Transfers Mkhitaryan-Alexis swap deal stalls as Raiola pushes for contract payment Chris Wheatley Arsenal correspondent Last updated 1 year ago 21:06 1/16/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(24) Getty Transfers Arsenal Premier League Manchester United A. Sánchez The outspoken agent is known for getting his way in the transfer market and his demands will have to be met for Arsenal to get their man Arsenal’s pursuit of Henrikh Mkhitaryan hinges on whether the attacker is paid off by Manchester United due to his contract running for another two years, Goal understands.The Gunners are hopeful of securing Mkhitaryan as part of a deal which will see Alexis Sanchez move the other way, although neither club are prepared to sanction the transfer unless the Armenia international agrees to join Arsene Wenger’s side this month.Mkhitaryan’s agent Mino Raiola, who has already met with Arsenal officials at the club’s London Colney training ground this week, is also determined to secure a fee for himself as part of his involvement in brokering the deal.Arsenal are requesting a flat fee of £35 million for Alexis, and Raiola says Mkhitaryan will play a pivotal role in the outcome of their negotiations with United. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player “Manchester United are not going to sign Sanchez unless Mkhi agrees to join Arsenal,” Raiola told The Times.”Mkhi is going to do what is best for him. He has two-and-a-half years left on his contract, so it’s his decision.”Raiola emphasised his opinion that Mkhitaryan is the centre-piece of the transfer talks, not the Arsenal forward.”Sanchez is part of the Mkhi deal, not the other way around,” he added.Alexis has been the subject of a transfer tussle between United and Manchester City but, with the latter pulling out due to the demands of the Chilean’s agent Fernando Felicevich, the frontrunners to sign last season’s 30-goal man are now Jose Mourinho’s men, with the former Barcelona star already agreeing personal terms.Meanwhile, Wenger’s January transfer activity is likely to be affected by the Premier League Short Term Cost Control (STCC) rules which came into play at the start of the season.The new rules mean that teams can only increase their wage bill by £7m above what it was last season. Arsenal’s struggle to add to the signings of Alexandre Lacazette and Sead Kolasinac last summer was partly because of their failure to offload fringe players on high salaries. Wenger’s side had a wage bill of £191m two seasons ago, according to the most recent club accounts available via Companies House. It is one reason why Arsenal needed to ship out Theo Walcott, Francis Coquelin and Sanchez before bringing replacements in.Coquelin joined Valencia for a fee in the region of £12m last week, while Walcott is on the verge of joining Everton for £20m. Mathieu Debuchy, meanwhile, is in talks over signing with St Etienne six months before his contract expires, which would free up further wage space for Bordeaux star Malcom, the 20-year-old winger Arsenal are keen on signing in January.Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang remains a primary target of Wenger’s and new head of recruitment Sven Mislintat is playing an integral part in the talks which could see the 28-year-old arrive as a replacement for Sanchez. Olivier Giroud has been mentioned in discussions and it remains a possibility that he would head to Borussia Dortmund as part of the deal.Former Dortmund head scout Mislintat was heavily involved in Arsenal’s first signing of January, the 20-year-old Greek defender Konstantinos Mavropanos, and is again involved in talks for both Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan.West Brom defender Jonny Evans is the subject of interest from both Manchester City and Arsenal, with the Gunners also hopeful of bringing in an experienced centre-back this month due to Laurent Koscielny’s injury problems and Per Mertesacker’s impending retirement.A defensive arrival would likely see one of Calum Chambers or Rob Holding go out on loan.
Real Madrid Neymar? I’d rather watch the golf, says Bale Dom Farrell 07:43 1/22/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Getty Images Real Madrid Primera División Cristiano Ronaldo Gareth Bale Real Madrid v Deportivo La Coruña Deportivo La Coruña The Welshman hit top form for his side against Deportivo La Coruna and he is not about to spend free time worrying about PSG and Neymar Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale is not worried about facing Neymar and Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League next month – because he is too busy watching golf.Bale continued his encouraging return to fitness with two goals and a man-of-the-match showing in Sunday’s 7-1 demolition of Deportivo La Coruna.Madrid remain 19 points behind leaders Barcelona and lie fourth in La Liga, meaning a third European title in succession represents a far more realistic prospect of silverware. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Nevertheless, Wales star Bale claims he is currently more interested in the form of Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth than Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.”I don’t really watch much football, I’d rather watch the golf to be honest,” he told ESPN FC when asked about PSG’s prowess.”We’ve not really thought about the Champions League yet, it’s still a bit of time away.”We have to focus on each and every game at the moment, build confidence and get back to winning ways.”5 – Gareth Bale has scored five goals in 2018, more than any other La Liga player in all competitions. Express. pic.twitter.com/JpF08WuzJy — OptaJose (@OptaJose) January 21, 2018 Sunday certainly represented a step in the right direction after Adrian Lopez’s opener for Depor threatened to turn the Santiago Bernabeu’s atmosphere in a mutinous direction.But Bale inspired the turnaround, with Nacho and Cristiano Ronaldo also hitting braces, and he received a standing ovation when he was replaced by Lucas Vazquez.”Yeah, instead of whistles, which is always good,” he said, having previously been on the receiving end of Bernabeu abuse.”It would have been nice to have stayed on to get the hat-trick, but the most important thing is always to get the victory and to try and get some confidence back in the team.”
