WWE news: Cain Velasquez and Brock Lesnar could renew rivalry, four matches to be added to Summerslam 2019 card, John Cena to miss Raw Reunion

21 Jul

talkSPORT.com brings you the very latest news from in and around the weird and wonderful world of professional wrestling.

Velasquez and Lesnar to battle it out again?

Former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez will make his professional wrestling debut next month, and fans are already discussing the prospect of him facing former rival Brock Lesnar.

The former heavyweight champ posted footage of himself on his official Facebook account, announcing his debut at Triplemania XXVII.

Long-time UFC fivals Brock Lesnar and Cain Velasquez could go head-to-head again – but this time in wrestling
getty

WWE superstar Lesnar lost to Velasquez during their UFC days, but since then the two heavyweight stars haven’t gone head-to-head.

So could this happen? Who knows. Stranger things have certainly happened!

WWE to add four big matches to Summerslam 2019 card

Four more matches are reportedly set to be added to the upcoming editions of WWE Raw and Smackdown Live.

According to mykhel, the inevitable matchup from Smackdown Live will feature Shane McMahon taking on Kevin Owens.

Randy Orton will also face a decade-old opponent in the shape of Kofi Kingston in a WWE Championship match set-up.

In terms of WWE Raw, there is also likely to be a rematch between United States Championship at Summerslam 2019 between AJ Styles and Ricochet, while Finn Balor vs Bray Wyatt is also primed to take place later this summer.

Will WWE legend John Cena attend RAW Reunion after landing Fast & Furious role?

WWE are hosting a special episode of their flagship show, as some of professional’s wrestling’s all-time icons taken on some of the current crop of stars.

Steve Cold, Steve Austin and Hulk Hogan, among others, have already confirmed their attendance.

However, there has been no official word on whether Cena will attend the star-studded event.

During a recent interview the Champ refused to rule out a surprise comeback.

“They say it’s going to be one of the biggest RAWs of all time, and certainly memorable,” he said.

“We will… see?”

John Cena, who is currently filming for Fast & Furious 9, is still adored by wrestling fans
getty

However, the former WWE Champion is currently filming Fast & Furious 9 with the likes of Vin Diesel, Jordana Brewster and Michelle Rodriguez.

And the publisher and editor of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer, claims Cena won’t be attending RAW Reunion because of that.

It would be a crying shame if Cena wasn’t in attendance, on what will undoubtedly be a memorable night for the wrestling world.

Arsenal boss Unai Emery wants Eddie Nketiah to stay and fight for first-team spot at Emirates

21 Jul

Unai Emery has thrown down the gauntlet to Arsenal youngster Eddie Nketiah to prove he is deserving of regular first-team football at the Emirates.

Nketiah, 20, has been the stand-out star of Arsenal’s pre-season tour of the United States, notching three goals in his last two games, including a late winner against Bayern Munich in midweek.

Arsenal youngster Eddie Nketiah has been a revelation for the Gunners in pre-season
getty images

The young striker followed that up with a brace against Fiorentina on Saturday, as Emery’s men ran out convincing 3-0 winners over the Serie A outfit.

talkSPORT.com understands QPR are among a host of Championship sides who want to sign the talented forward on loan, while there is also strong interest in his services from the Bundesliga.

However, Emery believes Nketiah has a ‘chance’ to progress with the first team now at Arsenal – revealing they denied the youngster a move to Germany last season owing to Danny Welbeck’s injury.

“Last year in December we were thinking to loan him to Germany,” Emery said.

“We decided he stays with us to train and progress with us. We started this pre-season with the same idea as we finished last year – stay with us.

Unai Emery wants Nketiah to prove he is good enough to become a regular fixture around his first-team
Getty Images

“My idea is if you progress like we are seeing from you, you can have a chance here for us.

“I spoke with him and with the club. He has started with a doubt if it is better for him to stay here with us or leave to play more minutes with another team.

