Crystal Palace right to hold out for £80m for Arsenal target Wilfried Zaha, says former Eagles striker Clinton Morrison

22 Jul

Clinton Morrison expects Crystal Palace talisman Wilfried Zaha to remain at Selhurst Park this season, despite interest from Arsenal and Bayern Munich.

The former Eagles striker says the club have every right to hold out for the best deal they can for the Ivorian forward and has backed their £80million price tag.

Zaha has been strongly linked with a move across London to Arsenal this summer after reportedly telling Palace officials he wants to take the next step of his career and move to the Emirates Stadium.

Wilfried Zaha is a key man for Crystal Palace – could they cope in the Premier League without him?
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However, that deal is going nowhere fast as none of the Gunners’ multiple bids have come anywhere close to meeting the players’ full valuation.

Arsenal’s hopes were dealt a further blow on Monday with reports German champions Bayern have now entered the race to sign Zaha.

But Morrison believes, or perhaps more accurately hopes, the star will stay this summer – as chairman Steve Parish is under absolutely no pressure to sell.

“Every Palace fan will be happy if Wilfried Zaha stays,” the striker, who scored more than 100 goals for the Eagles, told talkSPORT host Jim White on Monday.

“I think he’ll come back and be the same model professional he is and churn out performances.

“I think he’ll eventually get his move. He and the chairman have a close relationship so eventually Wilf will say to the chairman and say please let me go.

“He has come out and said that, but he signed a new deal just over a year ago and he’s still got four years to go.

“So the chairman is in a comfortable position not to make him go and he’s got to do what’s right for the football club.

“£80m [for Zaha] is a lot of money. I would say £60m is about right, but I don’t think he’ll let him go for that. He’s got another four years left on his contract so the chairman is in a good position.

“Obviously Wilfried wants to play at a bigger club and wants to play at a higher level, and I totally get that because he’s a fantastic footballer.

“But I believe Wilf will still be a Palace player come the end of the window.”

Wan-Bissaka has already signed for Manchester United and Morrison believes also losing Zaha this summer would be devastating for Palace
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However, if Morrison is proven wrong and Zaha does depart, he believes Palace will be in real relegation trouble this season.

Having already lose right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Manchester United for £50m this summer, he believes losing another key player will spell doom for the Eagles’ stay in the Premier League – unless they oversee a flurry of late signings.

“£80m is a lot of money, but I feel the chairman is only doing that because he doesn’t want to lose Zaha and Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the same window,” he added.

“It could be a long hard season if we lose both of them and we don’t improve the squad.

“If Palace do lose him I am really worried about what it’s going to be like for Palace this coming season. They need to sign players.

“I know the chairman and the club have got a few bids in for certain players they want, but they need to get some over the line soon.

“They definitely need to bring in three or four players to improve the squad and they need strikers.”

Listen back to Clinton Morrison’s Wilfried Zaha verdict on talkSPORT above

Liverpool news: ‘I’d have eight James Milners in my team’ – Clinton Morrison urges Reds to give vice-captain new contract

22 Jul

Liverpool have been urged to end the ‘strange’ uncertainty over James Milner’s future and offer their vice-captain a new contract.

The 33-year-old midfielder has revealed he is unsure about his long-term future at Anfield, having entered the final 12 months of his current deal.

Following Sunday’s feisty pre-season defeat to Sevilla in Boston, Milner said he ‘hasn’t heard anything’ from the club about a possible extension and manager Jurgen Klopp hinted his age may be the issue.

James Milner in action against Sevilla at Fenway Park – the 33-year-old is Liverpool’s vice-captain when Jordan Henderson is not on the pitch
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Milner, who arrived in a free transfer from Manchester City in 2015, is the oldest member of the Liverpool squad and yet still plays an important role in Klopp’s team.

The former England man made 45 appearances last season, with seven goals and seven assists, as the Reds were crowned Champions League winners.

His fitness and endurance has become something of a Premier League legend – Milner yet again proved himself as the most physically fit player in the Reds squad by topping the club’s pre-season fitness tests this summer.

Asked about his situation, Milner said on Sunday: “Everyone pipes on about my age and stuff, and I understand you are going to get that. But there are three things to it: availability, fitness and performance level. Hopefully I am delivering all three.”

His performances this season are surely a testament to that, and former Premier League striker Clinton Morrison believes it’s a no brainer to keep the experienced midfeidler at Anfield.

“It’s a strange decision and I don’t agree with it,” Morrison told talkSPORT host Jim White on Monday.

“When you get to a certain age, if you’re still delivering on a regular basis then you’re entitled to earn that contract.

