Mbappe and Verratti were drug tested after Man Utd win, forcing PSG flight to be delayed

13 Feb

Paris Saint-Germain’s return to France following the win over Manchester United on Tuesday night had to be delayed.

The French champions were eager to get home as quickly as possible following their 2-0 triumph at Old Trafford in the Champions League last 16 clash.

Mbappe celebrates PSG’s second goal of the game

But boss Thomas Tuchel and his squad had to wait around until the early hours before heading home, as Kylian Mbappe and Marco Verratti had to undergo drug tests.

Having eventually left Old Trafford around 1.20am, PSG arrived back in Paris much later than expected.

Mindful of his players’ fitness ahead of Sunday’s Ligue 1 clash with St-Etienne, Tuchel subsquently gave his squad two days off.

They have been told to rest up before returning to training on Friday following their impressive display against United.

Goals from Presnel Kimpembe and Mbappe ensured PSG took a commanding lead back to the Parc des Princes, with the return leg on March 6.

PSG look all set to reach the quarter-finals

Mbappe’s display impressed interim United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who said of the World Cup winner: “The ground he makes up, that boy, to get in the box.

“For all the strikers out there, the poachers, that’s how to get in the box. I’ve been talking about that with our strikers.”

When asked how to deal with the 20-year-old, he said: “Don’t give him that space to run into. He’s lightning quick, get your body in against him.

“I was never a top central defender. You better ask top defenders to stop him.”

Wolves supporter flew to Newcastle game via BENIDORM… because it was cheaper than getting the train

10 Dec

A Wolves fan wasn’t too happy about the sky-high cost of a train fare to Newcastle on Sunday – so found an ingenious alternative.

Steve Horton was hailed a hero after he revealed on social media that he had travelled to the match at St James’ Park via Benidorm, as it was far cheaper than getting the train.

Alongside a picture of himself and a pal, he wrote on Twitter: “En route to Newcastle via Benidorm courtesy of @Ryanair. Cheaper than the train #coyw @Wolves.”

A return ticket from Wolverhampton to Newcastle ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash would have cost around £114.

But a flight from Birmingham to Alicante was in the region £30, while a direct flight from the Spanish city to Newcastle can be found for as little as £15, making a saving of around £70.

The fan’s journey earned him lots of praise from fans on social media.

One said on Twitter: “Absolutely brilliant made my day reading this and just says it all.”

Another added: “More enjoyable than the train!! Enjoy the trip.”

It turned out to a great weekend for all Wolves fans, as they triumphed 2-1 at Newcastle.

Wolves are in the top half of the Premier League table following the win over Newcastle

Matt Doherty snatched victory deep into stoppage time in a controversial match, which saw Newcastle reduced to ten men.

Liverpool star Naby Keita to miss training with neck injury ahead of showdown with Manchester United

26 Jul

NABY KEITA will miss training for the next couple of days after suffering with a neck injury.

The midfielder sat out of Liverpool’s midweek win over Manchester City and is a doubt for Saturday’s showdown with United.

Naby Keita scored 14 goals in 58 appearances for RB Leipzig

A statement from Liverpool read: “Naby Keita is set to sit out training for the next couple of days as a precautionary measure as he recovers from a sore neck.

“Keita will be afforded time to recover by not taking part in the immediate sessions, although he has not been ruled out of the fixture with Manchester United in Michigan at this stage.”

Before the clash against Pep Guardiola’s side, Klopp revealed that the 23-year-old’s injury slept awkwardly on the plane.

The Anfield boss said: “He has a stiff neck. It was a comfortable plane when we flew, as you can imagine.

Jurgen Klopp’s men will face the Red Devils on Saturday

“But it wasn’t comfortable enough [for him] as he has a stiff neck and also slept a little bit like this [awkwardly].

“Now he cannot move it properly. It’s not too cool, but it’s pretty much all.”

Klopp will be gunning for glory against the Red Devils after Jose Mourinho labelled Liverpool’s summer spending spree as “funny”.

