Liverpool wonderkid Harvey Elliott ‘wholeheartedly’ apologies after video circulates on social media of him mocking Tottenham star Harry Kane

31 Jul

Harvey Elliott has apologised after an offensive video featuring the new Liverpool signing has been circulated online.

The 16-year-old wonderkid moved to Jurgen Klopp’s side this summer from Fulham and already is impressing the fans.

Harvey Elliott looks set to continue his development at Liverpool
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He came on in Liverpool‘s 3-1 win over Lyon and supporters have been raving about his potential.

Elliott apologised on social media after the clip caused a significant backlash.

The apology uploaded to Instagram
Instagram

The footage appeared to show the teenager performing an offensive impersonation about England captain Harry Kane and allegedly called him a f****** m**g”.

Elliott wrote: “I would just like to wholeheartedly apologise for any offence caused on the back of a video of me currently circulating on the internet.

“The video was taken whilst messing around with friends in a private environment and was not directed at any individual but I realise that my actions were both immature and senseless.

“I would like to stress that the contents of the video do not represent who I am as a person or how I’ve been brought up, and I am truly sorry.”

Steven Gerrard admits Rangers have been priced out of Ryan Kent transfer by Liverpool

31 Jul

Rangers have no choice but to move on from Ryan Kent, according to manager Steven Gerrard.

The Glasgow side were desperate to get the Liverpool winger back following an impressive loan stint last season.

Jurgen Klopp has insisted that Kent would only be leaving the club on a permanent basis this summer – with the finances involved beyond Rangers’ reach.

Ryan Kent was a big hit during his season-long loan at Rangers
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“I haven’t asked that question (to the board) but I think the answer would probably be yes,” said Gerrard as he admitted the figures required to sign Kent would be too rich for his side.

“Jurgen has come out and given the answer that will come out of my mouth anyway. It has been addressed and we move on.

“The end of it? Where we are right now, yes. We respect Liverpool’s stance and we thank them very much for allowing us to work with Ryan for a year.

“We have obviously got a Liverpool player at the moment in Sheyi Ojo who has started very well. I had a good conversation on the phone with Jurgen a few days ago and we totally respect Liverpool’s position on it.

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“It is possible we still might get one more player in, but there is no rush. The squad is in a decent place so we will go with what we have at the moment.

“If something was to come up that makes us better and we think it will make us better then we will take it to the board and the answer will be with them.”

Reports on Thursday claimed striker Alfredo Morelos had decided against a move to Hebei Fortune despite the Chinese Super League outfit having been prepared to meet Rangers’ £15million valuation.

It was claimed a £30million, three-year package had been put on the table before the Colombian turned it down.

But Gerrard responded to the story by saying: “I’m unaware of it. There have been no bids. It is as you were from the last time. I’m not sure whether he is going to do the interview for you, though.”

EF Education First bringing loaded roster to Tour of Utah

31 Jul

EF Education First are going all in for the upcoming Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, fielding two past champions along with Tejay van Garderen and Colombian climber Dani Martinez in their seven-rider roster for the 2.HC race that starts with a prologue time trial at Snowbird Resort.

Organisers of the August 12-18 race today released preliminary team rosters, and EF Education First's offering makes it clear the US WorldTour team wants to recapture the streak of three wins that ended in 2015 with Joe Dombrowki's overall victory.

Dombrowski will return this year along with Lachlan Morton, who won the race in 2016 with Jelly Belly. The team will also field Colombian time trial champion and climber Dani Martinez, US road champion Alex Howes, Lawson Craddock and James Whelan.

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Rob Britton, who won the overall in 2017, will return with Rally UHC Cycling to make another run at the Utah crown, joined on the provisional roster by climbing talents Gavin Mannion, Kyle Murphy and Emerson Oronte. Evan Huffman, Ty Magner and Nihgel Ellsay will be able helpers for Britton's quest.

Trek-Segafredo, the only other WorldTour team at this year's race, will feature Giulio Ciccone, the young Italian who finished second on stage 2 of the Tour de France and wore yellow for two days. Ciccone will have the support of Americans Kiel Reijnen and Peter Stetina on Trek's seven-rider roster.

Israel Cycling Academy's Ben Hermans will be the only rider returning from the 2018 podium, as winner Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) and Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott) are likely aimed at the Vuelta a España that starts August 24.

2019 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah Teams

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Teuns out of San Sebastian after freak gardening injury

31 Jul

Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida) will have to miss the Clasica San Sebastian, his team announced, after he suffered an injury while working in his garden at his home in Halen.

The winner of the stage to La Planche des Belles Filles in the 2019 Tour de France was working with his tractor when he "was involved in a minor home accident", according to his team.

