Clyne cool on contract situation

first_img Press Association Nathaniel Clyne appears in no rush to sign the contract extension offered to him by Southampton. Ronald Koeman is relaxed about Clyne’s future, although suggested last week that he would like to know by April whether he will be signing the contract extension on the table – a schedule the right-back is happy to stick to. “My contract, we’re still negotiating,” said Clyne, whose current deal expires in summer 2016. “I’m negotiating with my agent and also with the club so, yeah, we’ll wait until April.” Clyne’s decision could be a whole lot easier then if Saints’ march towards the Champions League is still on track. While Saturday’s FA Cup fourth-round defeat to his former club was disappointing, this still looks like being a season to remember given Koeman’s men sit third in the Barclays Premier League after 22 matches. It is a remarkable feat considering the doom and gloom which followed the summer talent drain from St Mary’s, and Clyne believes they can continue their a top-four tilt. “Definitely, we’re optimistic,” he said. “We have got a good side. “We know that we can continue the league form, the good run of form that we’re in. “We had some tough away games, we got the wins, so we’re going to start again next game against Swansea.” center_img Since arriving from Crystal Palace in 2012, the 23-year-old has improved markedly and subsequently broken into the England set-up. Such performances have led to understandable interest from a number of clubs, with Manchester United strongly reported to be one of the vultures circling over St Mary’s. last_img read more

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Bruce hits back at Stoke

first_img He said: “Let me tell you, Stephen Ireland committed the worst challenge on the pitch on Davd Meyler. He shouldn’t have been on the pitch if the referee had done his job. It was an awful challenge. “I could show you a picture of Figueroa’s ankle, he had five stitches in it and carried on. Nobody wants to see a cut or an injury as bad as Stephen Ireland had but unfortunately in football it happens. “Everybody is wearing the boots called blades and the challenge on Ireland he’s kicked the ball and followed through and unfortunately has caught his leg. “At the time nobody went to the referee, he didn’t award a free-kick – it wasn’t a free-kick but one of those horrible ones where he’s followed through and caught the boy on the calf rather than planted the boot on him.” Bruce’s Hull entertain Sunderland on Tuesday night with the Tigers boss enjoying the whip hand over his former club, where fans made much of his tenure a misery due to his Newcastle affiliations. Hull have won all four matches against the Black Cats under Bruce and a fifth would see the Tigers open up a four-point gap over their rivals that would do much to help their climb away from the relegation zone. Bruce admitted: “It is a pivotal game. Our better goal difference would mean it is the equivalent of five points and would give us a good cushion above the bottom three.” Hull will need to add some firepower after failing to manage a shot on target against Stoke, but should have Nikica Jelavic back after he missed the last match with a flare-up of his nagging knee problem. “We were disappointed with the whole team going forward against Stoke,” added Bruce. “I don’t think we were adventurous enough, but I can’t remember my keeper making a save either. It was one of those awful, horrible games where the paying public was probably bored out of their pants but that happens sometimes.” Press Association Stoke manager Mark Hughes claimed the challenge could have ended Ireland’s career and that Figueroa should have been sent off – the injury needed 12 to 15 stitches. Bruce, speaking ahead of Hull’s home match against Sunderland, disputed that claim and insisted it was Ireland himself who should have been given his marching orders for an earlier challenge. center_img Hull boss Steve Bruce has hit back at Stoke after a gory picture emerged of a bloody gash in Stephen Ireland’s leg following a challenge by Tigers defender Maynor Figueroa. last_img read more

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Chelsea dominate PFA selection

