Skipper Asghar Afghan, Mohammad Nabi, and Rashid Khan blasted superb fifties as Afghanistan notched up a dominating 109-run win over Ireland in the fourth ODI to grab a 2-1 lead in the five-match series in Dehradun Friday.Nabi, who top-scored with 64, starred in two crucial partnerships — sharing 50 with Afghan (54) and 86 with Rashid (52) to lift Afghanistan to 223 all out in 49.1 overs after they were struggling at 81 for six at one stage.Fast bowler Aftab Alam then returned with a four-wicket haul as Afghanistan bundled out Ireland for 114 in 35.3 overs. The spin duo of Rashid and Mujeeb Ur Rahman also contributed with two wickets each.”It was an important match. Top order batted poorly again but Rashid batted really well to get us to 223 on that wicket,” Asghar Afghan said after the match.Asked to take the first strike, Afghanistan looked down the barrel as they were 81 for six in the 18th over.Afghan then resurrected the innings with a 50-run stand for the seventh wicket with Nabi. After Afghan was run out, Nabi continued to score runs in the company of Rashid.Afghan’s 70-ball innings was studded with four fours and three sixes, while Rashid cracked six fours and a six during his stay.For Ireland, off-spinner Andy McBrine (2/37) tormented the Afghanistan team with his two wickets, while pacer Boyd Ranking snapped two wickets and James Cameron-Dow (3/32) took three.The fifth and final ODI will be held on Sunday.Also Read | Shikhar Dhawan hugely valuable player: Sanjay Bangar backs out-of-form India openerAlso Read | Virat Kohli’s 41st hundred not enough as India lose Ranchi ODI to AustraliaadvertisementAlso See:
With the 12th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) set to get underway in Chennai from March 23, the BCCI has released the schedule for only the first 17 games till April 5. The complete schedule is expected to be out on the sidelines of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) meeting in Mumbai on Monday.Speaking to IANS, a Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) official in the know of developments said that the full schedule was expected to be released on March 18.The IPL COO and his team has been working overtime to ensure that despite this being the year of the general election, the league is played in India.”It is expected that the remaining schedule for this season of the IPL would be finalised and announced on Monday when the CoA meets (at the Trident Hotel).”The IPL COO and his team are working overtime on this and it is a credit to them that the BCCI can even hope of holding the entire season in India this year,” he said.2019 Indian Premier League squads: Full listLast year’s winners Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will take on Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in Chennai in the opener.In the first part, all teams are playing a minimum of four matches with the newly-christened Delhi Capitals and RCB playing five matches.Every team will play a minimum of two home and two away matches with DC playing three home matches, while RCB will play three away matches.advertisementThe CoA will meet ICC chairman Shashank Manohar in Mumbai on Monday to also discuss the issue of the BCCI complying with the World Anti-Doping Agency-National Anti-Doping Agency (WADA-NADA).While the International Cricket Council (ICC) has decided to remain compliant to the WADA directives, the BCCI has reservation on dealing with NADA.ICC CEO David Richardson had spoken on the need to get the differences between the BCCI and NADA sorted.”We are trying to help the BCCI sort out the issue with WADA and NADA. We think cricket should be in the 2028 Olympics, but it’s not going to happen unless we are a unified sport.”At this stage, we need to convince the BCCI that it is a good thing for cricket to be in the Olympics from all aspects,” he had said.However, the BCCI officials present at the ICC chief executive meeting had made it clear that WADA must name a different testing agency as they don’t trust NADA thanks to the recent mistakes the agency has made.Also Read | MS Dhoni to Virat Kohli in new IPL advertisement: Don’t be late
Ed Sheeran has revealed that he was picked upon by his classmates for his “quirky” looks. The 28-year-old singer said life in school was tough for him as he was “instantly ripped into” for being different.”I hated primary school with a passion; I cried every day. I’m ginger so I was instantly ripped into from the day I started school – ginger, had a stutter, and wore huge glasses… just a bit odd,” Sheeran said in an interview with DJ Nihal and rapper Dave.”But then as I got older I kind of loved it, I’ve always kind of looked a bit quirky. I never had much luck with girls and stuff like that, it was always I kind of looked a bit weird,” the singer said.The Shape of You hit-maker said things changed for the better when he found music in high school.”I got to high school, started playing guitar and joined a band. Music is one of those things that can give you confidence. You’re suddenly like ‘wow, I can actually do something well’. Before I picked up a guitar I did nothing,” he said in the interview.”I went to a primary school that was quite sporty and I couldn’t play sport.That was how you were cool – if you were good at football you were cool and I wasn’t good at football. But then when I joined high school it was such a melting pot of all different things and I started playing the guitar and suddenly started fitting in,” Ed Sheeran added.advertisementALSO READ| Ed Sheeran conquers Mumbai with his successful Divide TourALSO READ| Ed Sheeran in India: The audience goes crazy as the pop star sings Shape of YouALSO WATCH| Ed Sheeran’s music conquers India with his successful concert in Mumbai
Angelo Mathews scored 87 runs Wednesday to inspire Sri Lanka to its first one-day international series sweep in more than three years, defeating Bangladesh by 122 runs in the third and final match.Sri Lanka’s last sweep was a 2-0 series win at in Ireland in June 2016.Choosing to bat after winning the toss, Sri Lanka made 294 for eight in 50 overs, riding on the innings of Mathews. He was well backed by Kusal Mendis who made 54. Captain Dimuth Karunaratne (46) and Kusal Perera (42) also made useful contributions.Fast-medium bowler Soumya Sarkar took three for 56 while Shafiul Islam had three for 68 for Bangladesh.Sarkar also shone with the bat, top scoring with 69 runs, but a dismal show from the other batsmen resulted in Bangladesh being dismissed for 172 runs with 14 overs to spare.Dimuth Karunaratne and Avishka Fernando opened batting for Sri Lanka but their stand did not last long when Fernando, who top scored with 82 runs in the second match, was out for six runs, trapped lbw by seamer Shafiul Islam. Karunaratne and No. 3 batsman Kusal Perera shared 83 runs for the second wicket in 95 balls before Karunaratne (46) was caught by wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim trying to scoop left-arm spinet Tailjul Islam.Perera departed soon caught behind by Rahim off pace bowler Rubel Hossain, leaving Sri Lanka 98 for three.Mathews joined Mendis and the pair steadied the Sri Lankan innings sharing 101 runs for the fourth wicket off 121 balls. Mendis mistimed a slow ball from Sarkar and was caught near the boundary by Sabbir Rahman for 54 runs. That was his 16th one-day international half-century.advertisementMathews made 87 runs in 90 balls including eight boundaries and a six. He made good dropped chances on 32 and 63 to reach his second successive half-century score in the series and the 40th of his career.Sri Lanka scored 106 runs in the last 10 overs with Dasun Shanaka scoring 30 off 14 deliveries including two sixes and two boundaries.Bangladesh started its chase poorly, losing captain Tamim Iqbal with just four runs on the board in the second over. Tamim, who had scored zero and 19 in the previous two matches of the series, departed for two runs caught behind by Perera off fast bowler Kasun Rajitha.Anamul Haq and Sarkar added 25 runs for the second wicket before Anamul, who hit two consecutive fours against Rajitha, skied a third for a catch to Fernando.In-form Mushfiqur Rahim, who made two half-centuries in the series including an unbeaten 98 in the second match, was out for 10 caught at slip by Mendis off seamer Shanaka.With wickets falling regularly, Bangladesh was never in the game thereafter.Shanaka took three for 27 while Lahiru Kumara and Rajitha took two wickets apiece.The match was dedicated to Sri Lankan fast bowler Nuwan Kulasekara, who has announced his retirement from international cricket.Also Read | Sri Lanka to dedicate 3rd ODI vs Bangladesh to retired quick Nuwan KulasekaraAlso Read | Playing Muttiah Muralitharan on debut was an unforgettable experience: Venugopal RaoAlso See
Employees of the Northeast Nebraska Telephone Company who took part in “No Shave November” have donated the proceeds from their efforts to the June E. Nylen Cancer Center.The men grew beards and collected donations and then their female co-workers got to be the barbers at the end of the month.The employees at the Jackson, Nebraska based phone company dropped off their donation of $400 dollars to the cancer center Thursday morning.