"I was working on earthworks at home with my tractor with a machine behind it," Teuns told Het Nieuwsblad. "The machine suddenly stopped working due to a technical defect. That also brought the tractor to a halt. Because of that sudden stop I hit my head on the wheel. Next week's training in preparation for the Vuelta is not normally compromised."

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The team reported that Teuns required 15 stitches in his forehead.

"Due to this and bashed up face, unfortunately, he will miss the upcoming Clasica San Sebastian," the team stated.

Teuns was slated to lead Bahrain-Merida at the WorldTour race following his successful Tour de France. The team has not yet named a replacement for the 27-year-old. Valerio Agnoli, Grega Bole, Damiano Caruso, Andrea Garosio, Antonio Nibali and Mark Padun are listed by the race on the provisional roster.

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Nicolas Pepe latest: Arsenal to complete signing of winger in next 24 hours, says Lille president

31 Jul

Arsenal will complete the signing of Nicolas Pepe in the next 24 hours, according to Lille president Gerard Lopez.

The 24-year-old is on the verge of joining the Gunners in a £72million deal and has even been spotted taking part in a photoshoot for the club.

Nicolas Pepe was directly involved in an impressive 33 goals for Lille last season
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The winger will be a club-record signing as it will surpass the £55million they paid for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in January 2018.

Speaking to French media outlet RMC Sport on Wednesday, Lille president Lopez said: “He is the one who made the decision, I think it should be (confirmed) in the next 24 hours.

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“It is 80m euro fixed. If we pushed this deal out a little bit longer, we could have had five or six offers of the same nature.

“In talking with Nicolas and his agents, the discussion centred on a few clubs so we preferred to focus on the projects that interested the player.”

Europa League finalists Arsenal have made three signings so far this summer.

Striker Gabriel Martinelli, 18, joined earlier in the window before a season-long loan deal for Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos was announced last week.

The signing of William Saliba from St Etienne was confirmed just hours after Ceballos, but the 18-year-old France youth international will spend the next season back on loan at the Ligue 1 outfit.

Liverpool 3-1 Lyon: Teenager wonderkid Harvey Elliott dubbed ‘the next Lionel Messi’ by excited fans after impressing in pre-season win

31 Jul

Harvey Elliott may only be 16 but he looks set for a bright future at Liverpool.

The talented teenager was signed by the Reds this summer from Fulham and has made his first appearances in their pre-season friendlies.

Harvey Elliott came on in the second half against Lyon
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Elliott came on in the second half of their match against Lyon on Wednesday and fans were seriously impressed.

He was even being compared with the likes of Lionel Messi and Kaka for his movement and skill with the ball at his feet.

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Liverpool picked up their first win of pre-season in that match with Lyon.

They went a goal down early on when Alisson Becker conceded a penalty in the third minute and Memphis Depay converted.

Roberto Firmino equalised in the 17th minute with an excellent finish from inside the box before a spectacular own goal from Joachim Anderson put the ball into his own net.

Harry Wilson’s spectacular strike from 25 yards made it 3-1 and completed a good performance for Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Elliott was one of a number of youngsters who caught the eye during the game and fans were suitably impressed.

Mauricio Pochettino ‘has had enough’ of fighting with Daniel Levy at Tottenham, says Jamie O’Hara

31 Jul

Jamie O’Hara believes Mauricio Pochettino’s recent comments indicate that he has had enough at Tottenham.

The Spurs boss stunned supporters with comments hinting at his unhappiness with the club’s transfer business.

Pochettino has conceded he may need his job title changed
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And after watching his team beat Real Madrid in Germany, Pochettino admitted he has no idea about the club’s transfer plans.

He also said he feels more like a coach as he is not in charge of transfers.

Those comments have raised fresh doubts over his future at the north London club.

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Pochettino has previously been linked with a move away from Tottenham when there were vacancies at Real Madrid and Manchester United.

Former Spurs midfielder O’Hara thinks these comments show that Pochettino is running out of patience.

He told talkSPORT said: “For me, he’s someone who has built that club, singlehandedly got a squad to play for him and play for the club.

“He has done such great things.

“That quote and that interview says to me ‘I’ve had enough of this. I’m fighting against Levy all the time for players that I want and things I want to do’.

“And this is a big, big season for Spurs.”

Yorkshire bridge collapse could force reroute of elite men’s road race at World Championships

31 Jul

Organisers of the 2019 UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire this September could be forced to alter the elite men's road race after a bridge collapsed on the circuit due to flood waters. The Guardian reported Wednesday that Grinton Moor Bridge had collapsed and left the road impassable.

Eight days of racing at the Yorkshire World Championships will begin September 22 and conclude Sunday, September 29, with the elite men's road race.

