Craig Shakespeare Admits There Has Been Very Little Dialogue Over Leicester City Manager’s Job

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Leicester City caretaker manager Craig Shakespeare has revealed that he has only held brief talks with the club’s owners regarding the current managerial situation at the club

After Claudio Ranieri’s sacking last week, Shakespeare oversaw the Foxes’ 3-1 dismantling of Liverpool and has been asked to take charge of the game against Hull this weekend.

Shakespeare has indicated that there has been some dialogue with the owners, although he has said that he has been left to prepare the team for the potentially crucial meeting with Hull City this weekend.

He is quoted by BBC Sport as saying: “I’m there to listen to what their wishes are at the moment and I’m very comfortable with how things have gone and what they’ve told me so far,” he said.

“There hasn’t been a lot of dialogue, but I don’t expect there to be because I’m trying to prepare the team for the next match.”

Shakespeare, assistant manager at Leicester since 2011, said he has enjoyed working with the players and is learning on the job.

He said: “I enjoy more than anything the game. That’s the be all and end all. The results are the most important and obviously it was more enjoyable getting the three points on Monday night.”

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Football Headlines: All The Latest Football News And Transfer Rumors This Morning

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  • Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge could be set for a surprise summer move to AC Milan.
  • Arsenal want Juventus boss Max Allegri to take over if Arsene Wenger decides to leave at the end of the season.
  • Alexis Sanchez is set to join Juventus this summer and reject all offers of a new Arsenal contract.
  • Antonio Conte has warned Michy Batshuayi to forget about forcing his way into the Chelsea side until he proves he deserves a chance.
  • Leonardo Bonucci has revealed he will buy dinner for the entire Juventus squad following a public bust-up with boss Massimiliano Allegri.
  • Ernesto Valverde is reportedly Barcelona’s first choice to take over from Luis Enrique as manager.
  • Dele Alli is set to be one of the new faces of the FIFA video game.
  • Jose Mourinho believes Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be at Manchester United next season – and sees him as crucial to their continued revival.
  • Ronald Koeman is desperate to keep Romelu Lukaku at Everton – but admits Harry Kane is one of the few strikers he would consider swapping for him.
  • Arsenal are set to scout Roma defender Kostas Manolas and Napoli winger Lorenzo Insigne on Saturday.
  • Sergio Aguero wants clear-the-air talks with Pep Guardiola at the end of the season after admitting he is still in the dark about his Manchester City future.
  • Manchester United star David de Gea reportedly won’t join Real Madrid because he’s still angry about his collapsed transfer in 2015.
  • Mark Warburton is being lined up to take over at Nottingham Forest should the club avoid relegation from the Championship.
  • Jordan Pickford is being heavily coveted, with several Premier League sides interested in the Sunderland goalkeeper and Gareth Southgate considering handing him an England call-up this month.
  • Manchester City will ward off interest in the player they believe will be their next English superstar by handing 16-year-old Jadon Sancho a bumper pay rise and new three-year contract.
  • Wilfried Bony will lead an exodus of senior players at Stoke this summer as Mark Hughes strives to raise funds for new recruits.
  • Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is on red-alert with transfer target Antonio Rudiger keen to quit Italy for the Premier League after being racially abused for the second time this season.
  • Rangers expect to unveil Pedro Caixinha as their new manager next week, but director of football target Ross Wilson has asked for more time to consider the Ibrox club’s offer.
  • The Football Association is preparing to take the first step towards equipping grassroots referees with body cameras in an attempt to combat the abuse that is prompting a nationwide strike of more than 2,000 officials this weekend.
  • Penalty shootouts could soon resemble tennis tie-breaks under plans to change the order in which opponents take their kicks.
  • Leicester City will embark on a four-day bonding trip after Saturday’s clash with Hull City with Craig Shakespeare then expecting to hear whether he will continue as the club’s manager.
  • Jurgen Klopp is ready to spend in the summer on up to six players to strengthen the Liverpool squad.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez could be set for a return to Old Trafford as Michael Carrick hopes to reunite Manchester United’s 2008 Champions League heroes for his testimonial this summer.

