Liverpool increase bid for Roma’s Alisson and close on £66.9m record deal

  • Liverpool preparing for Brazil No 1’s medical
  • Fee would be world record for a goalkeeper
Liverpool have made a new bid of €75m (£66.9m) for Alisson and are close to sealing a world-record deal for the Roma goalkeeper. The Premier League club made an initial €70m bid for the Brazilian on Tuesday, which was rejected, but the clubs are now close to reaching a deal and Liverpool are making arrangements for the 25-year-old’s medical. Related: Transfer window 2018 – every summer deal from Europe's top five leagues Continue reading...

Ten players whose transfer values surged at the World Cup

Harry Maguire, Yerry Mina, Ivan Perisic and Eden Hazard will command much higher fees now than a month ago By Martin Laurence for WhoScored Well that was fun, wasn’t it? The 2018 World Cup delivered entertainment until the very last. As ever, a number of players did their reputations no harm. With attentions now inevitably switching to the transfer window, here are 10 players who have seen their value increase significantly thanks to their impressive performances in Russia this summer. Continue reading...

Sabbi off to fast start

A damn fine goal slipped by my this weekend, and it's time to make up for it. Hobro attacker Emmanuel Sabbi came into Superliga opening day with one career goal. He didn't wait long for a second, burying a consolation cracker in their 3-1 loss at Vejle BK.
  • Greg Seltzer

Who has won the World Cup and European Cup in the same year? | The Knowledge

Plus: players who have lost European Cup and World Cup finals in the same year; knocking out continents; and huge friendly attendances. Mail us or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU “Raphaël Varane has just completed the big-time double of winning the European Cup and World Cup in the same year. Which other players have achieved this?” asks Jim George. Well, having done some digging around, we came up with a list and Varane making an illustrious XI. Mind you, Luka Modric would also have completed a team of big-time double winners had Croatia won. Here is the XI: Continue reading...

Football transfer rumours: Chelsea want Petr Cech back from Arsenal?

Today’s flim flam is brought to you by snot We all know the feeling of temptation to go back to something comforting. An old friend, that hoodie you’ve had since you were 16 which could thus tell your life story through stains, your bed instead of facing up to the grim realities of work and life. For Chelsea, that comforting thing is apparently Petr Cech. Now, we wouldn’t want to accuse them of lacking imagination, but if their solution to Thibaut Courtois’s apparently imminent departure to Real Madrid is to give the bloke whose spare boots are probably still at the training ground a ring, then … actually, that isn’t very imaginative, is it? The logical conclusion to this is of course Carlo Cudicini eventually replacing Cech, and Dmitri Kharine dusting off his jogging bottoms. Back in the land of the plausible, Kasper Schmeichel is another candidate to come in, Continue reading "Football transfer rumours: Chelsea want Petr Cech back from Arsenal?"

Starting Over: #7

For the attack, we'll go right wing, left wing, striker. That first stable is ripe for development, which is a nice way of saying there's a lot of youth and no one who has grabbed the starting role with both hands yet. Paul ArriolaSebastian LletgetBrooks LennonRising fast: Jonathan LewisNeeds more end product: Rubio RubinOf course, Arriola has recently flourished playing in a more central

Fans cheer as Iniesta lands in Japan to join Vissel Kobe

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Tokyo (AFP) – Hundreds of football fans flocked to cheer Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta when he arrived in Japan on Wednesday to join his new club Vissel Kobe. The 34-year-old Spanish World Cup winner, who lifted 32 major trophies at Barca and made over 600 appearances for the Catalan giants, completed a big-money move to Japan in May. About 300 fans came to Kansai airport at Osaka in western Japan to greet Iniesta when he arrived in the early morning, according to a Vissel Kobe spokesman.  “I was looking forward to coming to Japan. I want to play as soon as possible,” Iniesta said, according to the spokesman. “I hope to get ready for Sunday and show the fans good play.” Iniesta’s choice of Kobe is arguably Japanese football’s biggest transfer coup, with many top players now moving to cash-rich Chinese clubs in the twilight of their careers. Continue reading "Fans cheer as Iniesta lands in Japan to join Vissel Kobe"

Japanese footballer Honda founds venture fund with Will Smith

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Tokyo (AFP) – Japanese footballer Keisuke Honda is swapping football for finance, after launching a venture capital fund with Hollywood star Will Smith to invest in startups addressing social problems, the striker’s agent said Wednesday. The Dreamers Fund, set up in April in Los Angeles, aims to raise about $100 million from investors, with Japanese brokerage giant Nomura Holdings serving as “the anchor investor”, Honda’s management firm KSK Group said in a statement. “I hope to change the lives of people in the US, Japan and the world for the better through the Dreamers Fund,” Honda was quoted as saying in the statement. The former AC Milan striker announced his retirement from international football earlier this month on the heels of Japan’s heartbreaking World Cup exit in a last-gasp defeat to Belgium. “I’ll be taking on a difficult new challenge,” Honda, 32, said on his official Twitter account Wednesday, without Continue reading "Japanese footballer Honda founds venture fund with Will Smith"

