Gaku Shibasaki facing six weeks out injured

Getafe midfielder Gaku Shibasaki is facing six weeks out injured after hurting his foot during the league defeat to Barcelona on Saturday.

The home side may have lost the game 2-1 to the current La Liga table toppers, but Shibasaki’s superb first half effort was much talked about.

The Japanese international arrived at the Madrid based club this summer after spending time with Kashima Antlers and enjoying a six month loan spell with Tenerife.

The 25-year-old became the first player from Japan to score against both Barca and Real Madrid on Saturday but was forced off due to injury just before the hour mark.

And, tests have now confirmed that he will miss six weeks of action.

Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele was also injured in the game, which has led both boss Ernesto Valverde and keeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen to bemoan the state of the pitch at Coliseum Alfonso Perez.

However, Getafe president Angel Torres has hit back at that criticism, saying the pitch was in ‘perfect condition’.

“Our pitch was in perfect condition and was in line with the parameters of which La Liga demands,” Torres told Onda Cero on Monday night.

“People have complained about our pitch but there is no justification for these words – the league has even congratulated us on the state of our pitch!

“The measurement of the grass? Ours was 29mm and the league stipulates the grass must be between 20-30mm so we were within that range.

“Barcelona’s Coach was right in saying there was nothing else to say about the pitch, of course we are sad Dembele got injured and we wish him a quick recovery to action.”

Getafe face Celta Vigo on Thursday night at the Balaidos as they seek to get their second win of the new season, whilst Barcelona host Eibar at the Camp Nou on Tuesday evening, looking to make it five wins out of five games.

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Source: La Liga News

Wenger confirms Mesut Ozil contract talks have slowed down

Ozil’s contract situation at the Emirates has been highly documented over the past year, along with Alexis Sanchez.

Both players’ deals run out at the end of the season and are able to enter pre-contract negotiations with new clubs in January.

Sanchez will reportedly see out the remainder of his contract with Manchester City favourites to make a move after having a bid rejected at the end of the transfer window.

It is a little less clear over Ozil’s plans for the future, but reports in Germany this week claimed talks over a new deal have stalled since February.

It was claimed the Germany international is prepared to walk away from Arsenal after four years at the club.

But Wenger denied the length of time since contract negotiations were discussed with Ozil and is optimistic a compromise will be met.

“Yes, of course (I am hopeful)," Wenger said.

"The contract talks have slowed down a little bit since August 31, because we need a little breather and to focus on the competition.

“But we will slowly get back into that.”

Arsenal get their Europa League campaign underway this evening when they host Cologne (8.05pm).

Source: Daily Express

Sadio Mané ban appeal was waste of time - Jurgen Klopp

Mane, 25, was shown a straight red card in Liverpool’s 5-0 defeat to Manchester City in the Premier League on Saturday after his high boot caught goalkeeper Ederson in the face.

Liverpool’s excessive punishment appeal was rejected following a hearing by an independent regulatory commission.

The Senegal international will now be suspended for Liverpool’s Premier League matches against Burnley and Leicester, in addition to a trip to the latter in the EFL Cup.

Mane will be available for Liverpool’s opening Champions League fixture against Sevilla tonight, and speaking on the eve of match Klopp admits he knew the appeal would end in failure.

“I didn’t expect something different,” said the Liverpool manager. “It was really our duty to appeal. But it was a waste of time obviously.

“Our appeal was right because I could say if we would appealed the red card but we didn’t.

“We only appealed the length of the suspension. I never thought it would happen but only because I am used to it to things like this. There were a lot of situations which were similar.

“All the other players were lucky only Sadio was not lucky. And obviously Ederson was not lucky. It looks really awful and he was also lucky nothing more serious happened.”

Klopp maintained that Mane did not deliberately set out to injure Ederson and felt he should have had one game knocked off his ban.

“There was not even a percentage of Sadio which wanted to put the goalkeeper in danger. He wanted to get the ball and it’s important he does that in the next few games,” said Klopp.

“We cannot change this and it’s a sport where this happens. It’s like it is. I don’t blame the ref for the decision. If I saw the boy bleeding I would have made the same decision.

“But one game less would have been right, two and a half, not three and half.”

German goalkeeper Loris Karius will start ahead of Simon Mignolet, although Klopp insists this does not mean he will be first choice as he cryptically hinted at regular rotation between the pair.

“I prefer having a group of good goalkeepers, and that means you have to change things,” said Klopp.

“The game against Arsenal was exactly the same, it was very intense, yes we could have said afterwards it was not a goalkeeper game, but we didn’t know that before.