“But we have examples last year of some players who wanted away and didn’t play all we wanted.”

He continued: “I said to him first be focused here.

“If you earn the right to be with us it’s because I can promise you that you are going to have minutes.

“But in those minutes you need to learn. And in the pre-season at the moment he’s playing like we want.”

Arsenal would be left with no cover for star strikers Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should Nketiah depart the club on a temporary basis, with Emery adding that the club’s faith in the latter is why they haven’t signed a replacement for Welbeck to date.

“Last year we had Auba, Lacazette and Danny Welbeck,” Emery said.

“They had space to play. We didn’t sign another striker at the moment because we want to give the chances to Nketiah.”

While Nketiah is open to the idea of going out on loan, particularly abroad, Emery’s recent comments could mean he fancies his chances even more than before of breaking into Arsenal’s first team.

Manchester United news: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reveals he has been seeking Roy Keane’s opinions

21 Jul

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed he is taking advice from Manchester United legend Roy Keane.

Keane remains one of United’s all-time greats after an illustrious playing career at Old Trafford, where he won seven Premier League titles, four FA Cups and the Champions League in a 12-year spell.

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed he has turned to Roy Keane for advice on his squad
getty images

However, a bitter falling-out led to an acrimonious exit from the Red Devils back in November 2005, with Keane estranged from his beloved United ever since.

But, despite Keane publicly critical of United on numerous occasions, Solskjaer remains close to his old teammate and regularly seeks his counsel.

“I keep in touch with Roy and have been at his house for a cup of tea,” said Solskjaer, who was the Irishman’s neighbour in Bowdon for nine years during their time together in Manchester.

“I always listen to Roy and his opinions. I value them very highly.

 

“I know Roy did an interview saying there are many people that claim to be his friends.

“But I feel we are quite close. We have become friends. He was a fantastic leader. I loved having him as captain.”

Keane has not minced his words when it comes to the state of United’s current squad, remarking there are ‘too many bluffers’ in the team, while he also claimed the same players will throw Solskjaer ‘under the bus’ like they did under his predecessor Jose Mourinho.

 

Gareth Bale: Manchester United a viable option… but he must lower demands to seal Premier League return

21 Jul

Gareth Bale needs to publicly express a desire to leave Real Madrid as he is ‘clearly not wanted’ at the Spanish giants and should target a return to the Premier League, according to Tony Cascarino.

Bale, 30, has previously remained adamant that he will fight for his future at the Bernabeu, however recent comments made by manager Zinedine Zidane appear to have all but ended those prospects.

Gareth Bale, a four-time Champions League winner at Real Madrid, is surplus to requirements at the Bernabeu
Getty

Speaking on Saturday, Zidane said that he ‘hopes’ Bale leaves Real soon and expects him to seal a transfer away from the Spanish capital imminently.

Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett was incensed by those remarks, branding the Frenchman a ‘disgrace‘ for his treatment of the 30-year-old.

Bale has won four Champions League titles at the Bernabeu since joining Real from Tottenham six years ago for a then-world-record £86million.

Speaking on Weekend Sports Breakfast, talkSPORT host Cascarino stated his belief that the Welshman should return to English football – but must lower his wage demands in order to make a move a realistic possibility.

Zinedine Zidane wants the former Tottenham forward to leave the club in the immediate future
Getty Images

He said: “I think he should come back to these shores, because there are clubs playing an exciting brand of football.

“But unless Gareth gives something back and his demands are not so demanding on a football club where they’re thinking it’s costing us an awful lot of money and yes we’re getting a very good player, then it won’t happen.

“It’s got to be structured differently for Gareth, but he can’t expect to be paid the same sort of money he’s on now at Real Madrid.

2. Jonathan Barnett (right) has earned $44m (£28.9m) and counts Gareth Bale as a client
Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett, right, was outraged with Zidane’s comments – branding him a ‘disgrace’e
getty

“Gareth has to force the issue and come out and say ‘I want to leave Madrid, I don’t want to stay there’.

