Tag Archives: youngster

Mario Gotze signs for Bayern Munich, blow Arsenal Manchester City

Pep talk! City and Arsenal miss out on Gotze as Bayern close in on 32m deal

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

05:53 GMT, 23 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

07:09 GMT, 23 April 2013

Arsenal and Manchester City look to have missed on Borussia Dortmund star Mario Gotze after reports in Germany claimed he has agreed to join Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich.

The 20-year-old has emerged as one of the most coveted talents in Europe but it is the Bavarian giants who look to have won the race after triggering the forward's €37million (32m) release clause.

The Germany international has, according to Bild, already signed a long-term deal with $7m a year (6m).

All smiles: Mario Gotze (right) is reportedly set to join Bayern Munich in the summer

All smiles: Mario Gotze (right) is reportedly set to join Bayern Munich in the summer

Gotze, who could face his new employees in the Champions League final at Wembley on May 25, has scored 14 goals for his club this season and has won 22 caps for Germany.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger had been prepared to finally splash the cash this summer and meet the Gotze's clause but he will now have to look elsewhere.

The youngster had looked set to remain at the Westfalenstadion
for another year having apparently set his sights on a move to Barcelona.

Main man: Gotze (left) has been tracked by the biggest clubs in Europe including Manchester City

Main man: Gotze (left) has been tracked by the biggest clubs in Europe including Manchester City

‘I am very happy at Dortmund and
satisfied with the way we are progressing as a team,’ he said earlier this month. ‘Any
thoughts about playing for another team are very much for the future,
but Real Madrid, Barcelona or Manchester United could be interesting.

'But I'm not thinking of that at the moment.

'I'm happy in Dortmund and very happy how things are going. Therefore, it is still a bit away'

Danny Welbeck pleased with how far he has progressed at Manchester United

Madrid goal has given me the motivation to achieve more, says Welbeck

, given Welbeck has tended to reserve his most productive displays for times when he has been on England duty.

However, it would now be something of a surprise if Sir Alex Ferguson left the 22-year-old out of his starting line-up at Old Trafford next week.

Not bad for a youngster brought up in the same Longsight district of Manchester as Wes Brown, born of parents who both hail from Ghana.

'It was a great feeling to get a goal at the Bernabeu,' said Welbeck.

'The whole occasion was immense, with the number of fans who travelled over and with it being such a big game.

Heads up: Danny Welbeck puts United ahead against Real Madrid

Heads up: Danny Welbeck puts United ahead against Real Madrid

'There was a little part of me thinking I have come a long way in a short space of time.
'But it is something I strived for since I was a little kid.

'I really wanted to play for Manchester United and that was one of the biggest games, so part of me did feel proud.

'But it also gave me the motivation to carry on and try to strive for more.'

Welbeck's lack of goals is rather strange considering he was England's top scorer in 2012 and has never previously found it a problem, even if he is not amongst the most prolific members of Sir Alex Ferguson's squad.

The answer, in his view, is simple, and comes from the role he was asked to carry out in the first leg; out wide, trying to counter whilst not forgetting defensive duties against a side so dangerous on the counter-attack.

'I have not really played in my favourite position,' he said. 'I like to play as a striker but a lot of the time I have been out wide.

'I would like to get more goals, but it is obviously more difficult to get them when you are playing in wider areas.”

Wayne Rooney has been given the same duties on a regular basis during his United career.

Indeed, he was repeating the job Welbeck was doing on the left down United's right-hand flank in Madrid last month, underlining his own selfless contribution to the cause.

It is anticipated more will be demanded of Rooney in attack at Old Trafford, which may mean a switch inside in preference to Shinji Kagawa, who nearly made an impact at the Bernabeu without actually managing it.

That move would possibly trigger a recall for Antonio Valencia, although clearly Ferguson does have options, as he does in the form of Tom Cleverley, Ryan Giggs and Anderson in central midfield if Phil Jones fails to recover from an ankle injury.

'It is the part of the season everyone looks forward to,' said Jonny Evans.

'We are involved in everything and the competitions are all coming in one week.