The men's 285km contest starts in Leeds and begins with one large loop of about 180km that covers climbs over Cray Summit (64km), Buttertubs Summit (100km), and Grinton Moor Summit (154km) before returning to Harrorgate for seven laps of a technical 13km finishing circuit.

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The peloton was expected to ride over the Grinton Moor Bridge [which crosses the River Swale] at roughly 120km into the race, just before entering the small village of Grinton. The Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team released images of the Grinton Moor Bridge after it collapsed due to flood waters. The images show a gaping hole across the entire width of the bridge and the wall on the right side almost completely gone. More recent photos, however, show the entire bridge had been swept away by the fast-flowing river.

The Guardian reported that organisers of the Yorkshire World Championships are scheduled to visit the area on Wednesday to evaluate the damage but said the priority was placed on residents in the area.

"At the current time, our thoughts are with those affected by the flooding. We will address any damage to race routes with North Yorkshire county council in due course," said Andy Hindley, Chief Executive of Yorkshire 2019.

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Boxing news: Eddie Hearn updates on Dillian Whyte situation, Canelo Alvarez’s likely next fight

31 Jul

Here is a round-up of the best of today’s boxing news…

Dillian Whyte provisionally suspended by WBC

The sanctioning body’s statement read: “A sample UKAD collected from Mr Dillian Whyte in relation with his bout against Oscar Rivas yielded an adverse finding.

“In light of that adverse finding, and pending the outcome of the WBC’s own investigation and adjudicatory process, the WBC is provisionally suspending the WBC’s recognition of Dillian Whyte as WBC interim world heavyweight champion and mandatory challenger of the division.

“The WBC has notified Mr Whyte and his team of the WBC’s suspension and that it will afford Mr Whyte the opportunity to present its position to the WBC at an investigative hearing which will take place at a place and time to be announced in the near future.

“Throughout its investigation and hearing, the WBC will afford Mr Whyte and his team the opportunity to present any available information and materials, and any exculpatory evidence they might deem appropriate.”

Dillian Whyte beat Oscar Rivas by unanimous decision
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Eddie Hearn: I don’t believe Dillian Whyte has cheated, but if he’s guilty he should be banned

Hearn has exclusively told talkSPORT that he does not believe Whyte has cheated despite testing positive for a banned substance.

The promoter stated to talkSPORT’s Nick Peet: “If he’s found to be innocent, completely innocent, which right now you can’t say he’s not, then great.

“If he’s found to be guilty and he has done something wrong, which in my heart of hearts I don’t believe so, then he should be banned from the sport.

“Anybody that cheats in the sport of boxing should be.”

Eddie Hearn promotes Dillian Whyte
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Canelo reportedly closing in on fight with Ukrainian mandatory

Canelo Alvarez vs Sergiy Derevyanchenko is reportedly now being finalised for Canelo’s next fight.

The unified middleweight champion was in talks to move up and challenge Sergey Kovalev for his light-heavyweight crown, but that bout could not be made and so he will instead defend against the mandatory challenger.

The stumbling block for this was initially the fact that Canelo’s US broadcaster DAZN were reluctant to approve little-known Derevyanchenko as an opponent for their star man, however according to ESPN, they have now done so.

It’s understood that the potential dates are October 19 and October 26 – with Canelo having already moved off his traditional September date for this year.

Canelo now holds the WBA, WBC and IBF middleweight titles, as well as the WBA ‘regular’ super-middleweight belt

Hughie Fury vs Alexander Povetkin officially announced

Fury will face Povetkin on the undercard of Vasyl Lomachenko vs Luke Campbell, it was officially announced on Wednesday.

The 24-year-old heavyweight signed with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom last week and is being thrown straight into the deep end with a top class heavyweight.

“I’m over the moon with this news,” said Fury, “I can’t wait. These are the kind of fights I want to be in.

“Povetkin is a dangerous man. You can’t take anything away from that. He’s not been where he’s been for nothing. It’s a very serious fight but I’m confident of getting the win on the night.”

Hughie Fury will look for a career best win
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How Manchester United could line up against Chelsea with Harry Maguire and Paulo Dybala – but without Romelu Lukaku

31 Jul

Manchester United fans have called on the Glazer family and Ed Woodward to do serious business throughout the transfer window and they could be about to get their wish.

Having signed Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka at the start of the summer for a combined fee of £65million, the Red Devils looked set to make a serious charge in the market.

Progress slowed as other targets were linked, but rumours failed to materialise into anything more. However, according to reports, this could all change before their opening Premier League fixture against Chelsea.

Paolo Dybala has been linked with a move to Manchester United
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Reports broke late on Tuesday night suggesting United were locked in talks with representatives of Paulo Dybala in London about a possible swap deal involving Romelu Lukaku.

