Andy Carroll’s Chelsea move in doubt due to injury

Andy Carroll‘s hopes of securing a move from West Ham to Chelsea in January appear to be over. The Telegraph is reporting that Carroll, 29, has suffered an ankle injury which will keep him out for at least a month but possibly as long as four months if he needs surgery. This comes after he has missed West Ham’s FA Cup win against Shrewsbury on Tuesday as he didn’t participate in training.
Yahoo - 18.01.2018 19:13

No release clause in Neymar's Paris Saint-Germain deal

Lawyer Marcos Motta, who handled the contracts for Neymar's world-record move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain, has denied that the Brazil star's PSG deal contains a minimum fee release clause. Neymar has been linked with Real Madrid since leaving the Camp Nou, with former Madrid president Ramon Calderon telling Le Parisien that "if there is no minimum fee release clause in Neymar's contract, PSG will not negotiate with Real." But asked about Neymar's contract, Motta rejected Calderon's indication that a minimum fee release clause could exist. He told Radio Globo: "In Neymar's contract, I can assure you that there is no minimum fee release clause -- only goals scored and top goal scorer."
Yahoo - 18.01.2018 14:29

Arsenal's Aubameyang comments labelled 'disrespectful' by Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc has hit out at Arsene Wenger following the Arsenal manager's statement about the possibility of signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Speaking in London earlier on Thursday, Wenger addressed persistent rumours that Dortmund striker Aubameyang could join Arsenal in the January transfer window. Wenger told reporters the Gabon international would work out well in London, a remark that has not been well received in Germany. "We think it's disrespectful to comment on other clubs' players," Zorc said, adding that Wenger should better worry about his players' recent performances. When asked whether Aubameyang would fit at Arsenal, Wenger said: "Yes, because
Yahoo - 18.01.2018 12:57

Will Cristiano Ronaldo leave Real Madrid? Which club could he join?

The ESPN FC panel share their thoughts on the reports from Spain stating that Cristiano Ronaldo wants out of Madrid. The FC crew cast doubt on Cristiano Ronaldo returning to Manchester United, despite his recent dip in form and reports of tension at Real Madrid. Zinedine Zidane backs Cristiano Ronaldo to avoid his first three-match goalless drought for Real Madrid since April 2017 with a goal against Villarreal. With speculation once again rife that Cristiano Ronaldo is seeking an exit from Real Madrid, we asked writers from around the world for their thoughts on what lies ahead for the Ballon d'Or holder. What is Madrid's attitude toward him with regard to the future? There is increasing consensus around Real Madrid that, if Ronaldo really wants to leave, then he can go this summer. Crazy as it seems from outside, the Bernabeu has never really taken him to its heart, despite 422 goals in 418 games and...
ESPN - 18.01.2018 12:16

Theo Walcott had his moments but never had a chance to live up to the hype at Arsenal

Arsenal's Arsene Wenger paid an emotional tribute to Theo Walcott after his Everton switch. With Theo Walcott looking set to join Everton, the FC crew examine whether a change of scenery can help the out-of-favour Arsenal forward reach new heights. Theo Walcott was doomed from the start. It seems a strange thing to say about a player who has just left Arsenal after a 12-year career which saw him score over 100 goals, but the conclusion is inescapable. Burdened with expectations which should never have been placed on a game but average player, he was always going to disappoint. His attitude was always positive, you sensed he had an understanding what it meant to play for Arsenal, and an inkling of what it meant to play in front of those fans....
ESPN - 18.01.2018 11:52

Sanchez signing can boost Man United and offer him a platform for success

Mark Ogden and Rob Dawson reveal when we can expect to see Alexis Sanchez in a Manchester United shirt for the first time. Rob Dawson joins Mark Ogden to explain why Jose Mourinho is likely to sign an extended deal with Manchester United. Ex-Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke has leapt to the defence of Romelu Lukaku, who has received criticism from some quarters for his performances during his debut season at Old Trafford. Mark Ogden and Rob Dawson explain why Cristiano Ronaldo is unlikely to swap Real Madrid for Manchester United. In the most optimistic minds at Old Trafford, Alexis Sanchez will play for Manchester United at Burnley on Saturday. To do so, he'd have to be complete his transfer from Arsenal by noon in the UK on Friday -- and the club's fax machine would have to be in working order. Fans appear almost unanimous that this would be a positive signing. Sanchez is fast, strong, versatile and will boost a squad with some deficiencies...
ESPN - 18.01.2018 09:05

