Done deal? Liverpool on the brink securing transfer of gifted £16m star according to reports

first_img1 Liverpool are close to sealing a deal that would see striker Mario Balotelli leave the club on a season-long loan, according to Italian sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport.AC Milan coach Sinisa Mihajlovic is reported to have met with the Italian striker in Florence on Saturday, ahead of the seven-times European champions’ first game of the season at Fiorentina.Having scored just one Premier League goal for Liverpool since signing from Milan for £16m in August 2014, Balotelli does not feature in Reds’ manager Brendan Rodgers plans for this season, prompting efforts to offload him before the summer transfer window closes.But Balotelli’s troublesome reputation and high wages have meant finding a club has been far from straightforward, despite his pedigree as a gifted attacker.Now it appears a return to the San Siro is a real possibility.“I’m not going to comment,” Milan’s general manager Adriano Galliani said of the reports linking his club with Balotelli, before hinting that they are interested in a deal.“Like (Italian singer) Antonello Venditti once said, there are certain loves which go such a long way and then they come back. And I and the president are both romantic people.”Balotelli spent two seasons with the Rossoneri before moving to Merseyside last year, making 43 Serie A appearances for the Milanese club, scoring 26 goals. Liverpool transfer news: Mario Balotelli set to seal loan deal? last_img read more

Inter Milan defender turns down Southampton switch

first_imgInter Milan star Andrea Ranocchia has spurned the chance to join Southampton, according to reports in Italy.Saints boss Ronald Koeman is desperate to add another defender to the club’s ranks while he is also concerned about the strength and depth in his squad.According to FcInterNews, the Dutchman reportedly made contact with the San Siro side over Ranocchia but the 27-year-old has made it clear he wants to remain in Italy.Although Roberto Mancini’s side want to keep the Italy international, the centre-back has also been the subject of a bid from Roma for his services this season, while Premier League side Everton have also been linked. Inter Milan defender Andrea Ranocchia 1last_img

Griezmann to sign for Manchester United? The potential deal analysed

first_imgFor Manchester United stats, check out WhoScored.com. Here, the football statistics experts analyse a player linked with a late move to Old Trafford…Like last summer, transfer deadline day looks set to centre on Manchester United. The big money move for Anthony Martial and the debacle surrounding David de Gea’s proposed transfer to Real Madrid understandably hogs the back pages as the summer transfer deadline looms in England. With time quickly running out for Premier League teams to strengthen, United must act swiftly if they are to bolster their attack, a necessity if the 2-1 defeat to Swansea is anything to go by.One of those linked with a move to Old Trafford is Frenchman Antoine Griezmann, who has excelled for Atletico Madrid this season already. Los Rojiblancos have netted four goals in La Liga this season, three of which have been courtesy of Griezmann (two assists and one goal). Such form has helped him gain a WhoScored.com rating of 8.12, a better return than every Atletico player and the ninth best in Spain’s top tier.After an impressive debut season for the Spanish outfit during which he netted 22 league goals, links regarding a move abroad came as little shock. Chelsea and Bayern Munich had both been linked with the France international, but one gets the feeling that if any team is to sign Griezmann on deadline day; it’s United.Louis van Gaal’s side requires an injection of pace on the flanks following a faltering start to the campaign. Juan Mata, as good a start to the season as he has had, lacks the speed to really trouble teams out wide and is better suited in a more central position, where his creativity can be properly utilised. As such, reports that the pacey Martial is set to move to Old Trafford are understandable, if the price tag is not, but the general consensus is that United need further investment in this area.Memphis Depay has stuttered thus far, though has shown glimpses of his potential in spurts. A more experienced wideman, though, is somewhat essential and in Griezmann; United would gain just that. At 24 years of age, the Atletico star will only improve and supporters would be hopeful of seeing that happen at Old Trafford.In summer arrivals Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco and Luiciano Vietto, Diego Simeone already has players capable of covering the loss of Griezmann. Including Jackson Martinez and Fernando Torres, the Argentine manager has ample attacking strength with which to launch an assault on the title so while Griezmann’s departure would come as a blow, it is manageable.Perhaps key to United’s reported pursuit of Griezmann is his versatility across the frontline. Comfortable on either flank or as the lone frontman, the Atletico star can cover a number of roles in attack, fulfilling the duties of the widemen and easing the burden on Rooney. Griezmann, though, is more than capable of spearheading the offensive, with his conversion rate (26.7%) the fourth best of players to net 10 or more goals in La Liga since the beginning of last season, accentuating his WhoScored.com strength of ‘finishing’.Given Rooney’s lackadaisical start to the season, Griezmann could be the player required to give the Englishman the shot in the arm he so desperately needs. Of course, time is quickly running out for any deal to be completed, but United should pull out all the stops to sign Griezmann before the transfer window slams shut for another year.For more stats on Antoine Griezmann, click here to view his WhoScored.com player page Antoine Griezmann 1last_img read more