'The league is the one everyone wants to win but if you asked any player in the Premier League, they would want to play in the Champions League.

Getting on: Welbeck replaces Van Persie to take his chance

Getting on: Welbeck replaces Van Persie to take his chance

'Being at Manchester United, you want that every single season and matches against teams like Real Madrid are ones you need to cherish.

'But we can't just think about what a fantastic occasion it is. We also need to perform.'

Alistair Brownlee wins Abu Dhabi International Triathlon

Olympic triathlon hero Brownlee cruises to Abu Dhabi win by smashing course record

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

12:47 GMT, 2 March 2013

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UPDATED:

13:12 GMT, 2 March 2013

Great Britain’s Alistair Brownlee smashed the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon short course record on his way to clinching his first win since the Olympic Games last summer.

Wearing the colours of the Union Jack, the 24-year-old Yorkshireman looked every inch the champion in Abu Dhabi.

Having spent much of his winter training acclimatising to the warm Arabian temperatures, the hard work paid off for the back-to-back European Triathlon Union champion as he finished the 111.5kms pure power course in 3h20m18s – 29 seconds ahead of the previous record, set in 2010 by Dutchman Jan Van Berkel.

Winning feeling: Alistair Brownlee smashed the course record on his Abu Dhabi debut

Winning feeling: Alistair Brownlee smashed the course record on his Abu Dhabi debut

And Brownlee, who is used to the shorter Olympic distances and is in Abu Dhabi to expand his competitive horizons, was full of praise to the thousands of fans who turned out to cheer him over the line.

‘It is a good race to do for an introduction to longer distances and I would like to do more, but right now my focus us is on the ITU circuit.’ said Brownlee.

The young Briton was in fine fettle, coming out of the water in the opening 1.5kms swim leg comfortably positioned.

Riding to glory: Brownlee was on commanding form in Abu Dhabi

Riding to glory: Brownlee was on commanding form in Abu Dhabi

With a cycle distance of 100kms more than Brownlee is used to, pundits tipped the following bike section to be the make or break for the youngster, and it nearly proved to be true. After taking a wrong turn on the circuit, Brownlee lost ground and was overtaken by Dutchman Cesar Beilo – who won the Abu Dhabi short course in 2011.

Coming into the final 10kms run, Brownlee was nestled in second place. Having conserved his energy on the bike, the look of determination on his face was easy to see at the final transition. With thousands of fans lined up to cheer him on, the Olympic golden boy dug deep to make light work of the final run, bringing it home in emphatic style.

‘I was swimming very fast in the beginning, apologies to anyone we might have kicked on the way through,’ joked Brownlee on the Abu Dhabi finish line.

Top gearL Brownlee was in fine form during his Abu Dhabi win

Top gearL Brownlee was in fine form during his Abu Dhabi win

‘The bike was a challenge. I saw a sign on the bike course and thought that was where I needed to go; it was only when I got back on the course I realised I had been there before. I tried to pace it quite well, but I have no idea how to pace 100kms on a bike, but it seemed to go ok.

‘I felt tired towards the end, but I didn’t have to push too hard, which was good as it was getting hot; it’s a bit of a shock as it is zero degrees back home and nearly 30 here, but it was early morning so I didn’t struggle too much.’

Beilo took second place, more than five minutes behind Brownlee, with Russia’s Alexander Bryukhankov taking third. Egyptian star, Omar Nour, finished in seventh place, making him the highest Arab athlete on the day.

Event organiser, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), said that Brownlee’s win would be a huge inspiration to local athletes and it hoped to see more kids get into the sport because of it.

Jack Rodwell: I was surprised Manchester City bid for me

I was surprised City signed me, admits Rodwell as he reveals injury hell

through injury, but the youngster’s concerns were not limited
to his hamstrings after City made their move last summer.

Familiar face: Rodwell contests with future team-mate David Silva last season

Familiar face: Rodwell contests with future team-mate David Silva last season

Manager Roberto Mancini warned that
he had to improve while England boss Roy Hodgson expressed a fear that
he would spend much of the season on the bench at his new club. It did
not help when Rodwell’s misplaced passes led to City conceding goals
against Southampton and Borussia Dortmund in his first few games.

