David de Gea has ‘shown massive loyalty’ to Manchester United and deserves new £117m contract, talkSPORT told

23 Jul

Tying David de Gea down to a staggering new £19.5million-per-year contract is great business from Manchester United – as it would cost them three times that figure to buy a replacement.

That’s the verdict from Danny Mills, who believes the goalkeeper deserves his bumper new deal having ‘shown massive loyalty’ to the Red Devils.

David de Gea has agreed a new big-money contract with Manchester United

According to reports, De Gea is set to sign a new six-year deal at Old Trafford worth an estimated £375,000-a-week to end the speculation over his long-term future at the club.

However, some have baulked at the money involved in the deal, especially on the back of the Spaniard’s worst-performing season of his entire career.

De Gea’s dreadful form began at last summer’s World Cup, where Spain were dumped out of the last-16 by Russia and he left the tournament with the worst statistics of any goalkeeper for 52 years.

That form continued in a United shirt as he conceded 54 goals for the Red Devils last season – De Gea’s worst season of his career so far.

De Gea was guilty of a number of high-profile errors in the Man United net last season – including against Barcelona as the Red Devils were dumped out of the Champions League

talkSPORT pundit Simon Jordan has slammed the Premier League club for their decision to give De Gea a new deal, saying they are ‘rewarding him for going backwards’.

But Mills disagrees and believes it’s smart business by Ed Woodward.

Speaking on Tuesday’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, the former defender said: “De Gea only made a couple of mistakes at the World Cup, but that happens from time to time.

“He hasn’t been playing in a fantastic side and if you look at the saves he’s made and his quality…

“He’s a young goalkeeper, he knows the club inside and he’s shown massive loyalty when he could have gone to Real Madrid, but it didn’t happen.

De Gea actually wanted to move to Real Madrid in 2015 and was seconds away from joining them before a communications error meant the deadline day deal wasn’t done. He then signed a new four-year deal with United.

“Most players would have thrown their toys out of the pram at that stage, but he didn’t, he came back, knuckled down, worked incredibly hard and was then their next player for the next three or four seasons.

“It’s smidge under £20m a year, and if you’re going to replace De Gea right now with a top quality keeper that’s going to cost you north of £60m.

“So they’ve almost got an outstanding goalkeeper for nothing for the next six years.”

Chelsea news: Callum Hudson-Odoi agrees lucrative new five-year contract at Stamford Bridge

23 Jul

Callum Hudson-Odoi has agreed a five-year contract worth more than £100,000-per-week to stay at Chelsea.

The England international, 18, was tipped to leave Stamford Bridge and even handed in a transfer request in January after the club rejected a £35million bid from Bayern Munich.

Chelsea fans will be relieved to see Hudson-Odoi stay
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However, he’s now set to sign a new contract with his boyhood club before the start of the season.

It is understood Hudson-Odoi is encouraged by positive words from new Blues boss Frank Lampard, who made it clear he wanted the player to stay.

The teenager is currently recovering from an Achilles injury suffered in April but could return to action as early as September.

Playing time is thought to have been the key issue for Hudson-Odoi throughout the negotiations.

He made 24 appearances for Chelsea last season under Maurizio Sarri, scoring five goals.

However, he did not make his first start in the Premier League until April despite making his senior England debut in March.

Former Chelsea and England midfielder Lampard, who took charge of the London side earlier in July, previously said Hudson-Odoi is a huge player for his team.

Lampard said: “I am not going to say things that are pie in the sky but, with his [Hudson-Odoi’s] talent, he can be central to this team, he can be central to England.

“He can show, right here at Chelsea, the team he came through the academy at, that he is going to be a world-class player – because I truly believe that.”

Chelsea have also given new deals to midfielders Mason Mount and Ruben Loftus-Cheek since Lampard took over from Sarri.

Boxing news: Amir Khan has message for Manny Pacquiao, David Price wants Tyson Fury fight

23 Jul

Here is a round-up of the best of today’s boxing news…

Amir Khan: I won’t wait for Manny Pacquiao

Khan told talkSPORT’s James Savundra: “I saw what Manny did on the weekend [against Keith Thurman] and looked really good.

