Mario Balotelli completes transfer to Marseille from Nice

Mario Balotelli has completed a move to Marseille from Nice, after being released early from his contract at Nice. The Italy international, 28, has completed a deal until the end of the season. Balotelli passed a medical on Wednesday, a move coach Rudi Garcia called a “number one priority”. He last played for Nice on 4 December after a dispute with boss Patrick Vieira. Balotelli helped City win the Premier League in 2011-12, then had one season at Liverpool before spending a year on loan at AC Milan. Level completed ✅…

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Barcelona secure Jean-Clair Todibo signing for summer

Barcelona have beat off stiff competition to secure the signature of Jean-Clair Todibo, the club announced. The in-demand Toulouse defender will join the club on a free transfer this summer. Todibo is into the final six months of his contract at the Ligue 1 club and the deal will see him remain in France this campaign before moving to the Camp Nou in July. Last week, El Mundo Deportivo claimed the Blaugrana were in ‘pole position’ to sign the player who has not featured for the Ligue 1 club since November,…

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Arsenal to face Manchester United in FA Cup fourth round

Arsenal have been drawn at home to Manchester United in the FA Cup fourth round. The Gunners have won the competition a record 13 times, while United are 12-time winners. The two sides met in the quarterfinals of the FA Cup in 2015 when Danny Welbeck scored the winner against his former side as Arsenal ran out 2-1 winners at Old Trafford. Non-league Barnet – the lowest-ranked club left in the competition – are at home to Championship side Brentford. League One Gillingham, who knocked out Premier League Cardiff in the third…

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Real Madrid sign Brahim Diaz from Manchester City

Spanish teenager Brahim Diaz has signed for Real Madrid from Manchester City on a six-and-a-half-year contract. The 19-year-old midfielder joined City from Malaga aged 14 in 2013 and made 15 first-team appearances, but has played only four times this season. The Spain Under-21 international’s most recent outing came in the Carabao Cup quarter-final at Leicester last month. 👋 Welcome to @realmadrid, @Brahim Díaz!#WelcomeBrahim | #HalaMadrid pic.twitter.com/Eh2VLy6xYN — Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) January 6, 2019 Real, who lost 2-0 at home to Real Sociedad on Sunday and are fifth in La Liga,…

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West Ham sign Samir Nasri on day doping ban ends

West Ham have signed former Arsenal and Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri – on the day he completes a doping ban. The 31-year-old Frenchman has been without a club since 31 January, after leaving Turkish club Antalyaspor. Nasri, who has signed a deal until the end of the season, served an 18-month doping ban for using an intravenous drip treatment but is available to play again from 1 January. He won two Premier League titles and the League Cup in six years with City. “Coming back to the most competitive…

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Manchester City receive timely boost with Silva return

Manchester City have been handed a timely reprieve from injuries as the club announced David Silva returned to training on Christmas Day and is in the running to face Leicester. The Spanish midfielder had been out of action since suffering a hamstring injury in City’s loss at Chelsea earlier this month, missing games against Hoffenheim, Everton, and the shock home defeat to Crystal Palace. The 32-year-old is now in the frame to play when City travel to Leicester on Boxing Day as Pep Guardiola’s side aim to claw back the four-point…

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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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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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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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Silva continues to transform Goodison Park into a fortress

For a fourth consecutive home game, Everton won as Marco Silva’s transformation of Goodison Park into a fortress continued.  A solitary goal from Gylfi Sigurdsson sufficed for his team to beat Cardiff 1 – 0. Although Everton dominated possession, they had to be patient for their goal.  It arrived shortly before the hour mark as Sigurdsson finished calmly. He did so to score his first home goal since a 3 – 0 win over Fulham.  That victory was the beginning of a fine run of form for Everton. They have won their…

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Pep Guardiola escapes with FA warning over referee comments

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has been warned by the Football Association after he spoke about referee Anthony Taylor before the Manchester derby. Guardiola broke FA rules by discussing the suitability of the Cheshire official, who is from Wythenshawe. Although Guardiola backed Taylor and dismissed accusations of potential bias, managers are not permitted to talk about refereeing appointments. Manchester United’s Jose Mourinho was fined for a similar charge in 2016. In November of that year, the United manager was fined £50,000 for talking about Taylor before a game against Liverpool. However, Mourinho…

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Video assistant referees (VAR) set to be used in Premier League next season

Video assistant referees are set to be used in the Premier League next season after clubs agreed in principle to the move. The Premier League will now make a formal request to the International Football Association Board and Fifa. VAR was used at the 2018 World Cup, is in operation in Italy and Germany’s top divisions, and has been utilised in some FA Cup and Carabao Cup games. The Premier League has been carrying out “non-live” trials this season. VAR will also be used in the Champions League from next season. There…

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Premier League clubs asked for £250,000 towards £5m bonus for outgoing Scudamore

All 20 Premier League clubs have been asked for a £250,000 contribution so that the league’s outgoing executive chairman Richard Scudamore can be given a £5m farewell gift. The clubs were asked for the money before a meeting on Tuesday. It is expected they will agree to Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck’s request. Scudamore, 59, who is reportedly paid £2.5m per season, is stepping down next month after 19 years at the organisation. The league’s UK television rights were valued at around £670m when he joined, and the last deal was worth…