It’s time for homecoming in Stillwater and the Mountaineers of West Virginia (AP no. 10, Coaches no. 9) will be in town trying to spoil the show. Fresh off handing TCU their worst loss since joining the conference (34-10 loss) and rambling it’s way to a 6-0 record, it’s time for some big boy football in Stillwater.WVU is one of two teams in the country (with Baylor) to have a top 10 offense in yardage and a top 15 scoring defense, a sign of a well-rounded of a team. That may seem unusual as head coach Dana Holgorsen is known for his high flying offenses, but his defenses have been on the rise over the last few years under defensive coordinator Tony Gibson, progressing from 27.6 points per game in 2014 to 24.6 points per game in 2015 and now 17.8 so far in 2016. Let’s take a closer look.WVU OffenseDana and the Mountaineers run the “air raid offense” (of course) but with a different focus. Recently when asked about the Texas Tech-OU game, Coach Holgorsen talked about how WVU has changed over the years from when they “weren’t in a very good place defensively, so (WVU) changed a lot of things to avoid that both offensively and defensively.” The mix of the offense has been 55 percent run to 45 percent pass this year, leaning more towards ball control, shortening the game and giving the other offense less opportunity. In his third year on the job, senior quarterback Skyler Howard really has the system down and has improved a lot since he was in the rotation as a sophomore. Holgorsen talked about how a couple of things have really made a difference for him: his leadership skills and completion percentage increases. Completing 66.5 percent of his passes, Howard has cranked up the efficiency and to boot, is a real threat to run it himself (200 yards and three rushing touchdowns on the season). Howard has a bevy of weapons at receiver, but the most prolific is redshirt junior Shelton Gibson. Gibson is as solid of a deep threat as there is in the league, a handful for the Cowboy secondary. The Mountaineers have a deep wide receiver core, behind Gibson is Dakiel Shorts, a consistent threat with 31 catches and almost 500 yards, and junior college transfer Ka’Raun White who had this incredible catch against TCU last week.Running back Rushel Shell is a load out of the backfield for WVU when he cuts hard and runs downhill. The 5’10”, 225 pound back averages 4.84 yards on 16 carries per game and is who gets the ball when they need a yard. You get the sense from the Mountaineer fan base that he is sort of their “Chris Carson,” polarizing as a highly-recruited transfer and questionable if he’s meeting expectations or not. The committee behind him is led by former junior college All-American Justin Crawford, a big play threat who is the lightning to Shell’s thunder. Freshman Kennedy McKoy comes in as a change of pace back, but the bulk of carries will belong to the upperclassmen.The offensive line for WVU isn’t your typical zone/pass protection air raid offensive line. In 2013, Dana brought in a former Stanford offensive line coach, to install more of a power blocking scheme that really helps the Mountaineers run game efforts. The leader is perennial All-Big 12 center Tyler Orlosky but guard Tony Matteo is a really solid road grader for WVU. They lost their most talented lineman when sophomore left tackle Yodney Cajuste was lost to injury before the year but solid replacements are in place. Former OSU offensive line coach Joe Wickline has been noted as very helpful in solidifying the tackle spots after injury.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!
Oklahoma State will be taking on a familiar team this Saturday in Pittsburgh. The last time the two teams met, the Cowboys gave up 527 yards on defense to the Panthers and their distinctive scheme.Pitt has one of the most unique offenses in college football. Former offensive coordinator Matt Canada brought his offense to the Panthers last year, and although he’s moved on to LSU, Shawn Watson has taken his place and picked up right where Canada left off. Today we’ll quickly cover some of the things fans will likely see from Pitt on Saturday.The Panthers’ offense frequently uses shifting. Some teams occasionally use shifting, but Pittsburgh takes it to the extreme. This is done for a number of reasons. First of all, it disguises tendencies. Pitt’s offense is actually quite simple, but constant shifting makes it harder to identify where the ball is going. Second, it creates potential for advantages in angles and numbers. The mentality here is if a team is going to run a play, they might as well shift for the chance that the defense doesn’t properly adjust. Here’s an extreme example from last year, when the offense shifted twice:Some would call this overkill, but there is a reason for so much movement. Pittsburgh’s offense, at least under Canada, was tendency-heavy. They didn’t have a lot of plays, and they would run certain plays out of specific formations. For example, they ran the shovel option out of their first formation a ton (back and tight end on same side in the gun almost always meant they were running shovel). The formation they first shifted to was used in their jet sweep series (you can tell with the slot receiver so far off the line ready to come in motion). Clemson’s defense studied Pitt’s offense to know these tendencies, and Canada knew that as an offensive coordinator, so he messed with the Tigers’ defense by forcing them to constantly re-identify formations. It’s even possible that he gave the offense three plays to run, and the quarterback had the option to run it if he liked the defensive alignment or shift to the next play.The Panthers also frequently use motion in their offense. One of their most frequent motions is the jet motion for their fly sweep series. They use this motion to get their playmakers, like Quadree Henderson, the ball on the perimeter.Their standard fly sweep is a dual-concept, and the quarterback has an option to hand off to the inside zone as well:But that’s just one play out of an entire series. They have a large chunk of their playbook using that jet motion, like on designated inside runs (e.g. split zone):And their play action:They will also run jet out of the shotgun, and they will frequently tag a shovel option to it. The quarterback reads the edge, and if the defender widens with the sweep, it opens up for the inside shovel:This is just a basic overview on Pitt’s bizarre offense. Lineman touchdowns, tight end jet sweeps and quarterback throwbacks were the norm for them in 2016. Pittsburgh’s offense isn’t the same as last year, though, after the departure of Canada, quarterback Nathan Peterman and star running back James Conner. Additionally, the Cowboys should be better prepared for this offense after playing it a year ago. But it’s still a fun one to watch, and most strategy enthusiasts can appreciate a good offense even when it’s the opponent. Although the Panthers have been relatively conservative this year in comparison to last season, still keep an eye out for plays like these on Saturday because it’s what makes Pitt’s offense so different.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!
AdChoices广告Coach is back at it in another relatively short conference, talking University of Texas, Texas players, Texas Tech’s coach and more Texas…and some extremely nice words about Jeff Naple.Opening• “Felt like we improved a little bit last week. We’re a healthy football team.”On Texas (the University of…)• His thoughts on Jerrod Heard, UT’s latest quarterback: “By the middle of the week we’ll have a plan in place to try and contain him.”• Coach was asked if Heard has revitalized Texas somewhat: “I don’t know what’s going on down there. Obviously I’m not there. But, I don’t think there’s any question they’ve found their quarterback.”• Is Texas different schematically on offense than they were two weeks ago? “Yes.” Awkward silence. “Let me back up. The quarterback makes a big difference. Could be the same plays – now they just look different.”• His thoughts on the Longhorns’ defense: “They’ve got good players there that can run. And they’re big up front.• And on Malik Jefferson, TX true freshman OLB: “He’s one of those 5-star guys. He’s got tremendous agility, speed, and body control for someone at his level.”On Texas (players from…)• “Usually players from there, if they get an offer from Texas, they’ll go there. The majority of the guys on our team didn’t get offered by Texas.”• “Every coach on our staff has a recruiting area in Texas. “• Does it help recruiting if you win in Austin? (What kind of a question is that? I was waiting for a Big Gundy to drop. But…) “I would think so. Players now days, these young men are influenced by things maybe other than what the public would think they are. But, winning certainly is a factor.”• “We like the players we have here. Sometimes we take players that other people don’t think are up to par to play at this level for whatever reason. But I’m a firm believer in our system and what we do here. I believe we make players better than they really are and it helps in the long run and it creates a great chemistry for our group.” Love it!On Texas (Tech – Coach Kliff)Coach was asked what he thought of Kliff Kingsbury’s little tirade involving Arkansas’ coach Bret Bielema: “I had not heard that. I obviously live in a different world and had not got that far.”• “I didn’t hear what he said but apparently he was pretty upset.” When told basically what Kliff said, “He probably took it personal if he said that at a Texas Coaches Clinic. I’ll have to talk to Kliff about it next time I see him.”On Texas (Professional team – Cowboys)“I’m excited for Brandon. Hate it for Romo. But, it’s fun to watch. I think Brandon will do fine.”On OSU’s OffenseRA asked if Gundy thought Mason was over “wow” moments, i.e., starting in Austin for the first time: “I can’t imagine that would factor in with him at this point. I don’t foresee that being any issue at this point.”• How are JW and Mason on the sidelines? “They have a real good relationship. Even Taylor (Cornelius) – those guys have good lines of communication and they help Mason out a lot.”• Again with David Glidden: “He’s a good route-runner, he plays physical. He’s been in the right place at the right time lately.”• On the OL: “We’re getting better. We’ve got a ways to go. Each week they’re improving. Over the next 3-4 weeks we’ll find out a lot about the offensive line and the running game.” Wait – is this last week’s press conference…• But this was interesting: “Experience, at those positions, is so important. You can take a 3rd year player in an offensive line that’s not physically talented enough to ever get in an NFL camp, but he can be a good college player just from experience.”On OSU’s defense• Coach was asked about the progress of the Defensive Tackles: “I would say they’re a little ahead of where I thought they’d be. Vince is playing good and Motekiai is giving us some good quality reps.”• “I like what Eric Davis has done. He hasn’t turned the corner but he’s peeking around it. Darrion Daniels has exceeded my expectations as to what a true freshman could do at that position at this level.”Random and Closing• Someone asked if Coach paid much attention to time of possession. Really? “Haven’t looked at time of possession in 12 years.”• Coach closed out with some obviously heart-felt comments about Jeff Naple (“Pitt”), the Oklahoma State video coordinator who passed away over the weekend. Check out some good stories here and here: “Pitt was a special person to us. I don’t really ever remember a time he wasn’t around here.• “After Central Michigan he came in at 1:00 and worked until 4:30 in the morning with his wife pushing him up and down the hall in a rolling chair because he was too weak to walk. He wanted to work. He wanted to make sure the coaches had what we needed for the next game. First time he got upset was when he knew he couldn’t work.”• “Tough deal.” Indeed – thoughts and prayers for the Naples family. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