Transfers It’s sad when big players near the end – Mourinho pays tribute to Ibrahimovic Ryan Benson 22:11 3/30/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Transfers Manchester United José Mourinho Zlatan Ibrahimović LA Galaxy v Los Angeles LA Galaxy MLS Manchester United v Swansea City Swansea City Premier League The Swede is closing in on his LA Galaxy debut and his former manager at Manchester United has issued a tribute to the striker Jose Mourinho paid tribute to Zlatan Ibrahimovic ahead of his presentation as an LA Galaxy player on Friday, saying it makes him “sad” when he sees the best players head towards the end of their careers.United confirmed Ibrahimovic had been released last Thursday amid speculation linking him with a move to Major League Soccer, ending his 20-month association with the club.The player and Galaxy announced their agreement a day later, with Ibrahimovic to attend his first training session on Friday before a media conference. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Ibrahimovic was a leading star at Old Trafford last season, scoring 28 goals in 46 appearances, helping United to an EFL Cup and Europa League double, but in the quarter-final of the latter against Anderlecht the Swede suffered ligament damage to his right knee and saw his campaign ended early.Although he was handed a new deal in August, Ibrahimovic only went on to play another seven games and Mourinho finds it upsetting when the best players enter their twilight years.”For me, it’s always sad when the big players go in the direction of the end,” said Mourinho.”I remember, for example, Luis Figo’s last match with me and Inter, and I always remember it as one of my saddest moments.”I feel sorry when the big ones finish or go to the last period of their careers. So, for me, Zlatan’s goodbye moment was more in this direction.”He was a top player that Europe loses forever now, because he won’t be back to this level, but it’s fantastic for him, a fantastic way to go.”He won’t be going from a player to an ex-player. It’ll be very good for him, this period with Galaxy, these couple of years will be very good for him and American football.”What he can do, teach, attract, his personality, passion for football. His professionalism, too, he’s always had since his recovery. It was an example of what a professional should be.”That’s what MLS and US as a football country is going to get. What’s more, what Zlatan is going to get will be just a way for him to enjoy the last couple of years of his football.”United host Swansea City on Saturday in a match that will be their first following the international break which, aside from an injury to Sergio Romero, Mourinho is grateful for.”Romero is injured and I think he will be for a few weeks,” he added. “In the end he was lucky because it was strong contact and will take a little while to recover from.The boss also confirms Sergio Romero and Daley Blind are the only members of the first-team squad unavailable for Saturday’s clash with Swansea. #MUFC pic.twitter.com/sOaVfz3Jeg — Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 30, 2018 “Ashley Young had a problem in the last part of the game against Italy, but we think there is a chance for him to recover and Daley Blind has come back from his treatment in the Netherlands.”He started training with us in the last few days and he’s the only one not available.”We’ve recovered all the other problems we had, like Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo, who of course played with Argentina. The picture improved a lot in that aspect.”