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Sterling should have avoided showboating, says Guardiola

Pep Guardiola admitted Raheem Sterling should have avoided antagonising Manchester United in the final moments of Manchester City’s 3-1 derby win on Sunday. City moved back to the top of the Premier League with victory over their rivals as David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Ilkay Gundogan got on the scoresheet. But a late flashpoint saw Juan Mata take issue with Sterling as he showboated in the final seconds, keeping the ball in the corner and performing stepovers as United players rushed towards him. And while Guardiola was pleased with City’s other tactics that…

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Jose Mourinho claims ‘two friendlies’ helped Manchester City in derby

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said Manchester City’s preparations for their derby victory were helped by playing in two “friendly” matches during the past week. City returned to the top of the Premier League as goals from David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Ilkay Gundogan earned the champions three points at Etihad Stadium. But Mourinho said the hosts had an advantage as their past two games – home thrashings of Southampton and Shakhtar Donetsk in which they won by an aggregate 12-1 – were significantly more straightforward than his team’s most…

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Injured Romelu Lukaku doubtful for Manchester derby

Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku could miss the Manchester derby at the weekend after he was not named in the squad for Wednesday’s trip to Juventus. The 25-year-old Belgian was dropped to the bench for the match against Everton two weeks ago and then missed the win at Bournemouth because of an injury. “He’s injured for tomorrow, I’m not sure for Sunday,” United manager Jose Mourinho said. Lukaku has only scored four goals in 14 matches for United this season. The last of those came in the 2-1 win at…

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Kevin De Bruyne fears knee injury will put him out for at least a month

Kevin De Bruyne fears his knee injury may rule him out for at least a month, with the Manchester City player waiting on the results of further tests. The Belgian suffered the problem to his left knee in the 86th minute of Thursday’s 2-0 Carabao Cup win at home to Fulham. This was only De Bruyne’s second start since a three-month absence following ligament damage to his right knee. In January 2016 De Bruyne also seriously injured his right knee and ankle ligaments. If the 27-year-old is out for a sustained period it…

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Sterling verbally agrees new five-year deal with Manchester City

Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling has verbally agreed a lucrative new five-year contract. Sterling’s current deal expires in 2020 and talks about an extension have been ongoing for several months. Once signed, the contract, thought to be around £300,000-a-week, will make Sterling one of the highest-paid players in the Premier League. The 23-year-old joined City from Liverpool in 2015 in a deal that could cost the Blues £49m. He has benefited hugely from the arrival of Pep Guardiola as manager at Etihad Stadium and scored 18 goals in City’s Premier…

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Borussia Dortmund teenager Jadon Sancho gets England squad call

Borussia Dortmund teenager Jadon Sancho was a surprise selection when England manager Gareth Southgate named a 25-man squad on Thursday for this month’s Nations League matches away to Croatia and Spain. Mason Mount and James Maddison were also given their first senior England call-ups by Southgate as it was announced that the 48-year-old had signed a new contract that will keep him with the national side until the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The 18-year-old Sancho was called up having already played in the Champions League for German club Dortmund, with…

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Golden Boy: 40-man shortlist announced with Kylian Mbappe favourite to retain award

Kylian Mbappe is the favourite to become the first two-time winner of the Golden Boy award after being named among the 40-man shortlist by the Italian newspaper Tuttosport. Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold and Manchester City’s Phil Foden are on the shortlist for the award established in 2003 given to the best young player in Europe under the age of 21, with people putting their new customer betting offers on the Reds defender. Everton midfielder Tom Davies and Manchester United defender Diogo Dalot also make the 40-man shortlist. Full-back Alexander-Arnold, 19, played in Liverpool’s…

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Guardiola emphatically denies Manchester City move for Kylian Mbappe

Pep Guardiola says there is no chance of Manchester City signing Kylian Mbappe from Paris Saint-Germain. City had been linked with a fresh, £200 million move for Mbappe over the weekend. The Premier League side have tried to buy the World Cup winner on two previous occasions; Monaco rejected an approach in the summer of 2016 when he was still largely unknown outside of France, while in 2017 they were beaten to his signature by PSG. In the past week UEFA has reopened an investigation into PSG’s finances, and it was subsequently…

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Aguero signs contract extension at Manchester City until 2021

Sergio Aguero has signed a one-year contract extension with Manchester City, the Premier League champions have announced. The Argentina striker, who became City’s record goalscorer last season, is now committed to the club until 2021. Aguero, 30, has won three Premier League titles and scored 204 goals since joining City from Atletico Madrid in 2011. Aguero said: “I am happy for this additional year. My idea was being here for 10 years. I’ve been here for seven years, it’s going to be 10 when the contract expires. “This was the main reason…

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Pep Guardiola criticises Manchester City sloppiness ahead of Lyon clash

Pep Guardiola has admitted being angry with his Manchester City players despite their convincing 3-0 victory against Fulham at the Etihad Stadium. City were sloppy at times and Guardiola was unhappy at what he perceived as a slip from his side’s usual high standards. He pointed to a second-half Bernardo Silva miss to highlight the point. “The ball got passed to Bernardo and I said: ‘It is impossible that he is going to miss it because of his quality,’” the manager said. “But he missed it and I said: ‘Wow.’ “My reaction…

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