first_imgSix Chelsea players have been named in the Professional Footballers’ Association Premier League team of the year. Centre-back pairing John Terry and Gary Cahill were joined by Branislav Ivanovic and Ryan Bertrand, the latter of whom signed permanently for Southampton in February having joined on loan last summer. Eden Hazard, favourite for the main individual award after a superb campaign in which he has notched 18 goals for the Stamford Bridge outfit, was in midfield along with club colleague Nemanja Matic, Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho and Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez. Tottenham forward Harry Kane – tipped to be crowned young player of the year at London’s Grosvenor Hotel later on Sunday – was the only English attacking player, chosen up front alongside Chelsea’s 19-goal striker Diego Costa. The 21-year-old posted on Twitter soon after the announcement: “A Huge privilege to be named in the @PFA team of the year! Big thanks to all the players that voted for me! #PFA #PFATeamOfTheYear.” Troy Deeney, fresh from firing Watford back into the top flight, was the sole Hornets representative in the Championship team of the season. PFA team of the year: David De Gea (Man Utd); Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea), John Terry (Chelsea), Gary Cahill (Chelsea); Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool), Nemanja Matic (Chelsea), Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal); Harry Kane (Tottenham), Diego Costa (Chelsea). Championship team of the year: Keiren Westwood (Sheff Wed); George Friend (Middlesbrough), Russell Martin (Norwich), Richard Keogh (Derby), Simon Francis (Bournemouth); Alex Pritchard (Brentford), Bakary Sako (Wolves), Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough), Matt Ritchie (Bournemouth); Troy Deeney (Watford), Daryl Murphy (Ipswich). League One team of the year: Frank Fielding (Bristol City); Joe Bryan (Bristol City), Aden Flint (Bristol City), Tom Clarke (Preston), Nathan Byrne (Swindon); Korey Smith (Bristol City), Massimo Luongo (Swindon), Luke Freeman (Bristol City), Dele Alli (MK Dons); Eoin Doyle (Chesterfield), Joe Garner (Preston). League Two team of the year: Daniel Bentley (Southend); Ben Coker (Southend), Conor Goldson (Shrewsbury), Steve McNulty (Luton), Phil Edwards (Burton); Danny Mayor (Bury), Jed Wallace (Portsmouth), Matt Grimes (Exeter), Ryan Woods (Shrewsbury); Reuben Reid (Plymouth), Matt Tubbs (Portsmouth). Women’s Super League team of the year: Carly Telford (Notts County); Rachel Corsie (Notts County), Casey Stoney (Arsenal), Emma Mitchell (Arsenal), Lucy Bronze (Liverpool); Jill Scott (Manchester City), Karen Carney (Birmingham), Ji So-Yun (Chelsea), Josanne Potter (Birmingham); Eniola Aluko (Chelsea), Nikita Parris (Everton). Jose Mourinho’s men are on the brink of a first title since 2010 and their dominance over the past nine months was highlighted by a cluster of blue shirts in the XI announced by the PFA on Sunday. Manchester United’s David de Gea was selected in goal, behind a back four who were all on Chelsea’s books at the start of the season. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

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Rodgers staying at Anfield

first_img Unless Liverpool can strike a deal with the Clarets then the value of the England Under-21 international will be decided by a tribunal. It was widely expected to be within the £4million to £6million bracket but late interest from Tottenham, with a reported £12million bid, may yet inflate that price. Milner’s arrival marks a departure from FSG’s preferred policy of recruiting young, potential talent, as he is 29, but the side are in desperate need of some experience in midfield with Steven Gerrard leaving for Los Angeles Galaxy. Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher believes the England midfielder, who has won two Premier League titles with his current club, played in the Champions League and made 53 international appearances, could be in contention for the captaincy at Anfield. “Brendan Rodgers will have spoken to him about where he sees him fitting in but he’s very similar to Jordan Henderson,” Carragher wrote on sports social network Kicca. “I have no doubt one reason he’s joining is to play in a more central role rather than out wide. “Could Milner play a holding role? Maybe, but I don’t think that’s what suits him. “His main strength is his engine which could suit him and Jordan to both play alongside a holding midfielder (Emre Can?) but his best position is tucked in from the right in a central role which is also Jordan Henderson’s so it’ll be interesting how those two fit into next year’s midfield set up. “The fact that Brendan Rodgers wouldn’t confirm Jordan Henderson as this season’s captain even though he was captain in Gerrard’s absence last season makes me think him and Milner could be competing for the armband. “Was that another thing that enticed Milner to join?” Werner and Gordon are also running the rule over the club’s academy and the current redevelopment of Anfield’s Main Stand before the former attends Thursday’s Premier League AGM before returning to the United States. However, after lengthy discussions about what went wrong in the last 12 months, all the parties involved have agreed “a comprehensive plan for improvement” as they look to ensure there is no repeat of the failure which saw the side crash out of the Champions League in the group stages and finish sixth in the Premier League. The debrief was a “productive meeting to review the season” at which Press Association Sport understands there was agreement by all concerned that everyone wanted to make improvements. It had been claimed in the last week Rodgers wanted changes made to FSG’s way of running transfers by a committee but the suggestion is there was an harmonious accord struck between all parties. As a result “the group will move forward together”. That does not mean Rodgers enters next season with a clean slate as, after spending £110million on new players last summer yet going backwards, he will still have to show he is the man to deliver FSG’s targets, the main one being the same as the last campaign in regards to a top-four finish. Rodgers will not have anywhere near the same amount of money to spend as that splurge was bankrolled largely by the £75million sale of Luis Suarez to Barcelona so the club are having to be more canny in their recruitment. As a result Manchester City midfielder James Milner and Burnley striker Danny Ings, both free agents at the end of this month, are likely to be first through the door at Anfield. Discussions with Milner, available on a free transfer, are at a more advanced stage and could be completed by the end of the week but the situation with Ings is slightly more complicated as his age, 22, means Burnley are entitled to compensation. Press Association Rodgers met chairman Tom Werner and Mike Gordon, president of FSG and their key man at Anfield, in the city on Tuesday to review a disappointing campaign in which the Reds boss missed the owners’ primary target of Champions League qualification. Sources at the club always maintained the meeting, which is an annual review which has been undertaken by FSG, was not to discuss the manager’s job but that did not stop speculation about his immediate future – especially after the 6-1 final-day humiliation at Stoke. Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers will begin planning for next season after a positive meeting with the club’s owners Fenway Sports Group. last_img read more

