Tag Archives: insider

David De Gea may make a move to Real Madrid in the summer if the Spanish giants have their way

Real Madrid eye De Gea as long-term replacement for Spain skipper Casillas

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UPDATED:

11:52 GMT, 30 December 2012

Manchester United are braced to receive a 22million bid for David De Gea in the summer from Spanish giants Real Madrid.

Iker Casillas was dropped in Real’s game against Malaga, and it seems Jose Mourinho is on the hunt for a long-term replacement for the Spain captain.

The two are known to have a stormy relationship at the club, and although 31-year-old Casillas has previously said he’d like to finish his career at Real, recent comments have indicated that he might be open to a move.

De Gea is said to be a target for Real Madrid

Homesick: There are rumours De Gea is missing his native Spain after transferring from Atletico Madrid 18 months ago

Real Madrid will bid for David De Gea

Expensive:The Spanish giants are set to bid 22million for the United goalkeeper

De Gea was signed by United as a replacement for Edwin van der Sar for over 18million.

There have been rumours that the Spanish goalkeeper has suffered from homesickness, however, since he moved from Atletico Madrid 18 months ago.

The Spain Under-21 is now the top target for Madrid boss Mourinho, according to The Sun.

A Real insider said: ‘De Gea is definitely wanted by Mourinho but a lot depends on his own future.

‘But he’s studied De Gea’s form closely and is very interested.’

Lance Armstrong doping affair: Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson lands role investigating links with UCI

Baroness Grey-Thompson lands role investigating Armstrong's links with UCI

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UPDATED:

16:42 GMT, 30 November 2012

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson has been named on a three-person panel to assess the Lance Armstrong affair and the role of the International Cycling Union in the scandal.

The UCI in October ratified the sanctions recommended by the United States Anti-doping Agency, who conducted an investigation which concluded Armstrong and his United States Postal Service team ran 'the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen'.

Allegations of complicity and insider knowledge were levelled at the UCI and its leadership – all of which have been denied – and 11-time Paralympic champion Grey-Thompson forms part of the independent commission set up to establish the facts.

Disgraced: Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles

Disgraced: Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles

Australian John Coates, the president of the International Council of Arbitration for Sport assembled the commission, which is independent of the UCI and will be chaired by former Court of Appeal judge Sir Philip Otton Australian lawyer Malcolm Holmes QC will join Lords peer Grey-Thompson on the panel.

Armstrong did not cooperate with the USADA investigation and has been banned for life and stripped of all results from August 1, 1998, including seven Tour de France titles.

Investigating Armstrong: Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson

Investigating Armstrong: Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson

Atletico Madrid set to bid 40m for Luis Suarez

Atletico Madrid ready to test Liverpool's resolve with 40m move for Suarez

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UPDATED:

09:49 GMT, 24 November 2012

Atletico Madrid plan to make a 40million summer swoop for Luis Suarez.

The Spanish club still want to entice the Liverpool striker to La Liga at the end of the season — despite the Kop star insisting he wants to stay at the Premier League club.

Atletico first tried to sign Suarez in January but failed to get the move off the ground.

Summer swoop: Atletico Madrid want to tempt Luis Suarez to join them with a 40m move

Summer swoop: Atletico Madrid want to tempt Luis Suarez to join them with a 40m move

But now a club insider told The Sun: 'We know this is not an easy operation but we do not think it’s impossible.'

Atletico are convinced they are better placed to offer Suarez Champions League football.

But Suarez has said: 'I’m at a club where I’m very happy, my family is happy. I’ve got great team-mates and a manager from whom I’m learning so much.'

Ryder Cup 2012: Nick Faldo scarred by 2008 defeat at Valhalla

I'm scarred by Valhalla: Faldo finally opens up about failure as Ryder Cup captain in 2008

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 26 September 2012

Perhaps it is not surprising it has taken Sir Nick Faldo so long to talk publicly about his captaincy and the events at Valhalla in 2008.

When you've been a winner all your life and accustomed to talking only about success, how difficult must it be to converse about failure

'The bottom line is that it was a tough experience and very tough for me to deal with afterwards,' said Faldo.

Scarred: Nick Faldo finally opened up about Europe's Ryder Cup failure in 2008

Scarred: Nick Faldo finally opened up about Europe's Ryder Cup failure in 2008

'I wanted to leave with a win, I wanted to have that feeling because you know you only get one chance and I am a winner. Sure it left a scar. There's still a small one there, even now.'