There was plenty of action at day two of the 2009 X-Blades National Touch League, with Opens and 20’s starting their campaigns, while teams in the other divisions fought for finals positions.In the Men’s Opens Division, the three frontrunners, Mets, Sharks and Rebels, got their campaigns off to a great start. Defending champions the Mets were too good for the Cobras, winning 6-3. The Rebels were too good for the Hornets, as were the Suns over North Queensland, with both teams winning by 8 touchdowns. In other results In round 2, 13 wasn’t an unlucky number with the three favourites all scoring 13 tries, each easily defeating their opponents. Other winners in round 2 were Rebels over Cyclones, Rustlers defeated the Eagles and Cobras beat the Suns.In round three, Mets continued their good form, beating Cyclones by 11 touchdowns. Barbarians were too strong for the ACT, winning 11-7. Scorpions defeated Rustlers by four, the Sharks beat the Eagles by seven, the Rebels overcame Suns 9-4, and Cobras defeated Hornets by eight touchdowns. The end of day one sees the three Sydney sides, Mets, Rebels and Scorpions all equal first on the ladder.The Women’s Open Division started in round one with Mets, looking in ominous form, defeating Hornets 13-0. Rustlers had a strong win over Rebels, 7-0. The Suns beat the Eagles by nine touchdowns. Other winners in the first round included Cyclones, Cobras and Sharks.In round two, South Queensland had a big win, defeating Scorpions 11-1., while the Rustlers and the Mets overcame their opponents by nine touchdowns each. Cobras, Suns and Barbarians also had big victories. Round three started with the Mets still undefeated, with a five-touchdown win over Rebels. The Rustlers were too good for Cobras, while the Sharks beat the Suns 5-1. Cyclones were victorious over the Crusaders 7-6. The Hornets and the ACT played out a five-all draw, while the Barabarians easily overcame the Eagles 11-2. By the end of round three, the Mets, Sharks and Rustlers were all undefeated on 12 points each.In the Mixed Opens, Rebels started strongly, beating Cobras 8-0. Cyclones won in a close one, defeating Barbarians 7-6. Sharks were too strong for Eagles, winning by eight touchdowns. The Suns defeated the Sun Coast 8-4, while the Hornets overcame Crusaders by seven. In round two, Sharks defeated the Cyclones 9-4, Cobras did it easy against the Crusaders winning by 6 touchdowns, Suns and Sun Coast both beat their opponents 7-5, while the Mets and the Rebels drew 8 all.In round three, Eagles defeated Sun Coast 6-4, while the Suns defeated the Cyclones 7-5, and the Mets drew again, this time against the Hornets. The Suns undefeated run sees them on top of the ladder after day one.The Men’s and Women’s Opens also started on day two. In the Men’s 20’s, Mets defeated the Scorpions 5-2, Suns just beat the Rebels 2-1, Cyclones started off well defeating Cobras 6-4, while the Sun Coast defeated Sharks 6-0.Round two of the Men’s 20’s saw Mets continue their winning ways, defeating Sun Coast by one touchdown, Sharks posted their first win against the Suns, 7-4, Cyclones thumped the Rebels 10-2 and Scorpions defeated Cobras 9-6.In round three, the Cobras broke their duck, beating Suns 6-2, Cyclones kept on winning, defeating Sun Coast, as did the Mets, beating the Sharks. The Scorpions also beat the Rebels. At the end of the three rounds, Cyclones and Mets are undefeated on top of the ladder.In the Women’s 20’s division, round one saw the Cobras defeated the Sharks 3-1, Rebels posted double figures, winning 10-4, while the Suns kept the Hornets scoreless, winning 4-0. In round two, the Mets posted their first win, narrowly defeating the Hornets 5-4, Cobra beat Sunshine Coast 5-3 and Suns were too good for the Rebels, winning 7-5.In round three, Cobras beat the Mets 3-2, Hornets were kept scoreless again, this time by the Sharks, with the Sharks winning 3-0 and Suns defeated Sunshine Coast 6-2. Day two also signaled the start of the finals at the 2009 NTL. After six rounds of play in the Women’s 27’s, Cyclones sit on top of the ladder on 22 points, with local hopes the Eagles close behind on 20. Semi finals will be played on Day 3 before the Grand Final at 3pm.In the Men’s 30’s, day 3 brings the Semi finals featuring ACT against Canterbury and the Scorpions taking on local rivals Mets, with the Grand Final to be played at 5pm.In the Women’s 35’s, the semi’s will be played between South West Queensland against the Scorpions, while the Sharks will battle the Cobras, with their final to commence at 11am.In the Men’s 40’s, the first semi final will see Sharks versus Sharks, with the NZ team taking on SQBD. In the other semi, the Scorpions will take on the Cyclones. The final will start at 1pm.After the round games, Sharks sit on top of the ladder in the Men’s 45’s, four points clear of Suns. Semi finals will take place on Day three, before the Grand Final at 2pm that afternoon.Cobras are situated on top of the ladder in the Men’s 50’s on 12 points, two points ahead of Suns. Semi finals will see the Suns versus the Scorpions and Cobras against the Mets in their attempts to make the Grand Final, which will be played at 12pm.After six rounds in the Seniors Mixed, Wellington top the ladder on 20 points, followed by the Scorpions in 16. Just below these two teams are the Cobras and Rebels, both on 12 points. Semi finals will be played, before the Grand Final at 4pm.