“He’s 33, and look at how many games Milner played last season – he’s still one of the fittest around.

“Is he one of the fittest at Liverpool? I can guarantee you in all the testing, James Milner will win everything when it comes to weights, running and covering the miles on the pitch. I can guarantee you on a match day he probably does the most running out of all the players.

Milner added the Champions League to his personal trophy haul last season. He won two Premier League titles, one FA Cup and one League Cup with Man City
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“I bet if you speak to Jurgen Klopp, he would say get the deal done as a soon as possible, it’s the hierarchy.

“The same is happening with Danny Rose at Tottenham, he’s 29 and the hierarchy are saying they don’t want to give him a new contract because of his age and he can find a new club.

“It’s strange to me, because I would have seven or eight James Milners in my team.


MORE: Milner slams Sevilla man for ‘disgraceful’ tackle which put Reds teen on stretcher


“You know what you’re going to get week-in week-out, he’ll always give you a seven or eight out of ten, his performances never dip and you can ask him to play numerous positions and he’ll play there and never moan about it.

“He’s someone you want at your club – all the players will want him to stay and I know Liverpool fans will want to keep James Milner.

“It needs to be sorted out because there will come a time when his contract will run down, he’ll be a free transfer and there’ll be a lot of clubs who will want him.

Milner is a hugely popular figure in the Liverpool dressing room and his experience is invaluable to the club’s up-and-coming players
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“He’s a special player. He’s technically really good on the ball and you need players like James Milner who are going to do the hard work and let those special players create stuff and open it up.

“He’ll probably play a lot of games this season, Klopp trusts him and he produces.

“I think it will be sorted out, but why is it taking so long?”

Listen back to Clinton Morrison on talkSPORT in full above

Harry Maguire transfer: Manchester United should sign Toby Alderweireld from Tottenham instead, explains Dean Saunders

22 Jul

Dean Saunders has urged Manchester United to scrap their deal for Harry Maguire and sign Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld instead.

The Red Devils have reportedly agreed an £80million fee with Leicester for Maguire, which would make the 26-year-old the world’s most expensive defender.

Toby Alderweireld has been linked with a move to Manchester United in the past
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United’s long search for a new centre-back dates back to last summer when they tried to sign Alderweireld from Premier League rivals Spurs.

The 30-year-old is available for just £25million until Friday, due to a release clause in his contract, yet the Belgian looks set to remain a Tottenham player next season.

Manchester United look set to sign Leicester’s Harry Maguire this summer
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And Saunders believes United have missed a trick, insisting Alderweireld is a better defender than Maguire.

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

“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’.”

Roma have expressed an interest in Alderweireld, but the Tottenham centre-back insists he is not seeking a move away this summer.

“I’ve always said, I’m focused on Spurs and trying to deliver the job that I need to do,” he told reporters after the 3-2 victory over Juventus in the Audi Cup.

When asked if he expects to be a Spurs player at the beginning of the season, he replied: “Yes, that’s my focus.”

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

21 Jul

Tony Cascarino has questioned Gareth Bale’s desire to play football, as Real Madrid attempt to force him out of the club.

The 30-year-old has been urged to publicly express a desire to leave the Spanish side as, according to the talkSPORT host, he is ‘clearly not wanted’ and should target a return to the Premier League.

Bale is understood to be keen to stay, however, manager Zinedine Zidane appears to have ended any chance of him remaining at the Bernabeu.

Gareth Bale, a four-time Champions League winner at Real Madrid, is surplus to requirements at the Bernabeu
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Speaking on Saturday, Zidane said he ‘hopes’ Bale leaves Real soon and expects him to seal a transfer away from Madrid imminently.

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

Bale has won four Champions League trophies at Real since joining Real from Tottenham six years ago for a then world-record £85million.

“I’m just not sure he has the real desire to play,” Cascarino wrote in The Times, echoing the thoughts he expressed on The Weekend Sports Breakfast.

“Gareth has been a world-class player and has nothing to prove but what disappoints me most is that I have not heard him say: ‘I need to play football to continue my career so I need to leave Madrid.'”

On Sunday, Cascarino told takSPORT he believes Bale 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
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He is reported to earn around £650,000-a-week and is unlikely to get that kind of contract elsewhere.

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

“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’
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“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 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.”

Neymar will NEVER be in the same bracket as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, talkSPORT told

20 Jul

Neymar may soon break his own record as the most expensive footballer in the world, but he will NEVER be in the same league as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, believes Tony Cascarino.

The Brazilian superstar is determined to leave Paris Saint-Germain this summer after two seasons in the French capital, and reportedly only has eyes for a return to Barcelona.