Poll: Who’s got the best chance of winning the Rugby World Cup?

first_img George North of Wales 1 With all three remaining home nations facing tough southern hemisphere opposition in the quarter finals, the Drivetime team want to know who have got the best chance of winning the World Cup?Is it Ireland, who topped their pool and now face Argentina? Is it Wales, who escaped the ‘Pool of Death’ only to face South Africa? Or is it Scotland, who face England’s conquerors Australia?Or do they all have about as much chance of winning it as already departed England?last_img

Shaun Maloney salvages point for Hull City

first_img Shaun Maloney Substitute Shaun Maloney slotted home a second-half equaliser as Sky Bet Championship leaders Hull were made to fight all the way for a 1-1 draw by Bristol City at Ashton Gate.While the visitors showed the greater quality, their hosts left the pitch to a rousing ovation having battled from first whistle to last.Kieran Agard fired the Robins in front after 39 minutes after Andrew Robertson brought down Elliott Bennett on the right side of the penalty area.Luke Freeman’s inswinging free-kick caused havoc and the hosts appealed for handball before Agard pounced on the loose ball to net with a left-footed short on the turn.Hull had to wait until the 73rd minute to equalise when Harry Maguire broke clear onto a Mohamed Diame flick and produced an emphatic right-footed finish with only Frank Fielding to beat.Hull dominated first-half possession, yet went in a goal down and having had four players booked.The hosts created the first chance when Jonathan Kodjia volleyed wide from Freeman’s through ball. Then Hull keeper Alan McGregor had to tip over a Freeman free-kick.As the visitors got into their stride, Diame had a shot from inside the box blocked by Luke Ayling and Fielding had to palm over a fierce drive from Maguire.Hull lost defender Michael Dawson to injury just after he had collected a 35th-minute caution and Steve Bruce sent on Curtis Davies as replacement.After Agard’s goal, Hull laid siege to Bristol’s penalty area until the break. Jake Livermore’s shot was deflected over, Chuba Akpom missed a header from Robertson’s inviting cross and Diame fired over from a free-kick in a dangerous position.The second half began with both sides defending well and chances at a premium.But Hull showed their pedigree again with a 60th-minute move of quick passing that ended with Sam Clucas drilling a low shot wide from the edge of the box.With home fans getting edgy, Bristol were again finding hard to keep the ball, but there was no faulting the effort of Steve Cotterill’s men.Maloney’s equaliser came out of the blue 12 minutes after he had replaced Akpom, but was no more than Hull deserved. They immediately began to look the more likely winners.As stoppage time approached substitute Sone Aluko volleyed narrowly wide with Bristol displaying some understandably tired legs.The home side had given everything and were receiving roars of encouragement from their supporters as they valiantly clung on for a share of the spoils.For all Hull’s neat approach play, there were not too many testing moments for Fielding in the Bristol goal. 1last_img read more

How will United cope without Rooney? Predicted XI for West Ham clash

Louis van Gaal will have find a way to cope without captain Wayne Rooney for Manchester United’s clash with West Ham United on Saturday.The striker will miss the game at Old Trafford with an ankle problem, leaving his manager with a selection headache and a growing injury list.Rooney is joined on the sidelines by Ander Herrera, Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones, while Antonio Valencia and Luke Shaw remain long-term absentees.Van Gaal has been boosted by the return of Marouane Fellaini and Jesse Lingard, but the Red Devils are stretched to the limit in certain areas of the pitch.Ashley Young may be forced to fill in at left back, while Lingard could go straight back into the team after recovering from a hamstring strain.To see talkSPORT’s predicted XI click the above arrow, right. 31. Bastian Schweinsteiger (centre midfield) 11 11 8. Juan Mata (attacking midfield) 18. Ashley Young (left back) 11 1. David De Gea (goalkeeper) – see the full line up, in squad number order, by clicking the arrow above 11 9. Anthony Martial (striker) 11 11 11 11 12. Chris Smalling (centre back) getty 11 7. Memphis Depay (winger) – Depay was a shadow of his current self at Old Trafford 17. Daley Blind (centre back) 28. Morgan Schneiderlin (centre midfield) 11 36. Matteo Darmian (right back) 11 35. Jesse Lingard (winger) read more

