only Fools And Horses episode where Del Boy flogs bottled tap waterCritics compared Gerrards behaviour to the  Only Fools And Horses episode where Del Boy flogs bottled tap water

Another scoffed: “Once a legend now promoting any old c**p.

“Water this week cement last week. What’s next?”

The mineral water comes from a Lancashire spring.

It is only sold via the web in packs of 24 bottles.

Gerrard playing for EnglandGerrard playing for EnglandPA:Press Association

No price is given. Would-be buyers have to inquire.

Critics compared it to the  Only Fools And Horses episode where Del Boy flogs bottled tap water.

 

Steven and wife, Alex, cooling down without the help of Angel Revive AlkalineSteven and wife, Alex, cooling down without the help of Angel Revive Alkaline

Sun doctor Carol Cooper confirmed the new brand was likely to be “expensive and pointless”.

The European Food Standards Agency, which has to approve marketing claims, said it had not been contacted.

The company and Gerrard did not respond to requests for comments.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Monday, November 20, 2017

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Will Arsenal, Spurs opt for caution?

ESPN FC News
Will Arsenal, Spurs opt for caution?
After spending years in Arsenal's shadow, Tottenham now rule North London. But has this shift in power affected their tactical battle? We break down five crucial elements of Saturday's North London derby. Michael Cox &#187

Friday, November 17, 2017

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Jose Mourinho couldn't prevent Malaysia Asian Cup defeats - Satia

ESPN FC News
Jose Mourinho couldn't prevent Malaysia Asian Cup defeats - Satia
ESPN FC's Jason Dasey and Dez Corkhill discuss Kelantan's great escape from relegation and prospects for the 2018 season. Malaysia midfielder Brendan Gan opens up about his recovery from knee injury, free agency and his ambition for a comeback. Former Malaysia head coach B. Satianathan has called on fans to get behind Nelo Vingada by insisting that not even Jose Mourinho could have led the Harimau Malaya to victories over North Korea and Lebanon. Vingada has come in for a lot of criticism since back-to-back 4-1 defeats to the North Koreans saw them crash out of contention for a place at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup. The qualifying campaign has seen the Malaysians take just one point from five games in a group that also features Lebanon and Hong...

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic urged to come out of retirement with Sweden for World Cup 2018

Football news - transfers, fixtures, scores, pictures | The Sun
Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic urged to come out of retirement with Sweden for World Cup 2018

ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC has been urged to sensationally come out of retirement for the World Cup.

Sweden shocked the planet by beating Italy 1-0 over two legs to book their place at Russia 2018.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been urged to come out of retirement for Sweden's World Cup 2018 campaignZlatan Ibrahimovic has been urged to come out of retirement for Sweden’s World Cup 2018 campaignReuters

Marcus Berg has been the man tasked with filling the veteran Manchester United striker’s boots up front.

And Berg, who plays for Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates, has made a good impression with eight goals in qualifying.

But calls have been made for 36-year-old Ibra – Sweden’s all-time top scorer – to lace up his boots and drive the nation’s bid for World Cup glory.

He celebrated his nation’s triumph by posting a picture of the team celebrating, captioned: “We are Zweden.”

We are Zweden @swemnt

A post shared by IAmZlatan (@iamzlatanibrahimovic) on Nov 13, 2017 at 2:34pm PST

Zlatan Ibrahimovic watches on as Sweden defeat Italy in the first leg of their World Cup qualifierZlatan Ibrahimovic watches on as Sweden defeat Italy in the first leg of their World Cup qualifierAFP or licensors Mino Raiola insists he would have Zlatan Ibrahimovic back in the Sweden team if it were up to himMino Raiola insists he would have Zlatan Ibrahimovic back in the Sweden team if it were up to himRex Features Marcus Berg has been the man to replace Zlatan Ibrahimovic up front for SwedenMarcus Berg has been the man to replace Zlatan Ibrahimovic up front for SwedenAP:Associated Press

And his agent, Mino Raiola, said: “If it were up to me, I would give him to you.”

But the feeling is not unanimous.

