Month: April 2018

  • Steve McClaren named Derby manager

    Derby County have appointed former England boss Steve McClaren as their new manager.The ex-Middlesbrough chief will be joined at Pride Park by Paul Simpson, who will act as first-team coach and former Manchester United goalkeepingcontent_img coach Eric Steele.It’s understood the 52-year-old was the Rams’ first choice to succeed Nigel Clough and has agreed a two-and-half-year deal at the Championship side. just hours after at the City Ground, ending his four-and-a-half-year reign.McClaren’s appointment sees him return for a third spell at the club, after serving first as a player and then assistant to Jim Smith, whom he helped to guide Derby to the Premier League in the 1995/96 season.Derby chief executive Sam Rush said: “We are thrilled to announce Steve McClaren as our new head coach as well as Paul Simpson and Eric Steele in their respective roles.”When we announced the departure of Nigel Clough it was stated that we were conducting a comprehensive review of the football structure, and we believe this is a major step forward in that regard.”Our goal is to have Derby County competing for a play-off place and beyond, and we feel with Steve and his team at the helm we have a great opportunity to do so.”Steve is a highly qualified coansfer policy on the qualities of Scott McTominay.The London Evening Standard says McTominay has been identified in a report as the type of player and character that United need to acquire more of. United's recruitment team and manager Ole Gunnar Solsch with all the skill-sets required to be a success here at Pride Park.”He also has a network of contacts both on a European and global scale, and has also proved in the past that he can identify talent and develop it on the training ground, especially younger players, which is where our Academy comes into play and his working relationship with Darren Wassall is critical to our on-going success.”It is also important that Steve, Paul and Eric know what it means to play for Derby County and they have been at the club during t'Golo Kante remains high on transfer agenda of Real Madrid.The Chelsea-Real-Madrid-transfer-battle-Man-Utd-Paul-Pogba-N-Golo-Kante">Daily ExpressChelsea-Real-Madrid-transfer-battle-Man-Utd-Paul-Pogba-N-Golo-Kante"> says Real manager Zinedine Zidane whe good times.”Steve was a driving force behind the club’s promotion under Jim Smith in the 1990s and you only have to look at his CV to discover what a hugely talented coach he is.”We are very much looking forward to letting Steve get on with the job in hand and helping Derby County move in the right direction.”
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  • Chelsea target happy to remain with Galatasaray

    Wesley Sneijder is happynto a permanent deal.That is according to Italian sports law expert and agent Filippo Pirisi.The 29-year-old is one of the leaders of Paulo Fonseca's team after signing on loan this past summer, in a move that surprised many.With United spoilt for ch at Galatasaray and willri has long justified his faith in him.The centre-back joined Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Ross Barkley as the four Chelsea Lions in Gareth Southgate's England squad this week. “I put trust in him early in the season – I think that was obvious NOT be joining Chelsea, according to the Dutchman's agent.The playmaker has been linked with a shock reunion with new Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, who he worked under at Inter Milan.Sneijder earlier this month revealed he has stayed in touch with the Portuguese manager ever since their time in Italy – and refused to rule out a move to Stamford Bridge.But now his agent Soren Lerby has settled the speculation by insisting his client will not be content_imgleaving the Turkish club this summer.Lerby told Radio CRC: "The issue is clear. Wesley is very happy at Galatasaray and he will continue there next season."
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  • Hughes admits Stoke want to sign Norwich winger

    Stoke boss Mark Hughes has admitted Norwich winger Nathan Redmond is a target for the club. is the Welsh manager’s first choice but content_imgRedmond, 20, but impressed in the Premier League despite the club’s relegation.And Hughes confessed the Potters were tempted by signing the England Under-21 international.“There is interest there – he’s a good young player and a player we would like.”Howevettle the PSG locummer.Goal reports Emery wants to make four signings this summer.The Spaniard is looking to get deals over the line for defence, midfield and attack this summer.Emery wants a new centre-back, a left-back, a winger and a replacement for Aaron Ramsey.Rker room.Last week, Pique volunteered the information that Barca's players went to the board about taking group pay-cuts in order to help bring Neymar back from PSG last summer.However, Brazilian reporter Isabela Pagliari believes ther, the Manchester United legend struck a note of caution, claiming a deal could be some way off.“He’s not our player, he’s Norwich’s player, and they are obviously well within their rights to retain him,” he added to Sky Sports.“He’s under contract to them and there is nothing moving at the moment. So we’ll just have to bide our time maybe.”
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  • David Bernstein on being made a CBE and why managers must start setting a better example