“He needs to make it clear he wants to be part of something elsewhere, as at Madrid he’s just been banished from the squad.”

With that said, the former Chelsea striker maintains that Manchester United, long-term admirers of the forward, is a realistic option for Bale this summer.

BALE AT REAL MADRID IN NUMBERS

Games: 231

Goals: 102

Assists: 65

La Liga: x1

Champions League : x4

Copa del Rey: x1

UEFA Super Cup x3

Spanish Super Cup x1

FIFA Club World Cup x4

“I do see Manchester United as a really viable option for Gareth. But again he’s got to tick the boxes for them,” he added.

“What Zidane said yesterday was pretty brutal. All we’ve heard is the club’s perspective, be it either Zidane or the club’s president and so forth. We haven’t heard from Gareth.

“The fans have made it clear they want him to go. He’s not wanted at Madrid.

“Gareth needs to go and speak to the president and talk about what the club want for him and let his agent know. Can it be a loan move or a permanent deal?

“He needs to get away from that football club, as he’s clearly not wanted there.”

Arsenal transfer news: Alex Iwobi warns Gunners he could quit club if they sign Crystal Palace ace Wilfried Zaha

21 Jul

Alex Iwobi has revealed that he will consider leaving Arsenal if Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha signs for the club.

Ivory Coast winger Zaha, who is valued around the £80m mark, is the club’s No 1 transfer target with Unai Emery already having a bid knocked back for the 26-year-old this summer.

17. Alex Iwobi (Right wing)
Alex Iwobi will consider quitting Arsenal if Wilfried Zaha joins the club
getty

Iwobi, 23, has a 17-year association with the north London side, but has admitted it may be time for him to move on if the former Manchester United man arrives at the Emirates before August 8.

“I am not one to chicken out. I have had it all over the years, being told I’m not good enough,” he told the Sun.

“So whenever the chance comes I always try and prove I should be starting.

“But it’s going to be difficult if Zaha comes. He will add more stress.

Zaha got into double figures for goals and assists last season
Getty Images - Getty

“I am up for the fight but the only time I would consider leaving is if I am not playing as much as I would like to.

“Obviously, my joy is to play football and not just sit out.

“If it comes to that I would have no choice but to leave. But I would always put up a fight to play — that is what I have done all my life.

“We have big stars already, so by adding another one I’ll just have to prove I can do better than them.”

Premier League kits: How every top-flight side’s home strip would look with NO sponsors

20 Jul

Recently relegated Huddersfield Town sent the football world into a frenzy after they unveiled their new home kit earlier in the week.

The Terriers recently signed a sponsorship deal with Paddy Power and the bookmaker’s name featured heavily on the strip.

Paddy Power are known for marketing pranks
Getty

Huddersfield Town
The simple design has gone down well with Huddersfield fans[/caption]

However, it was met with a negative reaction by fans who didn’t take too kindly to the design – featuring a bold Paddy Power sash – when it was released via social media on Wednesday.

It turned out to be a prank – which came as little surprise considering Paddy Power’s reputation for a such a thing – with the Championship club unveiling their actual strip on Friday.

As part of the #SaveOurShirt campaign, Huddersfield and Paddy Power are backing a return to unbranded football shirts as a way to return kits to the fans.

So, how would your team’s home kit look without any sponsors’ names on the front? Have a look below…


Arsenal

Aston Villa

Bournemouth

Brighton

Burnley

Chelsea

Crystal Palace

Everton

Leicester

Liverpool

Manchester City

Manchester United

@ BEN DUFFY SHOOT DATE: 12th March, 2019

Newcastle

Norwich

Sheffield United

Southampton

Tottenham

Watford

West Ham

Wolves

Manchester United’s Romelu Lukaku would be an ‘important player’ for Inter Milan, admits Antonio Conte

19 Jul

Inter Milan boss Antonio Conte has expressed his admiration for Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku, admitting that he would make a ‘good improvement’ to his side.

