Tottenham trigger one-year Jan Vertonghen contract extension

Tottenham have confirmed that they have exercised their right to trigger a one-year extension to Jan Vertonghen’s contract, tying the defender to the club until 2020. The Belgium international’s deal was due to expire at the end of this season, but Spurs have moved to tie him down for a further 12 months. The Club can confirm that we have activated the option to extend @JanVertonghen’s contract until 2020. — Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) December 18, 2018 A statement on the Tottenham’s website read: “The club can confirm that we have…

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Manchester United trigger contract extension for Anthony Martial

Manchester United have triggered the option of a year’s extension on the contract of France forward Anthony Martial. The 23-year-old’s current deal would have expired in the summer but will now run to 2020. United took a similar move with their Spain keeper David de Gea last month. Martial’s representatives remain in discussions with United over a new separate deal beyond the contract that has been extended to 2020. However Martial’s agent Philippe Lamboley told French TV station RMC he is “very pessimistic about a positive outcome of the discussions”.…

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Jose Mourinho sacked by Manchester United after defeat to Liverpool

Manchester United have sacked Jose Mourinho following Sunday’s defeat at Liverpool, ending a tenure that began in May 2016. A poor start to the Premier League season has seen United slip 19 points behind the leaders, Liverpool, and fall off the pace in the hunt for a top-four place. They have won only once in six league matches, drawing during that sequence with struggling Southampton and Crystal Palace. The club issued a statement on Tuesday morning which read: “Manchester United announces that manager Jose Mourinho has left the club with immediate…

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Arsenal face familiar opponents in BATE as Chelsea draw Malmo in Europa League

Arsenal face a reunion with their former midfielder Alexander Hleb after being drawn against Belarussian side BATE Borisov in the Round of 32 of the Europa League. Chelsea, who won the competition in 2013, take on Swedish side Malmo, with Scottish champions Celtic drawn to face Spanish side Valencia. The two-legged ties will be played on 14 and 21 February 2019. Arsenal are at home in the second leg of their tie and the game will kick off at 17:55 GMT on Thursday, 21 February to avoid a clash with Chelsea’s…

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Manchester United draw PSG in Champions League, Liverpool to face Bayern Munich

Manchester United have drawn Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16 of the Champions League, while Liverpool will face Bayern Munich and Tottenham will take on Borussia Dortmund. Manchester City were drawn against Bundesliga side Schalke, meaning three of the four English teams will face German opposition. Cristiano Ronaldo will return to the city of Madrid, with Juventus drawn against Atletico. Holders Real Madrid must overcome Dutch side Ajax, while Barcelona will take on Lyon and Roma will face FC Porto. The first legs of the last-16 ties will be split…

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Tottenham’s Eric Dier out until 2019 after having appendix removed

Tottenham will be without midfielder Eric Dier until 2019 after he had surgery to remove his appendix. The 24-year-old was not in the squad for Saturday’s win over Burnley after being diagnosed with appendicitis. The England international received immediate treatment and is not expected to return to training until January. Dier has made 13 Premier League starts for Spurs this season, with only Harry Kane, Toby Alderweireld and Lucas Moura ahead of him. Tottenham are due to play six games between now and 4 January. Spurs said: “He will now undergo a…

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Manchester United’s Chris Smalling signs new contract until 2022

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has signed a new contract until June 2022, with the option to extend for a further year. Smalling joined United from Fulham in July 2010 for an undisclosed fee after impressing in two seasons at Craven Cottage. The 29-year-old has since made more than 200 appearances for United and should he stay until the end of his new deal, it would mark 12 years at Old Trafford for the Englishman. Smalling said: “This is my ninth season with the club and I am delighted to…

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Abuse of Sterling harmful to football

Racism, or discrimination of any kind, can’t be allowed to have a place in football.  The game is being hurt by the behaviour of a minority. They believe it acceptable to enter football stadiums to shout despicable language at certain players. It is a form of abuse, disrespect and intimidation.  In order to eradicate racism, it is important to not only identify the culprits but also to address the root cause.  From as young an age as possible, within football coaching and schools, children need to be educated on the importance of…

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Pochettino eclipses best European performance for Spurs