Asked if he was surprised at the
transfer, he said: ‘I was a little bit, yes, because of the injuries –
it was a good surprise though.

‘I’d seen the German doctor
Muller-Wohlfahrt a couple of months before City came in so I felt I was
fit at the time but I obviously wasn’t. I probably didn’t do enough work
after getting treated by him which I know now.

‘I don’t really think about the price
tag or anything like that. When you’re on the pitch you can’t think
about what the fans are thinking. It’s natural when you’ve spent that
much money and you’ve won the league last year, you do expect a little
bit of something in return.

‘I feel as though the fans saw a little bit more of me (against Chelsea) but there’s still a lot more to come in my opinion.’

Jermain Defoe injury leaves Tottenham in striking crisis

Defoe ankle injury leaves Spurs facing firepower crisis with Adebayor away

By
Rik Sharma

PUBLISHED:

16:20 GMT, 3 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

19:26 GMT, 3 February 2013

Jermain Defoe has picked up an ankle injury which could keep him out for up to three weeks.

The Tottenham forward sustained it in a 50-50 challenge with West Brom's Shane Long on Sunday afternoon.

Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas said Defoe will be sent for a scan to determine the extent of the damage and said he will be withdrawn from Roy Hodgson's England squad for the Brazil friendly.

Blow: Jermain Defoe could be out for up to three weeks after suffering an ankle injury

Blow: Jermain Defoe could be out for up to three weeks after suffering an ankle injury

Villas Boas said: 'I am extremely happy with the win – apart from the injury to Jermain Defoe.
'He rolled his ankle. He will have to have a scan to reveal the extent of the injury.

'Hopefully there is not a lot of ligament damage. If there is, he could be out for two to three weeks.

'Has he been withdrawn from the England squad Yes he has.'

The Tottenham manager tried to secure a new striker on deadline day but failed to negotiate a deal with Internacional for Brazil forward Leandro Damiao.

With Defoe out and Emmanuel Adebayor in Togo on Africa Cup of Nations duty, there are no strikers left at the club, bar youngster Harry Kane.

Clint Dempsey can play as a striker if necessary, although he prefers to feature in a supporting role.

Cut short: Defoe was subbed

Cut short: Defoe is helped off

Cut short: Defoe's afternoon was ended by the injury and he was helped off the pitch in great pain

Watching on: Roy Hodgson was at The Hawthorns to see the incident

Watching on: Roy Hodgson was at The Hawthorns to see the incident

Forward push: Clint Dempsey will likely have to fill in up front for Defoe

Forward push: Clint Dempsey will likely have to fill in up front for Defoe

Defoe's team-mate Gareth Bale secured a
precious away victory that boosts Spurs in the hunt for a Champions
League place – Andre Villas-Boas' side are now fourth.

The dismissal of Goran Popov in the 47th minute changed the game in
Tottenham's favour, though, and Bale duly secured all three points with a
spectacular solo goal.

Bale told Sky Sports 1: 'It's massive. We spoke before the game because
other results went our way yesterday and that gave us a big chance to
capitalise. Thankfully we did.

'I think all the lads worked very hard and they deserved the victory.'

No reinforcement: With Emmanuel Adebayor away, Andre Villas-Boas will regret not signing a striker

No reinforcement: With Emmanuel Adebayor away, Andre Villas-Boas will regret not signing a striker

Meanwhile, Germany international Lewis Holtby made his second Spurs appearance from the bench and revealed he is settling in well.

He said: 'The lads are all making it easy for me to play. It's a fantastic club and I enjoy coming in every day.

'It's a massive boost to get the three points away (from home). It's unbelievable.

'If we have games like today and get the three points then it's a massive relief. I'm just happy to be at the club.'