    David Bernstein, the former chairman of the Football Association, joined the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast to give his reaction to being made a CBE in the New Year Honours list.Bernstein also reiterated his belief that football managers in England must improve their behaviour for the good of the game, saying: “We talk about players needing to be role models and managers need to be role models as well.“I hope sometimes they could think a little more first and act a little more carct.The 36-year-old was tipped to leave the club during last month's transfer window having not started a Premier League match since emier League football.The Spaniard, signed from Atletico Madrid in the summer, scored a cracking goal in Tuesday's 4-1 win over Burnley.And Guardiola has been impressed with the midfielder's willingness to learn on and off the pitch."[Rcontent_imgodri] was incrmid-September.But Murray was recalled to the starting line-up at West Ham on Saturday and responded with the late equaefully on the touchline because some of the stuff we see isn’t great and it doesn’t set a good example for people that follow football.”
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  • Allardyce distances West Ham from Ba swoop

    West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has dampened his side’s hopes of re-signing Demba Ba in January but reiterated his desire to bring in attacking reinforcements when the transfer window re-opens.The goal-shy Hammers are the third-lowest scorers in the top flight – only Sunderland and Crystal Palace have scored fewer goals – and eguilon isn't short of offers as he prepares to leave this summer.The youngster has been told by coach Zinedine Zidane he has no place for him in next season's squad.But despite Zidane's opinion, ABC says some of Europe's biggest clubs are queuing tothey’ve managed just two strikes in five league matches .Club-record signing Andy Carroll is , while Allardyce has opted to deploy a striker-less formation instead of starting Carlton Cole and Modibo Maiga in recent weeks.The Hammers have been linked with a move for Chelsea hitman Ba, who s season.Seriebnews.com says Saints had scouts posted to the clash between Spezia and Ascoli last weekend. A player on each team were the subject of their interest.Ascoli striker Gianluca Scamacca, on-loan from Sassuolo, and Spezia defender Martin Erwas prolific in his first spell at Upton Park back in 2011, but Allardyce is unsure if Jose Mourinho will let the Senegal international leave Stamford Bridge.He said: “I’m not so sure you’ll be able to get Demba Ba with Romelu Lukaku on loan at Everton. Jose will want three strikers.“We have stated that we want to strengthen a certain area. content_imgThat will get hundreds of agents picking the phone up to tell us who they have available. The phone is starting to get warmer. It’s not red hot yet.”
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  • Exclusive – Pleat: Tottenham must improve to gain Champions League spot

    David Pleat believes Tottenham must find form quickly if they’re to finish in the top four.and reinvested most of the But, while results have been good for the north London club, performances have been lacking attacking intent and former manager Pleat claims Andre V United teen Mason Greenwood admits he grew up idolising club icon content_imgWayne Rooney.Greenwood, however, admits he's never met thorwich City.The midfielder put pen-to-paper on a four-year deal on Tuesday and instantly rejoined former club FC Sochaux- on loan until the end of the season.Sitti says he watched the Canaries' 1-0 victory over AFC Bournemouth on January 18 and was ie former club captain.He said, “Wayne Rooney and the Brazilian Ronaldo have always stood out for me. I've always looked up tillas-Boas’ side will need to improve up frontif they’re to force their way into the Champions League next season.“Tottenham have a good chance of finishing in the top four but they have to hit some rhythm quickly,” he told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast show. “They are picking up results but that’s down to a solid formation and good organisation. They also have an outstanding goalkeeper and two great centre-backs.“The more creative side of the team may have to be a little bit more progressive in their play.”
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  • Brazil v Germany preview: Can Low orchestrate a Mineirazo and end the Selecao’s World Cup dream?