PSG sporting director Leonardo even told Le Parisien last week that Neymar is free to go ‘if there is an offer that suits everyone.’

Neymar wants to return to Barcelona
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However, it will take a huge fee to get the deal across the line and stunning reports claim Barca are willing to offer PSG their pick of TWO players from a six-man list, plus £90million, to bring Neymar back to the Nou Camp.

Included in that list, according to reports from Sky Germany, are Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele, who were respectively £142m and £135.5m signings for the Spanish champions.

That deal would be worth over £300m – smashing the previous transfer record held by Neymar’s £198m move to Paris in 2017.

But, although there is no doubting his commercial value, Cascarino questions whether the Brazil ace is worth the trouble or money.

The Weekend Sports Breakfast host said on Saturday: “Neymar is incredibly gifted, he’s extraordinary.

“He’s a bit like a Harlem Globetrotter, he can do things very few people can do with a football and his goal numbers are incredible.

“But I just don’t think he’s ever going to get into the same bracket as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

“I just don’t see it, and that’s what Barcelona would be paying for.

Neymar is keen to return to Barcelona where he played alongside Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi – but is he worth it?
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“Globally he’s huge. I think he’s the biggest shirt seller in world football and rightly so because he’s a great player.

“But it’s a huge amount of money.

“It’s extraordinary, especially considering Dembele and Coutinho were both £130m+ players.

“To put in those two, plus £90m, for Neymar – I think it’s a deal PSG will grab with both hands.”

Listen back to Tony Cascarino on the Weekend Sports Breakfast IN FULL above

‘Mauricio Pochettino would have left Tottenham’ if they beat Liverpool to win Champions League, claims former striker Darren Bent

20 Jul

Mauricio Pochettino was serious when he said he would had left Tottenham if they won the Champions League final, believes Darren Bent.

The former striker says he would not have been surprised if the boss kept his ‘promise’ and departed Spurs at the end of the season if they beat Liverpool in the final in Madrid.

Pochettino took Spurs further in the Champions League than they had ever gone before
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The Argentine led Spurs to their first European Cup final in June, where they were beaten 2-0 by Jurgen Klopp’s Reds.

Ahead of the game, Pochettino shocked supporters by saying he might need to ‘think about doing something different’ should Spurs win, as he could not hope to achieve such a ‘miracle’ again in charge of the club.

The manager’s comments made fans nervous, as he had been linked with the Manchester United and Real Madrid jobs just months before and was then linked with the Juventus role.

Mauricio Pochettino and Jurgen Klopp shake hands after the final whistle in Madrid
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After the defeat, Pochettino obviously remained in charge and his comments have largely been forgotten – but Bent believes the manager was not joking.

“I do believe that maybe he was serious, that if they had won it he would have left,” the former Spurs striker told talkSPORT’s Drivetime.

“He would have won the biggest trophy in club football in the world, and he even joked before the final, ‘if we win it I’ll leave’, but I took him a little bit seriously there.

“If they had won it, I think he would have probably looked at his situation and thought, ‘I’ve left Spurs in a really good position, I’ve won the biggest trophy there is to win, I probably can’t take them any further than I already have, it’s time for the next Epson to come in and put their stamp on the squad’.

“I could have seen him leaving.

“If they had won it I think it would have been a very interesting time.”

The Open 2019: Rory McIlroy ‘hasn’t had enough credit’ for his recovery from horror start, says Claret Jug contender Tommy Fleetwood

19 Jul

Rory McIlroy ‘hadn’t had the credit he deserves’ for recovering from his nightmare start to The Open, Claret Jug contender Tommy Fleetwood has told talkSPORT.

The Northern Irishman teed off his home tournament at Royal Portrush with a quadruple bogey on the opening par four – dubbed a ‘snowman’ – which immediately left him in a bit of a pickle.

Rory McIlroy has the start to forget at his home Open Championships at Royal Portrush
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He hit just two birdies as he carded a first-round score of 79 – the sixth-worst score of the opening day.

McIlroy was back out on the course, which has been hit with typical Northern Irish links conditions, on Friday afternoon and faces a fight to make the cut.

He began his second round eight-over par, with the projected cut set at one-over.

But Fleetwood, who went into the clubhouse on seven-under after round two – tied third at the time of writing, has praised Rory for his recovery after a horror start.

The Englishman told talkSPORT’s Georgie Bingham and Bob Bubka on Hawksbee and Jacobs: “It’s hard for us to have any say or opinion on it.

“He clearly had a rough day.

