Former Arsenal transfer target Stanislav Lobotka wanted by Napoli and Fiorentina

12 Jul

Top Italian sides Fiorentina and Napoli are leading the race for Celta Vigo midfielder Stanislav Lobotka.

The Slovakian ace, 23, caught the eye of Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain after an impressive season in Spain but now the Serie A clubs are closing in.

The 23 year old made 38 La Liga appearances

The Gunners’ recent signing of Lucas Torreira from Sampdoria, means Napoli and Fiorentina in the clear to sign Lobotka.

The Italian pair are both in talks with Celta Vigo about a possible deal and could get him for £25m.

Napoli are particularly keen to bolster their midfield this summer as they fear Jorginho will sign for Chelsea or Manchester City.

Lobotka is considered an ideal replacement for the midfielder and he could be brought in for half the price Jorginho will sell for.

Everton transfer target Nikola Kalinic could be moving to Atletico Madrid

11 Jul

AC Milan star Nikola Kalinic has been linked with a move to Atletico Madrid.

Kalinic’s agent Tomislav Erceg said the 30-year-old would be keen on a move to the Spanish capital after Milan told him he can leave this summer.

The Serie A star has had interest from top Spanish clubs and Premier League sides

Everton have also shown an interest in the player, having tracked him last summer, while Sevilla are also keep an eye on him.

Ecreg told Estadio Deportivo: “Kalinic is aware of the interest of several teams.

“But he has to wait and see what Milan decides. Atletico are interested, we cannot hide that fact.

“But Sevilla are too, there are several options open, however it depends on Milan’s management.”

He added: “Nikola knows how competitive Atletico are, with a great coach like [Diego] Simeone at the helm.

“But right now it is not in our hands to decide, once Milan express their decision, we will evaluate it.”

UFC 226: Daniel Cormier out to emulate Conor McGregor when he fights Stipe Miocic this weekend

5 Jul

UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic faces light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier in huge fight in Las Vegas this weekend.

If Cormier wins the bout at UFC 226, he would become a two-weight world champion, a feat only ever achieved before by UFC superstar Conor McGregor.

Miocic will face Daniel Cormier this weekend

Stipe Miocic went toe-to-toe with Cameroonian Francis Ngannou earlier this year and won via decision after a five round brawl.

Ngannou, who will also fight on UFC 226 against Derrick Lewis, says he isn’t sure who will win the clash at the T-Mobile Arena.

The heavyweight contender said: “I think everyone can win – I can’t say anything.

Francis Ngannou faced Stipe in January

“Honestly, I don’t know – I think it’s two wrestlers, they have the same style, they like to put pressure on and then to take their time.”

Miocic is currently on a six-fight winning streak, in which four were finished inside the first round.

Cormier’s last loss inside the Octagon was on January 3, 2015 against Jon Jones.

In UFC 214, back in July 2017, Jones fought and knocked Cormier out but the fight was ruled a no-contest after Jones tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

Cormier was reinstated as the champion and went on to defend the title against Volkan Oezdemir in January.

UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway pulled from UFC 226 bout with Brian Ortega due to head injury

5 Jul

UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway has been pulled from UFC 226 this weekend after displaying “concussion-like symptoms.”

The Hawaiian was billed to fight Brian Ortega for the featherweight strap at the T-Mobile Arena – but he was hospitalised after his team noticed he was acting strangely.

Max Holloway has been pulled from the bout

His management team released the following statement: “This became obvious to many watching his interviews and public appearances the past few days.

“He was showing concussion-like symptoms before he even started his weight cut and was rushed to the ER on Monday where they admitted him overnight.

“Initial scans seemed okay, and he was released Tuesday afternoon, but symptoms still continued.

“Max fought with his team to continue with the fight.

Brian Ortega was supposed to face Max Holloway at the T-Mobile Arena

“He showed some improvement over the next day but was still showing obvious symptoms.

“After open workouts, he crashed and was very hard to wake up. When he did, he had flashing vision and slurred speech. He is now back in the ER for further tests.”

During an interview with UFC on Fox, British ace and former middleweight champion Michael Bisping said: “You say you feel great, and don’t be offended when I say this, but you look like you just got out of bed.

“Are you tired, what’s going on, how’s the weight cut? Are you drained? You look a little sleepy.”

Holloway has already been pulled from two other bouts this year.

He was scheduled to fight Frankie Edgar at UFC 222 in March but he was to withdrawn due to a leg injury.

He stepped forward to face Khabib Nurmagomedov on short notice in April but was pulled from the card due to a weight cutting issue.

Aston Villa news: Director of football Steve Round sacked by cash-strapped Championship club

5 Jul

Aston Villa director of football Steve Round has left the club.

The former Everton and Manchester United assistant manager joined in September 2016, a month before current boss Steve Bruce was appointed.