Keita, who signed for the Reds from RB Leipzig for £52.75m, is one of four new faces to join Liverpool this summer.

Klopp also splashed out to secures the services of Fabinho, Xherdan Shaqiri and Alisson.

Last season’s Champions League finalists will enter Saturday’s clash with confidence after a 2-1 win over Premier League champions Manchester City.

Naby Keita in action during the pre-season match against Borussia Dortmund

Arsenal star Henrikh Mkhitaryan urges Aaron Ramsey to stay with the Gunners to become club legend 

26 Jul

HENRIKH MKHITARYAN wants Aaron Ramsey to sign a new deal with Arsenal.

The Armenian midfielder believes the 27-year-old has what it takes to become a club legend at the Emirates.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan joined Arsenal from Manchester United in January

Ramsey has less than a year remaining on his current contract with the Gunners and he is yet to renew his deal.

Speaking about Ramsey’s future, Mkhitaryan said: “I think he has already been at this club for 10 years if I am not wrong.

“And it seems that he became a symbol for this club and I will be very happy for him if he is going to sign a new contract because he has a history of Arsenal already.

“And I hope he can become a legend for Arsenal after a few years.”

Aaron Ramsey in action against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday

Ramsey confirmed earlier this week that his agent is in talks with the Gunners over a new contract.

He said: “Talks are still ongoing. I’ve got nothing else to say about that.

“We’ll see what happens, my agent and the club are talking.”

When asked what he decision relies on, the Welshman added: “I’m not sure exactly.

 

“I’m leaving that to them to discuss and figure out.

“But we have come to an agreement, that’s something that my agent and the club are discussing to try to get something done.”

Ramsey has been with the Gunners since 2008 after he joined from Cardiff City for £4.8million.

If he does not pen a new deal in North London, Arsenal will be at risk of losing him for free in 12 months,

Aaron Ramsey scored nine goals and made 11 assists last season

West Brom offer full support to Gareth Barry following death of brother

26 Jul

WEST BROM have offered their full support to Gareth Barry following the tragic death of his brother.

The ex-England star was granted compassionate leave before he returned to training this week.

Gareth Barry has also received support from Everton and Aston Villa

West Brom boss Darren Moore said: “This is terrible news for Gareth and his family and everyone at the club extends their condolences.

“Gareth knows that he can rely on our full support and understanding in helping him cope with this tragic event.”

The Baggies have offered Barry further compassionate leave if he needs it to cope with the loss.

Father-of-two Marc Barry, who was 39, died in a road traffic accident in East Sussex last Thursday.

Darren Moore granted the midfielder compassionate leave

West Brom added that police have issued an appeal for witnesses to the incident which happened in East Sussex at 7am on Thursday, July 19.

Former clubs Everton and Aston Villa also showed their support for the midfielder.

The Toffees tweeted: “The thoughts of everyone at Everton are with Gareth Barry and his family after the sad news of his brother’s passing.”

Villa posted: “Sending condolences and best wishes to Gareth and his family at this difficult time.”

The former Manchester City star reportedly played in a behind-closed-doors match against Brentford on Tuesday.

Barry has been playing for the Baggies since he joined from Everton in August 2017.

Gareth Barry returned to training for the Baggies this week

Jurgen Klopp and Dejan Lovren hit back at social media trolls for abuse of Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius

26 Jul

JURGEN KLOPP and Dejan Lovren have leapt to the defence of Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius.

The under-fire German has failed to bounce back after he made two costly errors during the Champions League final in May.

Jurgen Klopp and Dejan Lovren hit back at the social media trolls

Karius blamed himself for the defeat to Real Madrid and has struggled to regain his reputation during Liverpool’s pre-season matches.

Following the barrage of abuse on social media, Klopp decided to step in and stick up for the 25-year-old.

Speaking to ESPN, Klopp said: “Look, I think my smartest decision in life was not to use social media.