    . Despite making it to within 90 minutes of a World Cup final on home soil – and within touching distance of a dream tournament win – as well as the loss of Thiago Silva through suspension has put a major dampener on events. Joachim Low’s Germany – –currently blockthe Selecao’s path to the final, and having dropped out at this hurdle in 2010, the Germans are determined to make amends by going one step further. If they can do that at the Estadio Mineirao on Tuesday night, then the Mineirazo may just join the in football’svocabulary as one of Brazil’s most painful defeats.Big Phil Scolari’s side won’t go down without a fight, but without both their talisman andtheir captain, they need other names to step up. talkSPORT previews the big game…: Brazil and Germany have met 21 times so far, including games contested by the former West Germany. The Selecao can only claim four wins compared to 12 for the Germans, with five draws.: Either Neymar or Thiago Silva could easily lay claim to this title for Brazil, with the PSG man the host nn Bednarek is hoping to win bragging rights over manager Ralph Hasenhuttl and teammate Kevin Danso.The centre-back will line-up for Poland against Austria for a Euro2020 qualifier on Monday night.Speaking to theDaily Echo, Bednarek said: "It's alwaysation’s best at the back, and his compatriot their deadliest forward. With both out of the semi-final however, perhaps the next best performing player in a yellow shirt has been David Luiz. The former Chelsea man has looked much more assured for his nation than he ever did at Stamford Bridge, and with two goals to his name – including a spectace on their 9-0 thrashing of Southampton.Rodgers wants his players not to rest on their laurels.He said, “I just think that we will get better, we will improve.“The performance and result is perfect of course. The players are believing in how we wular free kick against Colombia – he is currently Brazil’ssecond top scorer behind Neymar. The host nation need another inspirational pecontent_imgrformance from the Sao Paulo native if they want to progress.After narrowly topping a group featuring Mexico, Croatia and Cameroon, in the first knockout stage to progress to the quarter-finals. Their subsequent clash with Colombia could have fallen apart in the dying minutesafter Los Cafeteros scored a late penalty, , booking their place in the final four.: As is so often the case, Thomas Muller has been a huge threat for Germany, putting away four goals at the tournament so far. Even when he isn’t scoring, the Bayern man’s constant movement ensures opposition defenders can’t relax for a second if they want to avoid conceding, whether he’s leading the line or on the flank in support of Miroslav Klose.Germany topped a tough group featuring the U.S.A, Portugal and Ghana, during their round of 16 clash. Up next were France, who had looked one of the strongest sides in the competition until that stage, but Joachim Low’s side managed to contain Les Bleus, eliminating them thanks to a Mats Hummels goal.
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  • Malky Mackay on Man United clash, that Rooney incident and Cardiff’s fight for survival

    Cardiff manager Malky Mackay joins the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast to reflect on his side’s clash with Manchester United on Sunday, after the .Mackay also gave his thoughts on the incidenorm.The French winger missed almost two months of action with a thigh injury, but United have won five out of six games since his return against Liverpool on October 20."Since he's come back in, we've got that focal point," James said Sunday's win ovt involving Wayne Rooney, who escaped with a yellow card for a kick out at Jordon Mutch, and assesrounded over talk of being a future Barcelona or Real Madrid player.That claim was made by Mount's former Vitesse teammate Mitchell van Bergen.Those comments didn't go unnoticed by Mount, but he poured cold water on the transfer suggescontent_imgtion by insistised the club’s chances of escaping relegation from the Premier League.
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  • Why Manchester United may just be England’s best hope in the Champions League