Tottenham boss Pochettino: Everyone wants to beat usby Ansser Sadiq10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveTottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino believes his team is the one everyone wants to beat!Spurs are the outside bet for the title, sitting six points behind leaders Liverpool in third place.But Pochettino is proud of his team’s showing this season and insists they are often seen as the biggest scalp in the league.”We’re the team to beat,” Pochettino told Standard Sport ahead of tonight’s FA Cup third-round tie at Tranmere. “It’s not arrogant, it’s realistic. “[People say], ‘How are Tottenham there?’ — a club like Chelsea can spend big money on a transfer [Christian Pulisic] and then send him on loan. “Do you think Tottenham can do this? No. But in the last few years, Tottenham are fighting with this type of club. “That’s why no-one likes Tottenham much, that’s why everyone wants to challenge us. “It’s a massive game for us every time. Wolves beat us and they behaved like they won the Premier League. Then on Wednesday they lost to Crystal Palace. It’s because Tottenham have created something special — and now we are a target. “When we fought with Leicester, everyone wanted to kill us! For many people we’re not very successful because we haven’t won a trophy [but] people respect the way we’re doing it.” About the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your say
Portimonense president Sampaio waiting on offers for Man Utd, Southampton target Nakajimaby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the lovePortimonense president Rodiney Sampaio insists they’re still waiting on offers for Shoya Nakajima.The Japan international has been watched by Manchester United and Southampton, while he also attracted an enquiry from Leicester City.However, speaking with O Jogo, Sampaio says “no concrete offers” have arrived for the midfielder.Nakajima has returned to Portugal after being injured while with Japan at the Asian Cup.Sampaio added: “It is annoying for the player and the club, but Nakajima is calm and now there is little to do but to recover.”Very quickly, he will be back on the pitch and in our team.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Chelsea boss Lampard delighted with Kante goalscoring performanceby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea manager Frank Lampard was not surprised with N’Golo Kante’s performance against Liverpool on Sunday.The France international has been stricken with injuries so far this season, but bounced back to score a wonderful goal in the 2-1 loss to the Reds at Stamford Bridge.Speaking after the game, Lampard said: “We end up being not surprised with Kante, which is not fair on him really.”He did it in the Super Cup without training, he did it today with probably not match-fit training, but he’s so important for us you put him in the team and he showed his qualities.Lampard also had special praise for young defende Fiyako Tomori.”I have to single out Tomori. For a young player like him to go up against Mo Salah, who is lethal, and deal with him for pace and in the mind, I thought was class. Everything he did was. Those are the signs I’m looking for individually.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
REVEALED: Sporting CP made attempt for Everton boss Marco Silvaby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveSporting CP have made an attempt for Everton boss Marco Silva.O Jogo says he’s been approached about a move to Sporting, just like Portugal U21 manager Rui Jorge. But their past links with the Lions didn’t count in the club’s favour, since both of them rejected the chance.The same happened regarding Monaco’s Leonardo Jardim.Despite Silva’s unstable situation at Everton, the attempt by Sporting was always seen as a long shot.Back in January, it had already been reported that he’d rejected a chance to take charge of Benfica. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Berbatov says Man Utd need shot of passion for Arsenal clashby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov says they need a shot of passion for Monday’s clash with Arsenal.United will welcome the north Londoners to the Theatre of Dreams on the back of two disappointing results, a 2-0 defeat to West Ham and an unconvincing penalty shootout victory over League One side Rochdale.”United’s game against Arsenal will be their biggest test in the league so far,” Berbatov told Betfair.“United will have some advantage of playing at Old Trafford, but when there results haven’t been going for you, you know the fans will be a little impatient, you can think too much about it, make mistakes and it becomes a difficult situation.“Sometimes when I have watched them I have noticed that United are have been too soft against the opposition, they need to be tough in their challenges, show them who’s in charge and let them know that this is f*****g Old Trafford.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Ex-Man City coach Simon Davies under pressure at Anderlechtby Paul Vegas22 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveSimon Davies is under pressure at Anderlecht.The former Manchester City youth coach is Vincent Kompany’s No2 at the Belgian giants.But after a dismal start to the season, HLN says Anderlecht chiefs are seeking to add greater expertise to the bench.The move has the support of Kompany – with Davies the most likely to make way.Craig Bellamy is also under the spotlight, with the Welshman currently reserves coach.