“His timing, his work rate, the punch count was very, very high. At the age of 40…

“I’m just gonna still carry on with my career, I’m not gonna wait around and wait for that one big Manny fight.

“It’s happened before to me where I’ve waited for Floyd Mayweather for a year and a half and it never happened.”

Amir Khan announced he would be fighting Manny Pacquiao, but Pacquiao denied this

David Price calls for Tyson Fury fight after Dave Allen win

Price told Fight Disciples: “It was the first thing I asked when I got the message [from managers MTK Global] this morning, I said, ‘What about Tyson Fury?’

“They were like, ‘He’s got an opponent arranged.’

“See, the thing is with Tyson, I think Tyson would like to give me the opportunity to be in a big fight against him and to make some good dough because I know how he is as a person.

“But they’ve narrowed it down to their opponent who’s gonna get it, it’s nearly done I think and then he’s gonna fight Wilder.”

David Price comprehensively outboxed Dave Allen

Chris Eubank reacts to petition for him to be next James Bond

When asked about the petition, Eubank told the Brighton Argus: “I think the petition is brilliant.

“Of course I would love to play Bond.

“In some ways I have always been an actor.

“Ever since I have been in the public eye I have been acting, hoping to entertain.”

Chris Eubank Sr is up for a career change

Kubrat Pulev kiss case resolved as boxer has suspension lifted

Pulev has had his suspension lifted by the California Commission and can now reapply for his boxing licence after being sanctioned for kissing a female reporter in March.

In May, the California Commission decided to fine Pulev $2,500 and ordered him to attend a sexual harassment course if he wanted to regain his licence.

Having done this, the Bulgarian returned to the commission on Monday and had his suspension removed.

Pulev accepted the punishment

Maxim Dadashev dies aged 28 following stoppage defeat to Subriel Matias

Russian boxer Dadashev has died after suffering serious injuries in his defeat to Matias on Friday night.

The super-lightweight underwent emergency brain surgery and was placed in a medically induced coma, but did not pull through and has passed away four days later.

Maxim Dadashev has died aged 28

Newcastle United transfer news: Magpies complete signing of Brazilian striker Joelinton for club record fee

23 Jul

Newcastle have completed the signing of Brazilian Joelinton for a club record £40million on a six-year deal.

The striker, 22, is the first signing under Steve Bruce’s management at Newcastle.

Joelinton has wrapped up his move to Newcastle

He will sport the iconic No.9 jersey at Newcastle which has been worn by the likes of Alan Shearer, Les Ferdinand and Andy Cole.

Joelinton, who scored eleven goals in 35 appearances last season joins from Bundesliga side Hoffenheim.

The deal smashes the previous record fee of £20m the Magpies paid for Paraguay international Miguel Almiron from MLS side Atlanta United in January.

Joelinton is Newcastle’s record signing
Getty - Contributor

On completing his move to St James’ Park, Joelinton said: “I’m really happy to be here.

“I know it’s a large investment that the club has made in me, and that comes with a huge responsibility.

“I’m highly motivated and hope to give back on the pitch.”

Newcastle boss Bruce said: “The kid has got an exciting time ahead of him.

“He is a smashing young player and we are obviously delighted to get him. It is been going on for a little bit now, so to get him is great for everybody.

“He has got everything that a modern-day player wants. He is big, strong and athletic, and of course he’s got age on his side too which is vitally important.”

Joelinton has already earned comparisons with Liverpool star Roberto Firmino as both players are Brazilian forwards who came to England from Hoffenheim.

The Newcastle man began his career with Brazilian side Sport Recife before moving to Germany in 2015. He played for Austrian side Rapid Vienna for two years on loan (2016-18).

Man City vs Kitchee: How to live stream friendly clash online for free plus UK kick-off time and team news

23 Jul

Manchester City continue their preparations for the new season by taking on Hong Kong Premier League side Kitchee.