“Pitt was a special person to us,” Gundy said in his weekly press conference. “I don’t really ever remember a time he wasn’t around here.”It was announced this week that long-time video coordinator Jeff Naple had passed away from pancreatic cancer. He served at Oklahoma State for more than 25 years, and made stops with the University of Pittsburgh and the Dallas Cowboys.“He was outstanding at his job and played an important role in helping me do mine,” Gundy went on to say. “We are going to miss his sense of humor and everything that he brought to our program.”The equipment staff will honor “Pitt” with this helmet decal in his passing. You can read more about his story from the official athletics department release here.AdChoices广告Extremely tough day for the eq room & Cowboy Football with the passing of Pitt. Here is how we will honor him #legend pic.twitter.com/2GwZDJlqmM— Rex and The Chief (@RexandTheChief) September 20, 2015 While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
Tottenham 0 Swansea City 0: Spurs wait for league Wembley win goes on Nicholas McGee Last updated 2 years ago 02:31 17/9/2017 Getty Images It was another frustrating day at Wembley for Tottenham, who were held to a 0-0 draw by Swansea City. Tottenham remain without a Premier League win at Wembley after a dominant performance against Swansea City yielded only a 0-0 draw.Spurs delivered a fine performance at England’s national stadium in the Champions League on Wednesday by beating Borussia Dortmund 3-1.But they could not match that display in Saturday’s contest, with Harry Kane hitting the crossbar as Spurs failed to score in a home league game for the first time in 30 outings. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘I’m getting better’ – Can Man Utd flop Fred save his Old Trafford career? Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Having failed to score a first-half goal for the third home game in succession, Mauricio Pochettino’s men carried more of a threat in the second half but found Swansea goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski in impressive form.Son Heung-min was Kane’s chief lieutenant in attack, but both failed to find a way through, with Spurs’ frustrations magnified by two strong shouts for a penalty being waved away by referee Mike Dean. Swansea did not register a shot on target but an away point represents a decent response following their 1-0 home defeat to in-form Newcastle United last weekend.30 – Tottenham have failed to score for the first time in 30 PL home games, since a 0-1 defeat to Leicester in January 2016. Frustrated. pic.twitter.com/DCuf4a1oT0— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 16, 2017Kane was the first to test Fabianski in the Swansea goal in the ninth minute as his low free-kick forced the Pole to save down to his left.Two minutes later, Fabianski was called upon again to turn Son’s powerful effort behind after neat build-up play involving Moussa Sissoko.But Tottenham lost their early momentum and Swansea reached the interval without having their goal threatened any further. Indeed, the Swans could have gone into half-time ahead had Mike van der Hoorn controlled the height on his header from Tom Carroll’s corner.Spurs ratcheted up the tempo in the second half and saw an appeal for a penalty turned down despite Martin Olsson appearing to handle in the area.Son was then thwarted again by Fabianski at the near post, with Kane hitting the crossbar from close-range moments later after Sissoko’s lay-off.South Korea striker Son displayed excellent close control to keep the ball from crossing the byline before forcing Fabianski into action again from a tight angle and Kane had a header tipped over from the resulting corner as Spurs continued to pile on the pressure to no avail.Dele Alli somehow contrived to send a free header sideways from Christian Eriksen’s excellent cross, and Kane failed to find the target with a low drive.Spurs were incensed when Jordan Ayew clipped Serge Aurier in the area late on, only for Dean to punish the full-back for a questionable handball as he burst towards goal.Spurs grew more desperate and their final chance passed by as Kieran Trippier fired wide from 30 yards, with Swansea holding firm for a point few inside Wembley will have believed they merited.FULL-TIME: A frustrating afternoon at Wembley as we’re held to a goalless draw by Swansea. #COYS pic.twitter.com/JXgi1A5BZ3— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) September 16, 2017KEY OPTA STATS- Tottenham have gone three Premier League home games in a row without a win for the first time a run of four in December 2013.- Swansea have been responsible for three of the seven occasions a Premier League side has failed to land a single shot on target in a Premier League game this season.- This was Tottenham’s first clean sheet in a game at Wembley since the 2009 League Cup final against Manchester United, having conceded in their previous 11 before today.- Meanwhile, Lukasz Fabianski kept his first clean sheet against Tottenham since Arsenal’s 2-0 win against them in the FA Cup third round in 2013-14, having conceded 15 goals in his previous five games against them for Swansea.- This was Swansea’s lowest ever possession figure in the Premier League since they were promoted in 2011 (25 per cent). read more
Mexico Five off-the-radar Mexico players Osorio should call up for World Cup qualifiers Jon Arnold Click here to see more stories from this author @ArnoldcommaJon 05:26 28/9/2017 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Mexico WC Qualification CONCACAF Honduras v Mexico Honduras Trinidad and Tobago World Cup Mexico v Trinidad and Tobago With a chance to experiment with the final two World Cup qualification matches, the El Tri boss should give a look at these new faces When Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio was putting together the roster he will announce Thursday for October’s World Cup qualifiers, he had options. Osorio already knows most of the names he will have on his list for the World Cup in Russia. He also knows his team will be in Russia, no matter what happens.There’s still motivation for Mexico to close out qualification strong and perhaps set a record for the best-ever Hex for a Mexico team. That would vindicate the heavily criticized Osorio in some ways. Nothing, however, would allow Osorio to thumb his nose at the critics like a successful World Cup.As a coach known for making changes and leaving no stone unturned, he’ll likely use the games against Trinidad and Tobago and Honduras as an opportunity to bring in some unfamiliar faces. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. Certain familiar faces will not be part of the call-up. Center back Hector Moreno is likely out with an injury and Tigres winger Jurgen Damm will miss out as well because of a knee problem. There will be a few surprises, and Osorio has definitely called in players off the radar before (remember Candido Ramirez?). Here are a few options for players who haven’t been involved with Mexico during the past year who might be worth bringing in Omar Govea, Royal Excel Mouscron MOmar Govea is a young Mexican playing in the Belgian league on loan from Porto. Not only has he seen regular minutes in the Jupiler Pro League, he’s doing so with a Royal Excel Mouscron that has surprised with its hot start this season, currently sitting third in the table. Govea scored a beautiful free kick to open the scoring Saturday in a 3-2 victory over Eupen. It’s not traditional for players from Europe’s smaller leagues to earn call-ups for Mexico, but Osorio is always willing to break with tradition and could reward Govea’s hard work with a call.Another player who made an early departure from Mexico, Jesus Corona went through a somewhat similar period. Tecatito played a fair amount for Dutch side FC Twente in the 2013-14 season but waited until the end of 2014 for his first El Tri call. Russia probably isn’t a realistic goal for Govea, but Osorio might benefit from seeing him up close and introducing the 21-year-old to the national team setup.I’m not sure how Govea fits into Osorio’s system, but the coach likes midfielders who can sit deep but also surge forward and contribute to the attack. He’s also from San Luis Potosi, where Mexico will play its October match against Trinidad and Tobago. That seems like divine providence.Adrian Aldrete, Cruz Azul DWill Osorio make one final attempt at finding decent fullbacks or has he just given up on that front? If he’s still looking, his eyes may fall on Adrian Aldrete, who is performing well with Cruz Azul during La Maquina’s undefeated start.In addition to being a natural left back who is left footed and comfortable sending in crosses, Aldrete also can defend well and can occasionally do this:#NoTeLoPierdasGLAAAAAZZO de Adrián Aldrete@Cruz_Azul_FC 1-0 @Rayados #J7AP2017 #LIGABancomerMX #SienteTuLiga #PorLaEducación pic.twitter.com/cajyCcFq84— LIGA Bancomer MX (@LIGABancomerMX) August 26, 2017The 29-year-old was on track to become a regular for Miguel Herrera but suffered an injury after the 2015 Copa America and has played just once for Mexico since. That was in the Osorio era, in October 2016’s friendly win over Panama. Aldrete has raised his game at the club level since working with Paco Jemez and it’s worth giving him a chance one year on from his last El Tri appearance to showcase those skills.Paul Aguilar, America DAguilar might not qualify as being totally off-the-radar. He was a regular starter for El Tri during the Osorio era with his last start coming in THAT game against Chile. Every player in that starting lineup returned to start for Mexico in the Confederations Cup, with the exception of Jesus Corona because of a personal issue and Aguilar. It’s not necessarily that the Club America right back has been frozen out because of his poor showing in that contest. Aguilar missed nearly a year after a serious knee injury that had the Sinaloa native considering retirement.Now, though, he’s back among the best outside backs in Liga MX and has helped Las Aguilas’ right side become difficult to defend once again. Aguilar is getting forward and working with Darwin Quintero and Oribe Peralta to create danger. Though Osorio seems to have shifted his perspective on how fullbacks play, someone like Aguilar who can defend and also boost the attack is worth at least another look or two before the World Cup.Jonathan Gonzalez, Monterrey MMonterrey currently sits atop the Liga MX table, and 18-year-old Jonathan Gonzalez has played a significant part of Rayados’ early success. The California-born midfielder has kept Jesus Molina mostly relegated to the bench. Molina has showed flashes when wearing the green of the national team, perhaps it’s time to give Gonzalez a look as well? Mexico certainly could use a player in the midfield who gets into duels and looks to intercept passes, especially in transition.Gonzalez also has the attention of United States manager Bruce Arena, but it’s doubtful the Stars and Stripes can take a flier on a player while they’re locked in a qualification battle. With so many Mexican-Americans, it’s about which team provides the better future opportunities. For Gonzalez, that could be Mexico, especially if his international career gets a jump start with a call for the October matches.Eduardo Tercero, Lobos BUAP DLobos BUAP has put together a number of above-average performances defensively since being promoted this season, and one of the standout defenders has been left center back Eduardo Tercero. The 21-year-old helped Lobos to promotion and has held onto his spot as the club begins life in the top division. He’s had a quick rise to Liga MX, signing to play for Lobos’ second team before coach Rafael Puente spotted him in camp in January and elevated him to the first team. Tercero’s positioning and aggression have helped him keep pace despite the sudden rise in level.Would a Mexico call be out of the question? Center back is a place where El Tri are not deep, particularly on the left side. Tercero is not left-footed like Moreno but does have the experience of lining up on the left side and also could flex out to left back, something Osorio has enjoyed doing with his center backs. He will still need more seasoning, but getting Tecero a taste of the international level could give him the hunger he needs to become a finished product Mexico could use going forward.