    In the Scot’s first season at Old Trafford, Moyes’ squad have struggled with injury problems, lost their mental stronghold over opponents and faltered under the cloud of Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement., United’s hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions league, via their league position, lookall but gone with 11 points separating the Red Devils and Liverpool in fourth.Yet, with Manchester City and Arsenal facing superior opponents in the last 16, and with Chelsea’s focus on the league, could United be England’s best hope of victory in this season’s Champions League?talkSPORT explains why that may not be as crazy as it sounds…In contrast tothe Premier League champions poor formdomestically, some of the team’s best performances under David Moyes have come in the Champions League.In a group with Bayer Leverkusen, Shakhtar Donetsk and Real Sociedad, the Red Devils were unbeaten in their six matches, finishing top with 14 points.Of David Moyes’ reign so far, two of United’s standout performances have come against Bayer Leverkusen. The Germans were Moyes’ first Champions League fixture when they travelled to Old Trafford in September, but were swept aside in a 4-2 victory for the Red Devils, with Wayne Rooney instrumental in the win. In the reverse fixture, United travelled to Germany looking to take ownership of the group and did so in stunning fashion; with Rooney, again, starring in a 5-0 win against Sami Hyypia’s side.United have a host of Champions League winners in their ranks, with the likes of Patrice Evra, Nemanja Vidic, Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney still regulars in the side that triumphed in Moscow in 2008.This knockout know-how shouldn’t be dismissedand United will need to draw on all the experience they can get if they are to go all the way to the final in Lisbon.Such experience, as other sides have found to their cost, is hard to come by.There is no denying Manchester United’s faltering league form this term. The champions have barely put up a defence oftheir Premier League crown and have watched form afar as Chelsea, Man City, Arsenal and possibly Liverpoolbattle it out for the trophy they won for a 13th time last May.Yet, United can look to the Champions League wins of Liverpool in 2005 and Chelsea in 2012 as sources of inspiration. In 2005, Rafael Benetiz’ Liverpool side finished a mammoth 37 points behind champions Chelsea, ending up fifth in the Premier League. The Merseyside club’s 58 point haul meant they were facing a season in the UEFA Cup. Well, they would have done without their memorable Champions League victory. The Reds belied their league form to reach the final in Istanbul against Carlo Ancelotti’s AC Milan side and their win on penalties meant they were included in the competition for the following season, despite missing out through their league position.Chelsea also endured a similarly poor season in the league in 2012. Andre Villas Boas’ time at Stamford Bridge was brought to a halt midway through the season and the Portuguese was replaced by Roberto Di Matteo. The Italian failed to reverse the Blues’ struggles in the league, with the West London club finishing outside the Champions League qualifying positions in sixth.However, Di Matteo guided the club, miraculously, to a Champions League final after masterminding wins over Napoli, Benfica and most notablyBarcelona.Chelsea were underdogs going into the final against Bayern Munich in the Germans’ own stadium, but like the rest of their campaign, defied the odds to win their first ever Champions League.The wins mean two of England’s last three Champions League victors have come from sides that have struggled in the Premier League. This will be a source of comfort and inspiration for David Moyes, offering a glimmer of hope that there seasoneal Madrid to sell James Rodriguez for a realistic price.James has long agreed terms with Napoli, but Madrid are continuing to hold out for a €42m fee.“James' problem is that we have to negotiate with Real Madrid," De Laurentiis told Radio Kiss K can be turned around.Their season may have been littered with disappointments against the likes of Sunderland, Fulham and West Brom, but surely United will overcome Olympiacos.The Greek side will be no walkover for David Moyes’ side, having remained unbeaten in their 25 domestic league matches this term, but the Red Devils should have too much for the Greek champions.Positions in the semi-final are far less likely for Arsenal and Man City, with the latter facing an uphill task to reverse a 2-0 defeat when they travel to the Camp Nou for the second-leg. Arsenal face current European Champions Bayern Munich tonight in the first-leg at the Emirates and will be wary of the side that knocked them out last season.It will take the performance of a lifetime for City to recover from their defeat last night and Arsenalwill have to be at their very best if they are to overcome Bayern over two legs.Chelsea have a favourable last 16 draw having been tied with Galatasaray. The draw means former Blues favourite Didier Drogba will come face to face with his ex manager and former team-mates. Though Galatasary will provide a sterner challenge than Olympiacos, Chelsea should still have too much for the Turkiscontent_imgh side.However, going forward, Chelsea best chance of silverware surely lManchester City fullback Kyle Walker admits their title defence is slipping away after defeat at home to Manchester United.The result leaves City 14 points behind leaders Liverpool.Walker remarked afterwards, "Us as defenders need to hold our hands uieswiththe Premier League. Despite his best attempts to convince us otherwise, Jose Mourinho’s side are in with a great shout of winning the title this season and there’s a sense that his side have the bit between their teeth in the title race.With this in mind, Mourinho’s ‘little horse’ may have to settle for races in the Premier League, with the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona likely to be too much for the Blues.Besides, Mourinho couldn’t win the Champions League for Chelsea when he had a much stronger team that was coasting to Premier League titles.It’s the grave reality of Moyes’ first campaign in charge of the champions that winning the Champions League is probably the only way that United will compete in the competition next season.Moyes has acknowledged the fact that there needs to be a period of rebuilding at Old Trafford, but failing to qualify for the Champions League will be a major blow to that process.Attracting players to Old Trafford should be easy for Moyes, but without Champions League football, United will have to pay way over the odds to even talk to some of the players they need to revitalise the side.With that in mind, Moyes and the players will throw everything they have at winning this season’s competition. It could be the difference in coming years.It would be against the odds and we wouldn’t put any money on it happening at this stage, but you never know in football.United fans, do you think you can win it? Let us know below…
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  • Warnock reveals failed Palace move for in-form Spurs man

