Liverpool confirm Sadio Mane’s return date following involvement in Africa Cup of Nations with Senegal

22 Jul

Liverpool have revealed that Sadio Mane will return after their Community Shield clash against Manchester City.

They are involved in the fixture on August 4 as the Premier League runners-up as City won both the league and FA Cup.

Sadio Mane will return for Liverpool for the start of the Premier League season
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A number of Liverpool’s first team stars have been given an extended break because of their involvement in either the Africa Cup of Nations or the Copa America.

Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Alisson Becker will be rejoining the squad in the week leading up to the Community Shield clash.

Mane will not join up with Jurgen Klopp’s side until August 5.

This is because he was involved in Senegal’s run in the Africa Cup of Nations to the final on July 19, in which they were beaten 1-0 by Algeria.

Mane will have just a few days before the opening Premier League fixture against Norwich on August 9.

“He is in good shape,” Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com.

“Obviously they had a celebration in Senegal and I’m happy about that because it showed that they respect the competition and saw the second place as a success, which is nice.

“He is now on holiday, not the longest one – he will be back on August 5, after the Manchester City game. That means he had two weeks. There is four or five days to prepare for Norwich, 10 days for Chelsea [in the UEFA Super Cup].”

Scott McTominay backs himself to fill the void at Manchester United left by Ander Herrera’s departure

22 Jul

Scott McTominay believes the key to becoming a regular starter at Manchester United is versatility.

The 22-year-old made 22 appearances for the Red Devils last season and was trusted in important Champions League clashes against Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona.

Scott McTominay wants to be a regular starter at Man United
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The Scotland international wants to nail down a starting spot in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side next season.

With Ander Herrera leaving the club at the end of last season, and no replacement signed yet, he could find more opportunities to establish himself as a first team regular.

Ander Herrera left Manchester United to join PSG
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“That was my goal two years ago and last year,” McTominay said when asked if he can be a regular starter next season.

“That’s always been my goal. It’s my ambition to be a regular No.6, No.8, a box to box player – that’s my main ambition. It’s important that I really go for that now.

“Obviously there is an opportunity there and you’ve got to take it with both hands. Last year I had some decent performances and it’s important that I carry on from that.

“We’re in the Europa League this year and it’s important that I continue.”

United continue to chase Newcastle midfielder Sean Longstaff but McTominay backs himself regardless of who they may bring in.

He added: “Regardless of what other signings come in or who plays where, you have to back yourself to be a Man United player. That’s one thing that I’ve done over the last two years, I’ve always backed myself.

“I’ve tried to train hard and I’ve always wanted to do extra things to try and give me that one per cent difference. When it comes to crucial times in big games like Barcelona or PSG in the Champions League, it’s important that you’re ready for them.”

Scott McTominay backs himself to fill the void at Manchester United left by Ander Herrera’s departure

22 Jul

Scott McTominay believes the key to becoming a regular starter at Manchester United is versatility.

The 22-year-old made 22 appearances for the Red Devils last season and was trusted in important Champions League clashes against Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona.

Scott McTominay wants to be a regular starter at Man United
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The Scotland international wants to nail down a starting spot in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side next season.

With Ander Herrera leaving the club at the end of last season, and no replacement signed yet, he could find more opportunities to establish himself as a first team regular.

Ander Herrera left Manchester United to join PSG
Getty

“That was my goal two years ago and last year,” McTominay said when asked if he can be a regular starter next season.

“That’s always been my goal. It’s my ambition to be a regular No.6, No.8, a box to box player – that’s my main ambition. It’s important that I really go for that now.

“Obviously there is an opportunity there and you’ve got to take it with both hands. Last year I had some decent performances and it’s important that I carry on from that.

“We’re in the Europa League this year and it’s important that I continue.”

United continue to chase Newcastle midfielder Sean Longstaff but McTominay backs himself regardless of who they may bring in.

He added: “Regardless of what other signings come in or who plays where, you have to back yourself to be a Man United player. That’s one thing that I’ve done over the last two years, I’ve always backed myself.