West Brom news: Craig Dawson signs new deal to stay at Hawthorns until 2018

first_img Craig Dawson in action for West Brom Craig Dawson has signed a contract extension with West Brom.The defender’s deal at the Hawthorns was due to expire in 2017 but he has agreed an extra 12 months with improved terms.The 25-year-old, who joined Albion from Rochdale in 2011, has made 31 appearances this term to become Tony Pulis’ first-choice right back.“I was really pleased to be able to extend my contract here, and that will take it until the summer of 2018,” he told the club’s official site.“I’m really enjoying my football, especially over the last year and a half when I’ve been a regular in the first team.“I feel like I’ve developed as a player over that period and I just want to continue on with that.“I’ve been down here a few years now, the family is settled in this area, so it was a very easy decision to extend my contract.“It means I can just concentrate on playing and doing everything I can to stay in the team and carry on contributing to things.”Former England Under-21 man Dawson has made 97 appearances for the Baggies, scoring four times. 1last_img read more

Harrison’s status still up in the air

first_imgFrom news services Indianapolis Colts doctors have told Pro Bowl receiver Marvin Harrison he can play against New England, and he hopes to. Whether he actually makes it on the field is up to Coach Tony Dungy. Harrison missed all three practices this week because of a bruised left knee, and Dungy said Harrison and several others are expected to be game-time decisions for the contest between the NFL’s final two unbeaten teams. Asked whether he intended to stay on the job, a steely-eyed Reid delivered a stern, one-word answer: “Yes.” At least one of his peers thought that may not be the best approach. “If that situation comes up in anybody’s family, I would think you would have to take a hard look at taking time off, of doing something to try and salvage the thing,” said Reid’s longtime friend and mentor, Seattle Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren. Reid took a five-week absence earlier this year. At his news conference, he said more about his sons’ legal problems than he had previously. “I know this is a big story for everybody and I respect that,” Reid said. “On the other hand, I can’t go into questioning on it at this time. “However, as parents we have huge concerns for our two boys. This has been a battle we have dealt with here for a few years and I’m sure we’ll continue to address the situation. … Our prayers are obviously with the boys, for their future, and to make sure things work out, where they can live a normal life down the road.” Friday was the day Adam “Pacman” Jones was to tell Commissioner Roger Goodell he’s done enough to end his season-long suspension. However, whether the suspended Tennessee Titans cornerback actually met with Goodell in his office was unclear. The NFL declined comment, as did both of Jones’ lawyers. Messages left with the union, which had been scheduled to have a representative at the meeting, weren’t immediately returned. Reid defiant Mystery meeting Around the league Jets: Receiver Laveranues Coles was listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game against Washington because of a concussion, jeopardizing a 104-game streak in which he has started every game since 2001. Panthers: David Carr is likely to start at quarterback at Tennessee on Sunday after Vinny Testaverde missed a third straight practice with a right Achilles’ tendon injury. … Defensive tackle Kris Jenkins was fined $7,500 by the NFL for a late hit on Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning. Vikings: Cornerback Antoine Winfield was listed as questionable because of a hamstring injury. Titans: Running back LenDale White sat out practice because of a toe problem, but Coach Jeff Fisher said he should be available for Sunday’s game against Carolina.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre “Our dilemma is that the doctors thought if he (Harrison) plays, he could have continued issues with it,” Dungy said Friday. “If we give him another week off, he probably would not have the same issues down the stretch. But he wants to play.” Harrison hurt his knee against Denver on Sept. 30. He has missed two more games and was put on a play count that limited to about only half of the Colts’ plays at Jacksonville on Oct. 22. If Harrison plays against New England (8-0), Dungy said the receiver, listed as questionable, would likely again be on a play count because of soreness. Andy Reid is digging in. The Philadelphia Eagles coach insisted he will not resign a day after a judge sentenced Reid’s two sons to prison and likened his home to a “drug emporium.” last_img read more

