December 2019

first_img Barcelona star Neymar with Lionel Messi 1 Barcelona have rubbished reports linking Brazilian superstar Neymar with a huge world record transfer to Manchester United, insisting the forward to set for talks over a contract extension with the European champions.Rumours circulated on Tuesday that the Red Devils were prepared the smash records and spend up to £240million to prise Neymar away from the Nou Camp and make him the global face of the Premier League club.It was also claimed the 23-year-old, who has a €190million buy-out clause at Barca, was tempted by United’s rich history, as well as the prestige of the English top flight.But president Josep Maria Bartomeu has brushed aside the rumours, insisting the club want the Brazil international ‘to stay for 15 more years’ at Barcelona.“Those are just rumours and what people write but there is nothing to it,” Bartomeu said to Catalan radio station Catalunya Radio.“Neymar is happy at Barca. We don’t want Neymar to leave at all. “He is a young player that has an international football projection above the norm. He has helped us a lot in our recent successes.“In a few months’ time we will discuss his contract extension as he has three years left on his current deal.“We want him to stay for many years, three, five, 10 or even 15 years more with us.”last_img read more

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first_img Sylvain Wiltord On this day 15 years ago, Arsenal signed one of their most underrated players of the Premier League era.Sylvain Wiltord, having triggered the turnaround in the Euro 2000 final with the equalizer for France, completed a then club-record £13m fee from Bordeaux after weeks of negotations.Initially signed to deputise for Thierry Henry when the Gunners’ star man was unfit, Wiltord hit up an instant understanding with the French contingeny at Highbury.With Patrick Vieira marshalling the troops, Robert Pires an indispensible fixture on the left of midfield and Henry terrorising down the middle, Wiltord’s versatility proved useful as he assumed a variety of positions.His most resonating moment in Arsenal shirt is also one of the most iconic in their club history. In May 2002, Wiltord pounced to score the winner against title rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford to clinch the double for the Gunners.While he wasn’t a prominent member, he also played a part in the 2003-2004 ‘Invincibles’ team before he switched north London for Lyon.Overall, Wiltord score 49 goals in 175 appearances for the Gunners, and his transfer fee wasn’t surpassed until the capture of Andrei Arshavin in January 2009. 1last_img read more

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first_img 2 Despite strolling to the Premier League title last season, Chelsea were expected to spend big in the transfer window to fend off the two Manchester clubs and retain their crown. The Blues were quiet in the market for the majority of the summer but Jose Mourinho pounced when he needed to, hilariously snatching Pedro from Manchester United’s grasp last month. Asmir Begovic was added to replace Petr Cech as back-up to goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and Mourinho took a gamble on the out-of-form Radamel Falcao up front. After Chelsea’s unconvincing start to the season, the manager bought two defenders in Baba Rahman and Papy Djilobodji, taking their total spend to £66.15m. What do you think of Cheslea’s squad compared to last season? Chelsea squad that finished the 2014/15 season – Click the yellow arrow above, right, to see how the squad compares to this season 2 Chelsea’s 2015/16 squadlast_img read more

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first_img1 Steve Walford [right] with Martin O’Neill Steve Walford has replaced John Mjallby as Bolton’s assistant manager.The Republic of Ireland coach has agreed to link up with the Championship side after Neil Lennon saw Mjallby depart for family reasons.Walford, one of Martin O’Neill’s long-time confidants, will also continue to work with Ireland.“He’s worked with Martin O’Neill for the last 20-25 years. I had 10 years under him as a player with him, Martin and John Robertson,” said Lennon.“He’s currently first-team coach with Republic of Ireland, and he will continue those duties.“He knows the way I work. He knows my personality and vice versa. He’s got a wealth of experience, from League One, League Two, Championship, Premier League, Scotland, Europe, Champions League, international level – he’s coached at every spectrum of the game.“I’m very fortunate that he’s agreed to come and really grateful for Martin for giving us this opportunity as well.“We’ve kept in touch over the years. I’ve got a huge respect for him, he had a huge influence on my career, as did Martin. I basically learned the top end of the game from them guys. He’s looking forward to the challenge – it’s fantastic for us.”last_img read more