Arsenal Lacazette backed to emulate Benzema by Arsenal team-mate Ozil Chris Burton Last updated 2 years ago 16:09 10/30/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Arsenal Real Madrid Premier League Mesut Özil Karim Benzema The France international has made an impressive start with the Gunners and is being tipped to tread a similar path to a countryman at Real Madrid Alexandre Lacazette is “different” to Karim Benzema but can be as successful as the Real Madrid star, says Arsenal colleague Mesut Ozil.World Cup winner Ozil spent three years alongside Benzema during a productive stint in Spain with the reigning La Liga champions.Arsenal 5/1 to beat Man City Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player He is now working alongside another prolific French forward, with Arsenal having made Lacazette their record signing over the signing.That investment has been rewarded with five goals in 10 appearances, and Ozil is expecting many more to come from a 26-year-old talent who can continue to shine for club and country.He told SFR Sport on comparisons between Lacazette and Benzema: “I think Lacazette’s game is different.“But I hope he will have as much success as Benzema.“He has his head on his shoulders, he works hard.“I hope he scores as many goals as Benzema with the French national team.”Lacazette has already followed Benzema out of the Lyon academy system as a home-grown talent at the Ligue 1 side.Benzema’s efforts earned him a big-money move to Madrid in 2009, while four successive 20-plus goal seasons for Lacazette landed him a £46.5 million switch to Arsenal.The former has remained a regular source of goals in Spain, with 182 efforts helping him to an enviable collection of silverware.Lacazette, meanwhile, will be hoping to fire the Gunners to trophy success this season, with a bright start to his time in England ensuring that Arsene Wenger’s side have made positive progress in league and cup competition.There have been a few wobbles along the way but Arsenal sit fifth in the Premier League at present, while also reaching the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup and collecting maximum points from three Europa League outings so far.
Real Madrid 0 Barcelona 3: Leaders strike major blow in title race Joe Wright Last updated 1 year ago 21:54 12/23/17 Getty Images The 237th Clasico ended in a 3-0 win for Barcelona that puts them nine points clear at the top of LaLiga and 14 ahead of Real Madrid. Barcelona struck a major blow in the LaLiga title race with a 3-0 win over Real Madrid in Saturday’s Clasico at the Santiago Bernabeu.Second-half goals from Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Aleix Vidal gave the Catalans a club-record third win in a row in a league match at the home of their fierce rivals and saw them move nine points clear of Atletico Madrid at the top of the table.Zinedine Zidane’s reigning champions, who had Dani Carvajal sent off for a deliberate handball just before Messi’s strike from the penalty spot, are now 14 points adrift of the leaders and, despite having played a game less, their title hopes appear to have been dealt a crushing blow. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Madrid trounced Barca in the Supercopa de Espana in August but the latter have gone unbeaten since that two-legged tie in all competitions, and they seemed happy to frustrate the home side in the first half in the knowledge that the onus was on Madrid to chase the win.The hosts, who surprisingly matched Barca’s four-man midfield by starting Mateo Kovacic, saw Cristiano Ronaldo – passed fit after an injury scare this week – and Karim Benzema come closest to breaking the deadlock before Suarez struck nine minutes after half-time at the end of a slick move.Zidane prepared to bring on attacking reinforcements but the game was taken out of his hands when Carvajal was sent off and Messi swept home from the spot for his 17th LaLiga goal against Madrid, more than any other player in history has managed.17 – Lionel Messi has scored more goals against Real Madrid than any other player in La Liga history. Nemesis. pic.twitter.com/HvMFlDUqOl— OptaJose (@OptaJose) December 23, 2017Substitute Gareth Bale nearly halved the deficit but Vidal squeezed in a third in injury time, leaving Madrid – along with Atletico, losers to Espanyol on Friday – staring at what looks to be an insurmountable task of hauling in the leaders in 2018.The Santiago Bernabeu roared its approval as the home side started strongly, and Ronaldo headed the ball into the net inside two minutes only for a correctly raised offside flag to cut short the celebrations.Barca appeared content to allow Madrid a greater share of possession as they maintained a more rigid shape and it kept both the home players and crowd frustrated, as the game entered something of a walking pace.There was a sudden explosion into life half an hour in, though, as Keylor Navas made a brilliant save to tip over Paulinho’s shot following Messi’s sublime pass, before Ronaldo drove down the other end and forced Marc-Andre ter Stegen to save well at the near post.With the game at last coming to life, Paulinho was again denied when Navas kept out his header, while Benzema glanced Marcelo’s cross off the base of the right-hand post, with Ter Stegen beaten.6 – Karim Benzema has hit the woodwork more than times (6) than he has scored (5) in all competitions this season. Unlucky. pic.twitter.com/8mvmkcKhSD— OptaJose (@OptaJose) December 23, 2017If Madrid began the first half better, it was Barca who came out flying for the second period – and, unlike the home side, they made their dominant spell count.Ivan Rakitic was allowed to burst right through the heart of the Madrid midfield and play the ball out wide to Sergi Roberto, whose first-time cross was finished with aplomb by Suarez as he arrived unmarked from the left.Frustrations were growing rapidly for the home side and particularly with Suarez, who was booed resoundingly for his reaction to a Casemiro challenge before he was caught round the face by a stray arm from Sergio Ramos, which earned the Madrid captain a booking.Zidane was preparing to make some changes but, in the 63rd minute, the match was put beyond the champions. Suarez missed two golden opportunities to score, denied first by Navas and then the post, and as Paulinho tried to prod home the rebound, Carvajal blocked his attempt with a clear raised arm.The ball was eventually put into the net but, rather than allow the goal to stand, referee Jose Maria Sanchez Martinez brought it back for a penalty and sent off Carvajal, before Messi swept the spot-kick high past Navas.Marco Asensio and Bale were at last introduced and nearly combined to give Madrid a lifeline, with the Welshman just denied by Ter Stegen after Asensio had found space. Ramos then had a shot blocked and just failed to turn a Ronaldo cross home.But Ernesto Valverde’s side made absolutely sure of what could prove to be a pivotal win in injury time, as Messi teed up Vidal on the edge of the area and his low shot squirmed through Navas’ grasp and into the net.Madrid’s title hopes look to have all but evaporated, while Barca will finish 2017 at least eight points clear at the top, depending on whether Valencia can beat Villarreal later on Saturday. Key Opta Facts:- Zinedine Zidane is the first Real Madrid manager to lose consecutive home games against Barcelona in LaLiga history.- Barcelona haven’t lost any of their 16 La Liga games with Thomas Vermaelen (W13 D3).- Barcelona have scored in their last 20 Clasicos LaLiga, their best streak in the competition.- The last six Clasico red cards have been received by Real Madrid players (Ramos 3, Isco, Cristiano Ronaldo and Carvajal). read more
The Spin: sign up and get our weekly cricket email. Alex Hales’ last-over heroics keep England’s T20 series with India alive Read more England cricket team The elevation of Jos Buttler is triggered by performances in the IPL rather than any deficiencies in England’s previous lineup; this experiment may not last long, especially since Morgan is keen to be flexible so far from the next World Cup, in 2020.Hales is not in a position to dictate where he bats. He merely points out his eagerness to open if possible. “That’s where I enjoy batting and that’s what I’ve done my whole career. But if I’m at three, four or five it’s a role I’m happy to take on and to learn new things.” … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. England’s Chris Woakes returns for Lions and targets India Test series news Eoin Morgan was suitably candid in Cardiff when asked whether he knew who would play in Bristol. “No. It’s not clear,” he said. “It’s a difficult decision to make but we will do whatever is right for the betterment of the team.”There was an assumption that Alex Hales would give way yet he was the man who calmly guided England home. “That makes him a very strong case for Bristol,” said Morgan.They could leave Joe Root out for Sunday’s game. They might fudge the issue by replacing Jake Ball with Stokes but the reason why everyone wants Stokes there is to give the captain plenty of options. It would certainly seem perverse to drop Hales just now.Hales understands the situation and does not know whether he will play. “I have no answer,” he said. “I’m doing all I can to score runs and keep putting pressure on the guys who know they’re playing.“We will have to see. If it’s me that’s left out, you look at the guys who are playing ahead of me and what can you do? It’s up to me to keep training hard, being positive and to have a decent mindset.“It’s funny how quickly things can change. This is what Jonny [Bairstow] did for three years. Every time that he got a chance he delivered and he has now made four hundreds in six games.”Morgan admitted that England’s batting lineup and order is a work in progress and he hinted that they have not found the ideal solution yet. It does feel that England are not playing to their strengths by having Hales down the order, despite his success in Cardiff. Eoin Morgan Share on Twitter India cricket team Share on Facebook Read more Share on Messenger Share on LinkedIn Victory in Cardiff on Friday means a showdown in Bristol to decide the outcome of a T20 series that has been so much more intriguing than those games against Australia. There is more needle and more quality in these matches and consequently they are a much better spectacle.Even the pre-match deliberations of the England set-up are interesting. There is a big selection dilemma to resolve before the match gets under way at 2pm on Sunday. Ben Stokes is fit to play; England will be eager to rehabilitate him after another enforced absence but it is unclear how they might to do it. Share via Email Since you’re here… England v India 2018 Share on WhatsApp Support The Guardian Twenty20 Cricket Share on Pinterest The Observer At the moment he is happy just to play. “The batting lineup is that strong. You look how well Jos is playing. He’s batting on a different planet. Just to be part of this lineup anywhere is a great effort.”Well, the competition at the moment is healthy and productive and Hales is back in the mix after being tormented by Kuldeep Yadav at Old Trafford. After that game he had a few harsh words with himself and he found a way.“I had never faced him before,” explained Hales‚ “and didn’t know much about him. Maybe I just went out at Manchester without a plan and I couldn’t get going.“I watched a bit more footage, worked with Merlyn and looked to play a bit more off the back foot and waited for him to float one up; then I hit a bit straighter.”This plan worked well at Cardiff. The assumption is that he will have another opportunity to put it into practice on Sunday afternoon. Topics Reuse this content