World Cup Final delivers 17 million viewers across FOX and Telemundo combined

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> The 2018 FIFA World Cup Final between France and Croatia averaged 17.2 million viewers across the FOX network and Telemundo combined including online viewership. Not reflected in the viewing number is the out-of-home viewership, which included huge numbers that watched the game in bars, restaurants and public watch parties across the United States. TV numbers alone, the France-Croatia final averaged 16.6 million viewers. While not an apples to apples comparison, the 2014 World Cup Final averaged 26.5 million viewers, but that game featured powerhouses Germany and Argentina who generate a lot more interest in the United States than France and Croatia. Overall on television, the 2018 FIFA World Cup on the FOX and Telemundo networks averaged 4.6 million viewers per game. Compared to the previous tournaments, the 2014 World Cup averaged approximately 8.1 million viewers combined on the ESPN and Univision networks. For the 2018 Continue reading "World Cup Final delivers 17 million viewers across FOX and Telemundo combined"

Wembley stadium sale is backed if £600m investment goes to grassroots

• Sport England expresses conditional support
• World Cup strengthens FA’s resolve to sell The Football Association’s proposed sale of Wembley stadium has become more likely to gain the necessary approvals of public bodies after the grant-giving agency Sport England expressed conditional support. In written evidence submitted to the House of Commons digital, culture, media and sport committee before a hearing on Wednesday about the Wembley sale, Sport England stated that it sees benefits in the FA’s plan to invest the projected £600m proceeds in grassroots facilities, as long as Wembley’s sporting status is protected. Related: FA says sale of Wembley could pump £1bn into grassroots game Continue reading...

Book Review: Men in Blazers present Encyclopedia Blazertannica

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> Maybe the only thing that drives more debate in the soccer world than the dreaded “p/r” words is Men in Blazers. Roger Bennett and Michael Davies have a passionate fanbase that has followed them through multiple networks and iterations. They also have a number of detractors who view their schtick as tired analysis and infantile. As one of the few people squarely in the middle of the debate, I had the opportunity to review their new book, Men in Blazers Present Encyclopedia Blaazertannica: A Suboptimal Guide to Soccer, America’s ‘Sport of the Future’ Since 1972. Not surprisingly, like any good political hot button issue, the book will strongly appeal to one side but alienate the other. The 224-page book is written as an old-fashioned encyclopedia, if that old-fashioned volume had a faux-tweed cover. The two hosts alternate writing entries in alphabetical order with most including their initials so you know
Continue reading "Book Review: Men in Blazers present Encyclopedia Blazertannica"

Telemundo’s World Cup coverage reached 36 million TV viewers

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> After broadcasting 64 World Cup games live across Telemundo, Universo and NBCSN, Telemundo Deportes delivered an average of 2.026 million viewers per game and achieved several other noteworthy milestones. In total, Telemundo Deportes’ complete presentation of all 2018 World Cup matches reached 36.6 million TV viewers, exceeding the Spanish-language reach for the 2010 tournament by +13% (32.3 million), and coming within 1.3 million of the 2014 World Cup (37.9 million) – despite fewest Latin American countries since 2016. The Final match, a 4-2 win by France over Croatia, posted a Total Audience Delivery average of 5.45 million across Telemundo,, and the Telemundo En Vivo and NBC Sports apps, and a TV-only viewership average 5.32 million viewers. Hispanics make up 18% of the U.S. population, and yet Telemundo Deportes makes up 41% of the average World Cup viewership (average split for Continue reading "Telemundo’s World Cup coverage reached 36 million TV viewers"

Rangers face ‘a hell of a lot of work’, warns Steven Gerrard

• Rangers draw in Skopje and progress in Europa League
• Ibrox manager admits concern over shot-shy strikers Steven Gerrard admitted he has concerns about Rangers’ shot-shy strikers after their stalemate with FK Shkupi in Macedonia. Rangers squeezed into the second Europa League qualifying round 2-0 on aggregate after a goalless second leg in Skopje on Tuesday evening, but their new manager confessed afterwards that he was worried about his side’s lack of a cutting edge. Continue reading...

Gareth Bale set to step up in absence of Ronaldo

< !DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> He has been at Real Madrid for five seasons, played 189 times, scored 88 goals and won 11 trophies, four of those are Champions League titles. Now after Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Juventus, Gareth Bale’s star will finally shine on the turf of the Santiago Bernabeu. Real Madrid bought Bale in the summer of 2013 hoping the Welshman would take over the mantle of Ronaldo who had by that stage been at the club for four seasons. But it felt that Madrid wanted Bale to be the next Ronaldo while the Portuguese star was still doing a pretty fine job of that himself. However, with Bale in the side the team felt connected. The puzzle of winning the Champions League that eluded president Florentino Perez for the past 12 seasons had been found. In Bale’s first season Madrid missed out on the Spanish league title but more than made up Continue reading "Gareth Bale set to step up in absence of Ronaldo"

Harmony, humility and respect: this World Cup was Deschamps’ triumph | Marcel Desailly

Didier Deschamps crafted a team and a spirit, much like Aimé Jacquet in 1998, that catapulted France to glory Mes amis, it was a long night. World champions, a second star on the jersey and, naturellement, the celebrations were long and loud and joyful. I found myself in the changing room with the players after the game and the air was thick with laughter and song and then a certain dizziness, too, as the result began to sink in. I embraced my old friend Didier Deschamps, still soaked to the skin from the rain-drenched trophy ceremony. He was in a state of euphoria – he had done it! By leading Les Bleus to a second triumph, 20 years after being our captain when we won the World Cup in France, Didier became only the third man to have won the competition as both player and manager. He’s in Continue reading "Harmony, humility and respect: this World Cup was Deschamps’ triumph | Marcel Desailly"