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first_img Zeljko Buvac with Jurgen Klopp Jurgen Klopp has been confirmed as the new Liverpool boss.Much is known about the brilliantly charismatic coach, but what about the men set to join him at Anfield?talkSPORT takes a look at his two trusted peers who will be alongside him on Merseyside.Zeijko BuvacA former Mainz team-mate of Klopp’s at Mainz, Buvac has always been a part of his friend’s coaching set-up since he took charge of their former side in 2001.The attacking midfielder spent his early career in what was then Yugoslavia before moving to Germany, where he played for Rot-Weiss Erfurt, Mainz and then Neukirchen.Like Klopp at Mainz (see all you need to know about Klopp by clicking here), Buvac became head coach at the club where he ended his playing days, Neukirchen, immediately after finishing his playing career, spending three years as boss before joining Klopp’s Mainz revolution.The duo got the club promoted to the Bundesliga and even got them into the 2005/06 UEFA Cup, thanks to their Fair Play record, but they were knocked out by Sevilla in the first round. They couldn’t stop the side being relegated at the end of the 2006/07 season and failed to get them promotion back the next campaign.That’s when Dortmund swooped and Buvac continued alongside Klopp, with the German praising his friend’s ability as a coach, naming him ‘The Brain’, which he admits he doesn’t mind, while Klopp has also admitted he learns from the Bosnian every day.The pair are considered the perfect combination, with Klopp an eloquent and inspiring orator with Buvac the crafter and creator alongside him.Borussia Dortmund midfielder, and ex-Liverpool loanee, Nuri Sahin said: “Zeljko Buvac is basically Klopp’s twin, and he’ll be on the bench. Both of them see football in exactly the same way.”It was also rumoured Liverpool were interested in handing Buvac a coaching role in the summer before it was given to Gary McAllister.Peter KrawietzIf Buvac is the brain, Krawietz is the eyes of the trio.He never played professional football but that hasn’t stopped him being one of Klopp’s trusted Lieutenants.The German was a sports student at Mainz University before joining up with the duo at the local pro club, then went with them to Dortmund, despite taking some time to think about the move.And thinking is a huge part of his job, with Krawietz admitting thinking about football is all he does from his first waking moment. Krawietz is a video analyst, studying both his own team and the opposition for Klopp, while also playing the role of chief scout.“I also liaise with the amateurs and youth squad,” he explained, “and tell the people in charge what’s important to the head coach.”Of the trio, former Borussia Dortmund midfielder Paul Lambert said: “They are an excellent team. You can see on the pictures just how close they are. If the three of them come over, then I think they will be a great fit for Liverpool.” 1last_img read more

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first_img1 Roberto Martinez has told Gerard Deulofeu he can be as good as he wants to be after seeing him steer Everton into the Capital One Cup semi-finals.The Toffees boss looked on as the Spain international fired the Barclays Premier League side into a 20th-minute lead at Middlesbrough with a superb solo effort, and then set up Romelu Lukaku to seal a 2-0 victory eight minutes later with another delicious piece of skill.Asked how good the 21-year-old can be, Martinez replied: “As good as he wants – that’s a big part.“As you know, football is not an individual game, football is a team game and as a player, you are never too old or too young to learn and you need to get things that help you to become effective for the team.“Gerard is a young man in terms of the amount of games that he’s played at this level, so he needs a lot of games. But as a natural talent, he’s as good as it gets.“He’s got that talent that you dream to have, he’s got the talent that anyone would pay for a ticket to watch him.”Deulofeu lit up the Riverside Stadium with his individual contribution, but Martinez, who had him on loan from Barcelona two seasons ago and sees him every day in training, was not unduly surprised.He said: “Unfortunately – or fortunately – I don’t get impressed because I see that every day. What I am impressed with is his maturity.“Two years ago when we had him we knew he was a young man with an incredible natural talent. Now he’s not a young man anymore. He’s young in age, but very mature.“He’s got a big role for us and he has been very consistent, which is very difficult for a wide player with that goalscoring threat, with that natural ability.“It’s very difficult to find that consistency, and that’s probably the aspect that impressed me the most in Gerard Deulofeu’s performance.”Sadly for Sky Bet Championship Boro, Deulofeu’s match-winning display did not come as a bolt from the blue to them either with head coach Aitor Karanka having worked with him during his time in the Spanish youth set-up.Karanka said: “Gerard, I have known him since he was 13-14 years old, and he plays in the same way that he played when he was 13-14. He plays with his spirit, with his character and he’s really good.“When it’s his day, it’s difficult to stop him. We knew and even knowing before the game and showing the players images of him, he can surprise you.“For that reason, he is at Everton playing in one of the top Premier League teams.” Everton boss Roberto Martinez: Gerard Deulofeu is a natural talent and has huge potential last_img read more

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first_imgtalkSPORT’s Joe Amphlett caught up with Hollywood superstar Will Smith ahead of the release of his new film ‘Concussion’.The movie tells the story of Dr. Bennet Omalu’s work uncovering the truth about brain damage suffered by American football players.Smith explains why playing the role of Dr Omalu has completely changed his perspective of the sport.The actor also talks football [the proper one!], revealing he has a ‘spark’ for Manchester United, while he also names the sporting legend he would like to portray on screen.‘Concussion’ is out at cinemas nationwide from February 12last_img read more

