Top 10 most expensive English players of all-time – Harry Maguire to join this elite group?

24 Jun

Leicester City defender Harry Maguire is reportedly set to join Manchester City in an £80million deal.

The transfer will make him the world’s most expensive Englishman, and defender, in history.

Pep Guardiola has made Harry Maguire a top summer target
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The Mirror claim Pep Guardiola sees Leicester’s Maguire as an ideal replacement for Vincent Kompany, who is taking up a player-manager role at Anderlecht next season.

The City captain played a crucial role in the club’s 2018/19 domestic treble-winning campaign, starting in both FA Cup and Carabao Cup finals and featuring heavily in the Premier League title run-in.

Maguire, who has starred for England over the past two years, is believed to have told friends he wants to join City.

So, who are the current top 10 most expensive English players? talkSPORT take a look.

10. David Beckham (Manchester United to Real Madrid in 2003) – £24million

After winning six Premier League titles under Sir Alex Ferguson, Beckham completed a big-money move to the Bernabeu.

He won just one LaLiga title during a four-year spell, but played alongside the likes of Brazilian Ronaldo, Raul, Zinedine Zidane and Roberto Carlos.

David Beckham a Real Madrid Galactico
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9. Adam Lallana (Southampton to Liverpool in 2014) – £25million

Lallana captained Southampton to an eighth-placed Premier League finish in what was just their second season back in the top-flight.

He was a key figure in the Saints’ free-flowing football and his superb form resulted in Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers splashing the cash.

Adam Lallana’s Liverpool career has been plagued by injuries
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8. James Milner (Aston Villa to Manchester City in 2010) – £26million

Milner was always a reliable performer under Roberto Mancini and Manuel Pellegrini.

He won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and EFL Cup during his five-year spell at the Etihad.

James Milner was in and out of Manchester City’s starting XI
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7. Wayne Rooney (Everton to Manchester United in 2004) – £27million

Everton rejected a £20million bid from Newcastle before accepting a higher fee from Manchester United for an 18-year-old Rooney.

The former England captain is United’s all-time leading goalscorer.

He is considered an Old Trafford legend by supporters – and rightfully so.

Wayne Rooney went on to captain Manchester United
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6. Luke Shaw (Southampton to Manchester United in 2014) – £30million

Two seasons playing regular first-team Premier League football with Southampton saw Chelsea and United compete for Shaw’s signature.

And he became the world’s most expensive teenager after completing his move to Old Trafford.

Luke Shaw performed well in a poor Manchester United side last season
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5. Rio Ferdinand (Leeds to Manchester United in 2002) – £30million

Ferdinand became the world’s most expensive defender for a second time when signing for United.

Ferguson’s faith in the defender was repaid with six Premier League titles and a Champions League trophy during a hugely successful 12-year stay at Old Trafford.

Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic formed one of the best defensive partnerships in Premier League history.

Rio Ferdinand was a leader for Manchester United
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4. Andy Carroll (Newcastle to Liverpool in 2011) – £35million

Desperate to replace Fernando Torres, who had joined Chelsea, Liverpool signed Carroll for a then-club-record fee on January transfer deadline day.

Injuries and form blighted his Anfield career as he failed to hit the ground running.

Andy Carroll was an expensive Liverpool flop
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3. John Stones (Everton to Manchester City in 2016) – £47.5million

After rejecting a £40million bid from Chelsea the previous summer, Everton could not turn down another mega bid from a Premier League rival.

Guardiola made Stones his eighth summer signing and, at the time, the second most expensive defender in the world, behind £50million man David Luiz.

John Stones has improved as a defender under Pep Guardiola
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2. Raheem Sterling (Liverpool to Manchester City in 2015) – £49million

In a controversial exit from Anfield, Sterling asked to leave the club twice before eventually joining Manchester City.

Now, he is an integral part of Guardiola’s star-studded team.

Raheem Sterling has transformed into one of the Premier League’s best players
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1. Kyle Walker (Tottenham to Manchester City in 2017) – £53million

Manchester City, for a third successive time, broke the bank for an English talent.

In his two seasons with City, Walker has won two Premier League titles, two Carabao Cups and an FA Cup.

His form was rewarded with a new two-year contract extension earlier this month.