City have been in Asia for their pre-season schedule and lost to Wolves in the final of the Premier League Asia Trophy over the weekend.

Pep Guardiola’s Man City take on Kitchee in a pre-season friendly
Getty Images - Getty

They are now set to take on Kitchee before wrapping up their tour on Saturday and heading back to England.

City face Liverpool in the Community Shield on August 4 before taking on West Ham in their opening top-flight fixture on August 10.

Man City vs Kitchee: Date and kick off time

The friendly clash is set for Wednesday, July 24 and will kick off at 1pm UK time.

It is being held at the 40,000 capacity Hong Kong Stadium.

City will then complete their tour of the Far East on Saturday by taking on sister club Yokohama F. Marinos at the Nissan Stadium in Yokohama, Japan.

Man City pre-season fixtures: Friendlies in Asia, Liverpool clash plus other ties – dates, times and venues

Man City vs Kitchee: TV channel and live stream

Coverage of this match will be shown on Man City for TV – the club’s new streaming service.

Users can try a free 30-day trial for Man City for TV while it costs £1.99 per month usually.

It is available to stream on devices including Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire TV Stick.

Man City vs Kitchee: Team news

Phil Foden could get his first minutes of pre-season action after joining up with his City team-mates following England duty.

City’s South American and African players are on holiday following their involvements at this summer’s international tournaments.

Raheem Sterling in action for Man City during pre-season
Getty - Contributor

Amir Khan EXCLUSIVE: I won’t wait around for Manny Pacquiao, but he looked good against Keith Thurman

23 Jul

Amir Khan is still hopeful that he will face Manny Pacquiao in his next fight, but insists he won’t wait around for the Filipino legend.

Earlier this month, Khan returned to the ring against Billy Dib in Saudi Arabia, a comeback bout he won by fourth-round knockout.

Amir Khan’s next opponent is unknown

In the aftermath, he announced he would be returning to the country for a bout against Pacquiao on November 8, though it appears he jumped the gun with this proclamation as ‘Pac Man’s’ team instantly denied it.

Asked about his Saudi experience, Khan told talkSPORT’s James Savundra: “They’re very, very happy with us and they want us back there again, so that’s the reason we have now announced another fight there which is November 8.

“Looking at some opponents, I would love it to be Manny Pacquiao, if it isn’t him obviously we look at someone else…

“This next fight is gonna be there as we were contracted to that, but I may be back in the UK early next year.”

Khan and Pacquiao are ex-gymmates

Amir made his premature Pacquiao announcement last week, while the 40-year-old was preparing to face Keith Thurman.

On Saturday night, the Filipino put on a thrilling display and rolled back the years to defeat his younger opponent, claiming the WBA welterweight title in the process.

Khan continued: “I saw what Manny did on the weekend and looked really good.

“His timing, his work rate, the punch count was very, very high. At the age of 40.”

Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman battled in a sensational ‘Fight of the Year’ contender

In truth, Khan could potentially turn out to be a big loser from this performance, as it proved to US fans that Pacquiao still has plenty left to give against the welterweight elite.

As such, it now seems far more likely he will return in a big fight in America, and he’s also said he won’t compete again this year.

Khan clarified: “I was told just before having a press conference by the Super Boxing League team that Manny has signed a contract to say that he would fight me.

“I don’t know who’s seen the signature, I didn’t see the signature as yet, but this is what I was told by the team.

Manny Pacquiao looked shocked when informed what Amir Khan had claimed

“So obviously I’m gonna mention that something’s signed by Manny and his team for the fight.

Manny denied that, I’m left in a position where I still have a date in Saudi Arabia on November 8.

“I’m just gonna still carry on with my career, I’m not gonna wait around and wait for that one big Manny fight.

“It’s happened before to me where I’ve waited for Floyd Mayweather for a year and a half and it never happened.”

WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder will be live at the talkSPORT studios next Friday on the Jim White Show, but if you can’t wait till then to hear from one of the biggest names in boxing you can catch the Bronze Bomber in the flesh at the famous ICC Arena in Birmingham on July 27 for his UK tour with Showfighter and Gold Star. talkSPORT will be in attendance so for more details head to eventbrite.co.uk and you can get your tickets from showfighter.co.uk

Arsenal vs Real Madrid: How to live stream International Champions Cup clash online

23 Jul

Arsenal take on Real Madrid tonight as they ramp up their preparations for the new Premier League season.

Unai Emery’s side are in the United States for a pre-season tour and have already impressed, beating Fiorentina and Bayern Munich in the International Champions Cup.

Unai Emery’s Arsenal take on Real Madrid in the International Champions Cup

They will now face a Real side who are in mess with the boss Zinedine Zidane and superstar Gareth Bale at loggerheads.

Arsenal, who face Newcastle in their top-flight opener on August 11, will want to finish their tour of the States on a huge high with another win.

Arsenal vs Real Madrid: Date and kick off time

The International Champions Cup clash is set for Wednesday, July 24.

Kick-off is at midnight in the UK, so the game will continue into the early hours.

It is being held at FedEx Field near Washington DC.

Arsenal pre-season fixtures: Showpiece friendlies against Real Madrid, Lyon and Barcelona – dates, times and venues

An Arsenal XI side are also in action in London, taking on Barnet at The Hive at 7:45pm.

The senior side will return from the USA after facing Real and will take on Lyon in the Emirates Cup on Sunday.

Arsenal vs Real Madrid: TV channel and live stream

Coverage of this match will be shown on Premier 1 in the UK and is available through your TV for both Sky and Virgin customers.

The channel costs £9.99 a month for new customers and you can also stream using the Premier Player.

Wantaway Real Madrid star Gareth Bale could face Arsenal
Getty Images - Getty

Arsenal vs Real Madrid: Team news

Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira are out the clash as they recover from international action.

Laurent Koscielny remains back in England amid his wage row, while Hector Bellerin has travelled but isn’t yet ready for first-team action.

Brahim Diaz is expected to be unavailable for Madrid after picking up a bicep injury.

Bale, who looks set to leave the club, could yet feature against the Gunners according to boss Zidane.

The Rock is the biggest star in the history of WWE – even above Stone Cold Steve Austin, Ric Flair or Hulk Hogan

23 Jul

Wrestling is a totally subjective form of entertainment. While someone might think The Undertaker is the greatest of all-time, another might feel, say, Daniel Bryan is. Two totally different performers, but both extremely good.

But that’s just the thing with wrestling. In a pre-determined ‘sport’ as it were, WWE could book who is the greatest of all-time. Many fans felt they did that with 16-time world champion John Cena for many years.

John Cena
John Cena is a legend in WWE

It breaks down into little categories. Greatest character? Probably The Undertaker. Greatest in-ring performer? Arguably Shawn Michaels. Best on the microphone? The Rock, Dusty Rhodes, CM Punk, Ric Flair and a few others would be in the conversation.

But, who is the biggest star in the history of wrestling? That is a question with far stricter parameters and actual, tangible evidence to support the winner.

Our winner is The Rock, but the same men to breath his rarefied air are Stone Cold Steve Austin, Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan.

Hulk Hogan, The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin at WrestleMania 30

So why does The Rock come out on top? A quick look at the aforementioned men and then Rocky by comparison will enlighten you.

Stone Cold Steve Austin is the biggest draw in the history of the business. That goes for live events, merchandise, TV ratings and PPV buys. That is indisputable.

When he caught fire in late 1996, he was the most popular wrestler on the planet for a good four years at a boom period – the Monday Night Wars. Austin would win that war for the WWE and would stray into the mainstream with his forthright persona.

The Rock and Steve Austin were the biggest stars of the Attitude Era

More than that, his finishing move, the Stone Cold Stunner, became one of the most beloved moves in the history of the business and whether you liked wrestling or not, you knew about it.

Unfortunately, his stay at the top was relatively short-lived. Recurring neck problems that stemmed from a botch at the hands of Owen Hart in 1997 would force Austin to retire in 2003 at the age of 37 – very young for a main event wrestler.