Since Mauricio Pochettino became manager of Tottenham in 2014, the club’s results in European competition have been mixed.  Successive runs to the knock – out stages of UEFA’s Europa League involved hard – fought away draws with Fiorentina, Monaco and Partizan Belgrade.  In contrast to those positive results, Tottenham did experience disappointment, losing to Anderlecht, Besiktas and Borussia Dortmund. Just as there were successes and failures in the two UEFA Europa League campaigns overseen by Pochettino, his fortunes have varied in the Champions League.  The first encounter which he had…

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Newcastle’s Rafael Benitez wins Premier League manager of the month

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez has been named Premier League manager of the month for November. Newcastle were 19th in the table at the start of November, with no wins from their first 10 games, before three straight victories moved them out of the relegation zone, and prompted a flood of money with the bookie, Comeon, on them staying in the Premier League this term. The Magpies beat Watford 1-0 at home thanks to a goal from Ayoze Perez, and followed that up with a 2-1 victory over Bournemouth at St James’…

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Liverpool face defensive crisis with Trent Alexander-Arnold ruled out of United clash

Liverpool are facing a shortage of defenders for Sunday’s visit of Manchester United after Trent Alexander-Arnold was ruled out with an ankle injury. The 20-year-old suffered the injury during Tuesday’s 1-0 Champions League win over Napoli and it is feared he could miss the busy festive season games. Jurgen Klopp’s side are desperately short on defenders with centre-back Joel Matip now ruled out for six weeks after fracturing his collarbone in the dying moments of the same game. Another defender, Joe Gomez, is out for around the same period after fracturing…

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FA chief executive Martin Glenn to leave at end of the season

Football Association chief executive Martin Glenn will step down at the end of the 2018-19 season after four years in the role. The FA said he was leaving having “delivered much of what he came to do”. In a statement the FA credited him with creating the “culture around St George’s Park and the England teams which has led to an unprecedented period of success”. Glenn said it had been a “huge honour and a privilege” to lead the FA. “I will leave feeling proud of the success of the…

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Raheem Sterling named Premier League player of the month

Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling has been named November’s Premier League player of the month. The 24-year-old scored three goals and set up three more in City’s three league matches. It is the second time the Blues forward has won the award, the previous occasion coming in August 2016, just over a year after he joined the club. Raheem Sterling picks up @EASPORTSFIFA #POTM award for a brilliant November ➡️ https://t.co/QdEm1x730O #PLAwards pic.twitter.com/78omqjI1Q4 — Premier League (@premierleague) December 12, 2018 Two of Sterling’s City team-mates, Leroy Sane and David Silva, were…

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Yaya Toure leaves Olympiakos three months after rejoining Greek club

Former Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has left Olympiakos, just three months after rejoining the Greek club. The 35-year-old’s contract has been terminated by “mutual agreement”. Toure, who was a free agent in the summer after leaving City, chose to join Olympiakos in September, where he spent the 2005-06 season. The former Ivory Coast international, who also played for Barcelona, made just two starts and two substitute appearances while in Athens. “Olympiakos and Yaya Toure would like to announce to the fans that they have mutually agreed to end their cooperation,”…

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Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden agrees contract extension to 2024

Phil Foden has signed a five-and-a-half year contract extension with Manchester City that ties him to the club until the summer of 2024. The 18-year-old midfielder has become a first-team squad regular for the champions this season under Pep Guardiola, playing 13 times this season. Txiki Begiristain, the club’s sporting director, said: “We are delighted to have secured Phil for the next five-and-a-half years. He is an outstanding talent and he is Manchester City born and bred, so this is where he wants to play his football. Under Pep and with the…

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Kyle Walker-Peters signs contract extension with Tottenham

Kyle Walker-Peters has signed a contract extension with Tottenham which will keep him at the club until 2023. The 21-year-old had previously signed a new deal in May through to 2021, and has now committed himself to Spurs for a further two seasons. Walker-Peters made his first Premier League appearance of the season on Saturday when he came on for Serge Aurier in Spurs’ 2-0 win over Leicester City. Walker-Peters joins Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Harry Winks and Heung-Min Son in agreeing new deals with Tottenham in recent months. The Spurs academy…

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Liverpool’s Joe Gomez signs new contract until 2024

Liverpool defender Joe Gomez has signed a new contract with the club until the summer of 2024. The 21-year-old joined the Reds from Charlton Athletic in 2015. He has played 18 times for Jurgen Klopp’s side this campaign but could be out for up to six weeks after suffering a fractured leg in the 3-1 win over Burnley on 5 December. 😁 @J_Gomez97 has signed a new long-term contract with the Reds! ▶️ https://t.co/IZwV5kxQUp pic.twitter.com/c5InmGpG7M — Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 10, 2018 “I love the club, I love playing and learning here, and…