“Could he prove something? I think he did. He was very cool with the ball, I know for some people too cool with the ball but that can happen with no rhythm, so that now he has had the game it helped him a lot, us also and now he will start.

“Why we think number 1, 2, 3 is fixed until the end of all days? I don’t want to bring that in doubt, but how can you ask if he’s number one?

“By the way, it’s not that he shouldn’t be number one. And then are the all players happy with the decision? I don’t know.”

Klopp also confirmed that Philippe Coutinho will be in his squad to face Sevilla having not featured for the Reds this season following injury amid speculation of a move to Barcelona.

The Reds will check on the fitness of Mohamed Salah who did not train through illness.

Source: Daily Express

Koeman plans talks with Rooney and Barkley

Wayne Rooney is set for talks with manager Ronald Koeman when Everton return to training next week after the striker was charged with drink-driving.

Players not on international duty are scheduled to be back at the club's Finch Farm training complex on Tuesday after a few days' break. Press Association Sport understands the Toffees boss will speak to the 31-year-old at that point about his arrest in the early hours of Friday and pending court appearance.

Koeman has been impressed with Rooney's attitude since he re-signed for the club from Manchester United in July after a 13-year absence and the former England captain is known to have already had a positive effect in the dressing room.

However, that is unlikely to protect him from a dressing down from Koeman.

Another player who should be expecting a call into the manager's office is Ross Barkley.

The 23-year-old, currently sidelined after a grade three hamstring tear which is likely to keep him out until well into next month, pulled out of a £35million move to Chelsea at the last minute on deadline day.

Barkley is in the final year of his contract and after refusing the offer of a lucrative new deal at the end of last season, Koeman decided the midfielder had to be sold.

After various accounts of what transpired were published, Barkley took to Twitter on Saturday to state: "Contrary to a number of reports in the press, I did not undertake a medical with any club at any point.

"I simply decided that due to my injury, it would be best to make a decision on my future and assess all my options in January when fully fit."

However, Barkley's decision to back out of a deal and his reasons for doing so came as a complete surprise to Everton, Press Association Sport understands.

As far as the Merseysiders were concerned all that was required to finalise the move was for the midfielder to complete a medical - which they thought was the only reason why he had travelled to London - as the transfer fee and player's personal terms with Chelsea had already been agreed.

It is understood privately the club viewed Barkley's choice of language in his Twitter postings as "interesting" and there has also been surprise expressed at reports suggesting the club refused to do business with Tottenham, who were also interested in the player.

It is believed conversations had been held with Spurs officials over a move to White Hart Lane but with no bid forthcoming there was no actual business to be done.

Source: PA


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Klopp has no Coutinho concerns

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has no qualms about putting wantaway playmaker Philippe Coutinho back into his team despite the Brazil international submitting an unsuccessful transfer request.

The 25-year-old, the club's highest-paid player after signing a new five-year, £150,000-a-week contract in January, tried to force an exit by asking to leave after Barcelona had a third bid of £90million up front rejected.

Owners Fenway Sports Group issued a statement insisting Coutinho would remain a Liverpool player when the summer window closed and that has proved to be the case, although since then there have been reports suggesting he does not want to play for the club again.

The player was unavailable for the Reds' first five matches with an apparent back injury but came off the bench to score for Brazil in a World Cup qualifier against Ecuador on Thursday and is expected to feature against Colombia on Tuesday before returning to Melwood.

It remains to be seen whether he will be considered for Saturday's trip to top-four rivals Manchester City but Klopp is happy to still have the player available to him.

"We still have a really good player in the squad who can play," said Klopp, speaking to German media outlet SPORT1 after coaching in Nikolce Noveski's testimonial game at former club Mainz.

"Don't believe everything in the press or that there are offers here and there and that the minute after the offer has been entered, it should already be over.

"We are not like George Orwell where everybody knows everything immediately. We have exactly the situation we wanted and no other."

Source: PA


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Diego Costa and Chelsea might be heading to court: Prem champs consider £50m lawsuit

The Premier League champions are understood to be considering suing the rebel striker for up to £50million if he continues to refuse to return to the club.

They would claim breach of a contract from which Costa is paid £185,000 a week - the club's second highest earner - and which still has two years to run.

Costa, who has been named in Chelsea's 25-man Premier League squad but not in their Champions League one, is now also understood to be consulting his lawyers.

The Brazilian born star's bitter battle with Chelsea and coach Antonio Conte turned distinctly uglier last night after he failed to get the move to Atletico Madrid he wanted when the Spanish transfer window closed yesterday.

Chelsea insist he remains their player and must return to fulfil his contractual obligations. Costa claims that went out of the window when Conte told him by text that he was no longer in his plans.