Arsenal manager Emery on Pepe: We need patienceby Paul Vegasa day agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal manager Unai Emery insists patience is needed with record-signing Nicolas Pepe.The Ivorian continued his underwhelming start to life in North London by missing a sitter in the 1-0 loss to Sheffield United on Monday.But Emery says Pepe needs time to adapt to Premier League football.”We need patience,” he said. “Pepe is improving. On Monday, the key to win was with him. If he scores the first goal, it’s different.”But it’s one process and I believe in him and I know he needs time and patience.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Alabama football certainly is not down – the Crimson Tide were the No. 1 seed in this past year’s College Football Playoff before losing to Ohio State. But the program has gone two years without winning the national title, so it’s fair to say that Alabama is no longer a “dynasty” in the true sense of the word. Two Crimson Tide signees are looking to change that fact.Adonis Thomas and Damien Harris – two of the highest-rated recruits in the country this past year – had a nice little Twitter exchange Saturday morning. It began with Harris wishing Thomas a happy birthday, and quickly morphed into the topic of winning rings and bringing the dynasty back. Check it out:Happy Birthday boss @_SimplyThatGuy5— Damien Harris (@DHx34) February 28, 2015@DHx34 appreciate it big timer! Only a few more months till we go get these rings— Adonis Thomas (@_SimplyThatGuy5) February 28, 2015@_SimplyThatGuy5 you already know what we about to do— Damien Harris (@DHx34) February 28, 2015@DHx34 bring that dynasty back— Adonis Thomas (@_SimplyThatGuy5) February 28, 2015Alabama never rebuilds – it reloads. If Harris, Thomas and the rest of the No. 1 ranked recruiting class pans out as expected, they’re going to have a real shot at following through here.
Rufus Warren MSU CheerleaderMississippi State offensive lineman Rufus Warren is listed at 6-foot-7, 299 pounds on the school’s website. He has to handle large, athletic SEC defensive linemen on a regular basis, but when it came time to lift up an SEC cheerleader today, Warren wasn’t sure how to handle it.Here’s the video of Warren lifting up an MSU cheerleader. He does the job, but admittedly wasn’t too steady and seemed quite happy to be put her down as soon as possible.VIDEO: We are on our way to the coliseum, but first Rufus Warren tried out to be a cheerleader. #HailState pic.twitter.com/8dej0QMc7v— MSU Football (@HailStateFB) July 16, 2015Warren will probably take some good-natured ribbing for that, but he seemed pretty comfortable laughing at himself.
SchefterAdam Schefter recently had a sit-down interview with Greg Hardy. The interview (in parts and in full) has been shown across ESPN’s platforms today.You can view some of the interview here. In the interview, Hardy, who is currently unsigned after playing for the Dallas Cowboys in 2015, says he has never hit a woman. Hardy was referencing the 2014 incident with his former girlfriend in which he allegedly hit her multiple times, causing what appeared to be significant injuries. The former Carolina Panther was charged and convicted, but the case was thrown out in 2015 after Hardy appealed. “I’ve never put my hand on any woman,” Hardy says.Schefter appeared on The Dan Patrick Show this morning to discuss the interview. A transcript of some of what Schefter said: Schefter: What he meant by that was he feels like he should not have put himself in that situation around that woman at that time of night around alcohol, and that was his mistake he should never have done that. But in his mind he swears he never put a finger on this woman. And people can believe what they want.Patrick: Do you believe it?Schefter: Doesn’t matter what I believe Dan, right?—–Schefter: I went in with the idea that this guy is a monster. I came out of there with a very different feeling. I came out of there feeling this is a guy who has managed to say the wrong things at the wrong time.Schefter is now getting crushed for what he’s said about Hardy and for interviewing him. One of his colleagues, Michelle Beadle, even criticized him on-air on ESPN for giving the NFL defensive lineman a platform. For the love of f&$@. Dude doesn’t admit to wrongdoing. Dude has changed? I give the hell up.— Michelle Beadle (@MichelleDBeadle) April 5, 2016Beadle isn’t alone, either.Posting illegally obtained medical records didnt activate the integrity gene of Schefter. So a softball Q&A with a womanizer wouldn’t either— Marshall (@M_W_19) April 5, 2016Greg Hardy interview…WTF? https://t.co/JYFcmhDVkl— Melissa Jacobs (@thefootballgirl) April 5, 2016Hardy’s comments were bad. But the fact that ESPN and Schefter gave him a platform for redemption is even worse: https://t.co/9NLFgULiuj— Lindsay Gibbs (@linzsports) April 5, 2016If ESPN decided on its own to send Schefter to interview Hardy instead of Rachel Nichols or Jeremy Schapp or Bob Ley, well, that’s a problem— Jimmy Traina (@JimmyTraina) April 5, 2016Of course Adam Schefter bought into Greg Hardy’s bullshit: https://t.co/4vre5nvXAV— Deadspin (@Deadspin) April 5, 2016Schefter discussed the interview in-depth on The Dan Patrick Show today, but he’s likely going to have to further defend his position in the coming days.
