Martinez: Chelsea target Stones has NOT handed in a transfer request

first_imgEverton manager Roberto Martinez has revealed he is “not aware” of any transfer request from John Stones.The England defender has been linked to Chelsea in one of the summer’s long-running transfer sagas, with latest reports suggesting a third bid of £30million has been rejected by the Toffees.It is understood the Merseysiders’ stance that the 21-year-old England international is not for sale remains firm, and it has since been suggested that Stones is on the brink of handing in a transfer request.But Everton boss Martinez is confident the centre-back will remain at Goodison Park come the close of the window, and insists he would have no hesitation in including the 21-year-old in his plans for Sunday’s home clash with Manchester City.Speaking ahead of the game, Martinez moved swiftly to dismiss newspaper reports that Stones had tried to force a move out of Goodison Park. When asked if he was aware of that being the situation, the Spaniard replied: “Not at all, no.”Martinez stressed that “the latest situation is exactly same” with Stones’ future, and when asked if the player handing in a request would change things, Martinez added: “It’s not an area we need to concentrate on.“What we need to concentrate on is that in 48 hours, we’re going to play the team at the top of the league and that’s all that matters.“The only thing I’m concerned about is preparing for the game.”It was then put to the manager that a point might be reached where an offer came in from Chelsea that was too good for Everton to refuse and that Toffees chairman Bill Kenwright might intervene.But Martinez said: “There’s no such situation.“If you want to go on [talking about Stones], I can understand. But I don’t think it’s healthy for anyone when you have the window open after the season starts, because the discussion we are having now is wrong.“We should be talking about the game at the weekend. We should be talking about how well we performed against Southampton [a 3-0 away win last Saturday].“But the only thing you are asking me about is about an individual. That is so wrong.”Reports have also suggested Everton are in talks over a move for Dynamo Kiev’s Ukraine forward Andriy Yarmolenko, while simultaneously pursuing a deal for River Plate’s Argentina defender Ramiro Funes Mori.Martinez said regarding potential incomings: “We are trying to work as hard as we can to make a couple of new additions to the squad.“But even with those, it is not something we’re going to come out and talk about because the only thing we need to focus on is preparing for the game.” 1 Everton defender John Stones last_img read more

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League Cup round-up: Watford crash out and nervous nights for Aston Villa, Stoke and Crystal Palace

first_img1 Preston Watford became the first League Cup shock of the season after losing to Championship side Preston North End.The Hornets made 11 changes to their side and were unable to find the net as Marnick Vermijl’s goal proved decisive.Stoke avoided the upset of the round as they were taken all the way to penalties by League Two Luton Town after the game finished 3-3 after extra-time.The first 14 penalties were all converted successfully until Scott Griffiths’ effort smashed into the crossbar, leaving Geoff Cameron to win it 8-7 for the Premier League side.West Bromwich Albion also needed penalties to overcome Port Vale of League One after a 0-0 draw at the Hawthorns.Scott Sinclair scored a hat-trick as Aston Villa needed extra time to overcome a defiant Notts County in the League Cup as they won 5-3 at Villa Park.Villa fell behind twice in normal time but clawed it back with the winner coming in the 99th minute of the game.Similarly, Crystal Palace were taken into extra time by League One Shrewsbury Town as the game ended 1-1 after 90 minutes.Nevertheless, the Eagles netted twice in two minutes to end the game as 4-1 victors to go through to the next round.Sunderland avoided a shock defeat to Exeter City after the League Two twice came from behind to draw level.However, a Jermain Defoe hat-trick and a brace from Jack Rodwell were too much for Exeter as the game ended 6-3.Leicester City maintained their impressive start to the season with a 4-1 victory away to Bury with 20-year-old debutant Joe Dodoo netting a hat-trick.Newcastle beat Northampton 4-1 at St James’ Park after racing to a 2-0 lead within eight minutes as new signing Florian Thauvin scored his first goal for the Magpies.Other results:Birmingham 2-0 GillinghamBurton 1-2 MiddlesbroughDoncaster 1-4 IpswichFulham 3-0 Sheffield UnitedHartlepool 0-4 BournemouthHull 1-0 RochdaleMK Dons 2-1 CardiffPeterborough 1-4 CharltonPortsmouth 1-2 CharltonQPR 1-2 CarlisleRotherham 1-2 NorwichSheffield Wednesday 1-0 Oxford UnitedSwansea 3-0 YorkWalsall 2-1 Brightonlast_img read more

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Andy Goldstein’s Sports Bar Best Bits – September 12

first_imgJoin Andy Goldstein and chums as they round up highlights from the last week of Sports Bar shows.last_img