With Costa holed up in Rio de Janeiro for the last two months the international war of words that has ensued now looks increasingly like being continued In the High Court if neither side backs down.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has indicated that the club won't do that despite being forced to pay £5m to club doctor Eva Carneiro the last time they turned to the law following her spat with former manager Jose Mourinho.

A defiant Costa, for whom Chelsea paid £32m in 2014, continued to send out similar signals last night.

The only obvious non legal  - and cheapest - way for any compromise to be reached would appear to be with Costa returning to England and resuming training with Chelsea, even though it would almost certainly be with the reserves.

That wouldn't heal the seemingly irretrievable breakdown between him and Conte, but it would allow meaningful negotiations to begin with Atletico Madrid, who are barred from signing players until next January,

The bust-up, which threatens worldwide implications if the maverick hit man was to succeed in effectively ripping up an apparently legally binding contract, comes at a time when Chelsea face another crisis over their failure to sign key target players this summer.

Romelu Lukaku, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Ross Barkley have all declined to join the club, and pressure is now increasing on directors Marina Granovskaia and Michael Emenalo who share the responsibility for recruitment.

Conte, who takes no part in the legal process of signing players, has been particularly frustrated at those rejections and, along with Abramovich, wants to know what went wrong.

Fans have also expressed outrage on social media, despite the big name signings of Alvaro Morata, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Antonio Rudiger and Willy Caballero, along with the deadline day captures of Davide Zappacosta and Danny Drinkwater.

Source: Daily Express

Sporting Lisbon reject West Ham's claim of record William Carvalho bid

Sporting Lisbon communications chief Nuno Saraiva has disputed West Ham joint-chairman David Sullivan's claim that the Premier League club made a club-record bid for midfielder William Carvalho.

In an article on the West Ham website reflecting on the transfer window, Sullivan said Sporting had rejected an approach for the Portugal international "a couple of weeks ago". The offer was reported to be in the region of £27million.

Sullivan said Sporting had then been back in touch just ahead of the transfer deadline to try to push through the deal, which the West Ham joint-chairman said "was just too late in the day" and had left not enough time to put the player through "adequate medical checks".

Sporting communications director Saraiva refuted that version of events, in a post written in Portuguese on his Facebook page, and challenged Sullivan to provide evidence to back up his claims.

"Mr David Sullivan is lying. No proposal arrived for the player William Carvalho," Saraiva said.

"Mr Sullivan has a duty to prove what he says. For this reason, Sporting Clube de Portugal challenge him to publicly show the proposals he says have been made, as well as the evidence that Sporting CP has received them."

Press Association Sport contacted West Ham for a response to Saraiva's remarks. The club declined to comment.

Sullivan also said in his transfers review that both Grzegorz Krychowiak and Renato Sanches had been "offered to the manager before their switches elsewhere" but that manager Slaven Bilic "told us that he is happy with the squad he has".

Krychowiak went to West Brom and Sanches joined Swansea.

West Ham brought in England goalkeeper Joe Hart on a loan deal from Manchester City over the summer, as well as securing permanent moves for Pablo Zabaleta, Anouar El Mhassani, Sead Haksabanovic, Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez, the former Manchester United forward.

The Irons have lost all three of their opening Premier League matches and are bottom of the table.

West Ham did, however, move into the third round of the Carabao Cup after a 2-0 win at League Two side Cheltenham.

Source: PA

6 Things Southgate Should Do in Order to Ensure a Better England Performance Against Slovakia

England stuttered over the line to claim a flattering 0-4 victory over Malta on Friday. Despite claiming the vital three points in the end, it was a performance to forget for Gareth Southgate's men.

Here's six things the Three Lions boss needs to improve on in order to ensure victory against Slovakia on Monday...

1. Boring England

Nothing quite beats travelling over 1,000 miles to an Island inbetween Italy and Tunisia to see your national team partner Jake Livermore and Jordan Henderson in the heart of midfield.

The Three Lions were lacking creativity and excitement in the middle of the park against Malta, largely down to the fact Southgate opted for two defensive midfielders in his starting line-up.

2. Know Your Opponent

FBL-WC-2018-QUALIFIER-MLT-ENG

Linking perfectly to the first point on this list, Southgate has to be aware of who he's facing and set up his team accordingly.

From the outset it was clear Malta's game plan was to defend in numbers, flood the middle of the park and get the ball as far away from their goal as possible, something that Southgate played into perfectly.

On Monday, England will be defending against the likes of Marek Hamsik, a scenario in which two defensive midfielders would be more understandable.

3. Who's the Captain?

FBL-WC-2018-QUALIFIER-MLT-ENG

Please, Gareth, just pick a captain.

