RelatedPosts Vidal lands in Milan to complete move from Barca to Inter I wanted Manchester United exit after one training session — Sanchez Neymar, Di Maria, Paredes test positive for COVID-19 Inter Milan forward, Mauro Icardi, his club’s leading scorer in each of the last five seasons and former captain, is set to join Paris St Germain, the Gazzetta Dello Sport and other Italian media said Monday. The move would end a turbulent spell at the club for the Argentine, who has fallen out with fans along on the way and provided fodder for the gossip columns, thanks to his marriage to Wanda Nara, a media personality who also acts as his agent. Gazzetta published what it said was a photograph of Icardi and Nara at Malpensa airport, saying would board a private jet for Paris to finalise a loan spell at PSG with an option to buy. Other Italian media carried the same story, including Sky Sport Italia. The 26-year-old, an out-and-out centre forward, who is deadly in the penalty area but whose contribution elsewhere on the pitch has been questioned, has scored 124 goals in 219 appearances in all competitions during six years at the club. Despite his scoring exploits, Icardi fell out with Inter’s hardcore fans over an account of an argument with supporters in his autobiography in 2016. Curva Nord ultras responded that “Icardi is not our captain, not now or ever’’ and applauded when he missed a penalty in one of Inter’s next games. In February, he was stripped of the captaincy after becoming embroiled in protracted negotiations over a new contract. He then said he could not play because of a knee injury although the club said a medical examination had found nothing wrong. He returned to the side in April after talks between his lawyer and the club, although Luciano Spalletti, the Inter coach at the time, said it had been “humiliating” for Inter to have to negotiate with a player to get him to play. Spalletti left Inter at the end of last season and was replaced by Antonio Conte, who said that Icardi did not figure in his plans for the future.Tags: Inter MilanMauro IcardiPSG
RelatedPosts Runarsson joins Arsenal on four-year deal Ighalo: My best moment as ‘Red Devil’ Arsenal, Wolves want Michael Olise Arsenal have confirmed that defender Kieran Tierney faces around three months on the sidelines after suffering a dislocated right shoulder in Monday’s English Premier League win at West Ham United. “Kieran will undergo surgery next week and will rehabilitate for around three months,” the club’s website said on Saturday. The 22-year-old Scotland left-back was substituted just before the half-hour mark in the 3-1 derby win at West Ham. This was after he fell badly and used his shirt as a makeshift sling as he left the pitch. Arsenal will be without Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka for Sunday’s home game against Manchester City after he suffered concussion when the ball struck him in the head at West Ham. Defender Hector Bellerin will also miss out with a tight hamstring. But record signing Nicolas Pepe is available after missing the Europa League clash at Standard Liege on Thursday with a bruised knee. Reuters/NAN.Tags: ArsenalGranit XhakaKieran TierneyPremier LeagueWest Ham United
RelatedPosts Ighalo: My best moment as ‘Red Devil’ EPL: Crystal Palace stun sloppy Man U EPL: Red Devils attack Palace Manchester United have condemned the foul-mouthed abuse aimed at Jesse Lingard after their FA Cup fifth round win on Thursday and will contact Derby County as part of a further investigation. A video on social media showed fans subjecting Lingard to a torrent of abuse as he boarded the team bus after Manchester United’s 3-0 win over Derby at Pride Park. The 27-year-old played the full 90 minutes against Derby, but has not been part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s starting line-up in the league since New Year’s Day against Arsenal. He has scored twice across all competitions this season. Reuters/NAN.Tags: FA CupJesse LingardManchester UnitedOle Gunnar SolskjaerPride Park
O’Brien also has Eye Of The Storm, Foundry, Magician, Nevis and The United States engaged in the Group Three contest. Another trainer with an outstanding record in the Ballysax is Jim Bolger, who has saddled seven previous winners, including in the last three renewals, and the pick of his entries could well be Trading Leather, who won twice from four two-year-old appearances and was a fair fifth in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster. Bolger has also entered Alpinist, a winner on the opening day of the new season at the Curragh, and Beyond Thankful. Fourteen horses have been entered in the 10-furlong event, with Dibayani, High Octane, Imperial Concorde, Little White Cloud and Sugar Boy completing the field. The latter won his last three races as a juvenile, and completed the hat-trick with a brilliant six-and-a-half-length win in the Listed Eyrefield Stakes at Leopardstown. Trainer Patrick Prendergast said: “I don’t know whether he’ll run or not. I’ll have a look at the entries, and he’d need a bit of juice in the ground. “He’s a bit behind in his coat as we’ve had such a harsh spring, but I’m very happy with him and he’s in good shape. He’s nearly there now, but I’m under no pressure to run him. “I think he has improved from two to three, he’s a real good galloper and I can’t wait to get him over a mile and a half.” Press Association The first recognised Derby trial of the Irish Flat season, the Ballysax Stakes has been a breeding ground of future Ballydoyle champions down the years, with O’Brien saddling six previous winners including Galileo, High Chaparral, Yeats and Fame And Glory. Battle Of Marengo won three of his four starts as a juvenile and signed off with an impressive display in the Beresford Stakes at the Curragh. He is a best-priced 16-1 for the Investec Derby at Epsom on June 1. Battle Of Marengo is the star name among six Aidan O’Brien-trained entries for the PW McGrath Memorial Ballysax Stakes at Leopardstown on Sunday.