McIlroy hit a wayward drive off the first tee which went out-of-bounds, and his re-take wasn’t much better
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“The hard part is that whenever Rory doesn’t do something great it’s in front of everybody and this week he’s got the added expectation of being a home Open.

“But it’s Rory McIlroy, who knows what he could do today. He could shoot a really low one, we just don’t know.

“I didn’t really know what he shot yesterday but I know he started off bad and then came back really well.

Fleetwood has fared better and is in a good position to challenge for the Claret Jug ahead of an exciting weekend of golf
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“I actually think he did unbelievably well, if you think about all the pressure he’s under, to get back through that period where he quad the first, and he had a rough finish, but that middle straight – I think he probably hasn’t had the credit he deserves for doing that.”

Listen back to Tommy Fleetwood on Hawksbee and Jacobs IN FULL above!

Arsenal EXCLUSIVE: Gunners ‘should do football a favour and take Laurent Koscielny to court’, says Alvin Martin

19 Jul

Arsenal have been urged to ‘do football and the Premier League a favour’ and take legal action against Laurent Koscielny after he asked the Gunners to cancel his contract.

West Ham legend Alvin Martin believes Arsenal should make an example of the Frenchman, who has refused to go on the club’s pre-season tour of the United States.

Koscielny is likely to be stripped of the captaincy after he told club chiefs he wanted to leave and return to his homeland for free this summer, despite having a year remaining on his current deal.

Koscielny has been a faithful servant to Arsenal but has now angered fans by trying to force a move back to France
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The centre-back was reportedly offered a new two-year contract by the Gunners, but for only half of his current £90,000-a-week salary.

He has received a better two-year offer from Ligue 1 side Bordeaux, but that only stands if they can get him on a free transfer, whereas Arsenal want £9million if he leaves this summer.

Latest reports claim Koscielny is seeking legal advice over his situation in north London, but Martin believes Arsenal should be tougher on him and throw the book back at the defender.

“I’m absolutely 100 per cent behind the club,” said the former defender on talkSPORT’s Kick Off.

“Arsenal have made a lot of poor signings but Koscielny has been one of the hits, for me, and he’s still their best centre-half.

“But he can’t just say I want to leave a year early, it’s crazy!

“Somewhere along the line the clubs have to put their foot down.

“I think Arsenal are in a position here where they can do football and the Premier League a favour – take him to court.

“Go legal. It’s a breach of contract. It would send out a signal to everybody who plays the game.

“He’s got no right to do that.

Laurent Koscielny’s actions have shocked Arsenal and Alvin Martin has urged Arsenal to throw the book at him
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“What if it were the other way around? If the club said, ‘we don’t want to pay you the last year of your contract’, what do you think the outcome of that would be?

“He would go legal – so why can’t the club do that to the player?

“What have Arsenal got to lose? They’ve got a player who wants to walk out and has put their whole pre-season, and maybe even their season, in jeopardy.

“They may as well keep him, and what that would do then is send a message out to everybody in the Arsenal dressing room and everybody in the Premier League.

“They would be saying: ‘Hold on a minute, you signed a contract and, unless we want to sell you, you will honour that contract and if you don’t you could lose not just a year’s salary, you could lose everything’.

“Honestly, I’m really annoyed.

“When you see they money some of these players are getting, and they’ve got no responsibility to give anything back, not just to their team-mates and the manager, but to the fans.

“Someone has to make a stand now.”

Listen back to Alvin Martin’s Laurent Koscielny verdict from Kick Off IN FULL above

Huddersfield kit hoax: Simon Jordan hits back at negative reaction to Paddy Power prank – ‘It’s genius marketing’

19 Jul

Simon Jordan has hit back at the negative reaction surrounding Paddy Power’s Huddersfield Town kit prank, saying it is a ‘genius piece of marketing’.

Terriers supporters – and most football fans in general – were shocked earlier this week when the Championship club unveiled their new 2019/20 shirt which boasted huge Paddy Power branding.

The sash-like design, which appeared to break FA rules, was widely ridiculed and compared to Miss World pageants, hen parties and the Thunderbirds, while some blasted the design for taking the promotion of gambling companies to a new level of crass.

Aaron Mooy wears Huddersfield’s ‘new shirt’ in a friendly against Rochdale
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But, it appears that was the point.

Despite wearing it in a friendly game, the Huddersfield faithful hoped the new design was a hoax.

And they were relieved on Friday when the Irish bookmaker confirmed that was indeed the case – the fake kit was merely a stunt to promote their new ‘Save Our Shirt’ campaign against the growth of branding on football shirts.