The Serie A giants have been heavily linked with the Belgium international this summer, but are yet to meet United’s valuation of the player, who cost them a whopping £75m to sign from Everton just two years ago.

Antonio Conte has revealed Inter want to sign Romelu Lukaku this summer
getty

The 26-year-old will play no part as the two sides go head-to-head in the International Champions Cup in Singapore on Saturday.

“You know I like this player,” Conte told reporters. “In the past when I was Chelsea’s coach [from 2016 to 2018] I tried to bring him to Chelsea.

“As I said before, I like this player and consider him an important player for us to have a good improvement but at the same there is a transfer market.

Lukaku reportedly wants to leave Manchester United this summer
getty

“We know very well what our situation is at the moment and we will see what happens, but for now Lukaku is a United player.”

Inter’s move for Lukaku is thought to hinge on whether Mauro Icardi leaves the club in the close season, with the controversial striker not part of the Inter squad for the summer tour of Asia.

When asked about the Argentine striker, Conte replied: “The situation is very clear, the club was very clear that Icardi is out of Inter’s project. This is the reality.”

Lukaku played no part in United’s two pre-season games in Australia and Red Devils boss Solskjaer, who says there is ‘no update’ on the striker’s future, says he will remain absent.

“He’s not fit. He won’t be available,” Solskjaer confirmed.

Steve Bruce: Newcastle head coach confirms he IGNORED Toon legend Alan Shearer’s advice to turn down job

19 Jul

Steve Bruce has confirmed Newcastle legend Alan Shearer told him to turn down the offer to become the Magpies’ new head coach.

Shearer, who remains the club’s record goalscorer, revealed in his newspaper column for the Sun earlier this week that he advised the former Sheffield Wednesday boss to reject the Premier League side’s advances if they came calling for his services following Rafa Benitez’s exit at the end of last month.

Steve Bruce has confirmed he ignored Alan Shearer’s advice about rejecting the Newcastle job
getty

However, speaking at a press conference in Shanghai on Thursday, Bruce insisted he simply could not accept Shearer’s advice – and says he is well aware of the challenges that lie ahead.

He said: “Well, make no mistake, Alan is a big, big friend of mine and he’s welcome to his opinions, but I would like to think I am my own man.

“As I’ve said many times, I understand the challenge that lies ahead. I’m not everybody’s cup of tea; I am not Rafa Benitez, so whoever was going to sit in this seat was going to find it difficult.

“However, I’m confident enough that with my experience and the people I have brought with me, that we’ll continue to take the club forward, and that’s why I’m sitting in the position I’m in right now.”

Bruce resigned as Sheffield Wednesday boss to take over at St James’ Park
Getty Images - Getty

Bruce is well aware that his appointment has not gone down well with a section of the Toon Army, but he is pleased to have a chance to prove himself.

He said: “I don’t read it because if you want to take it personally and read and scrutinise everything that’s thrown your way, then you would end up in a mad house.

“Just judge me over the period of time, and I’m quietly confident after maybe 400 games in the Premier League that I’ll do okay.”

Bruce accepted his dream job after resigning from his post at Sheffield Wednesday, sparking a wrangle over compensation which remains unresolved with the Owls taking legal advice.

He said: “I’d like to put it out there that a manager’s contract is a manager’s contract.

“When it’s terminated, compensation should be due, and that applies to when a manager wants to leave or hands in his resignation.

“I am disappointed about that because I thought that was in hand. However, it’s football and I wish them the best of luck in the future.

“As I’ve said many, many times, it was the challenge and the chance to go and manage Newcastle United, the great club that it is, that was the overriding factor for me to be as selfish as I was.”

Newcastle face West Ham in the Premier League Asia Trophy third-place play-off on Saturday, but behind the scenes, work is ongoing to rebuild the squad with strikers the main priority.