“I said all along this was a group we needed a bit of luck with injury and unfortunately we have been hit with a bad run of injuries. “I am reluctant to bring in anyone which just stockpiles players, I want to bring in players who can impact our starting XI and if I can’t do that I won’t do anything. “I wouldn’t bring in a player here in January unless he was a really outstanding player who we could get on a loan that is going to really help. “We have enough of that type, support players, around the team and if I wanted to do that I’d rather give a young player an opportunity. “Okay it might not be the ideal timing for them but it is what is going to be available and if there is nothing available there is not a great deal we can do. “I think we have shown up until this point that with the squad we are a team up there on merit. “If we can’t bring in the players who can help us that is unfortunate. “If none comes in that will galvanise us even more and we will focus in on the players we have.” Victory over Everton would put four points between the fourth-placed Reds and their near-neighbours while defeat would see them concede superiority in the table and be another dent to their Champions League hopes. “It is a very important game as a victory puts us four points clear. Our home form over the course of the season has been brilliant,” said Rodgers. “Looking at our team when we have everyone available we are a very strong outfit. “I have great confidence in the team of players and for us the key is Champions League qualification. “When I came in here Everton had finished above Liverpool and last season finished above us also. “Everton’s basis is a good defensive record, still stable from what they have been over a few years – we are a team who have upped the ante in terms of our offensiveness.” “We need to see with Joe,” Rodgers said. “He was on the training field today but it is a case of assessing as to whether it will push him too much for this game because we don’t want another injury in a key area. “If we had a raft of players we could put him in and if he came out (injured) we could put someone else in. “We have to think not only for tomorrow night but for the next few weeks. “There is still going to be quality players and the football ideas of both teams will come out but it is unfortunate a number of players are out of the game – and a lot of them starting players – it would’ve made it a different game. “It is unfortunate both teams are coming into the game with not the strongest squads because both have picked up injuries.” Rodgers, who last week had only 15 players fit for training, has been trying to fill out his squad and while he has been looking at loan deals he insists he will not “stockpile” players who are not going to improve his first team. And he tried to use the lack of signings as an incentive to his squad, stressing it would galvanise them. “We have to wait and see, there is certainly nothing imminent. If we could do that it is something we would want to do,” he added. The Reds are missing defenders Daniel Agger, Mamadou Sakho, Glen Johnson, Jose Enrique and midfielder Lucas Leiva while Everton could have up to nine players missing at Anfield on Tuesday. Rodgers is hopeful Joe Allen will be sufficiently recovered from a hamstring problem to bolster the midfield but if they are to reproduce another exciting 3-3 draw like the one back in November it may be as a result of mistakes from patched-up teams. Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers admits weakened teams on both sides may well make it difficult for the 222nd Merseyside derby to match this season’s earlier encounter at Goodison Park. Press Association
Chelsea are determined to make themselves serial contenders for the Barclays Premier League title again under Jose Mourinho, according to striker Samuel Eto’o. Press Association The Portuguese coach had been linked with taking charge at PSG after he left Real Madrid. Mourinho, though, is settled into London life again. “I am very, very, very happy, I am at a club that represents for me more than a club,” said the 51-year-old. “I have a special relationship with Chelsea and it is a project that I love. “I could work in France in the future, why not? “I did not say no, or yes (to PSG), there was not a true, direct offer. “We met, I had the honour of visiting the Emir at his house in Qatar three or four years ago, before he bought the club. “We have a respectful relationship, but after Real Madrid, I said to everyone what I wanted to do which was to return to England. “I want to stay, I have four years on my contract and after that we will see.” Chelsea will come face to face with former striker Didier Drogba at the Turk Telekom Arena in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie. Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder was part of Mourinho’s Inter Milan side which won the 2010 European Cup, and revealed he had taken a “crafty” phone call from his former manager ahead of the last 16 showdown. Speaking in the Turkish media, Sneijder said: “Just two minutes after the draw, the phone rang and it was none other than Jose Mourinho. “He asked some crafty questions about team tactics, players, trying to obtain information, but he could not fool me – I have played football for many years and know what is being asked and what to say. “We will see how the team plays and if we can beat them.” The Blues head out to Turkey for Wednesday’s Champions League showdown against Galatasaray still a point clear at the top of the table after a dramatic late win over Everton at Stamford Bridge. Mourinho has continued to stress the need for long-term consistency to regain the Premier League supremacy which his side enjoyed under his last tenure. Eto’o insists everyone’s focus is the same. Speaking on the club’s official website, www.chelseafc.com, he said: “We have never thought that we can’t win the title, but Jose Mourinho came to Chelsea to do big things for the long run which he is trying to do. “We players believe that it is possible, but at the same time it is not our mission. “Right now we are not thinking about other teams or the end of the season, we are just focused on our next game and that is Galatasaray.” Eto’o joined Chelsea from Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala to join up with his old Inter Milan coach once again, and the 32-year-old used social media site Instagram to deny he was set to leave Stamford Bridge in the summer. Whatever happens over the final weeks of the campaign, Mourinho will again look to strengthen the Chelsea squad over the summer However, speaking to French TV channel Canal Plus, the Blues boss ruled out any possibility of a swap deal with Paris St Germain involving Edison Cavani and Belgian starlet Eden Hazard. “Eden is our boy. He is the player we want to have for 10 years, and we want to build the team around Eden,” Mourinho said. “His style of football is what we want.” Mourinho also played down suggestions Chelsea may look to bring Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, describing it as “Mission Impossible”.