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first_imgHere are the top transfer-related stories in Monday’s newspapers…Manchester City are keen to extend Sergio Aguero’s contract. The Argentine superstar’s current deal runs until 2019 but he recently said he will then go home to play for Independiente. However, City want talks about giving Aguero at least one more year. (The Sun)Manchester City target Neymar is happy at Barcelona, according to the club’s technical director. Pep Guardiola’s impending arrival at the Etihad has sparked speculation that the Brazilian could follow him to England. However, Barca chief Robert Fernandez insists the forward is content at the Nou Camp and not interested in leaving. (The Sun)Arsenal have opened preliminary contract discussions with Alexis Sanchez. The first meeting has taken place between Gunners chiefs and the Chilean forward in the hope of reaching an agreement in the coming months. The discussions are centred around a five-and-a-half-year agreement that will run until 2021 and could be worth a staggering £51.5million. (Football Insider)Italian giants Roma have told Arsenal they do not want to sign Wojciech Szczesny on a permanent basis. Roma have agreed a deal to sign Internacional’s Brazilian keeper Alisson which will be announced at the end of the season. It means Szczesny will return to Arsenal this summer after his season-long loan to Roma. (Daily Mirror)Claudio Ranieri will return for £23million CSKA Moscow striker Ahmed Musa in the summer. The Leicester boss is determined to land the 23-year-old Nigeria captain despite having a determined effort to land him blocked on Deadline Day. (Daily Mirror)Premier League leaders Leicester City are monitoring Rennes’ exciting winger Ousmane Dembele. The 18-year-old has been tipped to become the next top talent to emerge from France with Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Southampton also watching him in recent games. (Daily Mail)And here are the latest talkSPORT.com headlines…?John Terry still had ‘no communication’ with Chelsea over new contractLiverpool FC news: Reds fans claim Anfield walkout is ‘just the start’ of ticket price protestsLouis van Gaal admits Manchester United players are ‘frustrated’ after failing to beat ChelseaArsenal news: Wenger tells talkSPORT win at Bournemouth is a ‘big relief’last_img read more

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first_imgLedley King has told talkSPORT this season’s title race is Tottenham’s time to shine.The north Londoners, who face Arsenal tomorrow in a ‘huge’ derby at White Hart Lane, are second in the Premier League, just three points behind leaders Leicester.They may have missed the chance to take top spot in midweek as they lost at West Ham, but results went their way and Mauricio Pochettino’s men remain firmly in the title race.In a season where Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool have been off the pace, along with inconsistent form from Arsenal and Man City, this year’s title is there for the taking.“The time is now,” former defender and cult hero King told Drivetime.“The two teams up there now will feel there’s a big chance of winning the league this season.“I do believe it will be harder in the coming season. So for both teams – use the opportunity.“They are doing everything right and at this stage they are the two favourites. As long as they keep going about their business the way they are, they stand a great chance.”Going into the match against Arsene Wenger’s Gunners, who are without a win in their last four matches in all competitions, King is confident there will be a home victory.  He said: “I really do believe we will win.“I’ve played in enough derbies to know form goes out of the window in these types of games.“Arsenal are not in the best of form, but just being at home and with the way the team has performed this year, bouncing back from defeat, I fully expect them to do it again.“In patches they [Arsenal] can be brilliant. They have lacked a bit of consistency but they tend to finish the season quite strongly.“The way this Tottenham team is playing at the moment, I think it would be too much for Arsenal to come back from so it’s a huge, huge game.”King, who is ambassador for Spurs, will be working in the executive boxes and he admits watching from the stands is difficult on matchdays.“It’s much harder watching than playing it – I know because I missed a fair few games with injury!“When you can’t do anything about it, it’s tough.”READ – Tottenham Hotspur legend Ledley King: Dele Alli has been unbelievable and Mauricio Pochettino deserves creditlast_img read more