L.A. council resists mayor on end to fee waivers

first_img“If the intent of the committee is to examine all options available to help decrease the projected deficit, then the routine waiver of fees for use of city facilities can no longer be ignored.” The mayor’s staff estimated the money saved by a fee-waiver moratorium would be equal to the cost of a new class of Los Angeles Police Department recruits. “The council spends more money on fee waivers than it does on an average class of new officers. At a time when the council is considering a cap on police hiring, a moratorium for fee waivers should also be on the table,” spokesman Matt Szabo said. “It’s a no-brainer.” But Parks and other council members bristled at the mayor’s letter. “The budget committee has enacted stricter spending limits than the mayor or the CAO,” Council President Eric Garcetti said of the proposed moratorium. “Clumsy policy will compound the financial emergency. It has to be done intelligently. We have to look at the individual event and ask, are we netting money on that event?” Garcetti cited $75,000 in security and street closure fees waived for the Academy Awards show, which generates millions of dollars in revenue for local hotels, restaurants and businesses. Councilwoman Wendy Greuel, who is also on the budget committee, said she agrees the city needs to reduce special-event fee waivers. “The amount of money spent on those now is criminal. There is no differentiation on the groups that get them,” Greuel said. Still, Greuel said she’s not ready to get rid of waivers altogether. “It costs $1,600 to close your street for an event, without staffing,” she said. “Do you think we should charge $1,600 to close off your street?” On Tuesday, the council approved $50,000 in special-event fee waivers. Those included $9,124 waived for the International Arts Marketplace at the Autry Museum, a $32,920 convention center room rental fee waived for the Black College Expo, and $1,676 waived for the Norwich Avenue Halloween Block Party in Sherman Oaks. Without the fee waiver, the Norwich neighborhood could probably still hold its Halloween block party, complete with petting zoo and horse-drawn carriage, said David Hitt, an agent with Coldwell Banker who helped organize the party. But he did question why it cost the city $1,676 even when Hitt personally picked up the street barricades in Van Nuys and returned them after the event. Councilman Greig Smith has asked the staff to review the costs associated with special events and survey how other cities handle fees for staffing and providing security at special events. kerry.cavanaugh@dailynews.com 213-978-0390160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The mayor and City Council are butting heads over a proposal to cut roughly $5 million in special-event fee waivers that council members grant to nonprofits hosting parades, block parties and other events. To please constituents and aid community groups, the City Council last year waived fees for more than 1,100 special events, totaling $5.8 million in city staff time and resources. This year, facing a severe financial crunch, City Administrative Officer Karen Sisson recommended a moratorium on special-event fee waivers to save between $3 million and $5 million. But the City Council’s Budget and Finance Committee has balked at a moratorium. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre “You have council members who were very vocal about farmers markets or neighborhood events,” said committee Chairman Councilman Bernard Parks. “They’re not going to approve a moratorium without understanding how it’s going to impact the community.” Instead, the committee has asked staffers to finish a policy proposed four years ago to establish certain groups that would get fee waivers. But Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa – already peeved over a Parks proposal to hire fewer cops this year to balance the budget – called the budget committee’s decision to reject the fee moratorium “perplexing.” The moratorium “should be embraced by the full council,” the mayor wrote in a letter to Parks. last_img read more

Walking for the homeless

first_imgPledge money raised by the students is the single largest annual donation the kitchen receives. Students walk from the poorest neighborhoods of East L.A. through the extravagance of Beverly Hills to the trendy beach town of Santa Monica. Along the way they encounter the homeless. “We did see homeless people as we walked, and gave them some of the food and drink we had,” said Charmaigne Rosselle, a St. Paul teacher and a member of the Class of ’94. Fellow teachers Richard Azina, also from the Class of ’94, and Cassie Morales, Class of ’02, recalled the sense of accomplishment they felt and how tired they were. “We encouraged each other to finish,” Morales said. The three alumni also recall seeing the diversity of the cities they walked through. On Sunday, they and the rest of the school’s staff will be following in cars to offer help, guidance and record the student progress. “It’s a St. Paul tradition,” said Liz Cadwalader, who is in charge of this year’s event, since Jiru’s retirement last year. Taking up where their teachers left off will be 600 St. Paul freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors. “It’s hard, especially in Hollywood because of the hills,” said junior Mariah Carillo, 16, who will be walking for the third year. “But it’s worth it.” For seniors Roxanne Peralta, 17, and Roxanne Mendoza, 17, the thought of walking 26 miles in one day seemed like an unreal goal. But it wasn’t a choice for them. “Being homeless could happen to anyone,” Mendoza said. “I am not better than someone who is homeless,” said Peralta. “This is just our way of helping them.” sandra.molina@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3028160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! • Photo Gallery: St. paul Rallies for Hunger • Video: St. paul Rallies for Hunger SANTA FE SPRINGS – Students and faculty of St. Paul High School held a rally Thursday not to support one of its sports teams, but to pump up students for its 35th annual March to Feed the Homeless. More than 1,000 students from St. Paul, Don Bosco Tech and Ramona Convent will walk 26 miles on Sunday from East Los Angeles to Santa Monica to raise money and awareness of the plight of the homeless. It is the school’s largest annual event and is a major fundraiser for the Catholic Worker Hospitality Kitchen that serves the homeless community on Skid Row. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat KingsThe rally consisted of skits by the drama department, music, a video presentation and a talk from the founder of the walk. “I am so impressed at the quality of students here at St. Paul,” said Dan Jiru, the man who started the march as a teaching tool. “My students were not convinced that there was an actual need to address poverty,” he said. “When they saw there was a real need, they insisted we do a fundraiser.” That year, the 20 students on the walk from St. Paul to Huntington Beach raised $200. Last year, students walked the current route, established in 1975, and raised about $20,000. last_img read more