Stone Cold Steve Austin is arguably the biggest star in the history of wrestling

Following that, the Texas Rattlesnake tried to stay in the business in a variety of on-screen roles before departing for some low-level Hollywood movies and some straight to DVD efforts. He then launched a successful podcast that runs to this day and hosts some reality-based TV shows.

However, it could be said that once his days were done in the ring, the only way was down.

For Hulk Hogan, he is synonymous with wrestling. We wouldn’t have the global brand that is the WWE today if Hulk Hogan didn’t stand as the main event pillar for Vince McMahon when he originally bought the company from his dad.

McMahon took the gamble to launch the very expensive and risky WrestleMania concept around Hogan and when you look at the first three events, he was more than a central figure to their success.

The 13-time world champion is the most recognisable wrestler to a whole generation and he owned the 1980’s. He even reinvented himself in 1996 by turning heel and forming the NWO, an industry-shifting move that no one saw coming.

Furthermore, he went on to steal WrestleMania in 2002 with – you guessed it, The Rock – and had a great last run with the company.

The Rock and Hulk Hogan at WM19

From there… not so good. He spent four years with TNA that were close to a disaster from a growth perspective and he also had a sex tape leaked. On top of that, Hogan was caught on tape making several racial slurs which saw the WWE banish him for three years.

The Hulkster was a major, major star in wrestling but despite fleeting success with acting, music and his own reality TV show ‘Hogan Knows Best’ – he’s never had any meaningful success outside of the wrestling business and, specifically, WWE.

That brings us to Ric Flair. A lot of fans will tell you Ric Flair is the greatest of all-time and many, many wrestlers will too. Back in the days when the NWA world champion would travel to all territories and put bums in seats, Flair was the absolute best and the highest drawing by a country mile.

Nobody worked harder than Flair and his gimmick of having a taste for the extravagant – jet-flying, limousine-riding and all that – was really him. The fans gravitated to that and he became a star a whole world above the rest.

But he could really wrestle, too. His feuds with Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat and Dusty Rhodes are the stuff of legends and as the focal point of the Four Horseman, he arguably led the greatest stable in wrestling history, too.

Ric Flair in his famous robe

Flair’s ‘woo!’ has made him a mainstream star. Still to this day, athletes and musicians will credit him as an inspiration because of his swag and attitude.

However, his life is wrestling. Many might argue he stayed in the business too long and he certainly shouldn’t have wrestled again after having a retirement match against Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 24. TNA, like milk on a hot day apparently, was a bad choice.

Flair is a legend in many circles, and, with hardcore wrestling fans, is perhaps revered the most of all legends. But, he never quite transcended like the other men on this list.

Then we have The Rock. The Great One. The Brahma Bull. Just as Austin became sidelined with his neck issues in late 1999 – where he was hit by a car, remember? – Rocky had become the number two babyface in the company. With Austin gone, he became the top guy and many would say he took things even higher.

He was formidable on the microphone whether he was a heel or babyface. He had the looks, an electrifying moveset in the ring that complimented him perfectly and charisma coming out of his eyeballs. McMahon knew The Rock was a star from the moment he laid eyes on him.

The audience hung off his every word and arenas literally exploded when his music hit. His vast array of catchphrases made him a globally known star very quickly and just as much as Austin turned the tide for WWE in the Monday Night Wars, The Rock picked up the baton on the home straight.

He’s a New York Time best-seller, the Guinness World Records named him the record-holder for highest-paid actor in their first leading role ($5.5m), he’s the second-highest-paid actor in the world today according to business insider and he has the eighth-most followed Instagram account in the world.

He has his own production company – Seven Bucks – he’s a 10 time WWE champion, main evented two of the top-five grossing WrestleManias of all-time, has hosted multiple TV shows and has his own clothing line with Under Armour titled ‘Project Rock’.