    Neil Warnock has revealed he tried to sign Harry Kane from Tottenham when he hitting 11 goals in all competitions so far.But Warnock says the striker could have been in an Eagles shirt this summer, revealing he came close to landing the 21-year-old back in August when he was on the fringes of the first team under Mauricio Pochettino.And now the Palace boss must find a way to shackle Kane when the sides meet at White Hart Lane on Saturday.Warnock said: “I’ve tried to get him a few times this year.“He’s a good lad, a genuine lad. He’s an exciting player, his first thought when he gets the ball is positive.event pitch invasions.The Liverpool Echo says Liverpool are planninunich have lost Robert Lewandowski for four weeks with a knee injury.The Pole suffered the injury in Tuesday's emphatic 3-0 win over Chelsea.A club statement read: "At FC Bayern's 3-0 over Chelsea FC yesterday, Robert Lewandowski suffered a fracture g to write to UEFA to voice their concerns after a pitch-invader left Adrian with an injury by gatecrashing the Super Cup celebrations.The Reds wercontent_imge toasting their 5-4 penalty-shootou“When I came in he wasn’t involved at the time. We thought there was a chance of getting him on loan but unfortunately they’re in that horrible cup on a Thursday night.”
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  • Daniel Agger distances himself from Liverpool exit

    Daniel Agger has distanced himself from a Liverpool exit and has pledged his future to the club.Brendan Rodgers' defence may need significant surgery over the summer with Sebastian Coates seemingly destined for a summer move, and the future of Martin Skrtel uncertain.However, Agger is happy at Anfield and the 28-year-old insists he is committed to his contract,content_img which does not expire until 2016, "I still have three years left and I intend to fulfil them," the Denmark captain said. "There are always rumours, but who is creating them? I don't know."It is not a bad thing to be linked with top clubs but you have to take 70 per cent (of the speculation) off and then you have the reat Goodison Park this summer.The Liverpool Echo says Ancelotti will be handed an Everton transfer boost this summer as Oumar Niasse, Luke Garbutt, Cuco Martina and Shani Tarashaj all depart at the llegri.After leading Juve to the Scudetto, Allegri has been criticised for failing in Europe.LA Galaxy striker Ibra said: “Allegri's right: only winning counts in football.“If you play well and don't win, it doesn't count for anything.“It's youexpiration of their Goodison Park contracts and clearality."Carragher retiring at the end of this season leaves Agger as the most experienced defender at the club, having moved to Anfield in January 2006.While he may not be the most vocal on the pitch, Agger believes he has done – and will do – plenty in terms of leadership but admits he cannot replace Carragher."Jamie speaks for himself. To be at that level for that long, it's not impossible but really close," he added. "You learn from every single player you play with in training. If you want to be the best you have to learn from the best."I don't think you have to replace him because every footballer is not the same. Every person is different."When someone steps down, someone else has to take over. I play the way I do. I am the person I am and I'm doing the things I'm doing and I won't really change."I am taking the responsibility I need to take. I enjoy it and there are a few players who are taking a lot of responsibility."
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  • Former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon talks Beckham, Bale and La Liga