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)It seems fairly obvious that Tennessee JUCO signee Jonathan Kongbo has Oct. 15 circled on his calendar. That’s the day the Volunteers host the reigning national champions, Alabama, at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn. Kongbo, one of the top defensive recruits in the country, previously posted a video of himself working out with a “Bama We Coming” sign in the background. Now, in an interview with Rocky Top Insider, Kongbo all but guaranteed a victory against the Crimson Tide. His response comes after being asked about the Tennessee-themed trash talk from Florida’s Jalen Tabor. On the trash talk from Florida’s Jalen Tabor:“Well I mean, I just kind of laughed at it because I know we’re going to beat Florida. I know we’re going to beat Alabama. We’re going to beat all those teams. So I’ll say right now, we’re going to beat every team we play next year. I just really laughed at it, especially the comments that Jalen made. It was funny. We’ll see what Jalen Hurd does to him though.”On his final message:“I mean, kind of the main thing is, if you want to be the best you got to beat the best. And we know Alabama won the national championship this year and the message that I’m sending to them is that ain’t no one around here scared of that. We’re coming for them. It’s football so once the pads are on, you’ve got to figure out how to win so we’ll see.”Alabama-Tennessee should be pretty, pretty fun this year.[RTI]
Contents1. Why have Chelsea been hit with a transfer ban?2. Can Chelsea appeal the transfer ban?3. How long will the Chelsea transfer ban last?4. Which other clubs have had transfer bans? Chelsea have been slapped with a two-window transfer ban and a fine by FIFA, meaning they will now have to make alternative plans when it comes to their immediate recruitment approach.The game’s world governing body announced the sanction, which relates to breaches concerning the transfer of players who are under 18, on February 22 and the Premier League club have been working to appeal against it. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? The Stamford Bridge outfit are expected to exhaust every avenue that is available to them as they seek to challenge the decision and preserve their reputation.So why have the sanctions been imposed and what exactly can they do about it? Goal takes a look at how it all works. Why have Chelsea been hit with a transfer ban? According to FIFA, the ban is being imposed on Chelsea because the governing body found the club to be in breach of regulations relating to the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18.Specifically, the Blues were found to have breached article 19 of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players in the case of 29 minors.The club was also found to have breached article 18bis (which concerns third-party influence on clubs) in connection with two agreements that were reached concerning minors.It is not clear which players the breaches in question are related to.As well as a ban, FIFA issued a fine of 600,000 Swiss Francs (£460k/$600k) and the Blues have been given a period of 90 days to “regularise the situation of the minor players concerned”.Furthermore, not only have Chelsea been sanctioned by FIFA, so too have the Football Association (FA).FIFA fined the English governing body 510,000 Swiss Francs (£390k/$510k) for breaches and imposed a six-month period in which to “address the situation”. Return to top Can Chelsea appeal the transfer ban? Yes, Chelsea are allowed to contest the decision reached by FIFA by bringing their case before the FIFA Appeal Committee. Indeed, the club appealed the findings of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee.”Chelsea FC categorically refutes the findings of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee and will therefore be appealing the decision,” an official statement said back in February.”The club wishes to emphasise that it respects the important work undertaken by FIFA in relation to the protection of minors and has fully cooperated with FIFA throughout its investigation.”However, that appeal, which was heard on April 11, was subsequently rejected by FIFA on May 8.While the decision of the FIFA Appeal Committee is “final and binding”, should Chelsea not be satisfied with the outcome they can make a further appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) – something they are doing.How long does an appeal take?The duration of the appeal process varies depending on the case. As you might expect, such things require a lot of paperwork and legal representations and there is a natural processing period for each step.In this case, a number of months have already elapsed, with the initial appeal lodged in February before ultimately being rejected in May – a span of three months.Unsurprisingly, the club is not satisfied with the decision of the FIFA Appeal Committee and they have now brought the issue before the CAS in Switzerland. Again, the duration of the CAS appeal process also varies, depending on the court’s schedule among other things, but it will generally take a number of months. Return to top How long will the Chelsea transfer ban last?As mentioned, the transfer ban that has been imposed on Chelsea is scheduled to last for the next two consecutive registration windows following the verdict.The windows in question were the 2019 summer window and the 2020 winter window. That means they won’t be able to complete transfer deals until the summer of 2020 at the earliest.However, in the event of an appeal process being set in motion, the ban can be temporarily suspended until the outcome of the final appeal is reached. In effect, what