Stoke City complete signing of Augsburg defender Kostas Stafylidis

Kostas Stafylidis has joined Stoke for the rest of the season. Stoke City have signed Greece left-back Kostas Stafylidis on loan from Augsburg for the rest of the season. Stafylidis, 24, becomes the second new addition to Stoke's squad of this window -- right-back Moritz Bauer has already joined on a permanent deal from Rubin Kazan -- and the first since Paul Lambert's appointment as manager on Monday. Stoke chief executive Tony Scholes told the club's official website: "Having played in Germany himself, Paul Lambert is a keen observer of the Bundesliga and...
ESPN - 18.01.2018 06:46

Newcastle the perfect match for Manchester City after Liverpool loss

Pep Guardiola says Manchester City's loss to Liverpool is more proof the title race has yet to be decided in the Premier League. Pep Guardiola says Manchester City's loss to Liverpool is more proof the title race has yet to be decided in the Premier League. "To lose is never good news, but all the teams lose games. Why can we not lose games? It is important not to lose again. The most important is the next one, Newcastle is so, so important." That was Pep Guardiola's reaction after Manchester City's 4-3 defeat to Liverpool -- their first significant blip of the season. Just over 24 hours later second-placed Manchester United won at home to Stoke City to reduce City's lead to 12 points at the top of the Premier League and it had Paul Pogba and Juan...
ESPN - 18.01.2018 06:45

Manchester City tipped to bounce back, Sergio Aguero to find form

Craig Burley examines Manchester City's back line after their loss to Liverpool and weighs in on whether additions are needed in January. Get caught up on all the action you might have missed from the weekend in soccer. Craig Burley examines Manchester City's back line after their loss to Liverpool and weighs in on whether additions are needed in January. We are all set for another big weekend of Premier League action and it will be interesting to see how Manchester City respond after suffering their first league defeat last Sunday. The Home Banker Manchester City finally lost a Premier League match last weekend after ending up on the wrong end of a seven goal thriller against Liverpool at Anfield. However, normal service should be resumed against a Newcastle side who are struggling at the wrong end of the table. A mooted takeover deal has recently...
ESPN - 18.01.2018 06:32

OFFICIAL: Gerard Pique extends Barcelona contract until 2022

Barcelona have confirmed that Gerard Pique has agreed an contract extension that will keep him at Camp Nou until 2022. The defender also has a brand new release clause in his new deal that is set at a massive €500 million. Pique joined Barca as a 10-year-old and will be 34 by the time his contract expires in June 2022. It’s been a pretty busy January for Barcelona so far with Philippe Coutinho and Yerry Mina arriving and Arda Turan departing. Pique’s renewal is also expected to be the first of a few, with Sergi Roberto and Samuel Umtiti believed to be next in line for new and improved contracts.
Yahoo - 18.01.2018 06:00

Liverpool Reportedly Reject Sevilla Bid For Sturridge

According to the Daily Mail, Liverpool have rejected a loan deal from La Liga side Sevilla for Daniel Sturridge. The report states that Sevilla were willing to pay all of Sturridge’s sizeable £150,000 per week wage bill, but were unwilling to match the £20-30 million rumored fee that would be required to bring him in on a permanent deal. Unless Sevilla can pony up the extra dough, Inter Milan appears to be the most likely destination for Sturridge. If true, this highlights a conundrum that many teams face in bringing in the 28-year-old striker. First of all, such a large wage bill puts Sturridge’s services out of reach for all but the biggest clubs. Secondly, many of those big clubs are understandably
Yahoo - 18.01.2018 06:00

No release clause in Neymar's Paris Saint-Germain deal - lawyer

Despite a four-goal performance, Craig Burley says Neymar is asking for trouble with his goal celebrations and drawing the ire from his own supporters. Neymar netted his first hat trick for Paris Saint-Germain in style and then added a penalty for good measure. Lawyer Marcos Motta, who handled the contracts for Neymar's world-record move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain, has denied that the Brazil star's PSG deal contains a minimum fee release clause. Neymar has been linked with Real Madrid since leaving the Camp Nou, with former Madrid president Ramon Calderon telling Le Parisien that "if there is no minimum fee release clause in Neymar's contract, PSG will not negotiate with Real." But asked about Neymar's contract, Motta rejected Calderon's indication...
ESPN - 18.01.2018 05:29