Show Warrington Read more Share on Twitter Super League Grand Final 2018: Wigan 12-4 Warrington – as it happened Hide Since you’re here… Quick guide Wigan win Women’s Super League Grand Final Photograph: Simon Wilkinson/Rex Features In the end, though, perhaps it was fitting that Wane’s Wigan did exactly what they have become renowned for under the guidance of one of the town’s favourite sons: rise to the occasion. This final incarnation of Wigan Warriors under Wane are not glitzy. They are not glamorous. But they are determined, resolute and, for the fifth time in the Super League era, they are champions. It was a double, too: earlier, a stoppage-time penalty by Charlotte Foley gave Wigan Warriors Women their first Grand Final triumph with an 18-16 victory over Leeds Rhinos at the Manchester Regional Arena.At Old Trafford, when Dom Manfredi crossed with three minutes remaining to finally secure the farewell Wane and his players were craving, it was difficult to know where to look first. On the field, Tomkins almost immediately burst into tears. On the sidelines, there were hugs aplenty for Wane and the granite-tough Wiganer, like his players, was unable to hide his emotions as the full-time hooter sounded and the celebrations began.“Losing wouldn’t have defined my career but I’ve made a difference here. I’ll miss everything about the place,” he said.There have been a plethora of highs during Wane’s journey from 16-year-old apprentice to first-team coach. This one will be tough to top whatever happens next as he embarks on a new journey in Scottish rugby union.League surely hasn’t seen the last of him, though. A man with his track record is too big a loss for the sport. On any other night Manfredi’s story – this was only his fifth game back from over two years out injured – would have grabbed the headlines. In the end, it was his two tries that proved to be the difference here. “I’m hoping he’s the story – I’ve a place in my heart for him,” Wane said of the winger. Thank you for your feedback. The Observer A stoppage-time penalty by Charlotte Foley gave Wigan Warriors women their first Super League triumph with an 18-16 Grand Final victory over Leeds Rhinos at the Manchester Regional Arena on Saturday. Wigan’s female team, who were only established last year, stopped Leeds adding to their Challenge Cup and League Leaders’ wins with tries from Rachel Thompson (3) and Georgia Wilson. Leeds were 10 points down after an hour but pulled level at 16-16 with minutes remaining. However, a missed conversion from Courtney Hill proved crucial as Foley wrapped up the Wigan win. Share on LinkedIn … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay. Whether we are up close or further away, the Guardian brings our readers a global perspective on the most critical issues of our lifetimes – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. We believe complex stories need context in order for us to truly understand them. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Support The Guardian Rugby league Share on Pinterest Reuse this content match reports Share on Facebook Share on Messenger But for every winner, there is a loser, and as in the Challenge Cup final this year, Warrington will look back on this as a night on which there were more than enough chances to win. It means their wait for the title will go into a 64th year in 2019, and just as at Wembley, Warrington’s profligacy would come back to haunt them here.“It could have gone either way up until the 77th minute,” their coach, Steve Price, reflected. “It was hard, and it was ferocious, but I’m super proud of them. We’ve come a long way.”This, Warrington’s fourth Grand Final defeat in six years, could have easily had a different outcome had they built on Josh Charnley’s early try which broke the deadlock.Wigan quickly replied when Manfredi finished Oliver Gildart’s evasive break, but what followed thereafter was bone-crunching defensive superiority. Wane, you suspected, would have loved every minute of it – as he would have Tom Davies’s expert finish from George Williams’ kick which made it 8-4.There were plenty of flashpoints away from the tries – most notably when Tomkins’ knees caught Daryl Clark as he collected a ball. “That would have been a yellow card if it was a normal game,” Price said, but Tomkins escaped without being sent to the sin-bin. Warrington’s chances continued well into the second half. On two separate occasions Stefan Ratchford – only the second player to win the Harry Sunderland Trophy while being on the losing side – was halted by Morgan Escaré, Wigan’s French full-back who will define the success of the post-Wane era.And after standing up to Warrington’s attack time and time again, with three minutes remaining, the moment he and his players were waiting for arrived when Manfredi dived over to secure yet another title for Wane and the club he has given his all for decades. “It’s the perfect ending,” was Wane’s softly spoken, teary summation afterwards. The power of emotion, it seems, should not be underestimated after all. Was this helpful? Share on WhatsApp Share via Email Super League Topics The fairytale finale – but unlike any other fairytale you are likely to have experienced before. There was blood, there was sweat and there were certainly plenty of tears. And, in a week where the word “emotion” has perhaps been thrown around more than ever before in rugby league, on the game’s biggest stage of all, there was an outpouring of which anyone of a Wigan association could only have dreamed this summer.When it was announced that Shaun Wane’s 35-year association with his hometown club would end this year, it was clear then that Wigan’s season was going to go one of two ways. For a few weeks, as the announcements followed about players such as John Bateman and Sam Tomkins following him out of the door, it looked as though it would be costly. Super League XXIII (2018) Wigan Warriors
Thank you for your feedback. Share on Twitter Read more Was this helpful? Topics While the three cases at McCain’s yard occurred in vaccinated horses, it is more likely to be the result of an ineffective vaccine – as is sometimes the case in humans too – than the first sighting of a new super-strain of the virus.The loss of at least 23 meetings, including the high-profile Betfair Hurdle card at Newbury on Saturday, will leave a hole in the sport’s betting revenue in the runup to Cheltenham and could also disrupt the carefully laid running plans of trainers up and down the country before the Cheltenham Festival in 32 days’ time. If racing can resume by the end of next week, however, the damage will be a small price to pay when set against the almost incalculable loss that would result from an extended shutdown and hundreds, perhaps thousands, of sick horses at the height of the National Hunt season.That said, there is still no room for complacency, as no one knows for sure what the hundreds of swabs and bloods will reveal. There is some reassurance, though, in the words of James Tate, whose string in Newmarket was one of the first to be tested since the trainer is himself a qualified vet.Tate had a winner on the card at Wolverhampton on Monday when his three-year-old Solar Park finished 13 lengths clear of his pursuers, two and-a half hours after McCain’s gelding Dark Confidant came home fourth in the opening race. “We weren’t near each other for any length of time at all so I feel relatively relaxed about my sample results,” Tate said, “but I’ll be happier when they’re negative, obviously. Pinterest Support The Guardian Since you’re here… Share via Email Share on Facebook Twitter Hide What is equine flu?It is not unlike human flu with symptoms of coughing, nasal discharge and a fever but it’s not normally fatal, with horses generally remaining infectious for up to 10 days. It is, however, extremely contagious and explains why the Australian outbreak of 2007 lasted many months.How long is the shutdown?All race meetings have been cancelled until at least next Wednesday (13 February). Racing has not been hit in such circumstances since 2001, when the foot and mouth outbreak saw the Cheltenham Festival called off. At least 23 races will not take place in the next week.Will the Cheltenham Festival go ahead this year?All roads lead to Cheltenham for racing’s participants and punters but there is every hope the year’s most important meeting will go ahead next month given that the mass vaccination already sanctioned by the sport should ensure the action on the Turf resumes before then.What races will be affected?The big loss for the sport is the important card at Newbury scheduled for tomorrow, which included the Denman Chase, featuring last year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup winner. If racing is back on by the end of next week, key races may be rescheduled at Ascot.How will this affect punters and bookies?According to Oddschecker, a total of £25m is staked each day on racing, with today’s cancellations causing an 83% drop in bets placed. Hardened punters can also bet on virtual races and action from abroad – including Ireland, which has the all-clear to continue.Tony Paley Show Share on LinkedIn Equine flu crisis: biggest shutdown since foot and mouth hits horse racing “It could be that in a few days’ time it will have been a few isolated cases and not a lot to worry about, but on the other hand, things happen quickly with influenza with the incubation period of a couple of days.