“I’ve tried to train hard and I’ve always wanted to do extra things to try and give me that one per cent difference. When it comes to crucial times in big games like Barcelona or PSG in the Champions League, it’s important that you’re ready for them.”

Manchester United transfer news: Juan Mata wants Paul Pogba to stay at Old Trafford and hails his ‘good influence for everyone’

22 Jul

Juan Mata hopes Paul Pogba will stay at Manchester United as speculation continues to surround his future.

The Red Devils are currently on their pre-season tour with the France World Cup winner clearly an integral part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plans.

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Juan Mata has spoken about Paul Pogba’s future at the club[/caption]

The 26-year-old wants a move away from Old Trafford, though, with Real Madrid and Juventus touted as possible destinations.

Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola, told talkSPORT he hoped his wish to leave the club will be granted soon.

United are clearly reluctant to let their £89million man go and Mata hopes the midfielder will stay.

Paul Pogba has made clear his intentions to leave Manchester United
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“We all know Paul and he’s a fantastic midfielder and he’s a very good guy, very positive, good influence for everyone,” Mata said.

“I think he’s happy, he brings everyone together.

“But I cannot speak for other people. I cannot speak for myself, for my present and my future in the club.

“And obviously as a team-mate, and as a friend also, I would like him to stay and to be happy because he is a very good player for us, but I cannot say much else.”

Pogba is not the only United player whose future is under scrutiny, but there is no doubt about where Mata’s future lies.

The 31-year-old was out of contract at the end of the 2018/19 season and talks over an extension had long been at an impasse, but a deal was struck to extend his stay with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side until at least 2021.

“There were some options to go to a different club, but I said it before the feeling of being a Manchester United player is so unique,” Mata said.

“I am very happy to stay here. I am dreaming about winning big trophies at this club.

“I cannot wait to win a big trophy and celebrate with all the fans because they deserve it.

“I am very happy to extend my time in Manchester. I am very happy in the city, so it is all great and I am proud to be a player of this club.”

Upon renewing his contract, Mata said he wanted to turn the area back red after Manchester City’s recent dominance.

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Juan Mata signed a new contract with Man United this summer[/caption]

Reminded of that comment, he said: “Hopefully. We want that.

“This club has won more trophies than any other club in England. We want to win big trophies again.

“That is what the history of this club deserves. That is what the fans deserve.

“We know we have to improve. We know we have to do a better season than last season.

“But again, I extended my contract and I am very proud and happy to be here because I think we have very good people in the dressing room, good people with the manager.

“We want to improve. We want to win. We are working towards that objective.”

Cricket World Cup final umpire admits awarding England extra run against New Zealand was a mistake

22 Jul

Umpire Kumar Dharmasena has admitted to making a ‘judgemental error’ in the last over of the Cricket World Cup final between England and New Zealand.

In bizarre circumstances, Martin Guptil’s throw deflected off Ben Stokes’ bat to the boundary as he was coming back to complete the second run.

The ball deflected off Ben Stokes bat and went to the boundary in the final over
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After a consultation with fellow umpire Marais Erasmus, six runs were awarded to England.

According to the laws of the game, just five should have been given because the batsmen had not crossed when Guptil threw the ball.

That run proved decisive as England matched New Zealand’s 241 to take the game to a super over.

The hosts went on to lift the trophy in dramatic fashion at Lord’s.

Dharmasena told the Sri Lankan Sunday Times: “It’s easy for people to comment after seeing TV replay.

“I agree that there was a judgmental error when I see it on TV replays now. But we did not have the luxury of TV replays at the ground, and I will never regret the decision I made.

“I did consult the leg umpire (Erasmus) through the communication system which is heard by all other umpires and the match referee.

“While they cannot check TV replays, they all confirmed that the batsmen have completed the second run. This is when I made my decision.

“Besides, the ICC praised me for the decision I made at that time.”

Jason Roy was not happy with umpire Kumar Dharmasena after being given out against Australia
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It was not the first time Dharmasena was the cause of a controversial decision during the tournament.