Wawrinka's Australian Open A Win Despite His Loss

Stan Wawrinka arrived in Australia unsure that he would actually be able to play in the Australian Open. So while the 2014 champion fell in the second round to Tennys Sandgren in the first Grand Slam championship of the season, the trip was not all a loss. “I think the past 12 days was more than what I could have dreamt coming here. I really came without thinking I will be able to play the first match,” Wawrinka said. “That's a big step for me.” Just more than five months ago, Wawrinka had two surgeries to repair a knee cartilage injury, the first of the arthroscopic variety to look at the issue, and the next to reconstruct the cartilage. The former World No. 3 was on crutches for eight weeks. “I think I'm way ahead of what I should be, that's for sure. That's why I need to be positive,” Wawrinka said. “I'm sure if I look really what happened the past 12 days, I can build a lot of confidence for the next few months because every day I was impro...
ATP - 18.01.2018 15:06

Del Potro Grits His Teeth, Sets Up Berdych Clash

Juan Martin del Potro grit his teeth Thursday and got the job done. In searing heat, and battling an apparent injury, the popular Argentine booked his place in the Australian Open third round. As Karen Khachanov took the third-set tie-break without losing a point, Del Potro appeared to fatigued. Summoning inner reserves, built up during the off-season, the 12th seed dug deep to record a 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-7(0), 6-4 victory in three hours and 45 minutes on Hisense Arena. Afterwards, on-court, the 2009 and 2012 quarter-finalist admitted, “I didn’t expect to play this kind of match, I prefer to watch on TV. I‘m so happy to be playing in Melbourne after many years. I had pain everywhere, but I‘m still standing up.” Del Potro, who is competing at the Australian Open for the first time since 2014, will now prepare to face 2014-15 semi-finalist Tomas Berdych, the Czech No. 19 seed, who notched a 6-3, 2-6, 6-2, 6-3 win over Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. Del Potro ...
ATP - 18.01.2018 10:53

Evergreen Benneteau Knocks Out Goffin In Melbourne

Allez, Bennet! As last hurrahs go, former World No. 25 Julien Benneteau is enjoying an Indian summer. The 36-year-old caused the biggest upset so far at the Australian Open on Thursday evening, when he held his nerve – in his final season as a pro – to beat seventh-seeded Belgian David Goffin 1-6, 7-6(5), 6-1, 7-6(4). Having fallen to No. 696 in the ATP Rankings two years ago, primarily due to abductor surgery, the Frenchman could have easily called it quits. But the sentimental favourite, with an 0-10 record in ATP World Tour finals, returned and worked his way back. Competing in intense heat, wild card Benneteau, who received on-court treatment, first served for the match at 5-4 in the fourth set. But he fell to 0/40 – courtesy of two double faults and a backhand winner from Goffin. Then, a forehand error from Benneteau ensured Goffin a route back into the match. Goffin, at 4/2 in the tie-break, looked poised to capitalise on Benneteau’s wobble to take the pair’s fourth mee...
ATP - 18.01.2018 09:23

Thiem Had Done This Only Once Before

Dominic Thiem didn't have a lot of memories to rely on when he fell behind two sets to love against Denis Kudla of the U.S. on Thursday at the Australian Open. The fifth-seeded Austrian had come back from the deficit only one other time in his career (2014 US Open, d. Gulbis). Make that two times. Thiem advanced to the third round in Melbourne for the third consecutive year, hitting 57 winners and persevering 6-7(6), 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3. “I'm of course more than happy to be in the third round again,” Thiem said on court after the three-hour and 48-minute contest. Thiem, who's reached back-to-back semi-finals at Roland Garros, now sits a round away from matching his best showing in Melbourne, a fourth-round run in 2017 (l. to Goffin). The World No. 5 will next face Czech Jiri Vesely or Frenchman Adrian Mannarino. [ALSO LIKE] For more than an hour, though, it looked as if the 25-year-old Kudla, No. 180 in the ATP Rankings, would be the latest upset story in Melbourne. The rig...
ATP - 18.01.2018 05:30

Top Seeds Make Quick Work In Melbourne

Top seeds Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo advanced their hopes of winning a second Grand Slam title together on Thursday at the Australian Open. The 2017 Wimbledon champions spent only 51 minutes on court during a 6-2, 6-2 win against Italy's Paolo Lorenzi and Mischa Zverev of Germany. Kubot/Melo, who won the Sydney International doubles title last week, their seventh team crown in the past 11 months, captured 82 per cent of their first-serve points and hit 20 more winners than Lorenzi/Zverev (29-9). The top seeds will next meet Russians Mikhail Elgin and Andrey Rublev or Aussie wild cards Max Purcell and Luke Saville. [ALSO LIKE] Third seeds Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau also were on and off the court in less than 90 minutes, defeating Argentines Guillermo Duran/Andres Molteni 6-4, 6-3. Rojer/Tecau, who won four titles last year, including the US Open, will next play Denis Istomin/Mikhail Kukushkin or Aussie wild cards Sam Groth/Lleyton Hewitt. Scott Lipsky of the U.S. and Spaniar...
ATP - 18.01.2018 04:11