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Christian Benteke ‘Will Not Dictate’ His Future At Crystal Palace – Sam Allardyce

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Christian Benteke “will not dictate” his own future amid reports he is considering leaving Crystal Palace, manager Sam Allardyce has said.

“I think Christian Benteke signed a five-year contract [four], so we’ll tell him what he’ll do,” said Allardyce.

“He’s our player and he’ll not dictate what he wants to do or doesn’t want to do, as far as I’m concerned. He accepted that contract in good faith.

“If both parties agree then that’s a different matter but for me, rumours like that at this stage of the season: I wouldn’t have thought he had said that.”

“It’s another rumour from another source which generally happens in the transfer window, not around this time. [It’s the] usual speculation to try and stir the pot, I suppose.”

Allardyce was then asked if he expected to see more from the striker, and he responded: “No. He’s scored 11 goals this season: in a struggling side that’s a pretty good return.

“He hasn’t scored recently and he was terribly frustrated last week he didn’t score towards the end when Andros could have fed him. He lives on goals; he’s a goal machine.

“We need our players to put him into good positions and give him the right type of ball so that he can score more goals.”

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Arsenal And Tottenham Considering Roberto Mancini For Managerial Job

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Roberto Mancini has reportedly emerged as a potential managerial target for London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.

Arsene Wenger and Mauricio Pochettino are currently in charge of the two North London clubs, but there is uncertainty over both of their positions ahead of next season.

While Pochettino could become a target for Barcelona, Wenger is still yet to make a decision regarding his future at the Emirates Stadium after an indifferent period in recent months.

According to GazzaMercato, Arsenal are already considering their options should Wenger leave after over two decades in charge, with it being claimed that Mancini has already been sounded out over a potential move.

Another report in Italy has suggested that Mancini will appear on Spurs’ shortlist should Barcelona come calling and prove too much of an attraction for the Argentine, who has previously coached in Spain with Espanyol.

 Roberto Mancini – who has previously won the Premier League title with Manchester City – has been out of work since losing his job at Inter Milan at the start of the season.

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Mourinho: Ibrahimovic Deserves Ballon d’Or

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Jose Mourinho believes Zlatan Ibrahimovic should win one of the prestigious individual accolade in football, the Ballon d’Or.

Ibrahimovic has been a revelation for Manchester United, scoring 26 goals in all competitions and winning the EFL Cup for United.

Mourinho believes for someone at 35 to be scoring that many goals, he deserves to win the Golden Ball.

“I think what he has done is amazing,” Mourinho told MUTV.

“The number of goals he’s scored, the two matches at Wembley, the trophies, what he is in the group, and what he means. I think he is absolutely phenomenal. No more words.

“I just gave an interview to a big French magazine with big responsibilities in these big awards, the FIFA Golden Ball and so on. I know about Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

“I know what they are and what they are doing but I can’t believe this big man, with the career he’s having, I can’t believe he’s never won it.

“So why not this season, if he can do something special? If he can win more trophies, reach Stockholm and the Europa League final. Why not this man, who is 35 years old, to get that deserved award?”

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Klopp: I’m No Clown

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Jurgen klopp has an animated nature and is always smiling, but says it doesn’t make him a clown.

Liverpool beat Arsenal 4-3 the first time they met and followed that with a 6-1 win over Watford to top the league in November.

However, their recent 3-1 loss to Leicester is part of a a run of poor results, they’ve won only two of 12 matches this year.

“Look, I am not a clown even if few people think I am,” Klopp said.

“I am not always laughing like crazy. I am a normal person. We are all influenced by our experiences. So why should I be in the same mood as at the start of the season?

“My job is to make the players feel we have a big chance of winning our next game and that’s not done by laughing the whole weekend and ignoring the problems we have.