Bruce’s job title of head coach suggests he may not have the influence Benitez wanted over signings, but the former Manchester United defender insists that is not the case.

He said: “The big one, of course, is what you’re insinuating there, am I in charge of transfers or am I just going to sit there and be a puppet? That won’t happen.”

Arsenal news: Mesut Ozil reveals real reason for his extravagant new blonde haircut

19 Jul

Mesut Ozil’s new hairstyle has certainly grabbed the headlines – as much so as the intense speculation regarding his future at Arsenal.

Ozil, 30, has been heavily linked with a move away from the Emirates this summer, but as preparations gear towards the 2019/20 campaign the mercurial playmaker remains on the club’s books.

Mesut Ozil has sported a new blonde hairstyle on Arsenal’s pre-season tour of the United States after losing a ‘crossbar’ challenge
getty

And there has been a noticeable change to Ozil’s appearance during the north London side’s pre-season tour of the United States – dying his hair blonde after Shkodran Mustafi, Sead Kolasinac and himself lost a ‘crossbar’ challenge – eventually won by Alexandre Lacazette.

He said: “It was a bet between me Lacazette, Shkodran and Sead Kolasinac. It was crossbar challenging and Lacazette was the winner.

“We were the losers, me, Sead and Mustafi and the bet was to change the hair a different colour.

“So what I did was blonde, Sead green and Mustafi tried something different but in the end of dying he was unhappy and changed the colour of his hair back so that is what happened, that’s it.

“They (team mates) really like it but for me if I am waking up in the morning, it looks different because I had always dark hair but now I really like it so I don’t know if I will keep this hair in London, I don’t know but right now I am OK with that.”

Ozil impressed as Arsenal secured a 2-1 win over Bayern Munich in their International Champions Cup clash, with Eddie Nketiah scoring the decisive goal late on for Unai Emery’s men.

And the former Germany international has tipped a bright future for many of Arsenal’s youngsters, heaping praise on the likes of Joe Willock and Emile Smith-Rowe.

He added: “Right now we have a lot of young players and yesterday Joe Willock plays with us, he really showed his quality and Eddie everyone knows Eddie in the team.

“He is fighting hard and wants to help us and Reiss [Nelson]. He had a lot of experience in Germany.

“He played very well during the season over there so those people, those kind of players, especially young players will help us a lot.

“Don’t forget Emile. He is a little bit injured so he is coming back, we know his quality as well.

“At Arsenal I think we are lucky to have those young players.”

Mesut Ozil transfer: Arsenal star too expensive to sign, admit Fenerbahce

10 Jul

Fenerbahce insist they have no plans to make a move for Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil – as it’s simply not viable from a ‘economic’ point of view.

The Turkish Super Lig outfit have been heavily linked with the playmaker, as the Gunners reportedly seek to remove the 30-year-old from their wage bill.

Arsenal are reportedly keen to offload Mesut Ozil this summer
Getty

Ozil, a former Germany international of Turkish descent, struggled to impress new Arsenal head coach Unai Emery last season and often found himself sidelined for the bigger games.

In an official club statement, Fenerbahce confirmed their stance on Ozil to put an end to all the recent speculation.

“In recent weeks, and especially in the last few days, the necessity of providing information about the claims of Mesut Ozil which is on the agenda, to clarify the situation has arisen,” the statement read.

“Mesut Ozil, with his career and stance successfully represents our country abroad, is an important value known with the identity of Fenerbahce.

“However, Fenerbahce does not have an initiative for Mesut Ozil. Under the current economic conditions, such a step is not possible for both parties.”

Ozil signed a new deal in February 2018 making him the highest-paid player in the history of the club.

His wage of £350,000 a week eclipses most of players in the current Arsenal squad and could prove a stumbling block in an attempt to move him on.

A deal with Fenerbahce, whether permanent or on loan, was the latest speculation but it now appears to be dead in the water as Arsenal prepare to travel to the United States later this week to begin their pre-season tour.