“But history tells us that we’ve got a vaccinated, well cared-for and biosecure population. I’m sure it’s not going to be a disaster, but the only question is how much disruption it’s going to cause. If there’s any other positives, we’ll have to take it step by step. It’s a significant, important disease that needs to be taken seriously and the BHA are doing that and I’m sure it will be fine.”As Tate admits, though, the situation is of less immediate concern for a Flat trainer in Newmarket than it will be for a jumps stable with major contenders for the Cheltenham and Aintree festivals over the next two months.“It appears that the vaccination has not been as effective as we would like it to be, and as effective as it has been in recent years,” he says. “So I’m assuming this strain has mutated a little bit. The vaccine probably provides less protection if it was done a year ago versus if it was done three to six months ago, hence the BHA’s advice that if your horses haven’t been vaccinated in the last six months, give them a booster. features Share on WhatsApp Horse racing Talking Horses Q&A Explained: the equine flu outbreak “As a Flat trainer, I’m probably less nervous than some of my jumping colleagues. We are all trying to make sure they’ve had a booster in the last six months but that’s particularly troublesome for the jumps trainers, because you don’t really want to be giving horses vaccinations when you’re preparing them for a big race. You can’t run for seven days after a booster and some people think they affect them more than others. Some horses don’t seem to blink and some horses do. It’s the same when people go for a flu vaccine at the doctor’s, so it’s not ideal to be doing it to horses with targets coming up.”Angels Breath, ante-post favourite for the Supreme Novice Hurdle at Cheltenham, was the first big name to miss an intended prep for the Festival when the Sidney Banks Novice Hurdle at Huntingdon was abandoned on Thursday. Several more will join the list over the next few days, including Native River, last year’s Gold Cup winner, and Clan Des Obeaux, who took the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day, both of whom were among the entries for the Denman Chase at Newbury on Saturday.If, as currently seems likely, the BHA’s testing shows that the flu outbreak has been contained, it will then do what it can to repair the damage to the programme. Some horses may get the pre-Festival run their trainers were looking for, others may not and the form book will be just a little thinner than usual as the runners go to post on 12 March.If the outbreak has not been contained, of course, it could all prove to be academic in any case. But, after that initial sense of one minute to midnight, the BHA’s swift action will hopefully ensure that racing will soon edge slowly back from the precipice and start looking forward to the spring. Facebook It felt like one minute to midnight when racing awoke on Thursday morning to the news that all four of the day’s meetings had been cancelled due to an outbreak of equine influenza (EI) at Donald McCain’s stable in Cheshire.Most racing fans still remember 2001, when the Cheltenham Festival was lost amid the foot-and-mouth epidemic on Britain’s farms, and Google did little to ease the nerves, offering up the precedent of Australia’s EI outbreak in 2007, which closed Sydney’s tracks for nearly five months.That doomsday scenario – which would include Cheltenham, Aintree, the Derby and Royal Ascot – receded as the day wore on, even as the BHA extended the suspension of racing until next Wednesday at the earliest. The circumstances in Australia were very different, as its horse population was not vaccinated and EI was able to spread like a bushfire. A sign at the the gallops in Newmarket on Friday. Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay. Whether we are up close or further away, the Guardian brings our readers a global perspective on the most critical issues of our lifetimes – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. We believe complex stories need context in order for us to truly understand them. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on Pinterest Share on Messenger Reuse this content
Transfers January transfer news & rumours: Man Utd behind Barcelona in race to sign Griezmann Goal Last updated 1 year ago 02:25 1/9/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Transfers Premier League Serie A Ligue 1 Bundesliga Primera División Goal takes a look at the biggest transfer rumours from the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A and beyond as we head into the winter window Barca ahead of Man Utd in Griezmann chaseManchester United face a battle to convince Antoine Griezmann to join them, with Barcelona considered favourites to land the Atletico Madrid star, according to ESPN.The Red Devils retain an interest in the France international but he would prefer to stay in Spain, thus edging Barca to the front of the queue for his signature.Griezmann is unlikely to leave the Liga club in January and although he remains open to a switch to Old Trafford, there are still reservations about swapping Madrid for Manchester. Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Ronaldo prefers Chelsea moveCristiano Ronaldo would prefer a move to Chelsea as he weighs up leaving Real Madrid, according to Don Balon.The Portuguese continues to be linked with a move away from Santiago Bernabeu, with the Blues among those that have expressed an interest.Should he depart Ronaldo wants a move to the Premier League, and with Manchester United seemingly not interested in bringing him back to Old Trafford Chelsea are set to be the next best option.Juventus ready Ozil offerJuventus are ready to move for Mesut Ozil, if the Arsenal playmaker doesn’t join Manchester United in the January transfer window, claims Corriere dello Sport .Ozil is out of contract at the end of the season and has been linked with a €40 million reunion with his former Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho at United.However, if that transfer doesn’t materialise, then Juve, who have been long-term admirers of Ozil, will look to put together a package to sign the Germany international on a free transfer and offer him the chance to play in a new league.Wenger plans Arsenal firesaleArsene Wenger is ready to launch a firesale at Arsenal, with many first-team players set to leave in the next six months.Alexis Sanchez, Francis Coquelin and Mathieu Debuchy are all set to leave, while there is still uncertainty over the futures of the likes of Mesut Ozil, Jack Wilshere, Olvier Giroud and more.Check out the full story right here on Goal! Rudy welcomes Bayern interest in GoretzkaBayern Munich’s Sebastian Rudy has welcomed reports his team are in the chase for Leon Goretzka.The Schalke prospect is out of contract in June and, as well as the Bavarians, has been linked with the likes of Barcelona, Manchester United and Liverpool. But Rudy believes he would be a fine addition to the Die Roten squad.Check out the full story right here on Goal! Sevilla want Batshuayi on loanSevilla are keen on taking Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi on loan for the rest of the season, Goal understands.The Blues striker has seen his opportunities limited at Stamford Bridge under Antonio Conte and could make the move to La Liga as he looks for more starts in a World Cup year. Check out the full story right here on Goal! Leicester to sell IheanachoLeicester City are looking to sell striker Kelechi Iheanacho in the January transfer window, according to The Sun.The Nigeria international has struggled to make an impact since joining the Foxes from Manchester City for £25 million in pre-season.But Claude Puel is now willing to let him leave, with Newcastle and Stoke City interested.West Ham move for DendoncWest Ham have turned to Anderlecht’s Leander Dendoncker in their pursuit of a new central midfielder, according to Het Nieuwsblad.David Moyes is looking to bolster his squad in the January window and has already failed in a bid to sign Stoke City’s Joe Allen.And now he has turned to 22-year-old Dendoncker, who has previously been linked with Manchester United.Griezmann demands huge salary hikeTalks between Antoine Griezmann and Manchester United are floundering over the Atletico Madrid star’s outrageous wage demands, claims the Sun .The France international has attracted attention from both United and Barcelona, with Jose Mourinho’s men tipped as his likely next club. Sources close to the Red Devils, however, claim that Griezmann wants a mammoth £400,000-a-week deal to join them next summer.Walcott wants loan move to enhance World Cup prospectsTheo Walcott wants a temporary move away from Arsenal in order to increase his chances of playing in the World Cup next summer, Goal understands.Arsenal’s longest-serving player is one of the highest paid stars at the club and with a contract set to expire next summer, Gunners boss Wenger is keen on keeping Walcott even if it means he can’t guarantee him a regular spot in the starting XI.Nevertheless, with Russia 2018 looming, Walcott wants to maximise his chances of going – and that means finding playing time.Check out the full story right here on Goal! Juve tell Liverpool of Can talksJuventus have informed Liverpool of their negotiations to sign Emre Can on a free transfer, claims Tuttosport .Can is out of contract at the end of the season and Juve have offered the Germany international a five-year deal to move to Serie A.And, in an attempt to tie the deal up as quickly as possible, Juve have told Can’s current club of their talks as they try to avoid missing out on the midfielder.Inter continue Deulofeu talksInter Milan are continuing talks with Barcelona in the hope of agreeing a deal to sign Gerard Deulofeu on loan, Corriere dello Sport .Deulofeu is keen to leave Barcelona during the January transfer window and would be open to a move to Inter, having previously enjoyed a loan spell at AC Milan.However, Inter want a loan deal with an option to buy, while Barcelona would prefer an obligation to sign the winger permanently. The