He is the very definition of a household name. Dwayne Johnson, The Rock – whatever. Everyone knows who he is and when he goes back to WWE, which he still does from time-to-time, it has a visible effect on tickets, ratings – everything.

When you look at what he accomplished during his career and after it – which also helps highlight WWE – The Rock is clearly the biggest star to ever grace the squared circle.

Wilfried Zaha is ‘every bit as good’ as Riyad Mahrez and Arsenal CAN afford to sign him, Simon Jordan tells talkSPORT

23 Jul

talkSPORT’s Simon Jordan insists Arsenal can afford to sign £80million-rated Wilfried Zaha.

Straight-talking Jordan believes the time is right for Crystal Palace to sell their star winger, insisting it will protect the club in the long run.

Jordan believes the time is right for Zaha to leave Palace
Getty Images - Getty

Arsenal are struggling to secure their targets this transfer window due to their failure to qualify for the Champions League, with just a £40m budget reportedly handed to Unai Emery to add to his squad for the forthcoming campaign.

The Gunners have already had a £40m offer turned down for Zaha by the Eagles, who are holding firm on their £80m asking fee for their star player.

And former Crystal Palace owner Jordan believes Arsenal simply aren’t playing by the rules of the current market.

“Arsenal are not playing properly,” he said on Monday evening’s Kick Off on talkSPORT.

“I don’t think they played particularly properly when they bought Ian Wright in 1991, and I don’t think they are playing properly now for different reasons.

“If they can afford to pay £27million for a player and send him back on loan, they can afford to play £60/70million for Wilfried Zaha.”

“Is it the right time for Palace and Zaha? I think it probably is, in a perverse way.

“Because Palace are now becoming a side that are really built around Zaha and I don’t think for the long-term benefit of Crystal Palace they can afford to rely simply on Zaha.

“You’ve got to get £60million plus for him… you’ve got to! He’s every bit as good as Mahrez.

“They are going to lose a lot by losing Zaha, but I don’t think they are going to keep him so they have to move on.”

Manchester United transfer news: Red Devils reportedly close to signing Sergej Milinkovic-Savic as replacement for Paul Pogba

23 Jul

Manchester United are reportedly closing in on their third signing of the summer in Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

The Red Devils were linked with the £67million-rated player last summer but have stepped up their pursuit at a time where Paul Pogba’s Old Trafford future is unclear.

United may be finally getting Milinkovic-Savic, but as a replacement for Pogba…
Getty Images - Getty

Pogba has made no secret of his desire to leave United, saying in an interview in June that “it could be time for a new challenge“.

He said: “There is a lot of thinking [going on].

“I have been three years in Manchester and have been doing great – some good moments and some bad moments, like everybody, like everywhere else.

“After this season and everything that happened, with my season being my best season…it could be a good time to have a new challenge somewhere else.”

Pogba is itching for a move away from United
Getty Images

Italian media outlet Repubblica claim that United are closing in on Milinkovic-Savic with the view to making him the France international’s replacement.

It is understood the Serbian, 24, will be given a five-year contract with extra cash to come via bonuses.

United have already made two signings this summer in forward Daniel James and full-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

The report also claims United’s move to sign Milinkovic-Savic was prompted by Real Madrid’s decision to step up their pursuit of Pogba.

Pogba would cost the LaLiga giants over £100m as United will be determined to make a profit on their wantaway player.

Los Blancos have been busy in the transfer market this summer with the signings of Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic, Eder Militao and Ferland Mendy.

But they will be keen to land Pogba as they look to close the gap on LaLiga champions Barcelona, who finished a staggering 19 points ahead of them in the table.

On Pogba’s future at United, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer suggested the World Cup winner could find the ‘new challenge’ he’s seeking at Old Trafford.

Solskjaer said: “I can’t dive into all these hypothetical questions, but we’ve not had offers [for Pogba].

“I’ve said so many times about Paul that he’s a top, top boy and a great player, and he’s never, ever been a problem.

“I’ve not been upset by anything he’s said because we’ve had many conversations.

“And I know exactly what Paul is thinking. I can give him a new challenge.”