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Hornets net goalkeeper

first_imgPremier League new boys Watford have announced the signing of Lithuanian goalkeeper Giedrius Arlauskis. The 27-year-old will move to Vicarage Road after winning the Romanian title with Steaua Bucharest in 2014/2015, the English club announced on their website. Arlauskis has played in the Champions League and Europa League for Steaua, Rubin Kazan and Unirea Urziceni. Press Associationcenter_img He has 18 caps for Lithuania and played against England in a Euro 2016 qualifier at Wembley in March. last_img read more

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‘Exciting’ Shogun hits top gear

first_img “We put the blinkers on to teach him a bit and they will probably come off again. “Before he ran the first day he was half-speeding like a really smart horse. “He will have learned a lot there. He travelled and quickened but was still very green. He’s a horse to look forward to. “I’d say he’s very smart – he always showed that he’s very smart. “Joseph (O’Brien) said he was only doing a half-speed, even when he got to the front. “He can step in fairly quickly now to the big races. He’s big and hardy and should be well able. “He could step into the Futurity and those races. He’s a big, mature horse. “He’s a full-brother to the filly (Qualify), which also makes him exciting.” Aidan O’Brien’s Fastnet Rock colt was heavily backed before the race and had little issues in accounting for Sunglider on his second career start. “He was a complete baby the first day and didn’t know what was going on,” said the Ballydoyle handler. Press Associationcenter_img Shogun looked a thoroughbred of limitless potential after he skipped two and a quarter lengths clear in the Darley EBF Maiden at the Curragh.last_img read more

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Villa agree Crespo deal

first_img The 28-year-old full-back started his career at Sevilla, where he was part of the squad that won the 2006 UEFA Cup, before going on to play for Racing Santander, as well as Padova, Bologna and Verona in Italy. Cordoba, who were relegated from the Primera Division last season, announced the former Spain Under-21 international’s impending move to Villa on their official Twitter account this morning, saying: “Cordoba and Aston Villa have reached an agreement for the transfer of Jose Angel Crespo to the English team. Aston Villa have agreed a deal to sign defender Jose Angel Crespo from Cordoba, the Spanish club have announced. “The defender, after an agreement in principle between the clubs, travels to England today to undergo a medical before signing.” Villa have already brought in the likes of Micah Richards, Idrissa Gueye and Jordan Amavi this summer as they look to build on last season’s 17th-placed finish under Tim Sherwood. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

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Dzeko joins Roma on loan

first_img Dzeko said on the Roma website: “I came here to win titles with Roma. I hope we will win many trophies but first we have to work hard on the field and in the end, we can get where we want. I can only promise you one thing: I will give my best to this team in every game.” The Italian club issued a statement saying they had paid four million euros (£2.86million) as a loan fee, while securing an agreement that the deal will become permanent for a further payment of 11million euros (£7.875million) on “condition of the occurrence of certain sporting situations”. While not always a regular starter, Dzeko made a huge contribution in his first full season with City. He scored 19 goals in 42 appearances including the stoppage-time header which made it 2-2 against QPR before Sergio Aguero’s winner in the fourth minute of time added on secured the Premier League title. He signed a new four-year deal last summer but as he failed to spark last season he began to be linked with a move away, and Roma have been pursuing his signature for several weeks. He leaves Manchester a two-time Premier League winner, having also lifted the FA Cup and League Cup. He scored 50 Premier League goals in 130 appearances. City have also allowed Stevan Jovetic to leave this summer, with Academy graduate Kelechi Iheanacho expected to offer back-up to senior strikers Aguero and Wilfried Bony, while new signing Raheem Sterling can also operate as a centre-forward. The Manchester club continue to be linked with a move for former Chelsea playmaker Kevin De Bruyne. Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko has joined Roma on a season-long loan with a view to a permanent transfer. The Bosnia international scored 72 goals in 189 appearances for City since joining from Wolfsburg in January 2011, but saw his influence wane in an interrupted 2014/15 campaign in which he scored only six times. According to statements released by both clubs, Dzeko’s move to the Eternal City will become permanent if the 29-year-old meets certain targets in the coming season. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