potential for giving Barcelona first option on signing Inter defender Milan Skriniar is one compromise being mooted.Milan open talks for Arsenal targetAC Milan are in talks with Udinese regarding a deal to sign reported Arsenal target Jakub Jankto, according to Corriere dello Sport .Udinese don’t want to sell Jankto for anything less than €20 million, while Milan would prefer to sign the Czech Republic midfielder on a long-term loan with an obligation to buy.The key to reaching an agreement could be the inclusion of a Milan player in part-exchange, with Manuel Locatelli and Gustavo Gomez the names mentioned.Schalke want Chelsea outcast BabaSchalke have confirmed they are interested in bring Chelsea defender Baba Rahman to the club in January.Manager Domenico Tedesco has claimed that he is keen on a deal for the Ghana international, and that he is assessing his fitness ahead of making an offer to the Blues.Read the full story on Goal! Origi keen on Wolfsburg dealDivock Origi has admitted that he is open to a permanent transfer from Liverpool to Wolfsburg.The Belgium international moved to the Bundesliga on an initial loan deal in the summer and has since scored four goals for the club in 15 games.He said: “I think everything’s possible. I focus on the here and now. I have a good relationship with Liverpool, but feel really well here at Wolfsburg. We’ll sit down at the end of the season, and talk we’ll see what’s next.”Read the full story on Goal! Roma still want DarmianManchester United defender Matteo Darmian remains Roma’s primary target in their search for a new right-back, reports Corriere dello Sport .Darmian has struggled to establish himself as a regular starter at Old Trafford, but the Italy international’s agent recently insisted he was not for sale .However, Roma are still interested in bringing Darmian back to Serie A, even if a loan deal for the rest of the season is unlikely.Getafe target Madrid keeperGetafe are lining up a move for Real Madrid goalkeeper Kiko Casilla, if they lose current No.1 Vincente Guaita, reports AS .Guaita is out of contract at the end of the season and Crystal Palace are hoping to agree a deal to sign the keeper for a fee in the January transfer window.If Palace seal a deal for Guaita, then Getafe will look to sign Casilla for the second half of the season, should Madrid finalise their own swoop for Athletic Bilbao’s Kepa.Madrid would have offered £177m for CoutinhoReal Madrid were willing to offer £177 million for Brazil midfielder Philippe Coutinho before he agreed to join Barcelona in a £142m move, Mundo Deportivo reports.However, it is unclear if Los Blancos were just looking to increase the price tag to throw off their Liga rivals and slow down the transfer process.Coutinho had made it clear that he had been interested in leaving Liverpool for Barcelona, who will be formally unveiled on Monday.Chelsea won’t sell Loftus-CheekChelsea have no plans to sell Ruben Loftus-Cheek after Crystal Palace expressed an interest in signing the midfielder on a permanent basis, according to the Evening Standard . Loftus-Cheek is impressing on loan at Selhurst Park and Palace boss Roy Hodgson is keen to keep hold of the England international , if Chelsea are prepared to sell.However, despite boosting their midfield options further with the £15 million signing of Ross Barkley from Everton , the Premier League champions have no intention to let Loftus-Cheek leave permanently.Arda Turan set for Turkey switchArda Turan is closing in on a switch to Turkish side Basaksehir, according to Sabah .The Turkey international has been somewhat frozen out at Barcelona, with the arrival of Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool further complicating his route to the first team. And it appears Barca are keen to offload the midfielder, with Basaksehir president Goksel Gumusdag apparently in Spain to negotiate the transfer.Newcastle hope for Kenedy dealNewcastle United are hoping to complete a deal to sign Chelsea youngster Kenedy on loan, reports the Evening Chronicle . Kenedy, who can play down the left-hand side, started Chelsea’s FA Cup draw at Norwich on Saturday, but could be allowed out on loan to gain further first-team experience.Magpies boss Rafa Benitez is keen to boost his squad in the January transfer window and is in the market for a new keeper and striker, with Liverpool’s Danny Ings among the players linked with a move to St James’ Park.Wenger out, Arteta in at ArsenalArsene Wenger is ready to cut his contract short and end his two-decade tenure at Arsenal, reports the The Daily Mirror . Sunday’s 4-2 defeat at Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup compounded Wenger’s frustrations, with the Premier League already out of reach. And former Gunners man Mikel Arteta could step in as his replacement, ending his spell as Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City assistant.Pep asked City to prioritise Alexis over Van DijkPep Guardiola asked Manchester City to prioritise a deal for Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez over any possible move for Virgil van Dijk, according to reports ( via Metro ).Van Dijk completed a £75 million transfer to Liverpool at the beginning of the window.The Gunners want £35m for Sanchez but City could sign the Chilean on a free transfer when his contract expires at the end of the season.Coutinho paid part of his transfer feePhilippe Coutinho agreed to pay part of the £142 million fee that sealed his move to Barcelona from Liverpool, according to The Times .The Brazilian, who will be introduced by the Spanish club on Monday, is believed to have paid about £9m out of his own pocket and will have to dish out another £2.5m in the future.The controversial leak by Nike last week resulted in a change of the terms of the British record deal.’Spurs cannot force Kane to stay’Mauricio Pochettino has admitted that Tottenham may be forced to sell Harry Kane if the Real Madrid target wishes to leave.”I think Harry is special. He loves Tottenham and he feels Tottenham,” Pochettino said of his star striker, who scored 56 goals in 2017 and helped Spurs advance in the FA Cup on Sunday.”But we need to be careful and clear in how we manage him. Then the player needs to choose to stay here. You cannot force everyone to stay here.”Read the full story on Goal ! Real Madrid want Courtois and HazardChelsea duo Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois are Real Madrid’s top transfer targets in the summer, according to Sky Sports .Los Blancos will also wait for Tottenham star Harry Kane, who is believed to be a long-term target for Zinedine Zidane’s side.Hazard’s current deal is set to expire in 2020, while Courtois has another year on his contract and wants to decide his future before the end of the season.PSG’s Moura keen on Man United moveParis Saint-Germain outcast Lucas Moura has made a move to Manchester United his top priority in January, according to Telefoot (via the Daily Star ).The Brazilian has found himself in the cold since PSG splashed out on Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, and would welcome the chance to kick-start his career at Old Trafford.Man Utd & Chelsea chase Porto’s MaregaManchester United and Chelsea have both enquired over the availability of Porto striker Moussa Marega, according to Metro .The Mali international has been in fine form this season, and with both clubs looking light on attacking depth Marega is seen as a valid option for both clubs.Barca seal Mina signingBarcelona have completed the signing of Yerry Mina, who is expected to arrive at the club by Monday, according to AS . Palmeiras’ Colombia international has long been linked with a move to Camp Nou.And after the weekend arrival of Philippe Coutinho, Blaugrana fans will have more to celebrate as the central defender completes a move worth an estimated €11-12 million.Liverpool looking to speed up Keita arrivalLiverpool are hoping to accelerate Naby Keita’s arrival from RB Leipzig after the departure of Philippe Coutinho, according to The Telegraph .The Reds have already secured Keita in a £57 million deal that would see the 22-year-old midfielder arrive over the summer, but the club are now willing to pay more to add him to their squad this month.Although Keita would prefer to join Liverpool this winter following RB Leipzig’s Champions League elimination, the Bundesliga side want to keep the Guinea international as they look to qualify for next season’s competition.Messi wants Dembele axed for CoutinhoBarcelona star Lionel Messi has demanded Philippe Coutinho be granted Ousmane Dembele’s spot in the club’s starting line-up, claims Diario Gol . Dembele finally returned to league action for Barca on Sunday after a knee injury frustrated his start to life in Spain. But his stay in the first XI could prove to be a short one, as Messi and Luis Suarez are reportedly keen to see Coutinho get the nod.O’Neill targeted as next Stoke bossRepublic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill has emerged as a candidate for the vacant Stoke City job, according to the Guardian .The Potters are looking for a new boss after Mark Hughes was sacked following FA Cup humiliation at the hands of Coventry City on Saturday. And the newspaper affirms that O’Neill, and Derby County’s Gary Rowett, head the list of possible replacements.
Ligue 1 Cavani hails ‘magnificent’ record-breaking strike Matthew Scott 05:26 1/28/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) AFP Ligue 1 PSG PSG v Montpellier Montpellier The Uruguay international became the club’s all-time record goalscorer on Saturday, and has expressed his excitement Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani was ecstatic after his strike in Saturday’s 4-0 win over Montpellier took him past Zlatan Ibrahimovic as the club’s record goalscorer.Cavani converted Adrien Rabiot’s cross in the 11th minute – his 157th strike for the Ligue 1 giants – to set a new benchmark.Cavani was presented with a trophy after the game in front of a giant and lit-up ‘157’ by president Nasser Al-Khelaifi. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Cavani threw his shirt into the crowd in celebrating his goal, giving a lucky home fan a souvenir, and the striker expressed his delight to be woven into the fabric of PSG.”It’s something magnificent, I’m very emotional,” Cavani told Canal+.”In life, you’re not always given so much warmth. I’m very content, very happy to be here.”