Steve Round has left Aston Villa

A Villa statement read: “We can confirm Director of Football Steve Round has left the club. The club would like to thank Steve for all his efforts and wish him well for the future.”

Round follows Keith Wyness, Villa’s former chief executive, who was sacked last month having been suspended by owner Tony Xia.

The chairman had been unhappy Wyness was seeking advice as he looked to safeguard Villa’s financial future should they fail to return to the Premier League.

Wyness is now suing Villa for constructive dismissal which could cost the club over £6million.

They lost the Sky Bet Championship play-off final 1-0 to Fulham in May and Xia’s financial problems have been laid bare.

He needs to raise £40million to comply with Financial Fair Play rules and has reportedly turned down offers for a stake in Villa.

A Villa statement said: “We can confirm Director of Football Steve Round has left the club. The club would like to thank Steve for all his efforts and wish him well for the future.”

Round is another high-profile departure from the club after Keith Wyness, Villa’s chief executive, was sacked last month after he was suspended by owner Tony Xia.

The chairman had been unhappy Wyness was seeking advice as he looked to safeguard Villa’s financial future should they fail to return to the Premier League.

Wyness is now suing Villa for constructive dismissal which could cost the club more than £6million.

They lost the Sky Bet Championship play-off final 1-0 to Fulham in May and Xia’s financial problems have been laid bare.

He needs to raise £40million to comply with Financial Fair Play rules and has reportedly turned down offers for a stake in Villa.

Who are England playing in the World Cup quarter-finals and what other teams are left? Kick-off times and live coverage

4 Jul

England have progressed to the quarter-finals of the World Cup for the first time since 2006.

The Three Lions beat Colombia on penalties – the first time they have ever won a shoot-out at a World Cup – after the game finished 1-1 in normal time.

So, who will England face in the last eight? Here’s what you need to know.

England v Sweden

The quarter-final match against Sweden is on Saturday 7 July at 3pm (UK time). The game will be played at the Cosmos Arena, which has a capacity of 44,000 and will be live on talkSPORT here.

If England win they will face either Russia or Croatia in the semi-final on 11 July.

England face Sweden on Saturday

Russia v Croatia

The hosts will take on Croatia in the Fisht Stadium on Saturday at 7pm (UK time), which you can hear live on talkSPORT here.

Russia has had an incredible run in the competition so far, finishing in Group A with six points, having thrashed Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the opening game and beaten Egypt 3-1.

They then progressed to the last 16 and beat Spain on penalties.

Croatia, meanwhile, was one of only three nations to win all their matches in the group stage and finish with nine points.

Zlatko Dalic’s men shocked Argentina by beating them 3-0.

They progressed to the the last eight following a tense penalty shoot-out win against.

Russia will play Croatia on Saturday at 7PM UK time

Brazil v Belgium

Brazil will take on Belgium in their final eight clash at the Kazan Arena, which is live on talkSPORT at 7pm (UK time) on Friday 6 July.

Belgium topped Group G after they beat England 1-0 last week.

Roberto Martínez’s men then faced Japan in the last 16.

They were losing two nil but miraculously scored three goals in the last 20 minutes to clutch victory.

Brazil topped Group E with seven points and beat Mexico 2-0 to progress to the quarter finals.

Uruguay v France

Uruguay will face France at the Nizhny Novgorad Stadium live on talkSPORT at 3pm on Friday 6 July here.

France’s last 16 clash against Argentina has been hailed the game of the tournament so far.

Paris Saint-Germain ace Kylian Mbappe scored two goals in a four-minute period which had the South Americans chasing the game and the thriller eventually finished 4-3.

Uruguay are the only team in the tournament to beat the hosts.

They beat Russia 3-0 and the two nations could meet again in the final.

Kylian Mbappe scored two goals against Argentina

Sweden vs Switzerland: Live talkSPORT commentary, stream, kick-off time and confirmed team lineup for World Cup match

3 Jul

Sweden take on Switzerland the last 16 of the World Cup on Tuesday.

The Swedes topped Group F with six points, while Switzerland came second behind Brazil in Group E.

Sweden face Switzerland in the last 16 of the World Cup

When is Sweden vs Switzerland?

The game will take place at 3pm UK time.

The match will be played at the Saint Petersburg Stadium, which has a capacity of 64,000.

Krestovsky Stadium (Saint Petersburg Stadium), Saint Petersburg – 68,000 capacity
The game will be held at the Saint Petersburg Stadium

Where can I listen?

Click here to listen to our live commentary of the action as it happens on talkSPORT.

What’s the team news?