“The first impression from this season [August’s win over Arsenal at The Emirates] was spectacular. It was a wonderful game – some people may say that game was like the whole season in one game.

“We were really happy we could beat a really strong side like Arsenal in their home ground. The last few games we played against them have all been kind of spectacular.

“The home game here last year [a 3-3 draw] was intense and spectacular – maybe the next one will be similar – but we have only to think about how we can use the experience from the last game and the Tottenham game for this game.

“That is how our work is. We cannot ignore the problems that we have but I am 100 per cent optimistic about the Arsenal game on Saturday, but I cannot say I am in the same mood as I was at the start of the season.”

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Bellew: Haye Will Gas Out

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Tony Bellew believes David Haye, who weighed in heavier than him at today’s weigh-in will gas out they face tomorrow.

The former heavyweight champion weighed 16st 9lbs ahead of the grudge match tomorrow at the O2 Arena.

Bellew came in at 15st 3lbs and 8oz, 11lbs lighter than his London rival and believes he’ll tire him out.

“Is he shrinking? He looks smaller than me today,” Bellew told Sky Sports News HQ. “He looks a lot more muscular, he looks absolutely fantastic.

“He’s sorted out his hair, physically he looks very, very good.

“I thought he would be lighter – I am over the moon about his weight. He’s going to gas and believe me he will.”

Bellew could have been even bigger but remains confident of victory.

“I could’ve been different if I wanted to, but I wanted to chill out this morning and lose a couple of pounds,” he added.

“I wanted to look good but I am never going to look like him. He looks like an Adonis, he really does.

“He is a fantastic athlete and great aesthetically. But I am going to knock 10 bells out of him tomorrow night, I really will.”

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Bellew: Haye Will Gas Out

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Tony Bellew believes David Haye, who weighed in heavier than him at today’s weigh-in will gas out they face tomorrow.

The former heavyweight champion weighed 16st 9lbs ahead of the grudge match tomorrow at the O2 Arena.

Bellew came in at 15st 3lbs and 8oz, 11lbs lighter than his London rival and believes he’ll tire him out.

“Is he shrinking? He looks smaller than me today,” Bellew told Sky Sports News HQ. “He looks a lot more muscular, he looks absolutely fantastic.

“He’s sorted out his hair, physically he looks very, very good.

“I thought he would be lighter – I am over the moon about his weight. He’s going to gas and believe me he will.”

Bellew could have been even bigger but remains confident of victory.

“I could’ve been different if I wanted to, but I wanted to chill out this morning and lose a couple of pounds,” he added.

“I wanted to look good but I am never going to look like him. He looks like an Adonis, he really does.

“He is a fantastic athlete and great aesthetically. But I am going to knock 10 bells out of him tomorrow night, I really will.”

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Bellew: Haye Will Gas Out

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Tony Bellew believes David Haye, who weighed in heavier than him at today’s weigh-in will gas out they face tomorrow.

The former heavyweight champion weighed 16st 9lbs ahead of the grudge match tomorrow at the O2 Arena.

Bellew came in at 15st 3lbs and 8oz, 11lbs lighter than his London rival and believes he’ll tire him out.

“Is he shrinking? He looks smaller than me today,” Bellew told Sky Sports News HQ. “He looks a lot more muscular, he looks absolutely fantastic.

“He’s sorted out his hair, physically he looks very, very good.

“I thought he would be lighter – I am over the moon about his weight. He’s going to gas and believe me he will.”

Bellew could have been even bigger but remains confident of victory.

“I could’ve been different if I wanted to, but I wanted to chill out this morning and lose a couple of pounds,” he added.

“I wanted to look good but I am never going to look like him. He looks like an Adonis, he really does.

“He is a fantastic athlete and great aesthetically. But I am going to knock 10 bells out of him tomorrow night, I really will.”