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Arsenal CAN beat Bayern if they repeat Man United display, says Gunners legend

first_imgArsenal take on Bayern Munich on Tuesday night looking to kick-start their Champions League campaign.The German giants are favourites to triumph at the Emirates after a sensational run of form which has seen them win all 11 of their matches so far this season.But Gunners great Liam Brady insists Pep Guardiola’s men are NOT unbeatable and reckons his old club can claim a crucial victory if they produce a repeat of their brilliant performance against Manchester United.Speaking on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, Brady said: “If they turn up and play like they did against Manchester United, we can beat them, and we have got to believe that.“You can build teams up and think they are unbeatable and I don’t think Bayern are in that situation. We have got to believe we can do it.”Arsene Wenger’s side head into the clash with Bayern bottom of Group F having suffered shock defeats to Olympiakos and Dinamo Zagreb.Brady believes they are still well capable of reaching the knockout stages, and claims they need just one win from their back-to-back clashes against Bayern to keep their hopes alive.“Over the next two games we have got Bayern back-to-back and we need three points from somewhere,” he said.“We can beat Zagreb when we play them again and we can beat Olympiakos when we play them again so if we were to get nine that would give us every chance of getting through in second place behind Bayern.“But somewhere along the line, we have to win a game against Bayern.”last_img read more

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Leeds United player turned pop star, fog, crisps and failing to hit double one – it’s the Warm Up podcast

first_imgListen to Max Rushden and Barry Glendenning discuss the world of sport, give away bags of crisps and garner some football fog anecdotes from the listeners.It’s Barry’s last show ever, for six weeks, as he’s going on holiday. For six weeks. SIX WEEKS!Meanwhile, Shaun Derry reveals how Max got him the Cambridge United job, and Nicky Byrne of Westlife fame talks about his spell as a footballer for Leeds United and Ireland’s Euro 2016 qualifier.Plus, 1983 darts world champion Keith Deller recalls the time he couldn’t hit double one to close out a match.Not forgetting Linvoy Primus being nice.To get the Warm Up with Max Rushden podcast every week, click here and download from the iTunes store for freelast_img

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Manchester City suffer injury blow as midfielder out for further THREE MONTHS

first_img Samir Nasri 1 Samir Nasri will be out of action until February due to a hamstring injury.The Manchester City midfielder has not played for his side since coming on as a substitute in the 5-1 Premier League defeat of Bournemouth on October 17.The 28-year-old had been expected to return to training this month, but has now revealed he faces a further three months on the sidelines.A picture on Nasri’s instagram account showed him on crutches with the accompanying message: “What doesn’t kill you make you stronger. I will be back better than ever see you in 3 months.”last_img

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Chelsea appoint Jose Mourinho replacement

first_imgChelsea have appointed Guus Hiddink as their manager until the end of the season. The Dutchman, who previously took temporary charge to help them win the FA Cup in 2009, has been brought in to replace Jose Mourinho, who left the club on Thursday. Hiddink proved to be a popular figure in his short time in charge at Stamford Bridge, in a role he balanced while in charge of the Russian national team. Hiddink, 69, whose last post was as Holland coach, said on the club’s official website: “I am excited to return to Stamford Bridge. Chelsea is one of the biggest clubs in the world but is not where it should be at the moment. However, I am sure we can all turn this season around.”He added: ‘I am looking forward to working with the players and staff at this great club and especially renewing my wonderful relationship with the Chelsea fans.”Hiddink is at Stamford Bridge for Saturday’s match with Sunderland but Mourinho’s number two Steve Holland will take control of the team alongside Eddie Newton, who is now assistant first-team coach.Hiddink previously took temporary charge of Chelsea in February 2009 and guided the Blues to FA Cup success at Wembley.Chelsea’s announcement came hot on the heels of Mourinho revealing he is already looking for a route back into management. 1 Guus Hiddink last_img read more

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‘Bogdan makes Mignolet look like Manuel Neuer’ – Fans rage as another howler costs Reds

first_img1 ‘Not even Klopp can save us’Liverpool fans weren’t in the brightest of moods as they watched their side get out fought, out muscled and out played by Watford on Sunday afternoon, but it was again the man between the post who was the target of the supporters’ rage.With the recently error-prone Simon Mignolet out of the team through injury, the Anfield faithful were hoping for a better display from stand-in Adam Bogdan.But his afternoon couldn’t have got off to a worst start, as a mistake from the butterfingers glovesman allowed on-loan defender Nathan Ake to open the scoring in the second minute, before he was too easily beaten by the in-form Odion Ighalo as he fired the Hornets into a 2-0 half-time lead.And, as you can see below, the knives were out for the Hungarian… Adam Bogdan is beaten as Watford go 1-0 up against Liverpool last_img read more

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Crystal Palace 0-3 Chelsea: Oscar, Willian and Costa stun the Eagles – Are the Blues back?