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New Aston Villa manager Remi Garde relishing ‘difficult task’ ahead

first_img Former Lyon boss Garde on Monday signed a deal until June 2019 with the midlands outfit bottom of the Barclays Premier League. He watched his new side in their 3-1 defeat at Tottenham and will take charge of his first game in Sunday’s visit of Manchester City after replacing Tim Sherwood. Villa are four points from safety following the loss at White Hart Lane – their ninth in 11 matches this season. But Garde said: “It is an unbelievable honour to be the manager of such an illustrious football club. “I’ve had extremely positive meetings with both the owner, Randy Lerner, and chief executive Tom Fox. They have ambitious plans for the club and I’m excited that they have turned to me to help them realise them. “Obviously we have a difficult task in front of us but I’m looking forward to the challenge with the support of everyone who loves Aston Villa.” Garde spent three years in charge at Lyon, winning the French Cup in 2012, and left for personal reasons in 2014. He won the Premier League as as player with Arsenal in 1998 and made 45 appearances for the Gunners after joining in 1996 before retiring three years later. The 49-year-old also played for Lyon for six years before moving to Strasbourg in 1993 and won six caps for France. Garde joins a club in crisis after they brought in 13 new players in the summer but sacked Sherwood last month following a run of six straight defeats. There was internal tension at the club and chairman Lerner conceded they were floundering, but vowed to get it right. He said: “Remi came with ideas, honesty, humour and a steely sense of what it will take for Aston Villa to be what it is meant to be – hard-working, tireless, creative and unwilling to concede. “Nobody at Villa can deny that we are way behind. “We recruited aggressively this past summer and it is our responsibility to now harvest this talent rather than buckle under pressure and criticism – we are better than that. On behalf of the board, we wish Remi every success.” Fox added: “For the past year we have been working purposefully to transform the club in order to build a successful organisation that can compete and succeed in the Premier League. “Finding a manager who shares and believes in our vision and has the ability to bring it to life through performances on the pitch is essential. We are confident that Remi is the manager who can deliver the best from the current squad and help set the club up for future success.” Remi Garde has called his appointment as Aston Villa manager “an unbelievable honour” – as chairman Randy Lerner admitted the club were “way behind”. Press Associationlast_img read more

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Manchester United won’t stop Vardy breaking scoring record, says Ranieri

first_img Press Association The Foxes forward will break Ruud van Nistelrooy’s Barclays Premier League record against United if he scores in his 11th straight game on Saturday. Van Nistelrooy set the 10-match record while at the Red Devils in 2003 and Vardy equalled it with the opener in last week’s 3-0 win at Newcastle which sent Leicester top. Leicester chief Claudio Ranieri has warned Manchester United Jamie Vardy is ready to make history. “He is our first defender and not easy to play against because he is running and running and not getting tired.” Vardy has been in Leicester’s cryogenic chamber to treat a minor hip problem this week, but will be fit to face United. Ranieri added: “Yes. I have also been there – but outside. It’s cold!” They lead United by a point and Ranieri reckons Vardy can beat the visitors’ defence, which has conceded just nine times in the league this season. He said: “He is ready to break it. If Jamie breaks the record he will break the record. It’s not important how strong the defensive line is. “Sometimes when you are in a hurry everything comes very easily. When you are on the right road everything comes to you.” England striker Vardy, 28, has been Leicester’s star this season, along with winger Riyad Mahrez, with the Foxes gatecrashing the top four. Despite Vardy’s 13 goals, which see him lead the scoring charts, team-mate Christian Fuchs insisted they were not a one-man team. “We have a good mix in the team. Every player is fighting for every player. There’s a real team on the field, there’s is not one outstanding star,” he said. “Obviously Jamie is doing really well and we’re very happy to support him with his goal streak and he’s helping us. The team is a big star in Leicester and that’s the key to success. “The same he is on the (training) field. He simply wants to score goals, he is hard to play for every defender. It’s good to play with him instead of against him. last_img read more

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