Southgate looks as confused as the fans as to who should be given the armband full-time, often changing captain on a game by game basis.

Jordan Henderson, Harry Kane, Joe Hart and Gary Cahill are all in contention for the England captaincy, with Liverpool's midfielder Henderson given the responsibility on Friday evening.

4. Keep the Ox on the Wing

Malta v England - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier

Regardless of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's desire to play through the middle with club and country, Southgate has to keep him on that right-wing.

The new Liverpool man has shown over the years how dangerous he is running at defenders on the right flank. Showing a great turn of pace on Friday, the only criticism of the Ox was that he didn't spend enough time giving England options out wide.

5. Why Is Butland Still Not in Goal?

FBL-WC-2018-QUALIFIER-ENG-TRAINING

When Torino President Urbano Cairo said he "didn't expect so many mistakes from Joe Hart", clearly Gareth Southgate wasn't listening.

Despite fans calling for goalkeeping prodigy Jack Butland to be given the No 1 spot in between the sticks, England's manager seems determined to keep Mr Head & Shoulders in goal for the foreseeable future.

6. Don't Blame Injuries

England Training Session

Although England were certainly missing some key players in Friday's trip to Malta, the performance Southgate's side showed was nothing short of catastrophic.

The Three Lions currently have an injury list that most Premier League clubs would love, only missing two or three key players.

Although Adam Lallana's creative spark was clearly a loss for England, there should be enough quality in that squad to break down even the best of international teams, with positional play in the final third clearly something that needs addressing in training.

Source: 90Min.com

Wenger expects Sanchez to be fully committed to Gunners in last year of contract

Arsene Wenger believes Alexis Sanchez will be "100 per cent" committed to Arsenal despite the collapse of his proposed deadline-day move to Manchester City - a transfer the Frenchman says "was not very close" to taking place in any case.

Sanchez's future was one of the main talking points heading into the final day of the transfer window on Thursday, with the Chile forward, whose contract with Arsenal runs out next year, having been linked with a move to City throughout the summer.

City reportedly made two late offers for Sanchez, including one worth up to £60million, but no transfer was forthcoming as Arsenal failed in their own last-minute attempt to sign Thomas Lemar from Monaco.

It is understood Arsenal were only prepared to let Sanchez leave if they managed to recruit a replacement, but when their 11th-hour offer for Lemar - worth a reported club-record £92million - failed then they opted to keep hold of last season's leading scorer.

Sanchez will now return to the Gunners to see out the final year of his contract, and Wenger is sure the 28-year-old will continue to give his all for the cause.

Asked if he felt Sanchez would be 100 per cent committed to Arsenal, Wenger told beIN Sports: "100 per cent. I have no doubt about that."

Wenger also revealed that Sanchez's proposed transfer to the Etihad was someway off coming to fruition in the end.

He said: "It was not very close. I t's very difficult for me to speak about that because what I want now is the player to focus on his career, on his season and on Arsenal football club.

"I spoke before about integrity and values, and I always think first: make sure my commitment is at the level that it is expected from people who pay me and have confidence in me, and I think on the player's side it is exactly the same."

He added of what took place on transfer deadline day: " I cannot tell you everything that happened because after when you decide to let a player of that calibre go you need to replace him, because nobody would understand why you let the player go.

"And when you cannot do it you keep the player and make a financial sacrifice, because at the end of the day what you want is to have a team with a good potential and top quality.

"So that means Alexis Sanchez will go, like Mesut Ozil, in the final year of his contract, or you think that during the season you find a way to extend the contract, or at the end of the season the player goes for free."

Source: PA


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League One strugglers Northampton sack Justin Edinburgh

Northampton have sacked manager Justin Edinburgh, the League One club have announced.

The Cobblers are bottom of the table after losing their first four games of the season.

Assistant manager David Kerslake will take temporary charge of the side.

Northampton defeated Cambridge 5-4 on penalties in the EFL Trophy Southern Group H game on Tuesday, but it was not enough to save their 47-year-old manager.

Northampton chairman Kelvin Thomas said: "Justin did a good job for us in difficult circumstances and achieved what was asked of him when he came in last season by retaining our League 1 status, for which we will always be grateful.

"However results overall haven't gone as well as any of us would have liked, but Justin is an honest and hard working individual and we wish him well for the future.

He added: "David Kerslake will take temporary charge of the squad as we begin discussions to find our next manager.

"We do have some potential targets in mind and with a free weekend this weekend it does allow us some time.

"It is important that the focus of the squad is now on the game with Doncaster Rovers at Sixfields on Saturday, September 9th."

Source: PA


Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.Source: Football.co.uk