    Former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon joined the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast on Tuesday.Calderon reflected on his time at content_imgthe Bernabeu and discussed some of the players who at Arsenal.But The Sun says Gunners chiefs are not convinced they can talk the former Tottenham boss into such a controversial move.Just two weeks after backing Emery, Arsenal's board is already having second thoughts about he struggling Spaniard.Anrepresented the club during his spell, including David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldoon't care if Manchester United sign another midfielder this summer.The Red Devils are hoping to sign at least one midfielder to replace Ander Herrera, who joined PSG this month.But McTominay insists he will work hard to keep his place in Ole Gunnar S.He also assessed the impact Gareth Bale has made in Spain, gave his thoughts on current manager Carlo Ancelotti and gave his reaction to the news
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  • ‘I’m leaving Arsenal’ – Defender rejects new Gunners deal

    Arsenal defender Bacary Scontent_imgagna has confirmed he will be leaving the Gunners this summer “for sure”, after rejecting a new deal at the Emirates Stadium.The France international has put to bed months of speculation over his future, telling French press he will definitely leave Arsenal despite an offer of a contract extension from manager Arsene Wenger, “It’s not longer a secret, I will leave Arsenal for sure,” Sagna told L’Equipe.“Arsenal tried to make an effort but the discussions hav West Ham United are interested in signing Genk striker Mbwana Samatta.The 26-year-old, who scored against Liverpool in his side's 2-1 Champions League defeat on Tuesday, has a release clause in his contract reported to be about £10m, reports BBC Spe not gone as I wished.“There is non Rondon.The striker spent the season on loan at the Premier League club, helping them stay up with 12 goals during the campaign.And his manager Benitez sees him as a key member of the team.But since Newcastle have left it so late, Benitez is concero ideal end but it was a dream to finish like that at Wembley with the cup [].“It was an honour to wear the shirt.”, though he refused to comment on his next destination after seven seasons with the Gunners, having arrived from Auxerre for £6million in 2007.He added: “I’ll fix that before the start of the World Cup”.Arsenal are reportedly have already begun their search for Sagna’s replacement, with and both strongly linked with a switch to north London.
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  • Exclusive – Nicol: Scotland’s future not looking rosy

    Former Scotland and Liverpool legend Steve Nicol believes Scotland and England both have similar problems in struggling to produce high class international players.While the two British sides’ fortunes are contrasting on the world stage old, who was sacked by Manchester United in December, added that he would be opening to managing countries other than his native Portugal."I want to compete in new competitions," he told Eleven Sports in June."I think about the World Cup and the Euro– England are close to qualifying for next year’s World Cup in Brazil while the Scots’ hopes are already over – Nicol told Jason Cundy on Call Collymore both countries need to unearth new players.He said: “Scotland’s problem and Gordon’s (Strachan, the Scotland manager) problem is unearthing players. That’s the bottom line and until we start producing players we’re not going to qualify for anything.“The fact that we are where we are means every single qualifying group we get into we’re going to be playing against top top teams all the time which makes it even harder.“The futu Coast international is hotting up, as teams look to finalize their squads ahead of the coming Premier League season.Arsenal were the club with the most interest in Zaha, but they have turned their attention to Nicholas Pepe.Sky Sportssays Everton's re is not looking rosy for Scotland. It’s about players and the Scottish Football Association have to start producing more players because if they don’t you and I are going to be sitting here in 10 years time saying the same thing.“England have got real problems and again the same thing is they have to start producing players.”Scotland are rock bottom of their World Cup qualifying group after they were beaten by undefeated leaders Belgium 2-0 on Friday night at Hampden Park. They now face a trip to Macedonia on Tuesday night and the ex-Reds hero said it is key that Strachan’s team salvage some pride.And for England they now face a trip to Ukraine where a win would move them within touching distance of sealing top spot and automatic qualification for Brazil.However, ascontent_img injuries have deprived him of Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge while a
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  • Chelsea transfer news: chance to sign super striker in Courtois-Atletico deal?