Bedding in nicely: Lewis Holtby is pleased with how things have gone so far for him at Tottenham

Bedding in nicely: Lewis Holtby is pleased with how things have gone so far for him at Tottenham

Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe may need surgery on a pelvis injury

Striker light: Spurs concern as crocked Defoe faces operation leaving AVB short up front

By
Matt Barlow

PUBLISHED:

22:30 GMT, 27 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

08:10 GMT, 28 January 2013

Jermain Defoe has been nursing a pelvic injury and was left out of the squad for yesterday’s trip to Leeds amid fears he may yet need surgery.

Defoe has been playing in discomfort for some time and after a blistering start to the season his form has suffered with only one goal in his last
eight games.

In pain: Spurs striker Jermain Defoe, grimacing during the game against Manchester United, may need surgery on a pelvic injury

In pain: Spurs striker Jermain Defoe, grimacing during the game against Manchester United, may need surgery on a pelvic injury

The Spurs and England striker was not expected to be fit for the Barclays Premier League game against Manchester United last week but was patched up and played 90 minutes, his 34th appearance of the season, because Emmanuel Adebayor was at the Africa Cup of Nations with Togo.

Defoe was able to train last week and the club were at pains to insist there was nothing wrong with him ahead of the FA Cup tie at Elland Road but there is clearly concern behind the scenes.

The striker has had an injection in the hope of being fit for Wednesday’s fixture at Norwich but the fear at Tottenham is that it nags away or worsens and requires an operation.

Top form: Defoe has scored 14 goals so far this season

Top form: Defoe has scored 14 goals so far this season

Andre Villas-Boas has tried to manage the issue carefully, hoping Adebayor might return quickly or that a striker can be signed in the transfer window but it has exposed a desperate lack of cover in a key area.

Spurs went into the season with only two specialist centre forwards, youngster Harry Kane on loan at Norwich and Clint Dempsey, an attacking midfielder who can operate up front, as he did at Leeds.

Tottenham have long been in pursuit of a striker. They are keen on Sevilla striker Alvaro Negredo but have yet to strike a deal and they are interested in Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke although this is not something they can complete this month as he has already played for two clubs this season.

In need: Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas (pictured) was forced to play Clint Dempsey up front in the loss at Leeds and has been searching for another striker

In need: Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas (pictured) was forced to play Clint Dempsey up front in the loss at Leeds and has been searching for another striker

Eden Hazard ball boy Charlie Morgan "was disgraceful", says Pat Nevin

Disgraceful! Ex-Chelsea winger Nevin slams ball boy after Hazard clash – and says he'd have kicked out like Belgian

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

11:53 GMT, 24 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

12:06 GMT, 24 January 2013

Former Chelsea winger Pat Nevin has claimed he would have done the same as Eden Hazard if he had been involved in the controversial ball-boy incident at Swansea.

The Belgium forward was dismissed by referee Chris Foy after he lost patience in last night's Capital One Cup semi-final second leg match in South Wales as 17-year-old ball boy Charlie Morgan refused to hand over the ball after it had gone out of play for a goal kick.

Morgan fell to the ground as Hazard attempted to get the ball from him, with the Chelsea star then trying to kick it from under him but appearing to instead make contact with the youngster.

Stamp it out: Eden Hazard was sent off for kicking Charlie Morgan

Stamp it out: Eden Hazard was sent off for kicking Charlie Morgan

When asked how he would have reacted to the situation, former Scotland winger Nevin told BBC Radio 5: 'I would have kicked the ball out from underneath the ball boy if he had been lying like that, 100 per cent.'

And Nevin also criticised the behaviour of 17-year-old Morgan, branding it 'disgraceful'.

He added: 'I was very, very disappointed by the way the ball boy acted, and I say “acted”.

'He must have been watching footballers, the way he rolled around and pretended to be more injured.

'He only has one job and his job is to go and give the ball back, and what did he do He keeps the ball.

Take Pat: Nevin hit out at the Swansea ball boy after last night's clash

Take Pat: Nevin hit out at the Swansea ball boy after last night's clash

'I have to say I was absolutely amazed this morning to find he is 17, not 12, not 13.

'He should know what his action should be in that situation. His behaviour was disgraceful.'