that means is that clubs can buy themselves some time in which to create a contingency plan by signing players to minimise the effect of a ban.For example, Barcelona were granted a temporary suspension of their transfer ban in 2014, which allowed them to recruit the likes of Luis Suarez, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Thomas Vermaelen.Unfortunately for Chelsea, FIFA rejected their request to delay the sanction until the appeal is heard, a decision which left the Premier League club feeling “astonished”.A statement released on the club’s official website read: “Chelsea Football Club is astonished by the FIFA Appeal Committee’s decision not to suspend its sanction pending completion of the appeal process.”The statement added: “So far as the Club is aware, in all previous cases where a registration ban has been imposed by FIFA, a decision has also been made to suspend the sanction until the appeal process has been completed. In this case, Chelsea considers that it is being treated inconsistently in comparison with other European clubs.”It now seems unlikely that the ban will be overturned before the 2019 summer transfer window, but it could be resolved before the 2020 winter window. Return to top Which other clubs have had transfer bans?Chelsea are by no means alone when it comes to this sort of breach and some of the world’s biggest clubs have previously been implicated.Liga giants Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid were all sanctioned by FIFA for similar regulation breaches, with the governing body imposing similar two-window bans.However, while Chelsea’s breaches concern the cases of 29 minors, the cases of the Spanish clubs involved many more players. In the case of Barcelona, 31 minors were investigated and Real Madrid’s case saw the investigation of 70 minors. However, Atletico’s breaches involved more than double the Clasico pair combined, with 221 investigations.Each of the cases involving the Spanish clubs took a number of years to be completed. From start to finish, Barcelona’s case concluded in two years, Atletico’s lasted just over three years and Real’s was approaching four years.In each of the aforementioned cases, the FIFA-imposed transfer bans were upheld, though the transfer ban was reduced to just one window in the case of Real.In 2017, Liverpool were sanctioned by the Premier League over the so-called ‘tapping up’ of an underage Stoke City player. The length of the ban was two years, but applied only to the signing of any player who has been with another Premier League or Football League club within the previous 18 months. Return to top
West Ham have completed the signing of Villarreal midfielder Pablo Fornals for a reported fee of £24 million ($30m).The 23-year-old was a regular with the Liga side in the 2018-19 campaign, with the Yellow Submarine finishing 14th in the table and reaching the quarter-finals of the Europa League, where they were beaten by Valencia.Indeed, he created 22 chances from open play in Europe’s secondary competition last season, with only Eintracht Frankfurt’s Filip Kostic (27) having made more. Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? The Hammers have confirmed that Fornals, who is part of Spain’s squad for the Under-21 European Championship, has signed a five-year contract with the Premier League club, with the option for a further year.Speaking to their official website after his move was confirmed, Fornals said: “I’m very happy to be part of West Ham. I feel very good, very happy and very grateful for the opportunity that has been provided to me.”I want the club to continue betting on young and ambitious people, people who want to do well for the long term.”I know about the loyal fans and the stadium, which is a beautiful stadium. The fans fill the stadium every weekend and that is something admirable, especially with the passion with which football is lived there. I think it is important to play with the support of your fans at home.”I have worked with Mario [Husillos, West Ham’s sporting director] before – I know him from when I was in Malaga. With Manuel [Pellegrini], only when I saw him and admired him on TV. Of course, Manuel was a big influence because in the end he is one of the best coaches in the world and who doesn’t want to work with people like that?!”Husillos also expressed his delight at the signing and tipped him to make an impact in the Premier League. He said: “He [Fornals] is a player we have monitored closely for some time, having seen him make excellent progress as a young midfielder in one of the best leagues in the world.”I personally have followed his career since he was a youth player with me at Malaga, and I know we have signed an incredible professional and an incredible character.”This is something that is very important for us at West Ham United now – not only a very good player but also a very good person with a good mentality.”To represent Spain as a full international at the age of 20, and then to have made over 150 appearances in La Liga by the age of 23, is a sign of great quality and character. He joins us as a young player still with many years ahead of him, yet with strong experience and already proven at the very highest level.”We believe that his style and ability perfectly complements the midfielders already at the club, and we are very pleased to have secured his signing so early in the summer. Now he will go to Italy to play for Spain in the Under-21 European Championship, where we hope he will have success before coming to London.”We look forward to seeing the impact he will have in a West Ham shirt, and believe that he has all of the qualities required to become a big success in the Premier League.”