Kyle Walker recently extended his Manchester City deal
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Junior Firpo: Who is the £45million Real Betis full-back linked with Liverpool and Manchester United?

24 Jun

Liverpool and Manchester United have been linked with a move for Real Betis left-back Junior Firpo.

The 22-year-old is also reportedly being chased by LaLiga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Junior Firpo scored against Barcelona at the Nou Camp last November
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Firpo enjyoed a fine 2018/19 breakthrough season with Real Betis, scoring three goals and registering five assists.

With Alberto Moreno leaving Anfield this summer, Liverpool are in need of a full-back to provide cover for Andy Robertson.

Meanwhile, Manchester United could offer Firpo more playing time as Luke Shaw’s form and fitness remains a doubt.

Firpo could be playing in the Premier League next season, so who is he?

 

Junior Firpo - 2018/19

  • Age: 22
  • Club: Real Betis
  • Position: Left-back
  • Nationality: Spanish
  • LaLiga appearances: 24
  • Europa League appearances: 4
  • Goals: 3
  • Starts: 22
  • Assists: 5
  • Shots per game: 0.8
  • Aerials won per game: 1.3
  • Clearances per game: 1.5
  • Interceptions per game: 1
  • Tackles per game: 1.6
  • Pass success: 82.8 per cent
  • Key passes per game: 1

What’s the gossip?

Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United and Liverpool have all been linked with Firpo.

He has remained tight-lipped over his future.

“Did Madrid call me? If you want to know, you can ask them,” Firpo said.

“I’m here [at the European Under-21 Championship] with the national team and that’s all I want to think about.”

Firpo’s father is from Madrid, but he has previously insisted that will have no bearing on his next move.

Club career so far?

Firpo joined Real Betis as an 18-year-old from Spanish minnows CD Puerto Malagueno.

He played for Betis B for three years before making his first-team debut in February 2018.

Firpo has made 43 appearances for the senior side.

How much is he likely to cost?

Firpo has a £45million release clause.

With four years left on his contract, Betis are entitled to demand a huge fee.

International experience

Firpo is currently away with Spain’s Under-21 team at Euro 2019.

After being overlooked for their opening-day defeat to Italy, he was handed a start in a 2-1 victory against Belgium on Wednesday.

Performing consistently for Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United or Liverpool could earn him a senior call-up in the future.

What is being said about him?

Real Betis star Marc Bartra hopes Firpo stays at the club beyond the summer.

“He is a player who has shown that he has a lot of potential, quality and the ability of being in the right place at the right time,” the Spain international said.

“He is fine at Betis at the moment and I hope we can continue enjoying him here.”

How will he fit into Liverpool or Manchester United’s teams?

Firpo is an attacking left-back, who can also play as a makeshift winger.

He could be a viable replacement for first-choice left-back Robertson if Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp wants to rest the Scotland captain.

His pace and power would suit Liverpool’s style of play with Trent Alexander-Arnold bombing down the opposite flank.

How Junior Firpo could fit into Liverpool’s XI
buildlineup.com

At Manchester United, Firpo could push Shaw for a starting place. The England defender has been a regular under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but his form dipped towards the back-end of last season.

A mistake against already-relegated Huddersfield saw Manchester United miss out on Champions League football on the penultimate matchday of the 2018/19 campaign.

Solskjaer could view Firpo as a more reliable option, offensively and defensively, than Shaw.

Luke Shaw’s starting place could be under threat if Manchester United sign Junior Firpo
buildlineup.com

WWE gossip column: Mojo Rawley signs new deal, Alexa Bliss’ retirement fears and Drake Maverick’s 24/7 title pitch

22 Jun

WWE Stomping Grounds takes place this weekend.

With WWE struggling to sell tickets for the pay-per-view, expectations for the show aren’t too high.

Seth Rollins (c) vs Baron Corbin for the Universal Championship is set to be the main event match at Stomping Grounds
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Below, talkSPORT gives you the latest gossip and rumours from the wrestling world.

Mojo Rawley signs new WWE contract

Mojo Rawley sporadically appears on WWE TV
WWE

Pro Wrestling Sheet report Mojo Rawley has pen-to-paper on a new multi-million WWE deal.

Mojo has been used sparingly since turning heel in 2017.

He has joined Mike and Maria Kanellis in signing new deals this month.