The actual Huddersfield kit, revealed on Friday, features no sponsorship at all – only the club crest and logo of kit manufacturer Umbro – and Paddy Power say it’s their way of ‘giving back’ to fans.

The bookmaker say sponsorship in football has ‘gone too far’ and have encouraged other companies to follow suit and take their logos off ‘sacred’ club shirts.

But this reveal was made after both Huddersfield and Paddy Power were criticised for the enormous spoof branding.

Conservative MP Damian Collins, head of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee‏, said it was ‘totally inappropriate’ and called for the FA to launch an investigation.

Meanwhile, one daily newspaper columnist even wrote that Huddersfield had ‘sold their soul’.

But talkSPORT pundit Simon Jordan, who actually turned down the chance to be involved in the stunt, was at hand on Friday to tell everyone to calm down.

He told Jim White: “It’s guerrilla marketing, it’s subterfuge.

“I know a little bit about it because I was approached to be involved in it, but I turned down the opportunity.

Huddersfield’s actual new kit features a clean and crisp design – and it’s a big hit with supporters
Huddersfield Town

“But it’s very clever from Paddy Power, you cannot underestimate the genius of their thinking.

“I don’t think it’s about betting companies, I just think it’s a clever piece of marketing imagery.

“Then you get idiots like the DCMS‏ head Damian Collins coming out and having an opinion about it without being across the facts or understanding the bigger picture, which is all a little bit tongue in cheek.”

Listen to a clip of Simon Jordan on talkSPORT above

Daniel Sturridge: Former Liverpool striker should be BANNED FOR LIFE for breaching betting rules, Simon Jordan tells talkSPORT

19 Jul

Simon Jordan has backed the Football Association’s decision to appeal against Daniel Sturridge’s punishment for breaching betting rules – saying the former Liverpool striker should be banned from football for LIFE.

Shortly after Sturridge was hit with a £75,000 fine and a six-week ban, four of which were suspended, by an independent regulatory commission, the FA announced they would push for a tougher punishment as the 26-cap England international had used ‘cynical determination’ to help others place bets.

They added in a statement that anything shorter than a six-month ban for the player would ‘wholly fail to reflect the gravity of the case’.

Sturridge’s punishment, handed out after nine of 11 charges were dismissed, means he pays back less than one week’s worth of his reported wage at Liverpool – while he is free to resume playing football on July 31.

As four weeks of Sturridge’s ban have been suspended he can return to playing football before the start of next month
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Some of the dismissed charges alleged Sturridge, who is currently a free agent, passed on information about possible moves to Inter Milan and West Brom – the club he eventually joined on loan in January 2018.

Jordan says Sturridge’s breaches of betting regulations go entirely against the ‘integrity’ of football – and he claims the punishment he was handed comes nowhere near fitting the crime.

“It goes to the integrity of the sport,” said Jordan on Friday’s Jim White show. “It’s beyond reproach and there can be no justification for it.

“I think the FA are absolutely right – they should throw the book at this kid!

“The fact he is allegedly providing information to a member of his family about a loan move… I know it’s allegedly because we are not across the facts, but there is some element of people taking this seriously.

“He’s either guilty or he’s not guilty, and if he’s been found guilty he should be hit with the hardest and most strident penalties that take him out of football for a far longer period of time than two weeks.”

Asked what punishment would fit the crime, Jordan replied: “In my view, I think people like that who are found guilty should be banned for life.

“They are compromising the integrity of the sport.

“In this instance I think he is breaching the covenant, the undertaking, the unwritten understanding that sport has integrity.

Sturridge allegedly passed on information about possible moves to Inter and West Brom – the club he eventually joined
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“And if he’s doing that he should suffer the consequences of it, for the love of God!

“I’ve always thought fining people money was some sort of draconian thing only related to football. There should be consequences, and the biggest consequence is you no longer get to participate in this sport.

“You have compromised the values of this sport, and for that, that is your lot.

“Everybody knows you cannot give somebody an inside indication of your move, or the events unfolding ahead of a game.”

After his punishment was announced on Thursday, Sturridge said: “I am pleased that nine of the 11 charges were dismissed and that the panel found me to be an honest and credible witness, and that my actions on one particularly difficult day were out of character.

Simon Jordan says Sturridge deserves the harshest possible punishment for destroying football’s integrity
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“The case was heard over seven days by a distinguished panel, which resulted in a lengthy and carefully considered decision, and followed an extensive investigation by the FA. It is therefore extremely disappointing to hear that the FA will be appealing this decision. I will continue to defend the case and the appeal.

“I am training hard and fully focused on the upcoming football season.”