GETTING SHIRTY Manchester United stock up on Zlatan Ibrahimovic shirts as Red Devils striker nears Premier League return

Sweden manager Janne Andersson blasted: “This is incredible! This player [Ibrahimovic] has just stopped to play with Sweden one year and a half ago and we are still here talking about him.

“Gosh, we need to talk about the great players we have in this team I believe.”

He added: “When Ibrahimovic was here with us we played a different style of football.

“Considering that he has decided to leave international football, he is a great champion, but we had to adapt and found another style.”

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Sweden legend Kurt Hamrin agrees with Andersson that the team has found a winning formula WITHOUT their old talisman.

And he amazingly labelled his outspoken countryman a “pain” and “selfish”.

He said: “I think it’s almost better that Sweden are playing without Ibrahimovic, because he was a pain on the pitch.

“The whole team was just working to get him in a position to create something and he didn’t always manage it.

Sweden boss Janne Andersson blasted claims Zlatan Ibrahimovic could return for the World CupSweden boss Janne Andersson blasted claims Zlatan Ibrahimovic could return for the World CupALESSANDRO GAROFALO Sweden players rejoice after qualifying for next year's World Cup in RussiaSweden players rejoice after qualifying for next year’s World Cup in RussiaAP:Associated Press It was an emotional night for the Sweden squad after they held on to overcome ItalyIt was an emotional night for the Sweden squad after they held on to overcome ItalyAFP or licensors Seb Larsson celebrates as Sweden amazingly progress to the World CupSeb Larsson celebrates as Sweden amazingly progress to the World CupGetty Images - Getty

“Obviously, when he was at 100 per cent and it paid off, that was fine, but when he had fitness problems, he was almost always a weight on their shoulders.

“The team is different without Ibrahimovic. It might not be able to count on his moment of magic, but there are 11 players fighting hard.

“Ibra is someone who plays only for himself and makes sure the rest of the team does too.”

Last night’s result may have left the Sweden squad crying tears of joy, but it was heartbreak for their Italian counterparts.

Gianluigi was reduced to tears as he bowed out of Italian football without being able to add to his 2006 World Cup winners' medalGianluigi was reduced to tears as he bowed out of Italian football without being able to add to his 2006 World Cup winners’ medalGetty Images - Getty Zlatan Ibrahimovic insists Sweden deserved their World Cup spotZlatan Ibrahimovic insists Sweden deserved their World Cup spotGetty - Contributor

It spelled the end of Gianluigi Buffon’s international career.

The Juventus keeper, 39, wept as he bowed out of the Italy squad without being able to add to his 2006 World Cup winners’ medal.

But Ibrahimovic, who spent two years playing alongside the legendary stopper in Turin, said: “Buffon can cry as much as he wants but the fact is Sweden deserved to go through so please appreciate them.”

Ibrahimovic, who is expected to return from injury for United before Christmas, retired from international duty after Sweden were knocked out of Euro 2016 in June.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is expected to return for Manchester United before ChristmasZlatan Ibrahimovic is expected to return for Manchester United before ChristmasAFP or licensors

A 1-0 defeat to Belgium in Nice meant the Scandinavians finished bottom of Group E.

Ibrahimovic said: “It feels heavy. It feels disappointing but at the same time I enjoyed it.

“We had the possibility of playing in the European Championships, I represented Sweden at this tournament so at the same time I am proud.

“This was my last game and I have many fantastic memories of the national team.

“It is a nice story as where I came from, what people called the little ghetto, I made the country my country. Sweden.”

Monday, November 13, 2017

Manchester United want Luke Shaw sold for £20million in January after telling defender he is not needed at Old Trafford

Football news - transfers, fixtures, scores, pictures | The Sun
Manchester United want Luke Shaw sold for £20million in January after telling defender he is not needed at Old Trafford

MANCHESTER UNITED want to sell Luke Shaw for £20million in January, according to reports.

The England left-back has been told he is no longer in Jose Mourinho’s plans after failing to impress since his £30m move in 2014.

Manchester United reportedly want to sell Luke Shaw for £20million in JanuaryRex Features

Fenerbahce are interested in a loan move for Shaw, 22, but The Times are reporting that United will seek a permanent switch in the New Year.