In England’s semi-final with Australia, he gave Jason Roy out for edging the ball to wicketkeeper Alex Carey.

Roy was furious about the decision but had to walk off and replays showed that he had in fact not touched the ball.

Manchester City branded ‘disrespectful’ and ‘arrogant’ by Chinese state media after Premier League Asia Trophy trip

22 Jul

Manchester City have been accused of only going to China for the money by the country’s state media.

The government-owned Xinhua Agency published an editorial branding the Premier League champions ‘disrespectful’ and ‘arrogant’.

Pep Guardiola’s side have been to Shanghai and Nanjing for the Premier League Asia Trophy, where they lost on penalties in the final to Wolves.

Pep Guardiola was singled out for criticism in the article
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An article was published by the news outlet under the headline ‘Chinese fans’ love for Man City goes unreciprocated on home soil’.

They claims the City squad failed to engage with the local fans in the same way that Wolves, West Ham and Newcastle did.

Guardiola was criticised for refusing to speak to fans after City beat West Ham in Nanjing.

Man City were accused of not engaging with fans in China
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The article continued: “Taken alone, it might have been excusable as a one-off occurrence, perhaps due to jetlag or a packed schedule.

“But unfortunately for Chinese fans here and local media, it proved to just be one example among many of the utter disrespect shown by Manchester City to their hosts during their tour of China.

“For the Premier League champions, their appearance in China was nothing more than a commercial obligation, and their lack of enthusiasm and the indifferent treatment of their hosts stands in stark contract to representatives of other clubs.”

It was also was critical of City chief executive Ferran Soriano.

“While the other clubs were here chasing hearts and minds among locals, extracting cash from the pockets of fans has appeared to be the only consistent goal for Man City here in China.”

City have been trying to grow their profile in China and this will not help their cause.

Sheikh Mansour even sold a 13 per cent stake in the club to Chinese Media Capital in December 2015 for £265million.

There had also been talk of purchasing a Chinese club to join the City Football Group.

Motherwell join Huddersfield Town in wearing sponsorless shirts as part of Paddy Power campaign

22 Jul

Motherwell have become the latest club to commit to sponsorless shirts ahead of the 2019/20 season.

Paddy Power are the Scottish club’s main sponsor but have decided to take a different approach.

The betting firm launched their ‘Save Our Shirts’ campaign last week and is dedicated to removing sponsor logos from the front of jerseys.

Motherwell’s new kit for next season will not have a sponsor logo on the front
@MotherwellFC on Twitter

They hit the headlines after ‘launching’ Huddersfield Town’s new kit with a large sash featuring the Paddy Power logo.

The club even wore the ‘new’ kit for a pre-season friendly, sparking a furious reaction from supporters.

Huddersfield wore the kit for a pre-season friendly
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It transpired to be a publicity stunt as part of the campaign, with the front of both home and away shirts to be sponsor free.

And now, Motherwell have revealed they would also take part in the bookmakers’ campaign.

How Huddersfield’s kit will actually look next season
Huddersfield Town

Chairman Jim McMahon said: “We’re delighted to be associated with Paddy Power’s ‘Save Our Shirt’ campaign.

“This partnership represents our biggest shirt sponsorship in history, and the chance to team up with a renowned brand. It’s a fantastic achievement by our commercial team to get them on board.

“Paddy Power are forward thinking and innovative, and it is a mark of how our fan-owned club is perceived in the world that we were able to attract such a high-calibre partner.

“We thank them for their support and look forward to working with them over the course of the season.”

A spokesman for Paddy Power said: “Motherwell are the second club to join the ‘Save Our Shirt’ campaign, which sees us give something back to the fans – namely, their shirt.

“We’re delighted that The Well are joining in the fun for the upcoming campaign and we’ve been impressed with their ability to keep their involvement top secret, despite all the noise of the past week.

“We’ve been planning this with them for months, and it feels great to finally unveil their involvement and their beautiful home and away kits for next season.”

“We know our place, and it’s not on your shirt.”