Dr. Ivo Becomes Oldest Player In Third Round For 40 Years

Ivo Karlovic fired down aces – as only he can – on Wednesday to become the oldest player to reach the Australian Open third round in 40 years. Karlovic, who turns 39 next month, came through the longest match of the tournament so far with 53 aces in a 7-6(3), 6-7(3), 7-5, 4-6, 12-10 victory over Japan’s Yuichi Sugita in four hours and 33 minutes. “I‘m happy, but also very tired,” said 6’11” Karlovic, who towered over 5’9” Sugita. “I was already feeling it at the beginning of the third set, but I just focused on my serve.” The Croatian, who will now take on Italian Andreas Seppi, will be the oldest player to compete in the third round since Australian great Ken Rosewall, aged 44, in 1978, when the draw was 64 players. Karlovic is the oldest player in the Australian Open third round since the advent of a 128-player draw in 1982. Karlovic saved four break points in the second game of the deciding set, then broke in th...
ATP - 17.01.2018 14:43

Live: Dimitrov vs. McDonald

Grigor Dimitrov is locked in a fifth-set battle with qualifier Mackenzie McDonald on Wednesday night at the Australian Open. Dimitrov is level at 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 0-6 in the second-round match on Rod Laver Arena. McDonald was quick off the mark in set one, converting what would be his only break point in the third game. Losing just three points behind his first serve and playing without fear, the young American saved two break points in the eighth game before converting his third set point to lead the 2017 semi-finalist. Order was soon to be restored in the second set however, as Dimitrov limited his opponent to just two winners, six times less than he had conceded in the opening set. The reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion broke in consecutive McDonald service games to close out the set and even the scoreboard. The third set would once again see 22-year-old McDonald take an early lead. Dimitrov saved two break points with phenomenal defensive and attacking forehands at 2-2, but could not...
ATP - 17.01.2018 13:16

Cilic Scary Dominant On Serve

Rare is the Grand Slam tournament in which Marin Cilic grabs the headlines and is the talk of the preamble. The Big Four and Stan Wawrinka do that too well most of the time. But equally as rare is the Grand Slam where Cilic is not a quiet contender who plays his way into title-contention form by the second week. The Croatian looks like he's on his way to such status again at the 2018 Australian Open. [ALSO LIKE] The sixth seed dismissed Portugal's Joao Sousa in straight sets on Wednesday 6-1, 7-5, 6-2 to advance to the third round in Melbourne for the seventh time. The 6'6” right-hander, who reached his second Grand Slam final last year at Wimbledon (also 2014 US Open), thoroughly controlled the match with his biggest weapon, his serve. Cilic dropped only five service points (56/61), including a ridiculous 18/20 on his second serve. Sousa never saw a break point. Cilic will next face American Ryan Harrison, who beat 31st seed Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay 6-4, 7-6(5), 6-4. Harrison hit...
ATP - 17.01.2018 07:17

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beats Denis Shapovalov in five sets

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Denis Shapovalov in a five-set thriller to seal his spot in the third round of the Australian Open. Shapovalov had beaten Tsonga at the US Open back in August.
Daily Mail - 17.01.2018 06:47

Carreno Busta Moves On In Melbourne

Pablo Carreno Busta became the first player to advance to the third round at the 2018 Australian Open when Tata Open Maharashtra champion Gilles Simon retired while trailing 2-6, 0-3. Carreno Busta reaches his fifth consecutive Grand Slam third round, after reaching the quarter-finals and semi-finals at Roland Garros and the US Open, respectively last year. Simon led 2-1 in the first set and held a total of four break points in Carreno Busta’s first two service games, but the No. 10 seed won the next eight games before Simon retired. The pair entered their second-round encounter with an even 2-2 FedEx ATP Head2Head series record, with Simon winning their only previous match on hard court in straight sets (2016 Shanghai). The Frenchman entered the season's first major with momentum after earning his first ATP World Tour title since the 2015 Open 13 Marseille (d. Monfils). In Pune, Simon beat three Top 20 players in the ATP Rankings, including World No. 6 Marin Cilic in the semi-fi...
ATP - 17.01.2018 02:15