Alexa Bliss was ‘very worried’ she wouldn’t wrestle again

It is great to see Alexa Bliss back in the ring after enduring serious concussion issues since September.

She takes on Bayley for the SmackDown Live Women’s Championship at Stomping Grounds on Sunday.

But in an interview with The New York Post, Bliss, who was sidelined for big pay-per-views Evolution, WrestleMania and Money in the Bank, admitted she could have been forced to retire.

She said: “I think after the second concussion I was very worried about not being able to get back in the ring, especially because I didn’t know what was going on with my brain.

“There are so many different types of concussions and I didn’t know that at the time.

“Each one had to be treated differently and the fact that I didn’t know what was going on with my brain and didn’t know until I saw the concussion specialist, it made me very scared.”

Drake Maverick’s 24/7 title pitch

The 24/7 Championship is one of the best things going on the main roster at the moment.

Drake Maverick pinned R-Truth for the belt on SmackDown Live earlier this week, but his reign did not last long.

At his real life wedding on Saturday, Maverick was pinned by Truth just seconds after marrying Renee Michelle.

PWInsider claim the Brit pitched the idea for the title change to happen at his wedding, something which WWE officials loved.

Nikki Cross and Killian Dain get married

Nikki Cross and Killian Dain officially tied the knot on Friday.

The wedding took place in Glasgow meaning Cross will have to make a swift return to the US as she is set to be in Bliss’ corner for the Goddess’ title match against Bayley on Sunday.

Kofi Kingston to feature in WWE film on Netflix

Kofi Kingston won the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 35
WWE

WWE’s film, The Main Event, is set to stream on Netflix next year with Kofi Kingston, The Miz and Sheamus starring in the production.

The film is about an 11-year-old boy who finds a magical mask and enters a competition to become a WWE superstar.

Chelsea manager news: Derby to offer Frank Lampard new bumper deal – reports

22 Jun

Derby are reportedly set to offer Frank Lampard a new bumper deal in an attempt to fend off interest from Chelsea.

The Blues legend is the bookmakers’ favourite to succeed Maurizio Sarri in the Stamford Bridge hotseat this summer.

Frank Lampard is hugely popular at Pride Park
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Sarri was appointed Juventus’ new boss last weekend after spending just one season in west London, where he won the Europa League and secured a third-placed Premier League finish.

After Lampard’s impressive debut managerial season, which saw Derby reach the Championship play-off final, Chelsea are keen to bring him back to the club.

And in a last-ditch effort to keep the former England midfielder, The Mirror claim Derby have offered him a lucrative £10million contract.

Rams chairman Mel Morris is believed to be willing to pay Lampard an annual £2.5million salary on a four-year deal.

Maurizio Sarri divided opinion among Chelsea fans
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The Championship club get a £4million compensation fee if Lampard leaves, but earlier this week, Morris revealed he had not received an official approach from Chelsea.

In a statement, he said: “We have made it very clear to everyone, but most importantly to Frank, that we want to retain Frank for the long term.

“If Chelsea want to hire Frank, then it is in their gift to make an offer in pursuit of that.

“In the meantime, we will continue to put our best foot forward to continue with our plans for the coming season and work with Frank for him to know how much he is wanted by everyone associated with the club.”

Lampard is expected to tell Morris he wants to join Chelsea when he returns from his summer holiday in Saint-Tropez.

European Under-21 Championship: Tony Cascarino slams Aidy Boothroyd’s treatment of Manchester United transfer target Aaron Wan-Bissaka

22 Jun

Tony Cascarino has slammed England Under-21 boss Aidy Boothroyd for his treatment of Manchester United target Aaron Wan Bissaka at Euro 2019.

The Young Lions crashed out of the tournament after losing 4-2 to Romania on Friday.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka is developing into a promising right-back
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Crystal Palace right-back Wan-Bissaka was dropped to the bench for the crucial game following his injury-time goal in a 2-1 defeat to France three days earlier.

And talkSPORT host Cascarino has hit out at Boothroyd for failing to back Wan-Bissaka, who is reportedly closing in on a £55million move to Old Trafford.

He told the Weekend Sports Breakfast: “I hated the decision on Wan-Bissaka, I thought it was terrible.

“You want trust from your team, you want your players to trust that the manager is going to back you.