Gareth Bale transfer latest: Manchester United ruled out of race to sign Real Madrid star with Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain ‘interested’

22 Jul

The public fallout between Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane and Gareth Bale has put several clubs on red alert.

Zidane recently revealed the Spanish club are trying to shift the winger as soon as possible, sparking a feud with the Welshman’s agent Jonathan Barnett.

Gareth Bale faces an uncertain future at Tottenham
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The Frenchman said he wanted the 30-year-old to leave ‘soon’ because it would be ‘a good thing for the club’.

Barnett hit back with some strong words, saying: “Zidane is a disgrace. He shows no respect for a player that has done so much for Real Madrid.”

Gareth Bale’s relationship at Real Madrid has soured during Zidane’s second spell in charge
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Despite six seasons with Madrid and an incredible four Champions League titles, with the forward scoring vital goals in finals, the fans have also turned and booed him on several occasions.

Bale still has three years left to run on his £650,000-a-week contract and the sheer scale of that figure has ruled out several clubs from signing him.

The Times reports that Bayern Munich are interested, with Thiago Alcantara even saying in a press conference that he would always be welcome at the Bundesliga club.

Paris Saint-Germain are the other leading European club who have shown an interest, with speculation surrounding a potential swap deal involving wantaway forward Neymar.

Jiangsu Suning are one of several Chinese clubs who are said to be considering a move for the forward, while Beijing Guoan are set to offer him a deal to become the highest-paid player in Chinese football history.

One team who would appear to be out of the running are Manchester United despite their attempts to sign him previously.

Tottenham, who sold him to Madrid in 2013 for £86million, are believed to have first refusal but they do not seem interested.

Bayern would be the natural fit for Bale as they have been in the market for a winger following the departure of both Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery.

Tottenham news: Toby Alderweireld confirms he is ‘happy’ to stay at Spurs and snub £25m summer exit

22 Jul

Toby Alderweireld looks set to hand Tottenham a major boost by snubbing the chance to leave for £25million this summer.

The Belgian defender has a release clause in his contract which allows him to leave for the cut-price amount.

Alderweireld looks set to stay at Tottenham
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The clause expires on Friday, and while Roma have been linked with a move for the 30-year-old, he looks set to remain a Tottenham player next season.

When asked if he expects to be at Spurs for the start of the new campaign, Alderweireld replied: “Yes, that’s my focus.

“In football, everything can go quick but my focus is on Spurs and to be ready for the start of the season.

Speaking after Tottenham’s 3-2 pre-season win over Juventus, he added: “I think the manager knows I am committed to the club and the team but you never know in football.

“A game like Sunday I was captain – so that shows the manager has trust in me and I’m showing the right attitude.

“My focus is on Spurs and I try to deliver the job I need to do – I’m happy and that’s it. In my head I will be playing for Spurs.”

Manchester United, who look set to land Harry Maguire from Leicester for £80million, tried to sign Alderweireld last summer.

Speaking to talkSPORT, Dean Saunders insists the Red Devils should trigger the Belgian’s release clause instead of forking out a world record fee for Maguire.

“It’s got ridiculous now, hasn’t it? £80million for Harry Maguire,” the Welshman said.

“It’s not his fault, but where is it going to stop?

“Would you take Toby Alderweireld for £25million or Harry Maguire for £80million? You can’t get your money back on Alderweireld, he’s 30, but he’s probably a better player right now.

“As a striker, I’d be thinking to myself, ‘If I can get Maguire out in the channels and get him isolated, he’s not mobile’.”

The Open 2019: Shane Lowry holds off Tommy Fleetwood to claim first major at Royal Portrush

21 Jul

Ireland’s Shane Lowry held his nerve on the final day at Royal Portrush to win the 148th Open Championship and claim his first career Major.

the 32-year-old held off the challenge of Englishman Tommy Fleetwood in severe weather conditions on Sunday in Northern Ireland.

Shane Lowry of Ireland celebrates on the 18th

Lowry was cheered on by a partisan crowd and his lead never looked under any real threat after opening up a four-shot lead going into the final day by shooting a course-record 63 on Saturday.

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