“I don’t read it if people criticize me on social media. They can write whatever they want and it never would faze me because I don’t know it. I don’t read it, so I don’t feel it.

Loris Karius signed a five-year deal with Liverpool in 2016

“I never really thought it right if you listen to people, they don’t show you their face.

“If you want to tell me you’re not happy with me, tell me now, but don’t go out and write it on your smartphone and put it on Facebook, Instagram, whatever.

“Obviously, in their rooms when they write, they don’t care about the person. Not only Loris, [they care] about nobody. They don’t care.

“It’s like they have a lot of power in that moment and they use it, but power is two things.

“When one has power, the other one who feeds it and so I really would say it’s a good idea in life to really don’t get in these things.”

Liverpool defender Lovren also bit back after he spotted a Liverpool fan page slating the goalkeeper on Instagram.

In response, the 29-year-old said: “You are full of s***.

“Shame on you and how I treat your player. And also the name Liverpool fan page.”

The goalkeeper was reduced to tears after the Champions League final

Karius personally addressed his trolls on Instagram after he made a howler during a pre-season clash against Tranmere.

He wrote: “To those who take joy in seeing someone else fail or suffer, I feel for you.

“Whatever it is that’s happening in your life to hold onto this much anger and hate – I pray that is passes and good things come to you.”

The goalkeeper has now fallen down Liverpool’s pecking order following the £67m arrival of Alisson from Roma.

Loris Karius shared the message with his 1.9m followers

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho piles pressure on Liverpool to win Premier League title after Jurgen Klopp’s spending spree

26 Jul

JOSE MOURINHO piled pressure on Liverpool by claiming they should win the title after Jurgen Klopp’s spending spree.

The Manchester United boss believes it is “funny” that the Anfield chief has changed his approach in the transfer market.

Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp will go head-to-head in a pre-season match on Saturday

In 2016, Klopp said: “Other clubs can go out and spend more money. I want to do it differently. I would even do it differently if I could spend that money.

“The day that this is football, I’m not in a job any more.”

Speaking about Klopp’s new approach, Mourinho said: “I think if you have the money, if you invest well, is better than to have it in the bank, because the interests are very low,

“The problem is you have to invest well and honestly I think they did very well because every player they bought are quality players and I’m happy for them.

Virgil van Dijk joined Liverpool for £75m in January

“And I’m also happy to smile and to see that, you know, you can change your opinion and change as a person. Is funny. But that’s okay.

“But maybe this season finally you demand that they win.

“You, I think, you have to be fair and now you have to demand and say the team with investments, who are making investments that they started making last season, not just this season, last season.

“That you made in January, that you make now, that will probably be the record of the Premier League this season, I don’t see another team getting close to that level of investment, a team that was a finalist in the Champions League, you have to say you are a big candidate.

New £67m signing Alisson will be Liverpool’s No 1 this season

“You have to win.”

Klopp smashed the record for the world’s most expensive defender in January when he signed Virgil van Dijk for £75m from Southampton.

And he has since spent £170m on four other players – Naby Keita, Fabinho, Xherdan Shaqiri and Alisson.

Jose Mourinho’s side finished second in the Premier League last season

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho breaks silence on Anthony Martial’s decision to leave pre-season tour

26 Jul

JOSE MOURINHO has revealed Anthony Martial warned him in advance before leaving Manchester United’s pre-season tour.

The French star flew back to France on Tuesday to be with his partner ahead of the birth of their child.

Jose Mourinho is willing to offload the France international this summer

Mourinho admitted that he “had no right” to stop the 22-year-old leaving before the clash against AC Milan.

The Reds boss said: “I found out that Martial was going to Paris when he told me. It was two or three days ago.

“When it is personal reasons, everyone analyses that the way they think is the correct way and when a man is going to be a father in this case, it’s the second time he is going to be a father, and he decides is very important for him to go, nobody has the right to stop him to go.”