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Haye Weighs In Heavier Than Bellew

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The weigh in of Haye and Bellew today has the londoner weighing in almost a weight heavier than his Liverpool opponent.

This is the last time the two will come face-to-face , before doing so in the ring at the O2 Arena and going at each other.

This is the first time Bellew is fighting as heavyweight, stepping up from cruiserweight and weighing in at 15st 3lbs 8oz.

“I thought he’d be lighter, I’m over the moon about his weight. He’s going to gas,” said Bellew. “I’m never going to look like that, he looks like an Adonis.

“I could have been heavier if I wanted to.

“He’ll get hit back, for the first time in six years, and he won’t be happy.”

Haye, a natural heavyweight, weighed in at 16st 9oz and is looking to deliver the punch power of a naturally bigger man.

“He’ll find out what it’s like to be hit by a heavyweight, it’s a whole different sport,” said Haye. “He’s unprepared, and he doesn’t know it.

“He’s eaten a bunch of pies to get up to heavyweight.

“I’m a whole size bigger than him. 16st ripped, with nine per cent body fat.”

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Football Headlines: All The Latest Football News And Transfer Rumors This Evening

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LONDON EVENING STANDARD

  • Tottenham are one of a number of English clubs following the progress of Portuguese midfielder Joao Carvalho, who belongs to Benfica.
  • Antonio Conte insists he wants to manage Chelsea for several years and confirmed plans to bring his family to London next season.
  • Mesut Ozil today revealed he had wanted to stay at Real Madrid prior to joining Arsenal but Arsene Wenger persuaded him to move.
  • Frank Lampard insists John Terry will not tarnish his legacy at Chelsea if he plays for another Premier League side, as long as it’s not Tottenham.
  • Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic will ask the club’s board not to cash in on their best players if they fail to win promotion.

MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS

  • Sergio Aguero’s “best-ever” performance against Huddersfield has convinced Pep Guardiola that the Argentine must stay at Manchester City.

LIVERPOOL ECHO

BIRMINGHAM MAIL

  • Steve Bruce has revealed how he abandoned a planned sabbatical to join Aston Villa.

EXPRESS & STAR

  • Tony Pulis has refused to respond to the claim that he has failed to repay a penny of the £3.7m he owes Crystal Palace.
    Super-Agent Jorge Mendes made a cool £1.3m from the deal that brought winger Helder Costa to Wolves, Benfica have revealed.

THE SENTINEL

  • Stoke boss Mark Hughes has given newcomer Saido Berahino a huge vote of confidence by revealing the £12m striker is even better than he first thought.

THE DAILY ECHO

  • Claude Puel insists he is not under pressure to play Martin Caceres, despite Saints forking out to bring him in for the rest of the season.
  • The frontrunner for Rangers’ director of football role, Saints’ head of scouting and recruitment Ross Wilson will make Ibrox chiefs wait a little longer for his answer.

LANCASHIRE TELEGRAPH

  • David Raya says he wants to repay the faith Blackburn Rovers have shown in him after signing a new contract extension.
  • Tony Mowbray admits he has been ‘hugely impressed’ by all aspects of Blackburn Rovers since taking on the job just over a week ago.

LEICESTER MERCURY

  • Leicester City midfielder Matty James has leaped to the defence of his club-mates after the sacking of Claudio Ranieri.

SOUTH WALES EVENING POST

  • Paul Clement has given Lukasz Fabianski his full backing ahead of the crucial clash with Burnley, and told the Swansea goalkeeper not to dwell on his mistake at Chelsea.

FULHAM CHRONICLE

  • Jamie Mackie wants to be at QPR for the rest of his career but knows an injury now could end that ambition.

DERBY TELEGRAPH

  • Derby County’s players need to take more responsibility during matches, admits goalkeeper Scott Carson.

NOTTINGHAM POST

  • Boss Gary Brazil says a decision over midfielder Jorge Grant’s Nottingham Forest future has yet to be made.