first_img Chelsea comfortably beat Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park Chelsea sealed their first away win in the Premier League since August 23rd, and their first under interim manager Guus Hiddink, after easing past Crystal Palace 3-0 at Selhurst Park.Oscar, Willian and Diego Costa got their names on the scoresheet, as the reigning champions put in a stylish performance to overwhelm Alan Pardew’s injury-hit Eagles side and clinch victory.It was a bright start for Crystal Palace who, following a burst forward on the left wing from Chung-yong Lee, won an early corner. The subsequent set piece, however, was comfortably cleared by Chelsea and allowed the visitors to give a glimpse of the difficult afternoon they had in store for the hosts.Diego Costa, returning to the starting line up having been forced to sit out the goalless draw with Manchester United through suspension, looked eager to get on the ball, leading the line with confidence and a desire to make life difficult for Scott Dann and Damien Delaney.After a tame opening 15 minutes, Hiddink was delivered a blow, with the Dutchman forced to make an early substitution. The current PFA Player of the Year Eden Hazard, who looked to hold his groin not long after kick-off, signalled to the bench to come off, with Pedro taking his place.Nonetheless, the change in personnel didn’t prove to be too much of a problem, with the former Barcelona winger looking eager to make a quick impression in the final third.With just over 20 minutes on the clock and few chances on goal to speak of, the Eagles were beginning to threaten and looked the more dangerous side, with Fraizer Campbell and Wilfried Zaha giving Kurt Zouma and John Terry plenty of work to do.However, as the narrative so often goes, it was Chelsea who took the lead.In what has not been said very often this season, and against the run of play, Cesc Fabregas played a perfectly weighted pass into the path of Costa, and the Brazil-born striker set the ball back to Oscar, who comfortably tapped home.The goal gave the Blues a much-needed boost, and Hiddink’s men began to look comfortable on the ball, and could, for perhaps the first time this campaign, be described as a unit.Fabregas, enjoying one of his finest performances this season, and Oscar were now beginning to orchestrate proceedings from deep, and it wasn’t long before another chance fell their way.The latter looped a ball into the box to Cesar Azpilicueta on the left flank, but the Spaniard’s effort was fired straight at Wayne Hennessey.Palace therefore had all the work to do in the second-half but, despite struggling for possession, with just the solitary goal separating the two sides, the game was far from over.Pardew sent his men out onto the Selhurst Park turf early, but this tactic didn’t have the impact intended, with Chelsea’s confidence continuing on from their impressive opening 45 minutes.And Zouma, having a superb afternoon, should have doubled Chelsea’s lead shortly after the interval. Willian whipped a delicious free-kick into the box, which met the head of the Frenchman, but his powerful effort flew agonisingly wide.This miss was soon forgotten, though, when Willian, the Blues’ standout player of the season so far, smashed the ball into the back of the net from the edge of the box.And, only moments later, Costa made it three following some more impressive work again from Willian. The winger tried his luck on goal in the box, and Hennessey could only parry the ball into the path of the onrushing Costa, back amongst the goals after his brace against Watford on Boxing Day.It now seemed game over for the hosts who, in spite of the continued signing from the home crowd, will have been eager for full-time.Chelsea could have extended their lead to further rub salt into their opponent’s wounds, with Costa blasting a volley on his weaker foot over the bar late on.The third goal, however, ended the contest to seal Chelsea’s first Premier League away win since their 3-2 victory over West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns on August 23rd.It was a disappointing afternoon for Pardew and his side, and the English manager will be hopeful that injuries to his squad soon begin to ease. 1last_img read more

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‘One of the league’s best players’ – £30m ‘intelligent’ Arsenal target profiled

first_img1 Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Granit Xhaka could leave the club for the right price.Arsenal are desperate for a midfielder in the mould of the £30m-rated Xhaka after Santi Cazorla and Francis Coquelin’s injuries and the ongoing problems with Jack Wilshere’s fitness, so talkSPORT finds out more about the Switzerland ace…Name: Granit XhakaDate of birth: September 27, 1992 (23 years old)Birthplace: Basel, SwitzerlandPosition: MidfielderClub: Borussia MonchengladbachInternational appearances: 39 Switzerland capsDid you know?1) Former Switzerland manager Ottmar Hitzfeld once dubbed Xhaka the “young Schweinsteiger”, while team-mates call him the “young Einstein” due to his intelligence on the field and his love of science off the field.2) Xhaka is a dead-ball specialist and is known for his hammer of a left foot when taking free-kicks.3) Xhaka played alongside Xherdan Shaqiri at Basel and while the Stoke winger went on to play for Bayern Munich and Inter, former Basel coach Thorsten Fink said: “Xherdan Shaqiri is the finest talent in Switzerland – after Granit Xhaka.”4) Xhaka will be at Euro 2016 with Switzerland but will come up against a familiar face in his opening Group A game. The 23-year-old’s older brother Taulant Xhaka will be playing for Albania after opting to represent the country of the pair’s Kosovo-Albanian parents.5) Xhaka has had success throughout the ranks of the Swiss national set-up, winning the under-17 World Cup in 2009 before going on to be part of the under-21 side that finished runners-up in the 2011 European Championship.What’s being said?They say:Granit is one of the best players in the Bundesliga– Monchengladbach’s director of sport Max EberlHe says:“Gladbach are a top club. But if I were someday to go to a top, top, top club, I want to play there”Video evidence: Granit Xhaka last_img read more

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