A club spokesman said: “Tensions were understandably running high in the dressing room after Cardiff’s late equaliser, but the incident has been sensationalised in the media. “What happened is not uncommon in a dressing room and shows that the players care. “The players involved have apologised. The club has drawn a line under the matter and is now fully focussing on Saturday’s important game at Norwich.” Tempers flared after Saturday’s 3-3 draw with the Bluebirds at the Hawthorns after Mats Daehli snatched a last-gasp equaliser for the visitors. However, the Baggies have insisted the incident was nothing out of the ordinary and has been dealt with. West Brom have played down claims of a dressing room bust-up in the wake of their dramatic Barclays Premier League draw with Cardiff. Press Association
But Manuel Pellegrini has proved a popular, reliable and successful replacement and the club feel their decision has been vindicated. Al Mubarak said: “The decision to hire Pellegrini was a very important decision for us as we look at the next couple of years. “I am absolutely delighted for him, for the fans, for the club, for everyone involved at Manchester City. “It is a perfectly justified decision. I think the results speak for themselves.” One of the next targets for City will be to carry their domestic pre-eminence onto the European stage. Some progress on this front has been made under Pellegrini, with the club reaching the Champions League knockout stage for the first time. Al Mubarak said: “This year we have made some progress. We have played much better football, been a lot more competitive and I think the experience coming through the two games against Barcelona will be invaluable for us. “Let’s be clear – Europe has always been an integral part of our strategy, an integral part of the success we want to achieve for this club. We will continue to progress.” Press Association City are keen to build on their success of 2013-14, in which they won the Barclays Premier League and Capital One Cup, even though they face a spending cap as a result of UEFA sanctions. The European governing body has limited City’s net outlay on players this summer to £49million as one of their punishments for breaching financial fair play regulations. But City said last week that figure would have no “material impact” on planned transfer activity that Al Mubarak now says will begin imminently. Al Mubarak told City TV: “We know exactly what needs to be done. We know exactly the players that need to go and the players that need to come in, the areas that need to be strengthened, the players that we intend to bring in to fill these areas. “I can tell our fans to expect, as last year, an efficient and swift execution plan. “We will have, after the World Cup, a good pre-season and we will go into the season very ready, as we did last year, to compete for four championships.” City’s actions last summer, including the sacking of Roberto Mancini as manager, put the club back on an upward trajectory after a relatively disappointing end to the 2012-13 season. Al Mubarak reported that owner Sheikh Mansour of Abu Dhabi has been delighted with the progress in the past 12 months. He said: “Sheikh Mansour feels this club is doing exactly what he intended it to do in terms of performance across the board – on the field, off field, trophies, championships and wins, but also commercial success, and the fans’ support has been unwavering. Genuinely, Sheikh Mansour is absolutely delighted with the way this club, this company, this business is performing.” City did attract criticism after parting company with Mancini, as the Italian had led the club to their first title in 44 years in 2012. Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak has promised the newly crowned champions will act swiftly and decisively in the transfer market this summer.