Back in 2008, Faldo's tortured final three words on the morning after becoming the only losing European captain this century were: 'Officially, no more.'

That is how it remained, until talking openly to Sportsmail.

During the past four years, a legend seems to have grown that it was all Faldo's fault that Europe lost by the margin of five points.

There was no passion in the team room, declared a number of players. He was too aloof and remote, declared others.

The atmosphere was more like the players were preparing for a testimonial than a Champions League final, one insider memorably declared.

Lee Westwood had a pop recently about Faldo's controversial decision to drop him from a series of matches for the first time in his career, at a time when he had just equalled Arnold Palmer's record for matches unbeaten.

Faldo either did not see the criticism or chose to bite his lip. Until this interview.

So let's deal with the passion
question first, because that is the one that causes him to lean forward
in his seat and become animated.

'That's
the one I really don't understand,' he said. 'So you need someone to
tell you to be passionate to play well in the Ryder Cup

'I have to say I didn't need a battery inside me to go and play in the
Ryder Cup. I'd have walked barefoot to the first tee to play if that was
what was asked.

'If
the Ryder Cup doesn't inspire you and give you passion, I don't know
what would. I was desperate to win a point every time I played.

Disaster at Valhalla: The USA team celebrated a win over Faldo's Europe

Disaster at Valhalla: The USA team celebrated a win over Faldo's Europe

Disaster at Valhalla: The USA team celebrated a win over Faldo's Europe

'Golf is not like team sports. It is not like a rugby coach shouting and pushing his message down people's throats. In golf, you go play and it's down to you and you take responsibility for your own actions.

'If a man is one down and has a curling putt on the 14th hole and misses it, how is it the captain's fault

'I remember when we came back to win with a great comeback in the singles in 1995. We didn't do it by jumping around a room.

'We just wanted to pull off a victory and you do that by every player going out and doing his job.'

Did his well-earned reputation for aloofness as a competitor follow him into captaincy and affect the sense of European camaraderie

'I don't know what more I could have done to address that issue,' he said.

'On the first day I stood up in the team room and said if anyone sees me looking through them, they have my permission to kick my backside.

'I thought I had broken down that barrier of what I am supposed to be like.

'I didn't want to walk beside them and ask them do they want this, do they want that.'

In the team room, the entertainment was provided by the Iron Maiden drummer, Nicko McBrain, and DJ Spoony.

Did this compromise the atmosphere and send out the wrong message that they were not taking it seriously enough

'I got a lot of stick for that, but don't tell me it was a wrong move,' responded Faldo.

'It loosened people up, because you can't play if you're wound tight like a ball.

Not our year: Faldo (right) was criticised by some of the players for his style of captaincy

Not our year: Faldo (right) was criticised by some of the players for his style of captaincy

'As a funny aside, what I didn't know is that Iron Maiden are huge in places like Sweden and Denmark, and so the wives of the Scandinavian players were coming up to me and telling me they had their first date listening to Iron Maiden, or got engaged to Iron Maiden.'

It should be said that in the days following the calamitous loss, the Daily Mail was as critical as any of Faldo's captaincy and its contribution to the defeat.

Now we've heard his responses to some of the leading points, what is his explanation for it all going wrong

'The bottom line is that my top three players won one-and-a-half points,' added Faldo, who was also denied the services of Luke Donald through injury.

'Sergio Garcia was sick and he was having a bad time trying to get over splitting from his girlfriend (Morgan-Leigh Norman, daughter of Greg).

'Padraig Harrington was the best player in the world at the time but it was of no use to us because he was mentally exhausted, having won two majors that year.

'I dropped Lee from one series because he had blisters and I thought that telling him during his match would make him extra-determined to win that point.

Pop: Lee Westwood (left) was irritated that Faldo dropped him in 2008

Pop: Lee Westwood (left) was irritated that Faldo dropped him in 2008

'But that's not to blame them. At some point I do think we have to accept that the overwhelming reason why we lost is that the Americans just played better than us. They putted us off the course.'

Indeed they did and perhaps he's right – perhaps that was all there was to Valhalla proving a burial ground for Europe's Ryder Cup hopes.

But it is interesting that Faldo's deputy that year, Jose Maria Olazabal, is doing things differently here at Medinah.

No drum kits this time. 'A captain can't have a significant effect on you winning a Ryder Cup but they can have a significant effect on you losing it,' reckons Westwood.