Questions will be raised over Aidy Boothroyd’s position following England’s disappointing campaign
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“He [Wan-Bissaka] has made a mistake, one mistake in a game, if he’s your number one right-back, you play him again.

“All this talk of Manchester United and having his head turned, [it’s] nonsense.

“He made a mistake in a game, back him, tell him he’s still going to be number one. I think there were loads and loads of issues over the course of the two games.”

Wan-Bissaka made 35 Premier League appearances for Crystal Palace last season.

And he has been tipped for a senior England call-up in the future.

Cascarino added: “I watched him handle [Christian] Eriksen, [Eden] Hazard, [Alexis] Sanchez, he’s handled a good few wide men and he’s done it brilliantly.

“Now, if he’s going to be a scapegoat for the result against the French and on the day before the [Romania] game, we all knew he was out of the side, I found it really strange, I didn’t like it at all.”

Rangers transfer news: Charlton boss Lee Bowyer admits it’ll be ‘difficult’ to keep Joe Aribo amid Premier League and Gers interest

22 Jun

Charlton Athletic manager Lee Bowyer has told talkSPORT it will be ‘difficult’ for the Championship club to keep Rangers target Joe Aribo.

The talented midfielder is attracting strong interest from Premier League sides and Rangers, with his Addicks contract set to run out at the end of the month.

Joe Aribo played 39 games in Charlton’s promotion-winning season from League One
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Aribo, who scored 10 goals as Charlton won promotion back to the Championship last season, has reportedly been offered a £20,000-a-week deal by the Scottish giants.

And Bowyer is aware interested clubs will ‘blow us out of the water’ when it comes to contract offers for the 22-year-old.

The Charlton boss will be working on the smallest budget in the Championship while unpopular owner Roland Duchatelet attempts to sell the club.

Bowyer told talkSPORT’s Weekend Sports Breakfast: “The difficult thing is he had such a good season, it was his first full season and he came on so much and improved.

“For me, he needs to stay and learn more, there are still points of his game that he needs to improve on and he knows that. I speak to him all the time and the hard thing is that we have a budget.

“There are other clubs who are interested in him, we can’t deny that, they are going to blow us out of the water with what he gets offered.

Lee Bowyer is desperate to keep Joe Aribo
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“We can’t fight against that. At the end of the day, we have a budget and that’s what it is. So, it’s going to be tough to keep Joe.”

Aribo has made 97 first-team appearances since joining Charlton from non-league club Staines Town in 2015.

The Addicks are set to receive a small compensation fee if he joins Rangers.

Bowyer added: “If there had been clubs in and around our league in the Championship or even League One trying to get him then he would’ve stayed with us, for sure.

“But at the moment, I spoke to Joe yesterday, there are Premier League clubs in for him and you’ve got Rangers who are interested in him as well, and there are also clubs in France and Germany.

“So we’ve got tough competition to fight against, but Joe does love it at Charlton, and he wants to stay.

“But when a Premier League club comes in for you and everyone knows financially it’s very good, but not just the financial side, it’s the playing side, playing against the top players in the world every week, then it’s a tough thing for a kid to turn down.

“Everyone wants to play at the top and be the best they can. I’ve been in the game so I understand where he’s coming from.

“I hope we can keep him, but I think it’s going to be difficult.”

Listen back to Lee Bowyer on the Weekend Sports Breakfast IN FULL above

Manchester United transfer news: Mats Hummels ‘rejected more lucrative Red Devils deal’ in favour of Borussia Dortmund move

22 Jun

Mats Hummels turned down a more lucrative contract offer from Manchester United to rejoin Borussia Dortmund, reports claim.

On Wednesday, it was announced that Bayern Munich had agreed to sell the 30-year-old in a £33million deal to Bundesliga rivals Dortmund.

Mats Hummels enjoyed a three-year trophy-laden spell at Bayern Munich
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The move comes just three years after Hummels made the switch from the Black and Yellows to Bayern.

The Germany international won three Bundesliga titles and a domestic double during his time at the Allianz Arena

German outlet Bild claim Hummels rejected a bigger wage package at Manchester United due to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side’s failure to secure Champions League football.

The Red Devils finished sixth after winning just two of their remaining eight Premier League games last season.

Dortmund will be playing in Europe’s elite competition next term after finishing just two points behind Bundesliga champions Bayern in a thrilling title race.