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Arsenal’s Rob Holding ruled out for up to nine months with knee injury

Arsenal centre-back Rob Holding has been ruled out for up to nine months after he ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on Wednesday. The 23-year-old suffered the injury in the Gunners’ 2-2 draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford. Holding had made 16 appearances for Unai Emery’s side this season. “Rob will undergo surgery in the coming days and rehabilitation is expected to take between six to nine months,” said an Arsenal statement. “Everyone at the club will now be working as hard as we can to…

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Southampton appoint Ralph Hasenhuttl as manager

Southampton have confirmed the appointment of Ralph Hasenhuttl as their new manager on a two-and-a-half-year deal. The Austrian takes over from Mark Hughes, who was sacked on Monday. Hasenhuttl will attend the match at Tottenham on Wednesday night but will officially take charge on Thursday and his first game will be at Cardiff on Saturday. The coach Kelvin Davis, who is in interim charge, will be his assistant. Hasenhuttl, 52, a former Austria international, had been out of work after leaving RB Leipzig in May. His previous coaching jobs include a spell…

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Luka Modric wins Ballon d’or to end Ronaldo and Messi dominance

Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder Luka Modric won the 2018 Ballon d’Or, becoming the first player other than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo to claim the award in more than a decade. Modric, 33, won his third successive Champions League in May before helping Croatia to a first World Cup final. Former Brazil and AC Milan forward Kaka, in 2007, was the last player other than Messi or Ronaldo to win it. Ronaldo, who joined Juventus from Real Madrid in the summer, came second. Barcelona forward Messi finished fifth, with…

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Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta signs new contract until 2022

Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta has signed a new four-year deal, extending his stay at the club to 2022. The 29-year-old Spain international has made 298 appearances since arriving from Ligue 1 side Marseille in 2012, in a transfer package worth an initial £6m. Azpilicueta, who has won the Premier League twice with Chelsea, has captained the Stamford Bridge side in the league this season. Delighted to be a blue until 2022. Since I arrived in 2012, my desire has been always to give my best and fight for this club, and…

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Sergio Aguero suffers injury setback in training and misses Watford trip

Sergio Aguero suffered an abductor injury in training on Monday, ruling him out of Manchester City’s game at Watford on Tuesday night and making the striker a doubt for Saturday’s trip to Chelsea. The 30-year-old was rested by Pep Guardiola for last Saturday’s visit of Bournemouth because of muscle fatigue. After taking a full part in training with the first-team squad on Sunday Agüero suffered the muscle injury during Monday’s session. He will have tests to determine whether he can play against Chelsea. It is thought the injury may sideline him…

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Jurgen Klopp charged with misconduct for on-pitch celebration in derby win

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been charged with misconduct by the Football Association over his celebratory pitch invasion in Sunday’s Merseyside derby. Klopp sprinted onto the Anfield pitch to embrace goalkeeper Alisson following Divock Origi’s dramatic 96th minute winner against Everton. He later admitted his reaction was “not cool” and claimed to have apologised to Marco Silva on the final whistle. The Everton manager countered there had been no apology from Klopp but he may have reacted the same under similar circumstances. Following receipt of referee Chris Kavanagh’s match report on…

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Southampton sack Mark Hughes after slow start to season

Southampton have sacked manager Mark Hughes, the club confirmed on Monday afternoon. Hughes leaves the club after winning just one of 14 matches so far this season. “We would like to express our thanks to Mark and his staff for all of their efforts during their time at St Mary’s,” a statement read. The search for a new manager to take the club forward is already underway. “First team assistant coach Kelvin Davis will lead the team for Wednesday’s Premier League game against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley.” #SaintsFC can today confirm it…

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Uefa announces introduction of ‘Europa League 2’ from 2021

A third European club competition with the working title ‘Europa League 2’ will be introduced from 2021. One English team will enter the play-offs of the new tournament, while Scottish sides may miss out on Europa League places in a reshuffle. As part of Uefa’s 2021-2024 cycle, the Europa League will be halved in size to 32 teams with an extra play-off round between the group stage and last 16. The new tournament will be played on Thursdays alongside the Europa League. Every country’s champions will still enter the Champions…

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