BOLTON NEWS

  • Barnsley could provide a short-term blueprint for how Bolton operate in the next few years, according to chairman Ken Anderson.

BOURNEMOUTH ECHO

  • Bournemouth’s Joshua King acknowledges Manchester United gave him an excellent grounding – but insists he has no affinity to the club.

EVENING TIMES

  • Rangers remain hopeful of having a new management team of Ross Wilson and Pedro Caixinha in place as early as next week, Sport Times understands.

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Gotze Will Return And Be A Key Part Of The Team , Says Tuchel

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Mario Gotze has been ruled out of football for an indefinite amount of time, but Thomas Tuchel is optimistic he’ll return to form an integral part of the team.

The Germany international has missed the last six matches at Dortmund and has been ruled out indefinitely with metabolic disorders which is said to be behind his recent injury problems.

Tuchel believes it is important he stays away from first team duties, but has backed him to return to the team.

“We need peace, calm and tranquillity for Mario,” he told a news conference.

“He needs rest, understanding and support – all of which he will get here.

“It takes time for the best treatment. Then he will be an important part of the team again.”

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Andreas Christensen To Join Chelsea’s First Team Next Season

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Antonio Conte is reportedly keen to have talented youngster Andreas Christensen back in the club’s first-team when his loan with Borussia Monchengladbach comes to an end after this season.

Andreas Christensen has impressed in a two-year spell in the Bundesliga, and has been linked with a number of top clubs after establishing himself as one of Europe’s top young defenders.

However, Chelsea look ready to give him the first-team football he deserves with a key role in Conte’s squad when he returns for next season

Chelsea have gained a reputation over the years for neglecting their young players and only using the loan market as a means through which to sell them for a profit, but that culture seems to be changing under Conte.

Victor Moses and Nathaniel Chalobah are among two regularly loaned out players who have been given chances in the Blues’ first-team this term, and Christensen looks another talent capable of breaking through.

Tammy Abraham, the 19-year-old striker on loan at Bristol City, is also believed to be in Conte’s thinking for next season.

Source

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Antonio Conte Denies Wanting To Quit Chelsea But Admits He Has Just One Problem

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has admitted his family are finding it difficult to cope without him but has no plans to quit London and return to Italy.

Earlier this week, reports in Italy claimed that the 47-year-old is homesick and is looking to leave Stamford Bridge after just one season to join Inter Milan

Turin-based newspaper Tuttosport claimed that Conte had agreed to a £51 million contract offer from Inter.

‘My situation is very clear, I have a contract with Chelsea, you are trying to build something important with the club, for the present, for the future, I think the situation is very clear,’ he said.

When asked specifically if he had received any offer from Inter, Conte replied: ‘Me personally? No.

‘I repeat, the only problem for me is this season is the family is missing me, for sure.

‘My family stay in Italy, I am working for the future to try to bring them here, and to try to stay together.

‘The family is missing me, this is the truth.’

Conte’s wife Elisabetta and their daughter Vittoria originally intended to move to London in January but this has been delayed until the summer.

The change of plan served to fuel the rumours in Italy but the former Juventus and Italy manager said on Friday he wished to stay at Stamford Bridge for many years.

‘If you ask my opinion,’ said Conte. ‘I hope to stay and work a lot for this club, to win a lot with this club. 

‘Every coach, when you start working at a new club, you hope to stay many, many years because it means you are working very well.

‘You have the possibility to improve your players, to improve your team, and to grow together. I think this season we are doing this.

‘We are putting great foundations down for the present and, above all, for the future.

‘So it is normal for every coach to hope to stay many years in a club, and to work to improve your players and reach great results; and to win.

‘But you know, especially with memories fresh from Claudio Ranieri, you have to be ready for anything.’

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Luis Enrique Feeling Relieved After Announcing His Barcelona Depature

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Barcelona head coach Luis Enrique has been speaking to the media and reflecting on his decision to leave in the summer…

Luis Enrique says he is relieved that it’s now public knowledge he will leave Barcelona when his contract expires in June.