Martial had started in both of United’s previous matches on the tour, but failed to impress during the 1-1 tie with Club America and the 0-0 draw with San Jose Earthquakes.

Anthony Martial has attracted interest from a number of clubs this summer

The relationship between Mourinho and Martial has now hit rock bottom as the forward continues his search for a new club.

It is understood that United are willing to sell him this summer, but not to one of their Premier League rivals.

He has attracted interest from Premier League giants Chelsea and Tottenham, while Bayern Munich have also been linked.

In June, Martial’s agent Philippe Lamboley said: “After thinking about all the possibilities, Anthony wants to leave Manchester United.”

Manchester United still have to play Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich in the US before they return to England.

It is understood that Martial will not fly back out to meet his team-mates.

Anthony Martial warned the boss that he was going to leave the tour

Newcastle confirm signing of Swiss defender Fabian Schar from Deportivo La Coruna

26 Jul

NEWCASTLE have signed Fabian Schar from Deportivo La Coruna on a three-year deal.

The Swiss defender completed his medical with the Premier League side on Wednesday after the Magpies activated a £3m release clause in his contract.

Swiss ace made 25 appearances in La Liga last season

The Swiss defender arrives at St James’ Park as Rafa Benitez’s fourth signing of the summer.

After deal was confirmed, Schar said: “I’m really happy to be here. The club is a really big club for me. It has a big name, and it is a brilliant chance for me.

“I’m not like a typical defender. I, of course, defend, but I’m quite good with the ball – I like to play, I want to build up the game from behind, and I think that is a strength of mine.

“I have also scored some headers – that could also be a strength and hopefully I can use it here.

“I hope to start training with the team soon, and I’m looking forward to everything that’s coming. At the moment, I just want to get started.”

Schar made 25 appearances in La Liga last season and played three matches for Switzerland at the World Cup in Russia.

Benítez added: “I’m really pleased to welcome Fabian to Newcastle United.

“He is an international, did well in the World Cup and has great experience.

Rafa Benitez has signed four new players this summer

“He adds competition in this position and that is a positive for the team.”

Newcastle have already signed Martin Dubravka, Ki-Sung Yeung and Kenedy on loan this summer.

Schar has won 42 caps for Switzerland

 

Derby County confirm signing of striker Jack Marriott from Peterborough United

26 Jul

DERBY COUNTY have signed Jack Marriott from Peterborough United on a three-year deal.

The 23-year-old striker arrives at Pride Park Stadium as Frank Lampard’s fourth signing of the summer.

Jack Marriott’s transfer fee is believed to be £3m rising to £5m

The Rams previously had three offers rejected for the striker, who scored 27 goals in League 1 last season.

After the deal was completed, Lampard said: “I’m delighted that Jack has chosen to join Derby County and I believe this is another great addition to our squad.

“Goalscorers are always sought-after and Jack certainly has been in demand.

“He scored an incredible amount of goals in League One last year and, at 23, we know he can still develop and get better too.

“He certainly strikes me as a player that is really determined to improve.

“To bring players through the door that are sought-after hopefully shows that people are excited about what we are trying to do here.”

Marriott started his career with Ipswich Town before he moved to Luton Town after loan spells at Woking and Carlisle United.

He then signed for Peterborough on a four-year deal in 2017, where he scored 33 goals in 56 games in all competitions last term.

Chelsea legend Frank Lampard has made four signings this summer

After he signed for Derby, he told RamsTV: “You look at the gaffer and he is just a real footballing guy, you just know about him and what he has done in the game.

“As soon as I heard he wanted me it was a no-brainer for me, this is where I wanted to be.

“You look at the facilities, it’s just staggering. You look at the fanbase, and why wouldn’t you come here? The size of the club, it is a real footballing city.”

Derby have also signed Mason Mount on loan from Chelsea, Harry Wilson on loan from Liverpool and Florian Jozefzoon from Brentford this summer.

The striker scored 27 goals in League One last season