Faldo's place in Ryder Cup history is secure. The record books show that he is still the greatest points-scorer of all time.

But being a losing Ryder Cup captain is that nagging ache that might never go away. The small scar that doesn't heal.

Chris Hughton risks backlash after dumping 40 Birmingham top

What a strip-off! Hughton dumps 40 Birmingham top the team have never played in

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UPDATED:

10:52 GMT, 28 March 2012

Birmingham boss Chris Hughton has risked the wrath of fans by ditching the away kit without it ever being worn in a competitive game.

The 40 top was launched last summer but the Blues have not been seen in the strip since pre-season.

Hughton prefers the yellow 'European' kit if colours clash with the opposition and the cobalt blue and black number is now available for 30.

A club insider told the Birmingham Mail: 'Some managers like certain kits for all sorts of reasons and the yellow shirts were the design that the manager wanted to use.

Get your kit on: Birmingham have not worn this top in a competitive game

Get your kit on: Birmingham have not worn this top in a competitive game

'The yellow kit went down a storm in the Europa League, so the team persisted with it. 'These shirts were not manufactured on the same scale as the official home and away kits, so not so many have been available to purchase.

'We can see the fans' point of view.'

John Devlin of football shirt experts TrueColours said: 'My initial thought was that, although it was a smart design, did it really give the club a suitable away option against teams playing in blue

'Clubs are losing sight that the purpose of an away kit is to provide an effective alternative colour option should there be a clash.

'If clubs persist in releasing these unnecessary outfits – with ever increasing price tags – I fear a backlash amongst supporters.'

The shirt has already been consigned to the bin with new plans in place for next season.

A Birmingham fan, who did not wish to be named, said: 'It could be seen as a bit of a rip-off because lots were sold in comparison to the yellow shirt and I can see people being miffed that it's not been worn in a competitive match.

'However, I also think it might attain some sort of trivia or cult value.

'One of the more popular 'old-fashioned' shirts that fans wear is the German flag design, which I believe was worn only twice.'

Joey Barton criticises The FA for sending warning letters

Barton blasts 'Orwellian' FA for string of letters warning him over Twitter predictions

QPR captain Joey Barton unleashed an online tirade against the Football Association on Thursday morning, labelling them an 'Orwellian organisation' in need of a 'drastic shake-up'.

The 29-year-old midfielder is widely known for making outspoken comments via his Twitter account @Joey7Barton, which has more than 1.1million followers.

Barton tweeted he had received a warning letter from the FA for predicting the outcome of the weekend's matches involving Manchester United and Manchester City.

Something to say: Joey Barton has taken to his twitter account to have a go at The FA

Something to say: Joey Barton has taken to his twitter account to have a go at The FA

The former Newcastle midfielder claims he was warned the predictions could be seen as 'insider information' and that he has received around 30 letters from the governing body.

'Just received my weekly warning letter from FA headquarters, this time regarding me tweeting about predicting the weekend's Manchester double,' Barton said at the start of a series of tweets.

'According to the FA, I am not allowed to give my opinion of possible results in case that is seen as insider information. These people are so out of touch with reality it's untrue.

Winner: Mario Balotelli scores for City

In the goals: Danny Welbeck

Just an opinion: Barton was warned after predicting the outcome of the two weekend games involving Manchester City and Manchester United

'What difference does my opinion of the outcome of a match have on the result None. rightinthebin'

He continued: 'The strange thing is they have probably sent me 30 letters since I started tweeting. That's 30 pieces of paper wasted. Stop sending please.

'I'll prob get a letter about the last few tweets.

'That's how ridiculous it's become. Drastic shake-up needed to move the game into 21st century.

'Hopefully they stop trying to be an Orwellian organisation and get to grips with the change that's happening in the world around them.

'Don't understand how they can try to police a technology they understand very little about.'

War of words: Barton was keen to get his point across on Twitter after former boss Neil Warnock's sacking

War of words: Barton was keen to get his point across on Twitter after former boss Neil Warnock's sacking

It is not the first time Barton has found himself in the headlines for his Twitter antics.

Only last week the Rs skipper called the conduct of former manager Neil Warnock 'embarrassing' and compared the veteran boss to fictional character Mike Bassett.

Barton also previously attacked the board of former club Newcastle on the social networking site and made a number of radical suggestions, such as claiming clubs should be able to sue referees after he was sent off following an altercation with Norwich's Bradley Johnson.