United are said to be keen to find a buyer and hope that his age, and the fact he was one of the most promising defenders when he joined, will see offers come in.

The report goes on to claim the club activated a clause to extend the former Southampton star’s contract to 2019 to increase the fee they would get for him.

Shaw is also reportedly not interested in a loan switch to Turkey and would prefer to stay in England.

Jose Mourinho has told Luke Shaw he is no longer needed at Manchester United and can leaveRex Features Luke Shaw is wanted by Turkish club Fenerbahce but he would rather stay in the Premier LeagueRex Features

He hasn’t played a Premier League minute this season and has been limited to just two substitute appearances in the League Cup.

His relationship with Mourinho has also hit rock bottom with Shaw fearing that his chances of playing at next summer’s World Cup are all but gone.

DARM AND LEG Darmian wanted by Juventus, Napoli and Roma after falling out of Mourinho’s plans

Shaw’s career began to stumble after his horror leg break against PSV Eindhoven back in 2015.

He has made just 32 Premier League appearances for United in the last three years, after making nearly double that for Saints in the same period.

Luke Shaw has not played a single minute in the Premier League this seasonRex Features

Sunday, November 12, 2017

World Cup 2018: Northern Ireland v Switzerland, Denmark v Republic of Ireland, Sweden v Italy, Croatia v Greece

BBC Sport - Football
World Cup 2018: Northern Ireland v Switzerland, Denmark v Republic of Ireland, Sweden v Italy, Croatia v Greece
World Cup 2018: Northern Ireland v Switzerland, Denmark v Republic of Ireland, Sweden v Italy, Croatia v Greece
Can Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland join England in Russia? Will Italy miss out? What you need to know about the World Cup play-offs.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Former Fifa president Sepp Blatter accused of groping goalkeeper by the ex-USA women’s team star Hope Solo

Football news - transfers, fixtures, scores, pictures | The Sun
Former Fifa president Sepp Blatter accused of groping goalkeeper by the ex-USA women’s team star Hope Solo

CONTROVERSIAL former Fifa president Sepp Blatter has been accused of groping two-time Olympic gold medalist and former USA goalkeeper Hope Solo.

The shotstopper, 36, claims Blatter “grabbed her ass” just moments before she took to the stage at the Ballon d’Or awards ceremony in January 2013.

Hope Solo and Sepp Blatter on stage together at the Ballon d’Or awards in 2013Getty Images - Getty Hope Solo claims that Blatter 'grabbed her ass'Hope Solo claims that Blatter ‘grabbed her ass’Getty Images - Getty The former USA goalkeeper was one of the best players on the planetThe former USA goalkeeper was one of the best players on the planetGetty

During an interview with Portuguese outlet Expresso, the 202-capped star revealed how she was left in “shock” following the footy chief’s actions “right before I went on stage,” she alleged.

Solo went on present the Fifa women’s world player of the year award alongside the 81-year-old at the glitzy ceremony to her international team-mate Abby Wambach.

Representatives for Blatter, who was forced to quit his role as football’s most-powerful man in 2015 amid a bribery scandal, deny the star’s claims as “ridiculous”.

But Solo elaborated further, telling The Guardian: “I was in shock and completely thrown off.

The Olympic gold medallist presented an award with Sepp BlatterAP Solo says the Swiss man groped her backside just seconds before they went on stageSolo says the Swiss man groped her backside just seconds before they went on stageGetty

“I had to quickly pull myself together to present my team-mate with the biggest award of her career and celebrate with her in that moment, so I completely shifted my focus to Abby.”

Video footage from the night shows Solo glancing repeatedly at Blatter as she appears to stutter over her words.

VLAD TO BE BACK Sepp Blatter to attend World Cup despite being banned from football… after being invited by Vladimir Putin

She says that she has never raised the issue before publicly as she wanted to speak directly to the Swiss over the shocking incident.

Solo added: “I speak out directly [with people] when things like that happen.

“In other cases, for instance, I’ve told my teammates: ‘Don’t ever f**king touch me! Don’t do it’. It has been in the showers, it’s been in the locker room… I usually speak directly with the person.

“In the case of Sepp Blatter, I went on the stage, I was nervous for the presentation… It was the Ballon D’Or I was presenting.