Tanguy Ndombele scored a sensational debut goal as Tottenham came from behind to beat Premier League new boys Aston Villa 3-1 thanks to Harry Kane’s late double.John McGinn’s ninth-minute goal seemed set to mark Villa’s return to the top flight in style, with Champions League finalists Spurs – playing without the benched Christian Eriksen for over an hour – struggling to break down Dean Smith’s side.Eriksen’s introduction sparked urgency into Tottenham’s attack and, after Tom Heaton had made a fantastic stop to deny Davinson Sanchez, Ndombele slammed home a brilliant equaliser at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Another terrific Heaton stop kept Eriksen at bay, but Villa’s resistance was ended when Kane capitalised on a mistake from Jack Grealish before excellently tucking in his second to add gloss to a hard-fought win.FULL-TIME: A superb second-half display as we come from behind to take a deserved three points on the opening day!#THFC 3-1 #AVFC pic.twitter.com/GMCVdXyPSu— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 10, 2019Villa’s defence struggled to cope with Lucas Moura’s movement in the early stages and the former Paris Saint-Germain forward should have done better with a free header he directed straight at Heaton.Lucas’ miss swiftly proved costly – McGinn keeping his composure to slot beyond Hugo Lloris after Danny Rose failed to track the midfielder’s run.After Kane headed over before half-time, Moussa Sissoko was the next to let Villa off the hook, lashing wildly at a close-range strike.But Spurs’ equaliser finally came with 17 minutes remaining – Ndombele curling in a wicked first-time strike, which looked as though it brushed off Tyrone Mings en route to the back of the net, after Heaton had pulled off a fine save from Sanchez’s header.Heaton prevented Eriksen capping a superb cameo with a goal soon after, but Villa’s defence could not hold on, and Spurs hit the front with four minutes remaining as Kane slotted in following sloppy play from Grealish.Spurs were not finished there, however, and Kane helped himself to a well-taken second to make for a scoreline more comfortable than Tottenham’s wasteful display warranted. What does it mean? Spurs must cling onto EriksenEriksen may well leave Tottenham before the end of August, if rumours linking the former Ajax star with a move to Real Madrid are to be believed.Based on this display, however, Mauricio Pochettino must do all he can to keep hold of Eriksen, who changed the game once he entered the fray.Ndombele lives up to the billingTottenham edged out some of Europe’s top clubs to secure Ndombele’s signature and the France international stepped up when it mattered.The 22-year-old only scored three times for Lyon last season but showed real composure to curl in Spurs’ equaliser.Rose fails to cover himself in glory England full-back Rose looked set to be leaving Tottenham after he was left out of the club’s Asian tour in pre-season but, despite a reported late bid from Watford, the 29-year-old stayed put.He had a moment to forget, though, when he failed to keep track of McGinn before his slip allowed Villa’s goalscorer to get a shot off.Key Opta Facts- Tottenham have won 37 Premier League games after finding themselves behind at half-time, more than any other side.- Spurs have won five of their six opening games in the Premier League against promoted sides, only losing in 2007-08 against Sunderland.- Courtesy of the strikes from Aston Villa’s John McGinn and Tottenham’s Tanguy Tanguy Ndombele, this game was the first match to see both sides have a player score a Premier League debut goal since Burnley (Scott Arfield) versus Chelsea (Diego Costa) in August 2014.- Harry Kane has scored six goals in six Premier League appearances against Aston Villa, netting a total of four in his last two league meetings with the Villans.- Jack Grealish has lost each of his last 19 Premier League games, the longest run of consecutive defeats suffered by a player in the history of the competition.What’s next?Manchester City began their title defence in style in Saturday’s early kick-off with a 5-0 win over West Ham and Pep Guardiola’s side are next up for Tottenham at the Etihad Stadium. Villa, meanwhile, host Bournemouth. read more
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)Attendance issues are a problem throughout college football. Big-time programs have no problem selling out, but lesser Power 5 schools and many non-Power 5 programs don’t have that luxury.Take Northern Illinois for example. A new report from Northern Star Media indicates that NIU had to buy back over a quarter of a million dollars in football tickets last year in order to comply with NCAA attendance standards.According to the NCAA, FBS programs are “required to have a rolling average attendance of 15,000 people per game, paid or actual.” If they fail to meet that benchmark, they are notified by the NCAA and could lose their FBS status.Per Northern Star Media, NIU had to buy back $273,619 worth of tickets.The office purchased 56,345 tickets as part of an NCAA audit, according to a compilation of transaction details provided to the Northern Star in a Freedom of Information Act request.[ … ]John Cheney, NIU Executive Associate Athletic Director, said it’s not uncommon for schools to have to buy back tickets to meet the requirement.NIU reported its announced season attendance at 67,748 in 2017, according to an NCAA attendance report. However, numbers show the total number of scanned tickets and student swipes accepted at games totaled 44,084, according to attendance numbers provided to the Northern Star through a FOIA request.Since NIU would have needed to sell 90,000 tickets to meet the 15,000 per game quota (they hosted six home contests in 2017), you can see here the 56,345 figure comes from.This isn’t actually uncommon for smaller schools to buy back tickets. Additionally, while attendance may be fluctuating, NIU is in pretty good shape on the field, having made five bowl games in the last six seasons.The Huskies are currently 4-3 on the season, 4-0 in MAC play.