Early bath: Hazard was shown a straight red card by Chris Foy

Early bath: Hazard was shown a straight red card by Chris Foy

There has been criticism of Foy for his dismissal of Hazard, but former Premier League official Dermot Gallagher praised his handling of a difficult situation.

He said: 'The referee has taken the correct action, It's against the laws of the game to commit violent conduct on anyone under the jurisdiction of the game.

'I can't reinforce how switched on the officials were. It would have been so easy for the assistant referee not to pick that (incident) up – but he did.'

Gallagher continued: 'There's no defence for that. Someone said it was borne out of frustration but you have to accept it. I don't want to see it again.

'It was an extreme but you can't have that at a football match. It's been addressed – and the action which has been taken is strong and correct.'

Australian Open 2013: Serena Williams beats Maria Kirilenko to face Sloane Stephens

Williams cruises past Kirlenko to set up mouthwatering clash against the youngster billed as the next Serena

By
Rik Sharma

PUBLISHED:

10:42 GMT, 21 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:51 GMT, 21 January 2013

Serena Williams was in fine fettle as she beat Maria Kirilenko 6-2, 6-0 to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals.

The American will face her compatriot Sloane Stephens who is competing in her first grand slam quarter-final after beating Bojana Jovanovski.

Serena landed close to 90 per cent of her first serves and knew herself how strong her performance was.

Flying: Serena Williams made light work of Maria Kirilenko at the Rod Laver

Flying: Serena Williams made light work of Maria Kirilenko at the Rod Laver

'I thought I played really well,' Williams told The Australian. 'I didn't expect to come out and play so well tonight.

'I
was like 'wow'. I saw I had like 95 per cent of first serves in the
first set and I thought: “Who is this girl” It's not me normally.'

Stephens
is the 'next big thing' in American tennis and the clash against Serena
will be intriguing. The 19-year-old beat Jovanovski 6-1, 3-6, 7-5 to
set up the clash against her childhood hero.

Less than 60 minutes: Kirilenko struggled at the hands of Serena

Less than 60 minutes: Kirilenko struggled at the hands of Serena

Although she doesn't like being compared to Serena, there are similarities between the two.

Both have powerful serves and like playing from the baseline, for instance.

They get along well off of the court too, often texting each other. 'We just keep it goofy,' Stephens said. 'She’s like the goofiest person I know.'

Serena said of Sloane: 'I think she's playing great. We played just two weeks ago in Brisbane, she played unbelievably well.

'I think she is an incredible talent and I admire her too. It will be a tough match for me but I feel like I have nothing to lose.'

Tale of the tape

SERENA WILLIAMS

SLOANE STEPHENS

Age

31

19

Weight

155lbs

135lbs

Height

5'9″

5'7″

Birthplace

Saginaw, MI, USA

Plantation, FL, USA

World seeding

3

25

Serena v Sloane

SERENA WILLIAMS

SLOANE STEPHENS

WTA Singles titles

47

0

WTA Doubles titles

22

0

ITF Circuits singles titles

0

1

ITF Doubles titles

0

1

Prize money

$41,960,896

$694,995

Won/Lost Singles

558-108

108-77

Won/Lost Doubles

166-21

29-32

Serena throws her towel in to the sky

Serena throws her towel in to the sky

Mario Balotelli will play in Manchester City v Watford FA Cup match

Balotelli set to play in FA Cup clash with Watford despite training-ground scuffle with Mancini… but City will still try to sell bad boy

By
Ian Ladyman

PUBLISHED:

11:42 GMT, 5 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:42 GMT, 5 January 2013

Mario Balotelli is in Manchester City's squad for today’s FA Cup tie against Watford despite his bust-up with boss Roberto Mancini.

The Italian striker spent Friday night with the players at the team hotel in Manchester and has been told he will definitely be involved at some stage this afternoon.

Balotelli has not played since being taken off just after half-time in the Barclays Premier League defeat against Manchester United a month ago after falling ill and this week hit the headlines for the wrong reasons after a training ground bust up with manager Mancini.