Hummels’ snub will come as a blow for United, who are looking to sign a commanding centre-back in this summer’s transfer window.

Solskjaer is believed to be targeting Leicester’s Harry Maguire and West Ham’s Issa Diop as he aims to lead United back into the top four.

Matthijs de Ligt transfer: Barcelona, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain suffer blow with Ajax defender set to join Juventus – reports

22 Jun

In-demand Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt has decided to join Juventus, according to reports.

The 19-year-old has been chased by Juve, Manchester United, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain after starring for the Dutch champions last season.

Matthijs de Ligt captained Ajax to an Eredivisie title last season
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And Sky Italia claim De Ligt has opted to sign for the Italian giants, which will see him play alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and departing Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey.

The £75million-rated defender, who helped Ajax knock Juventus out of the Champions League in April, has teased a move to Turin in the past.

He said: “I really like [Giorgio] Chiellini, he is very strong, one of the best ever defenders.

“I also appreciate [Leonardo] Bonucci, they are two of the best centre-backs in Europe. For a young man like me, they are both two models to be inspired by.

Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri will be tasked with fulfilling Matthijs de Ligt’s huge potential
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“Me at Juve? It could be, but there are also other interested clubs. We’ll see at the right time.

“Now, I’m focused on Ajax and my agent Mino Raiola will take care of it.”

De Ligt looked destined to join PSG after allegedly receiving a huge £340,000-a-week offer from the Ligue 1 champions.

And further reports in Holland claimed De Ligt’s girlfriend, Annekee Molenaar, had been spotted house hunting in the French capital.

However, the Netherlands international appears to have chosen Juventus as his next destination.

Transfer gossip: West Ham, Watford and Sheffield United interested in signing former Arsenal and Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor

22 Jun

West Ham, Watford and Sheffield United are reportedly interested in giving Emmanuel Adebayor a Premier League lifeline.

The 35-year-old has not played in England’s top-flight since being released by Crystal Palace in 2016.

Emmanuel Adebayor could play for his fifth Premier League club next season
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He is a free agent after leaving Turkish club Istanbul Basaksehir by mutual consent on Thursday.

Adebayor has enjoyed prolific spells with Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham over the years.

And according to The Sun, West Ham, Watford and Sheffield United are keeping tabs on the striker.

Celtic are also believed to be keen on Adebayor, who has not completed 90 minutes of football since January.

West Ham are looking to replace departing striker Andy Carroll, while Sheffield United could opt for experience in their first season back in the Premier League.

Adebayor scored just three goals for Istanbul Basaksehir as the club finished two points behind Super Lig champions Galatasaray.

It is understood that the Togo international wants to play in London, which would put West Ham in the driving seat for his signature.

European Under-21 Championship: England boss Aidy Boothroyd explains Phil Foden snub and insists he will not resign after shock exit

22 Jun

England Under-21 boss Aidy Boothroyd insists he will not resign following his side’s shock European Championship exit on Friday.

There were high hopes of England winning the tournament with the likes of James Maddison, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Phil Foden featuring in an exciting squad.

There have been calls from fans urging Aidy Boothroyd to quit
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However, the Young Lions’ 2-1 loss to France was followed up with a 4-2 defeat to Romania on Friday.

When asked about his future, Boothroyd, who signed a new two-year deal last month, said: “They’ll have to carry me out.

“I am surprised by the question. It is not reflection on should I stay or go, but reflection on what we have achieved and what we could have done better.

“It is important to have a proper debrief about it.

Manchester City’s Phil Foden was controversially left out of England’s starting XI against Romania
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“We have to pick the bones out of it. If we are going to win a tournament like this there are things we have to improve on.”

Questions were raised over Boothroyd’s team selection against Romania as Foden, who scored a superb solo goal in the France defeat, was dropped to the bench.

The Manchester City starlet was brought on in the 57th minute as England conceded four late goals.

Explaining his decision to leave Foden out from the start, Boothroyd said: “There is a fine line to tread. I have got to look after Phil.

“We all thought it would be right for him to come in as the game wore on and weave his magic.

“We want to keep him as fit as we can. We don’t want him to break because he is a terrific player.

“There is no agreement with Manchester City. We follow him on a regular basis, we know where he is training and playing along with everything else.”