Sweden: Olsen, Lustig, Lindelof, Granqvist, Augustinsson, Claesson, Svensson, Ekdal, Forsberg, Berg, Toivonen

Switzerland: Sommer, Lang, Djourou, Akanji, Rodriguez, Behrami, Xhaka, Shaqiri, Dzemaili, Zuber, Drmic

talkSPORT are with listeners all day and all night at this year’s 2018 FIFA World Cup™ with over 800 hours of World Cup content and all 64 games live across the talkSPORT network.

Wolves transfers news: Premier League new boys want Colombia World Cup star Juan Quintero

2 Jul

Wolves are understood to be tracking Colombian World Cup ace Juan Quintero.

The newly-promoted Premier League club are targeting an ambitious swoop for the Porto star, who has scored one goal and made two assists for his nation in Russia this summer.

Juan Quintero could be heading to Wolves

Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo knows the attacking midfielder from his time managing the Portuguese side.

The 25-year-old has been with Porto since 2013, but has spent loan spells with Rennes, Independiente Medellín and River Plate in recent seasons.

Quintero, who is expected to start against England in Tuesday’s last 16 clash live on talkSPORT, now looks set for another move.

He has attracted interested from Real Madrid and Tottenham but Wolves, with the help of super agent Jorge Mendes, are hopeful of securing his signature.

Mendes has helped Wolves complete a number of impressive signings from Portuguese football in recent years.

Portugal’s No.1 Rui Patricio joined from Sporting Lisbon earlier this summer, while Mexico international Raul Jimenez arrived from Benfica.

Ruben Neves, Diego Jota and Helder Costa have also moved to Molineux since Chinese owners Fosun, who have a stake in Mendes’ agency, bought the club.

Brazil vs Mexico: Live commentary, stream, kick off time and confirmed teams for World Cup 2018 game

2 Jul

Brazil and Mexico clash in the last 16 of the 2018 World Cup on Monday, live on talkSPORT.

The South American side finished top of Group E with seven points, having secured two wins and one draw from their three games.

Brazil face Mexico in the knock out stages of the tournament

Mexico were beaten 3-0 by Sweden in their final Group F match, but South Korea’s shock 2-0 triumph over Germany meant that they advanced to the knockout stages as runners up.

When is Brazil vs Mexico?

The game will kick off at 3PM UK time.

The match will take place at the Samara Arena, which has a capacity of 45,000.

Cosmos Arena (Samara Arena), Samara – 45,000 capacity
The game will be hosted at the Samara Arena

How can I stream live commentary?

Click here to listen to our live commentary of all the action as it happens on talkSPORT.

What’s the team news?

Brazil do not have Marcelo available due to injury so Filipe Luis comes into the side.

Mexico have sprung a major surprise by naming 39-year-old Rafa Marquez in their team.

Brazil XI: Alisson, Fagner, Thiago Silva, Miranda, Filipe Luis, Paulinho, Casemiro, Willian, Coutinho, Neymar, Gabriel Jesus.

Subs: Cassio, Pedro Geromel, Renato Augusto, Marcelo, Marquinhos, Danilo, Fernandinho, Fred, Firmino, Taison, Ederson.

Mexico XI: Ochoa, Alvarez, Ayala, Salcedo, Gallardo, Herrera, Marquez, Guardado, Vela, Hernandez, Lozano.

Subs: Jose de Jesus Corona, Gutierrez, Jonathan, Layun, Fabian, Jimenez, Giovani, Jesus Corona, Peralta, Aquino, Talavera.

talkSPORT are with listeners all day and all night at this year’s 2018 FIFA World Cup™ with over 800 hours of World Cup content and all 64 games live across the talkSPORT network.

Belgium vs Japan: Live commentary, stream, kick-off time and confirmed team news for World Cup 2018 match

2 Jul

Belgium face Japan in the last 16 of the 2018 World Cup on Monday, live on talkSPORT.

The European nation will come into the game feeling confident, having breezed through their group and after beating England 1-0 on Thursday night.

Belgium face Japan on Monday

Japan won one of their three group games but still edged out Senegal to book a last 16 spot thanks to the FIFA fair play ruling.

When is Belgium vs Japan?

The game will take place at 7pm UK time.

The match will be played at the Rostov Arena, which has a capacity of around 43,000.

The Rostov Arena will host Japan vs Belgium

How can I listen to live coverage of the game?

Click here to listen to our live commentary of the action as it happens on talkSPORT.

What’s the team news?

Belgium: Courtois, Alderweireld, Kompany, Vermaelen, Meunier, De Bruyne, Witsel, Carrasco, Mertens, E. Hazard, Lukaku

Japan: Kawashima, Sakai, Yoshida, Shoji, Nagatomo, Shibasaki, Haraguchi, Hasebe, Kagawa, Inui, Osako

talkSPORT are with listeners all day and all night at this year’s 2018 FIFA World Cup™ with over 800 hours of World Cup content and all 64 games live across the talkSPORT network.