Luis Enrique made the announcement after Wednesday’s 6-1 win over Sporting Gijon, which took the Blaugrana to the top of La Liga, to end months of speculation over his future.

“Nothing has changed in the last few days,” he said in a news conference on Friday, when asked if his announcement had liberated him. “I am a little bit relieved, perhaps.

“We can now focus our attention on the rest of the season and what we’re trying to achieve.”

“The Barca job is so hard, you have to take decisions all the time and I find it hard to disconnect, to switch off.

“I need to disconnect now. There are some coaches that spend a lot of time in their jobs and enjoy it but that’s not my case.

“I’m not leaving because I’m going to do damage to myself or the team, it’s a personal decision.

“I have a perfect relationship with the dressing room. My relationship with the dressing room now is even better than it was.”

“I don’t know what will happen in the future,” he replied when asked if he will take a one-year sabbatical and if he could one day seem himself working in the Premier League.

“What I know is that my wife won’t put up with me in the house for one, two or three years, regardless of the weather [in England]!”

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Conte: Hazard Could Miss West Ham Game

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Antonio Conte has ruled out Eden Hazard from the squad to face West Ham, after he was kicked in training.

Hazard has started all of Chelsea’s league matches this season, except one and is the only injury worry for Chelsea.

However, Conte does not remember which of the players inflicted the injury on the Belgium captain.

“There are no important injuries – apart from a little problem for Eden Hazard. He got kicked,” Conte said at a news conference at Cobham Training Ground. “But it’s nothing serious. The rest of the team are in good fitness and working very well.

“The kick was in training on Wednesday. I don’t remember who kicked him, but it’s nothing at all serious.”

David Luiz has been playing through a knee injury since a rash challenge from Sergio Aguero in December but is still seeking full fitness.

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Tianjin Quanjian Manager Fabio Cannavaro Admits He Turned Down The Chance To Sign Marouane Fellaini

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Tianjin Quanjian manager Fabio Cannavaro has said he turned the opportunity to sign Marouane Fellaini from Manchester United during the Chinese Super League’s transfer window last month.

Cannavaro led Tianjin Quanjian into the top flight of Chinese football at the end of last season and who will kick off their first season in the CSL on Saturday against Guangzhou R&F

“There are a lot of good Belgian players in the national team who might be interested in playing in China,” the Italian World Cup winner said. “I’m looking for someone around 28, 29 years old. The regulations of the Chinese league have changed and although Fellaini was offered to us by his agent, I told them I was looking for other types.

“We had been talking to Dries Mertens. But when we are still in discussion, he suddenly starting scoring for Napoli, but there was no outcome to our discussions.”

Cannavaro also claimed he would like to take Everton striker Romelu Lukaku to the Chinese Super League, even though he realised the likelihood of the former Chelsea man joining Tianjin was slim.

“We may talk to Everton about Romelu Lukaku but I doubt if they will let him go,” he said. “He has had some great achievements despite being only 23.

“He is young I know, but that wouldn’t be an issue for him to come here. Actually he might be perfect for China’s league. Look at Oscar, he transferred to Shanghai SIPG at 25. Football is everywhere.”

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Leicester City Consider Bid For Turkish Defender Caglar Soyuncu

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Freiburg defender Caglar Soyuncu has emerged as a possible transfer target for Leicester City according to recent reports

The 20-year-old has established himself as a first-team regular with the Bundesliga side this season, with the Turkish international making 19 starts in Germany’s top flight.

However, according to reports in his homeland, Caglar Soyuncu is being watched by teams in the Premier League, with it being suggested that Leicester are considering a move for him during the summer.

He has previously been linked with both Manchester United and Manchester City, but neither club are yet to back up their alleged interest.

Soyuncu has made two senior appearances for his country, with both games coming in 2016.