“After that I didn’t see him, and that was kind of bad. I didn’t get to tell him directly ‘Don’t ever touch me.’ That’s the way I’ve always handled things. Directly.

Hope Solo says she has not spoken about the incident before as she wanted to speak to Blatter directly about itHope Solo says she has not spoken about the incident before as she wanted to speak to Blatter directly about itGetty Sepp Blatter was involved in several controversies throughout his careerSepp Blatter was involved in several controversies throughout his careerAFP The former Fifa president has denied the latest claims by Hope SoloThe former Fifa president has denied the latest claims by Hope SoloAFP or licensors

“And I wish more female athletes would speak out about their own experiences. It’s rampant, it’s not just in Hollywood, it’s probably all over the place.”

Blatter has previously been accused of making sexist remarks in the past, and caused huge controversy back in 2004 with his comments about the female game.

He stated that the standard mid-thigh shorts worn by players should be replaced by hotpants in an effort to improve the women’s sport.

He said: “Let the women play in more feminine clothes like they do in volleyball.

Hope Solo was handing out the coveted award to her international team-mate Abby Wambach on the night Blatter allegedly groped herHope Solo was handing out the coveted award to her international team-mate Abby Wambach on the night Blatter allegedly groped herGetty Images - Getty The former Fifa president talks with Hope Solo after the Women’s World Cup finalGetty - Contributor The goalkeeper won 202 caps for the US national sideThe goalkeeper won 202 caps for the US national sideGetty

“They could, for example, have tighter shorts. Female players are pretty, if you excuse me for saying so, and they already have some different rules to men – such as playing with a lighter ball.

“That decision was taken to create a more female aesthetic, so why not do it in fashion?”

Females from around the planet blasted his remarks and were also keen to highlight the fact that the ball is not lighter.

Those shocking comments were then followed up in 2013 as Blatter referred to a female candidate for the executive committee of Fifa as “good, and good looking”.

Shortly after that he said while addressing the female members of the committee: “Are there ladies in the room? Say something! You are always speaking at home, now you can speak here.”

Blatter became Fifa president in 1998 and in the following years he allegedly engaged in money laundering and took bribes when deciding upon the location for World Cups.

He was forced to resign two years ago after Fifa’s ethics committee found him guilty of accepting an improper payment of two million Swiss franc from Uefa chief Michel Platini.

He was banned from football for eight years in December 2016, with it later being reduced to six years.

Blatter was not indicted in an investigation, unlike 42 other Fifa officials as 24 of them pleaded guilty. Three of them went on trial on Monday.

Sepp Blatter was forced to quit his role with Fifa two years ago amid bribery allegationsSepp Blatter was forced to quit his role with Fifa two years ago amid bribery allegationsCopyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. He was ousted after Fifa's ethics committee found him guilty of accepting an improper two million Swiss franc paymentHe was ousted after Fifa’s ethics committee found him guilty of accepting an improper two million Swiss franc paymentReuters Blatter was banned from football for eight years, which was later reduced to sixBlatter was banned from football for eight years, which was later reduced to sixCopyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be publish

Back in October, Solo joined the #MeToo campaign to highlight the amount of sexual harassment that women have to suffer across society.

Speaking via her Instagram, she wrote: “For the past few days, I have been thinking about all the uncomfortable situations myself and/or my teammates have experienced throughout the years with trainers, doctors, coaches, executives and even teammates.

“From inappropriate comments, unwanted advances and grabs of the ass to coaches and GMs and even press officers speaking about players “t*ts” and physical appearance, sexual harassment is rampant in the sports world,’ she continued.

“I always felt I’d ‘handled it’ and stood up for myself in those situations, but there were never any consequences for the perpetrators. That needs to change. Silence will not change the world!”

Solo turned professional in 2003 and has been widely-recognised as one of the greatest players of her generation.

In June 2014 she was charged with two misdemeanour accounts of assault against her nephew and half-sister, which she claimed she was defending herself.

The charges were dropped due to the alleged victims’ lack of cooperation with police, however they were reinstated on appeal in October 2016 with a trial date still to be set.

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