    Atletico Madrid’s desire to keep Thibaut Courtois at the Vicente Calderon on a permanent basis is no secret, and a new development suggests Chelsea may finally be willing to negotiate on a move.There is one catch, however: aware of their inability to match the £20m valuation placed on the Belgian by the Blues, Atletico are now said to be willing to offer one of their finest players in a part-exchange for the fan favourite.With plenty of talent wearing the red and white shirt at the moment, talkSPORT look at some of the players Chelsea could bring in as part of a deal, and ask which of them would be the best pick…: Joao Miranda:ing to stay and fight for his place.Blues boss Frank Lampard was full of praise for Christensen after his performance in the 3-0 thrashing of Burnley at the weekend.And The Athletic claims the player himself is keen to stay and fight for a place in t 29: Centre-backThe unsung hero of Atletico’s recent success under Diego Simeone, Joao Miranda is adependable centre-back with acute positional awareness and excellent timing in the tackle.For many, Miranda is, pound-for-pound, the best central defender in Spain at the moment, and while the rumour mill writers may not have caught on to his quality quite just yet, expect someone of Jose Mourinho’s understanding to be long aware of the Brazilian’s ability.Considering John Terry’s age and the recurring doubts over David Luiz as a centre-back, Miranda could be a useful option for the Blues over the next three to four seasons.: Koke: 21: MidfielderKoke has been making regular appearances with the Atletico first team since 2010, but it is only this season that the young midfielder has really shown the full range of what he is capable of, pulling the strings in an increasingly attacking and creative Colchoneros side.Diego Simeone recently said that in the future, Koke ‘will be among the 10 best players in the world’, and the Argentine isn’t known for exaggerating in his comments to the press.The youngster’s stature is reflected in the general consensus in Spain that he will be on the plane to Brazil next summer for the World Cup, and at 21 he is only likely to improve upon showings that are already impressive by any standard.The question is, do Chelsea need another creative midfielder?:Oliverill Shankly after Tuesday night's Champions League semi-final heroics.Klopp's side unbelievably overturned a 3-0 deficit from the first leg by winning 4-0 at Anfield.And Johnstone thinks Klopp can be compared to Shankly, who won 10 trophies in his ti Torres: 19: Attacking midfielderOne step behind Koke in his development, along with the aforementioned number six, Oliver Torres is the most exciting talent to break through at Atletico for years.Despite having only made around 20 first team appearances for the Madrid side, the excitement among supporters when Oliver receives the ball is already palpable, with the young Spaniard capable of producing something out of nothing with his skill and quality.Some stories suggest Barcelona have first refusal on Oliver as a part of the deal that brought David Villa to the Calderon, and that is a reflection of just how highly-rated he is, considering the Catalan club has no shortage of quality midfielders.Again, however, Chelsea don’t lack players in his area of the pitch.: Diego Costa: 25: StrikerThe cutting edge at the front of the Atletico attack, Diego Costa has gone from a relative unknown to one of the most coveted players in Europe over the course of the last 12 months, starting the year as an increasingly useful partner to Radamel Falcao, and ending it in form that the Colombian could only dream of since his move to Ligue 1.He currently leads Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in the La Liga goal-scoring charts, and in total has scored 23 goals and assisted two in all competitions so far this season.The Brazilian recently committed his long-term future to Atletico with a contract extension running until 2018, but the Madrid side will have no shortage of teams offering to pay a fortune to lure him away from Los Rojiblancos.Clearly, Chelsea could use someone of his quality in a position that has been a problem for them since the departure of Didier Drogba.:The two Atletico midfielders above are certainly tempting for any club, with Koke already verging upon Europe’s elite, and Oliver possessing the potential to go even further, but Chelsea have an abundance of players in their positions. It is unlikely, therefore, that Jose Mourinho would consider letting Thibaut Courtois go in a part exchange for a luxury signing like the aforementioned two Spaniards.That leaves Diego Costa and Joao Miranda. Both players would be a major asset for the Blues, but while Costa in particular is perhaps the one that stands out as Chelsea’s biggest necessity, his importance for Atletico means the Spanish side are unlikely to let him go even if it means gaining Courtois.Miranda may not be a star name to rival his team mate, but the defender is just ascontent_img good in his position as the striker is in his own, and could be the dependable defender Chelsea need to avoid missing John Terry too much when the Englishman retires.Chelsea fans, would you let Courtois go in a part-exchange for Miranda, or is it a case of no deal if Diego Costa isn’t involved? Let us know by leaving a comment below…
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