Emmanuel Riviere is hoping Newcastle can help him force his way into the France squad. Press Association The 24-year-old striker, who completed his move to St James’ Park late on Wednesday night, has represented his country at under-21 level, but is determined to follow new club-mates Moussa Sissoko and Remy Cabella into Didier Deschamps’ senior squad. Riviere told nufcTV: “For that too, I signed here. I want to get into the France team. “I want to adapt quickly to the Premier League because the Premier League is not Ligue 1. Ligue 1 is different. “I want to work hard to adapt fast to the Premier League and play at Newcastle.” Riviere has been drafted in to plug a sizeable gap left by the departures of loan signings Loic Remy and Luuk de Jong and the out-of-contract Shola Ameobi, and he admits he had no hesitation in accepting Alan Pardew’s offer of employment. He said: “When Newcastle phoned me, I said yes directly because Newcastle is a big club with many fans, with a big manager. I said yes directly. “It was an easy decision, I made my choice quickly. When I was told Newcastle, I said yes directly.” In an ideal world, Riviere would have spoken to former Toulouse team-mate Sissoko before making his decision, but the midfielder was otherwise occupied at the time. Riviere said: “No, I didn’t speak to him because he was at the World Cup and I didn’t want to disturb him because he was concentrating on that. “But I asked people about Newcastle and everybody told me it’s a good club.” Riviere, who will be among the Magpies party which jets out to New Zealand for a week-long trip this weekend, arrived in England hoping to follow in the footsteps of his footballing hero. “My hero is Thierry Henry,” he said. “Thierry Henry is my idol because he is from the French West Indies – me too. He’s my hero. “I am a striker, fast, strong and I score goals. I think my characteristics are good for the Premier League.”
“It will be a nice challenge trying to get back into the top three in the league and subsequently have the chance to play in the Champions League next year. Then, why not try and win something already this year? I’m expecting good things from this season.” Much was expected of Torres when he arrived at Chelsea from Liverpool in January 2011 for what was a British record fee, but he fell well short of living up to his £50million price tag. He now appears to have played his last match for the Blues, and has set his sights on being with Milan for “many years”. “I thank the fans for the welcome,” he said. “Through the social network sites and my official website I’ve seen that they are as happy as I am. I am sure that it will all go well. “I can promise that I will give 100 per cent and that with their help this experience will be fantastic and for many years, I hope.” Inzaghi, speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s Serie A opener against Lazio, backed Torres to help the Rossoneri get back to the top, should the deal go through as expected. “It isn’t yet official for Torres,” the Milan head coach said. “If he joins it is because everybody thinks he can be a useful player. “He is always the first to arrive to training and very professional. We are rebuilding and we are on the right path. One step at a time, we will get back to the top.” Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho spoke glowingly of Torres on Friday, before news emerged of his imminent exit, and Inzaghi too has been impressed by what he knows of the Spaniard so far. “I spoke to Mourinho to find out about what kind of man Torres is,” Inzaghi said. “He is a player that has scored lots of goals and you don’t forget this all of a sudden. “He has the right attributes from a human point of view and that is good.” Inzaghi preferred to concentrate on Lazio’s visit to the San Siro than speculate as to any further acquisitions he may be looking to make before Monday night’s transfer deadline. “Apart from Torres, I don’t think it is right to speak about the transfer market,” he said. “I want to focus on the match. We want to do really well. “My only thought is on this debut which I really care about, in our stadium and with our people. We want to win back the fans.” Torres told the Milan Channel he could not wait to get started working under coach Filippo Inzaghi after a frustrating and underwhelming three and a half years at Stamford Bridge. “I’m really happy to have arrived in Milan,” he said. “I can’t wait to do the medical, meet the fans and my new team-mates. “I cannot wait to start this new adventure. I spoke to the coach (on Friday) and I am really pleased to work with a coach like him. He was a great goalscorer and definitely understands what the role of a striker is. I am sure that he can teach me and help me a lot in this adventure.” Torres revealed he had nearly become a Milan player before leaving Atletico Madrid for Liverpool in 2007. “I was close to joining Milan when I was at Atletico Madrid, but we’re talking about many years ago,” he said. “A long time has since passed. I’ve now finally arrived at Milan. Playing for Milan isn’t easy. It’s an honour and a privilege to wear this shirt. I want to give my best and help the side have a great season.” The Rossoneri endured a dismal Serie A campaign last term, finishing eighth, 45 points behind champions Juventus, and missing out on European competition for the first time in 16 years. Head coach Inzaghi, who was promoted from the youth team at the end of last season following Clarence Seedorf’s dismissal, faces a challenging task to restore Milan’s pride, but Torres is relishing the prospect. “When you play for Milan, there are always big expectations,” he said. “After a difficult season, all the players and the fans want to get back into the Champions League and fight for trophies. Press Association Fernando Torres spoke of his excitement at the new chapter in his career after arriving in Milan to finalise his move from Chelsea. The Blues and AC Milan announced the agreement of a two-year loan deal on Friday evening, taking the 30-year-old to the expiration of his Chelsea contract in 2016. The Rossoneri confirmed on Twitter on Saturday that Torres had landed at Milan’s Linate Airport, where he was greeted by 200 fans, and posted a picture of the player holding an AC Milan scarf before announcing he was at the Madonnina Clinic undergoing his medical.