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first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.“Health care is on life support,” said Jack Pitney, political science professor at Claremont McKenna College. “I can’t figure out how the governor can salvage this. It’s difficult to reconcile the competing interests of business and labor.” An overhaul of such magnitude of such a complex issue as health care, said Democratic consultant Garry South, may have been doomed from the start – despite all the early talk of a consensus. “It’s difficult to come up with a package that does anything massive,” he said, “without it scaring off or ticking off one or more of the stakeholders. This is like a house of cards. Pull one card out and the house collapses in a heap.” Nonetheless, administration officials insist that reform is within reach. Assembly Democrats have scheduled a hearing for Oct. 31 on Schwarzenegger’s proposal. The administration is hoping to get a vote in November, so they can begin collecting signatures to put the funding portion of the plan on the November 2008 ballot. “Things are moving forward,” said Daniel Zingale, Schwarzenegger’s top health care adviser. “The vast majority of the parties are still at the table. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his allies are scrambling to keep his health care reform plan from collapsing amid an ever-widening – and increasingly contentious – rift between two of the most politically important special interests in the state: labor and business. Last week, the California Labor Federation – having walked out of negotiations earlier – launched an aggressive campaign accusing Schwarzenegger’s plan of gouging the working class by requiring people to buy health insurance without enough subsidies. Business groups lashed back, warning that unions risked blowing up nearly a year’s worth of work on what many in Sacramento consider potentially the most significant legislation in decades. The division has created a form of political checkmate for Schwarzenegger, who can either hold the line on employer taxes or try to subsidize more uninsured workers, which would likely require more taxes on employers. Either move will alienate someone. “Of course, it doesn’t help when one party walks out of negotiations and hires a political consultant.” The labor federation hired top Democratic political consultant Chris Lehane to spearhead its campaign. The group also has begun holding 48-hour prayer vigils around the state – and promising to run TV ads if needed. Democrats said the campaign has already sharpened the debate. They want the governor to revisit his veto of AB 8, which would have required employers to pay a payroll tax of 7.5percent into a state pool that would cover lower-income uninsured – rather than the 4percent maximum the governor is seeking. The labor federation is also pushing for broader subsidies – to families with a household income of up to $83,000. Schwarzenegger’s plan would allow families of four with a household income of $72,000 to be subsidized by the state. The governor’s plan would subsidize individuals making $35,000 or less; labor is pushing for a $50,000 threshold for individuals. “Hopefully, it’ll push the governor closer to what the Democratic plan is,” said Steve Maviglio, spokesman for Assembly Speaker Fabian Nu ez, D-Los Angeles. “We’ve tried the normal route, we’ve tried negotiating, but he vetoed our plan.” The administration has hunkered down into a campaign crouch of its own, firing off missives undercutting labor, while organizing responses of business groups. In a fact sheet titled “How Labor Compromised AB 8,” the administration accused labor groups of insisting on changes to the bill that made it “unworkable, increased opposition to reform and stood in the way of fixing our broken system.” The administration complained that the bill opened a back door to a government-run single payer system, shifted poor families into state- run, unionized hospitals, imposed stiff penalties on employers, didn’t mandate coverage for individuals, and forced employers to shoulder “an unfair burden,” by requiring that employers pay a fee of 7.5 percent of their wages. Jim Wunderman, president and CEO of the Bay Area Council, accused the labor federation of “possibly shattering the last great hope for health care reform in California and perhaps nationwide.” But, Art Pulaski, executive secretary of the California Labor Federation, said he’d rather have no reform than Schwarzenegger’s proposal. “His proposal is not reform; it’s making sure everybody is required to get insurance,” Pulaski said. “You should not require people to get insurance unless it’s affordable. We’re saying we’ll oppose this until it’s family and consumer friendly.” The cost of the governor’s estimated $14billion proposal would be divided between employers, individuals, insurers, government and health care providers. Employers and hospitals would pay from zero to 4 percent, based on a sliding scale of their revenue. Administration officials said the labor group is asking them to go farther left than Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s national health care reform plan, saying the governor’s plan is similar to hers. Pulaski scoffed at the comparison, saying Clinton’s plan would authorize the government to enter into bulk purchasing agreements on prescription drugs and wouldn’t impose mandates on individuals. In a letter to Schwarzenegger, Pulaski criticized the governor’s plan for not addressing the cost of prescription drugs. “Your proposal guarantees drug companies a new stream of very profitable business and asks nothing of them in return,” Pulaski wrote. The failure to address prescription drug prices “brings into question the seriousness of your commitment to truly lowering the cost of health care.” Still, just as politics have toughened negotiations, it could also provide the breakthrough. Barbara O’Connor, director of the Institute for the Study of Politics and the Media at Sacramento State University, noted that Nu ez is desperate for a major legislative achievement going into the Feb. 5 primary, when voters will determine the fate of his initiative to loosen term limits. It also would divert attention from the media pummeling he’s taken over using campaign funds to pay for international travel, fine dining, posh hotels and expensive gifts. “He has to show leadership, to prove he deserves to be there,” O’Connor said, “and show that he can broker deals and be a leader on policy issues – all the reasons he said he took the trips. And, if he cares about term limits, he better (produce something) out of this special session.” sharmon@cctimes.com (916) 441-2101160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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