Caglar Soyuncu has started all but three Bundesliga matches for Freiburg this season and is ranked in the top five in the division for clearances and blocks.

But while Freiburg are comfortably mid-table in ninth place, they do boast the worst defence of sides outside the bottom four.

Soyuncu joined Freiburg from Turkish side Altinordu last summer and his former club are believed to be in line for a sell-on fee.

Altinordu president Seyit Mehmet Ozkan said: “Altinordu stands to make 30 per cent of his transfer fee if he is sold on from Freiburg.

“We know there are several clubs interested in him and that he is now worth 25million euros,” Ozkan was quoted on Turkish-Football.

But it according to the player’s manager at Freiburg, Jochen Saier, the player is not for sale.

“There is no price tag for Soyuncu – this summer he is not for sale,” said Saier.

Soyuncu appeared to agree, adding: “I do not think of a change in the summer,” although he has gone on record as admitting he would like to play under Jose Mourinho in the future.

“I admire Jose Mourinho, not just his football but his philosophy,” Soyuncu told Turkish-Football.

“I would like to work with him in the future.”

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Wilfried Bony Admits He Turned Down China Offers To Remain In England

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Wilfried Bony has claimed that he is in a “crazy” situation at Stoke City after going over two months without a first-team appearance.

Wilfried Bony signed a season-long loan deal at Stoke after being allowed to leave Manchester City, but he has failed to feature in any competition since December 27 after contributing two goals in 11 games.

Bony has revealed that he had the opportunity to move to China in January – with a clause in his contract allowing him to make the lucrative switch to Asia – but he has said that he remains intent on recapturing his form in the Premier League.

The 28-year-old told BBC’s World Football Programme: “When you hear everything is fine and you don’t play, it’s crazy. It is more than difficult.

“This is something that I want to know why, the coach told me I’m training very well and my attitude is very good. It doesn’t make sense. It’s painful.

 “My agent told me there was an offer but I refused to go because my plan is to stay in the UK to show more – to show that I’m not at the end.”

Bony has played just six minutes in England’s top flight since November 19.

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Brendan Rodgers Insists Liverpool Must Continue To Trust Jurgen Klopp

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Former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has said that Liverpool must continue to “trust” Jurgen Klopp during the difficult periods at the club.

Since 2017, Liverpool have fallen outside of the top four in the Premier League and suffered exits in both the FA Cup and EFL Cup, and their form has led to criticism from some of their supporters.

However, Rodgers – who managed the Merseyside giants between 2012 and 2015 – has called on his former side to keep faith with the German, who he believes is relishing the challenge at Anfield.

The Celtic boss told talkSPORT: “If you put a manager in place, you have to trust him. The narrative can’t change every single day. You can’t be a good manager on the Monday and then a very poor manager on Tuesday.

“You have to trust there is going to be difficult periods and, with all due respect, Liverpool probably have the fifth highest budget in the Premier League.

 “Expectation is huge of course because of the great history but Jurgen, like I, will be absolutely loving the job because it is a real challenge to meet that expectation but a challenge that is so worth it because it is such a great club.”

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Burnley Manager Sean Dyche Talks Up Joey Barton Ahead Of Midfielder’s Possible Last Burnley Game

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Joey Barton might play his final game for Burnley against Swansea this Saturday.

Having returned to Turf Moor in January, Barton faces an FA hearing into betting offences next week that could lead to a lengthy ban.

“I don’t think Joey Barton had to prove his worth, he had nothing to prove to me,” said Burnley boss Sean Dyche.

“He might have had something to prove to himself and that is that he can still do it, but h e had nothing to prove to me. I’ve seen what he can and what he’s about. I make it clear, under my world at Burnley he’s been top drawer.

“I can’t talk about other people and other clubs he’s dealt with but around here he’s been absolutely top drawer.

“As a man, as a player, around the group and his performance, he’s been top drawer.”