Are you sure you should have that Mario Balotelli returned to training on Friday after his bust-up

Are you sure you should have that Mario Balotelli returned to training on Friday after his bust-up

However, Mancini is satisfied that
Balotelli is ready to be involved and the feeling at last night’s team
meeting was that he would start this afternoon among the substitutes and
come on in the second half. Ideally, Mancini would like to start the
Italian but is not sure his fitness is up to it.

City will also include youngster
Karim Rekik in the squad but will field a strong starting XI that will
also include Carlos Tevez.

It comes as City try to sell
Balotelli as soon as possible after Mancini privately conceded he cannot
change the wayward Italy striker.

Despite further claims to the
contrary from the City manager, it is understood that Mancini has
finally decided it is time to move Balotelli out of the club.

City will not wish to say the 22-year-old is for sale, for fear of driving down his plummeting value even further.

But with Balotelli now providing virtually nothing on the field — he has scored just one goal this season in the Barclays Premier League — and proving to be a constant distraction behind the scenes, Mancini, having previously stood by the player against the advice of many of his staff, accepts he has done all he can.

Game over: Balotelli will now be sold by Manchester City despite Mancini insisting otherwise (below)

Game over: Balotelli will now be sold by Manchester City despite Mancini insisting otherwise (below)

Glum: Roberto Mancini faces the questions during his Friday press conference

Mancini spoke for the first time
about the embarrassing scenes that occurred at the end of a City
training session on Thursday as the manager and his striker were
photographed pushing and shoving each other in front of the astonished
first-team squad.

Mancini
said he would give Balotelli a ‘hundred chances to change’ and confirmed
that the former Inter Milan star would not be fined and would be in the
squad for the FA Cup tie with Watford at the Etihad Stadium this
afternoon.

But City are willing to talk to any club who may wish to make an offer. AC Milan are circling but City want a cash sale — not a loan.

This all points to Balotelli staying during the transfer window and being sold in the summer.

Pals again Balotelli (left) laughs with team-mate Scott Sinclair during training on Friday

Pals again Balotelli (left) laughs with team-mate Scott Sinclair during training on Friday

On Friday, further details emerged
of Balotelli’s assault on team-mate Scott Sinclair that prompted
Mancini’s bust-up with Balotelli. Sportsmail understands that Balotelli’s lunge on Sinclair was so wild that Mancini felt compelled to intervene.

‘This
was not just a mistimed tackle that you sometimes get towards the end
of training,’ a source revealed. ‘This was an horrendous, horrific
slash.’

Meanwhile a separate issue loomed over another City striker when it emerged that Sergio Aguero has split from his wife Giannina, daughter of Diego Maradona, after four years.

It is unclear whether she will live with their three-year-old son Benjamin in Madrid or Buenos Aires, but the news is bound to raise concerns over Aguero remaining settled in Manchester.

Liverpool have not made new bid for Tom Ince – Michael Appleton

No new Liverpool offer for 7m-rated Ince, claims Blackpool boss Appleton

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

10:10 GMT, 2 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

10:11 GMT, 2 January 2013

Blackpool manager Michael Appleton insists Liverpool have yet to return with an improved offer for winger Thomas Ince.

The 20-year-old initially left Anfield 18 months ago and has blossomed at Bloomfield Road, scoring 13 goals in the Championship this season.

Wanted: Thomas Ince is expected to complete his return to Liverpool

Wanted: Thomas Ince is expected to complete his return to Liverpool

Liverpool had an offer rejected for Ince last month and Appleton is confident the youngster will be in the side to face Fulham in the FA Cup on Saturday.

'We have not heard anything since an initial Liverpool approach a couple of weeks ago,' he said.

'As far as I am aware Thomas will have a day off tomorrow like everyone else and come back to prepare for the next game with us.'

Back in the day: Ince (right) played for Liverpool before leaving for Blackpool

Back in the day: Ince (right) played for Liverpool before leaving for Blackpool

Blackpool are believed to be holding out for 7million a player who left Liverpool for just 250,000 in compensation.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rogers is
planning to unveil a new attack in January with Chelsea's Daniel
Sturridge set to join in the coming days.