Transfers Transfer news & rumours LIVE: Juventus eyeing Pogba return Goal Last updated 1 year ago 02:20 5/23/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Transfers Premier League Bundesliga Ligue 1 Serie A Primera División Goal takes a look at the biggest transfer news and rumours from the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A and beyond Juventus ponder Pogba returnJuventus are eyeing a sensational move to bring Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba back to Turin, according to Tuttosport.Having agreed to remain in charge of the Serie A champions, Massimiliano Allegri is looking to add a marquee central midfielder to his squad.And he sees Pogba – who left the club in 2016 – as the ideal player while he is also keen on Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Morata in talks with MilanChelsea forward Alvaro Morata is in talks with AC Milan regarding a summer transfer, according to The Daily Mail.The Spain international, who was omitted from La Roja’s World Cup squad ahead of the upcoming finals in Russia, struggled to establish himself at Stamford Bridge during his debut Premier League season.Juventus are also said to be interested in re-signing Morata, though reports suggest that Serie A rivals Milan have held initial talks.’Big clubs’ willing to pay Icardi clauseMauro Icardi has a €110 million release clause at Inter but “big clubs” are willing to pay that price, claims the Argentine’s agent and wife Wanda Nara.Real Madrid, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich are all reported to be keen on signing the striker.Read Wanda’s full comments right here on GoalMan City watching De LigtManchester City are monitoring the progress of Ajax defender Matthijs De Ligt, according to the Guardian.City boss Pep Guardiola is on the lookout for a young centre-back who can be moulded into a successor for Vincent Kompany as the 32-year-old enters the final 12 months of his current contract.And teenager De Ligt fits the bill, having starred in Eredivisie for the past two seasons.Wenger reveals Real Madrid snubsArsene Wenger has revealed that he turned down both Real Madrid and England “two or three times” during his iconic 22-year reign at Arsenal.Having stepped down at the end of the season, the French boss admitted that he was offered the top job at the Santiago Bernabeu but could not turn his back on the Gunners.Read the full story on GoalLiverpool & Atletico eye DybalaLiverpool and Atletico Madrid could be about to face off in a fight to sign Juventus forward Paulo Dybala, according to Tuttosport.The Reds are bracing themselves for bids for Mohamed Salah from Real Madrid, and would target Dybala as a replacement should the Egypt international leave.Meanwhile Atletico are resigned to losing Antoine Griezmann to Barcelona and similarly see Argentina star Dybala as the ideal man to fill his boots in the Spanish capital.Man Utd target Hysaj staying at NapoliElseid Hysaj has no intention of leaving Napoli and could soon sign a contract extension with the Serie A outfit, according to his agent.Manchester United are reportedly readying an offer for the highly rated right-back, who followed in the footsteps of Maurizio Sarri – a Chelsea target – by joining Napoli from Empoli in 2015.Read Hysaj’s representative’s full quotes hereAtletico jeers push Griezmann towards BarcelonaThe rough reception Antoine Griezmann endured at the hands of Atletico Madrid fans have pushed him closer to the exit, claims Marca.Griezmann has long been linked with a move to Barcelona, but reportedly told Atletico that he was willing to stay another season. But the boos and whistles he heard at the Wanda Metropolitana left him in tears, and he is now reconsidering his future at the club.Bailly plays down Man Utd exit rumoursEric Bailly has seemingly ruled out any chance of leaving Manchester United this summer by declaring a desire to “come back even stronger” after a season of “ups and downs”.A lack of playing time sparked talk that the 24-year-old could be moved on this summer, potentially as part of a deal to land Tottenham centre-half Toby Alderweireld.Bailly has, however, curbed the transfer rumours with a social media post that suggests he will remain on the Red Devils’ books for 2018-19.See the Ivory Coast international’s comments hereBaines set for MLS talksEverton defender Leighton Baines is heading to Los Angeles to discuss a move to MLS, according to The Sun.The England international is ready to depart Goodison Park and bring to an end his 11 years on Merseyside.Both LA Galaxy and Los Angeles FC are interesting in bringing him to the States, with the Toffees eyeing Leeds youngster Tom Pearce as a potential replacement.Liverpool warned over Fekir pursuitLiverpool are yet to make a move for Lyon playmaker Nabil Fekir, claims Jean-Michel Aulas, with any would-be suitors warned they will need to be “very, very rich” in order to get a deal done.The France international was reported to be on the verge of a big-money switch to Anfield, but Aulas has shot down those rumours. Read Aulas’ full take on the saga right here on GoalChelsea make Lewandowski top transfer targetChelsea have made Robert Lewandowski their top summer target as they look to rebuild after a difficult season, claims the Telegraph. After winning the Premier League in Antonio Conte’s first term, the Blues fell to fifth and failed to make the Champions League this time round. And while Conte’s future is still uncertain, the Bayern striker is at the top of the club’s wishlist, with Alvaro Morata’s sale likely to offset part of the transfer fee.Buffon entourage discussing PSG moveGianluigi Buffon’s entourage have travelled to France to discuss the details of a move to PSG.The 40-year-old recently announced that he would leave Juventus, and bid farewell to the club at the end of the Serie A campaign.PSG have offered Buffon a two-year deal that will double his salary to €8 million (£7m/$9.4m), and he is expected to work as a mentor to young goalkeeper Alphonse Areola.Read the full story on Goal! Dortmund appoint FavreBorussia Dortmund have appointed Lucien Favre as the club’s new manager.The former Nice manager has signed a two-year deal at the German club and replaces Peter Stoger, who left following the club’s last-day defeat to Hoffenheim.Read the full story on Goal! Juve target Morata & MartialJuventus have prioritised a move for former striker Alvaro Morata, but are also interested in Manchester United’s Anthony Martial, reports Tuttosport.The Serie A champions are looking to refresh their attack this summer and want to re-sign Chelsea forward Morata, who previously spent two years with Juve.Another leading target for Massimiliano Allegri’s side is Martial, who has endured a frustrating season at Old Trafford and has been strongly linked with a summer exit.Gomes ready to leave BarcelonaAndre Gomes is resigned to leaving Barcelona in the summer after clearing out his locker at the club’s training ground, according to Mundo Deportivo.The Portuguese midfielder has struggled to make a sustained impression during his two years at Camp Nou following a €35 million (£30.7m/$41.4m) from Valencia.He has missed out on a place in Portugal’s World Cup squad and is now keen to move to the Premier League, with Barca willing to sell if they receive an attractive offer.West Ham appoint PellegriniWest Ham have confirmed they have appointed Manuel Pellegrini as their new manager.The former Manchester City boss, who won the Premier League title during his last spell in England, was available after he left Chinese side Hebei China Fortune.And he has now made the move to the Hammers, signing a three-year contract with the club.Click here to read the full story on Goal! Man City close on Mahrez dealManchester City have moved closer to striking a deal with Leicester City for Riyad Mahrez, reports the Manchester Evening News.The Algerian, Leicester’s hero in their 2015-16 title run, has long been unsettled at the club but has seen repeated transfer requests turned down. But after failing to strike a deal in January, City will make another effort to sign Mahrez for a fee worth around £60 million. Buffon wants week to decide futureGianluigi Buffon says he needs about a week for the emotions to calm down after the end of the Juventus season for him to decide his next step.The Italy legend has announced he will not return to the Serie A champions, but is not yet ready to call it a career.Buffon has been linked to a move to Paris Saint-Germain, but it looks like the Ligue 1 champions and any other suitors will have to wait at least a few more days to hear his verdict.Read the full story on Goal! Chelsea told to pay Sarri release clauseMaurizio Sarri’s representative has told Chelsea they will have to pay his €8 million release clause (£7m/$9m) if they want to prise him away from Napoli.Sarri is expected to be in demand after leading Napoli to a second-place Serie A finish, with the Blues and Zenit strongly linked with making a move for the Italian.But Sarri’s agent Alessandro Pellegrini has said no offer has been made and that any interested parties will need to pay the release clause in his contract.Read the full story on Goal! Arsenal choose Emery as new managerUnai Emery is set to be named new Arsenal manager after the Gunners made a last-minute decision not to offer Mikel Arteta the vacant job at the Emirates Stadium, Goal understands. Emery emerged as a late front-runner for the job after Man City assistant and former Arsenal player Arteta was signalled as the favourite to succeed Arsene Wenger.But Emery’s brilliant trophy record with Sevilla and PSG has won out, and he is expected to sign a two-year deal at the club.Read our full story here! Neymar wants Madrid moveNeymar is desperate to swap Paris Saint-Germain for Real Madrid this summer.The Brazil international has told the Ligue 1 champions he wishes to leave and his agent spoke with Madrid president Florentino Pere on May 13.Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski is being lined up as a potential replacement should he depart Parc des Princes.Read the full story right now on Goal! Buffon closes on PSG transferGianluigi Buffon has moved closer to a move to Paris Saint-Germain, and the move could be finalised in the coming days, reports Sky Italia.Buffon said goodbye to Juventus in an emotional farewell win over Verona after agreeing to leave the Serie A club. And the 40-year-old is not looking for a quiet end to his career, as he prepares to join another European giant on a two-year contract.Cazorla set for Villarreal returnArsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla is set to return to Villarreal this summer, according to ESPN.The Spain international is out of contract this summer, having not made an appearance for the Premier League outfit since October 2016, and has had it confirmed that he will leave the club.And he is set to return to the club he represented for four years between 2007-2011 for pre-season training, though no offer has been made in terms of a more long-term contract.Read our story on Cazorla’s Arsenal departure here! Barca after Tottenham youngsterBarcelona is hoping to sign Tottenham youngster Reo Griffiths when he turns 18, reports the Daily Star.Spurs had been hoping to land Barca 18-year-old Ricard Piug and now the La Liga champions are hoping to turn the tables on the Premier League club.If Barca are successful, they will have to pay compensation to Spurs over Griffiths, but it would not be nearly as much as if he signed with another English club.Lampard in talks over Ipswich jobRetired Chelsea legend Frank Lampard is in talks to take over for Championship club Ipswich, according to the Mirror. The ex-midfielder has never managed before, but is now rivaling previous favorite Jack Ross after impressing in his interview.Lampard has been working on his coaching badges and hopes to land the position as Mick McCarthy’s replacement at the club.Bailey is Madrid’s backup planReal Madrid view Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey as their backup plan to replace Gareth Bale this summer, reports Don Balon.The La Liga giants want to sign Neymar, Eden Hazard or Mohamed Salah, but face roadblocks for all three players.As a result, Bailey is moving up Madrid’s target list with the attacker available for €100 million. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.