The Belgium striker is not going to be the main man at Old Trafford and wants a move to Serie A.

Juve, meanwhile, are prepared to let Dybala leave because Cristiano Ronaldo is once again going to be the focal point in Turin.

While completing the signing of the 25-year-old would represent a huge piece of business in itself, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer himself teased another potential arrival.

Solskjaer admitted there could be ‘one or two’ new arrivals at Old Trafford
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Leicester City defender Harry Maguire has also been linked with a move to United this summer, with the England international going as far as to say it was a ‘dream’ to play for the Red Devils.

Maguire missed the Foxes’ training session on Monday due to illness, as reports of a move gather pace. Two bids have already been turned down as Leicester hold out for their £90m valuation.

With the transfer window slamming shut on Thursday August 8, just days before the opening game against Europa League holders Chelsea on the Sunday, United know they must act quickly.

But how could the Red Devils look for that home clash against the Blues? talkSPORT.com has examined the possible formations and tactical switch Solskjaer could implement, scroll down to see them all.

Option 1) 4-4-1-1

Dybala could excel in a free role as second striker
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At Juventus, the prestige of wearing the No.10 shirt brings with it a sense of expectation and pressure afforded to a select few. Michel Platini, Alessandro Del Piero and Paul Pogba himself have all thrived with the famous digit on their back.

The current holder, Dybala, has also excelled in the No.10 shirt and it reflects his preferred position on the pitch. Playing just off of a main striker, the Argentine does his best work when given space around the penalty area.

If Lukaku is gone, Marcus Rashford will be the main man up front and his pace can pull defences apart and create holes which Dybala has more than enough talent to exploit.

With Daniel James and Anthony Martial on the flanks, United would possess searing pace out wide and have the option to be more versatile. The Wales international has the capacity to play on either flank, while Martial and Rashford can also operate from the left.

The longer the transfer window drags on, the more likely it seem Paul Pogba will remain at Old Trafford. He can occasionally join the attack and link up with the frontmen with the security of Nemanja Matic anchoring the midfield.

Option 2) 4-3-3

The pace the Red Devils would posses up front is frightening
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With Harry Maguire occupying the left hand side of the defence, United would have a really nice balance with Victor Lindelof on the right hand side. The Sweden international has continued to develop at Old Trafford and could become a key player for the Red Devils.

The duo are solid, meaning full backs Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw can overlap at will, which works best with inverted forwards. With Dybala on the right, cutting in on his left and Martial doing the same on the opposite side, there would be considerable amounts of space on the flanks.

But the only downfall to this situation could be the right-back’s lack of end product. Although defensively superb, the £50m man can struggle to beat a man or find a killer cross.

In this situation, Solskjaer could turn to the more attack-minded Diogo Dalot, who even filled in as a right winger last season.

In midfield, Scott McTominay will surely get game time as he impressed the Norwegian with his performances towards the end of last season and his box-to-box play suits a 4-3-3 formation perfectly.

Option 3) 4-2-3-1

Playing Pogba in a more advanced role is something fans want to see
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A slight variation on the 4-4-1-1 listed earlier, United could grant Pogba the extra freedom in a more advanced role, allowing him to be more of an influence in the opposition box.

His link up play with Dybala in the 2015/16 season at Juventus was superb, as the duo helped the Bianconeri secured a Serie A and Coppa Italia double.

The interlinking play and attacking possibilities for United next season are limitless with these two together and fans could finally get to see Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial also rekindle their deadly partnership from the same season.

With McTominay and Matic played deeper in midfield, the full backs can push on as with the 4-3-3 suggested earlier, but this is where fans could see the best of Maguire.

At Leicester and with England, the 27-year-old is at his best when he knows he has midfielders who can drop deep and cover him when he brings the ball out of defence.

For the Foxes it was Wilfred Ndidi and for the Three Lions it was Jordan Henderson. Now, he has Matic and McTominay capable of dropping into the back line to cover the ball-playing centre-half as he charges up the pitch.

Option 4) 4-4-2

4-4-2 is no longer seen as an archaic formation in football terms
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A stickler for tradition, Solskjaer reintroduced club suits for Manchester United squad members pre-game and even invited Sir Alex Ferguson to give motivational speeches.

It would perhaps be fitting to revert then to the Red Devils’ swashbuckling 4-4-2 formation for his first full season in charge to bring excitement back to the masses at Old Trafford.

Make no mistake, this is not a rigid formation – Atletico Madrid proved that in the early years under Diego Simeone. When attacking, it can be augmented to almost form a 4-3-3 formation, with James supporting for a wide position and Pogba cutting inside to play centrally.

While it is not yet exactly clear how Dybala will fit in at United, the point to take away is the Red Devils are more versatile and more dangerous IF they can complete this sensational deal.

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