Dyche is phlegmatic about the prospect of Barton being banned, a possibility the club made contractual provisions for and one the manager has not investigated too deeply.

“It was something to do with himself and the FA, so we’ll have to wait and see what happens with that,” 

“That’s for him and his team to take on with the FA and see how it comes out. I don’t fear anything, because I don’t know what’s going to happen.”

“As much as we get on really well I don’t sit him down and go ‘what do you want to do? He’s his own man. He’ll make his own way.”

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Juventus Reportedly Make €30 Million Bid For Alexis Sanchez

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Juventus have apparently made a €30m offer for Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez.

Alexis Sanchez future appears unclear, with his current deal set to expire in 2018 and reports that talks over an extension have stalled.

Corriere dello Sport claim Juve have made an initial move and Paris St-Germain are also interested.

The headline of Friday’s newspaper reads: ‘Here is Alexis Sanchez – Juve, another champion!’

It might seem like a small fee for one of the Premier League’s best players, but Sanchez’s rapidly expiring contract means Arsenal are not able to extract full value for one of their prize assets.

Arsenal have offered Sanchez a contract worth around £180,000-a-week, a £50,000 per week increase.

But the former Barcelona man is not willing to accept less than £250,000-a-week.

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Middlesbrough Manager Aitor Karanka Not Concerned About Losing His Job

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Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka says he is not worried about the possibility of losing his job.

Boro are winless in the Premier League in nine matches and are only out of the bottom three on goal difference.

But Aitor Karanka said: “”I don’t fear for my job. We have to trust each other, and the club trust me in my job. They know how I have been working since I arrived here. Every day I’m enjoying the challenge.

“The only thing I can control is my work. I can’t control the chairman’s decision. I am trying to do my best. Things out of my control, I don’t care about. We all knew at the start of the season we’d be in this situation.

“I prefer to think positive. We have not been in the bottom three since the start of the season, so we do not mention relegation. We do not think about relegation. I prefer to think positive. We will be fighting until the end.”

“But the reality is that we have 22, so three points against Stoke would be really important for us.

“I am used to living with the pressure. When you are doing your best, you just have to trust your job.”

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Bayer Leverkusen Star Julian Brandt Discusses His Future Amid Interest From Liverpool

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Reported Liverpool target Julian Brandt says he is happy at Bayer Leverkusen, but has not ruled out a summer move.

The Liverpool Echo say the 20-year-old has been “scouted regularly” by the Reds this season.

And, speaking to Deutsche Welle, he suggested he could be open to leaving the Bundesliga in the near future.

“You can take the step (abroad), but I don’t think you have to,” said Brandt. “Those that back themselves to do it have nothing in their way. 

“I don’t think it’s a bad thing to try and find your feet abroad. Julian (Draxler) and Leroy (Sane) are the best examples of that right now. They are both young players and have huge futures ahead of them.

“I’m happy here and what happens next, we will see.”

The midfielder admits he has thought above a big-money move elsewhere but is determined to keep performing well for Leverkusen.

‘I think the allure of being world famous is normal. It would be a lie to say it wasn’t alluring, but where and when you never know,’ he said.

‘Football moves so quickly, and as quickly as things develop positively, they can also go south and see you slip into a place where you’re forgotten.’ 

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Michael Carrick To Consider Retirement If He Isn’t Offered New Manchester United Contract

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Michael Carrick says he will strongly consider retiring if his Manchester United contract is not extended this summer.

The 35-year-old has been granted a testimonial by the club and says he doesn’t “think there’s many places I’d want to play, if any, after this”.

The midfielder’s contract expires in the summer and, while remains a key contributor at United, Carrick says there have been no talks yet about a new deal.

Asked if he had discussed the matter with United boss Jose Mourinho, Carrick said: “I haven’t really had that much of a conversation with him at the moment.

“Obviously that will happen. It’s going to happen at some stage, pretty soon I’d have thought. That’s something I’m really relaxed about. I’m sure he is as well.”

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