Newcastle and Leicester compete to sign Crystal Palace’s Andros Townsend

• Premier League duo willing to pay £20m for winger
• Palace interested in Chelsea’s Tammy AbrahamNewcastle United are facing competition from Leicester City in their attempts to re-sign Andros Townsend from Crystal Palace this summer. The former England winger, who enjoyed one of his most productive seasons last term after playing 39 games in all competitions for Palace, has already been the subject of an enquiry from Newcastle who have indicated a willingness to pay around £20m for the player. Yet such an offer not be enough to secure the 26-year-old, who signed a five-year contract at Selhurst Park when moving from Tyneside for £13m back in the summer of 2016. Continue reading...

Arsenal monitoring £18m-rated Borussia Dortmund craftsman

According to a report published by The Mirror, Arsenal are supposedly monitoring the availability of Borussia Dortmund’s midfield craftsman Mario Gotze, who scored the pivotal goal against Argentina to gift Germany the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Following his famed heroics on the international stage, Gotze was regarded as one of the modern game’s most […]

Everton set to make opening offer for Norwich’s James Maddison

• England Under-21 international wanted by Marco Silva
• West Ham and Leicester also expected to firm up interestEverton have emerged as the frontrunners to sign the Norwich midfielder James Maddison, who they see as the long-term replacement for Wayne Rooney. The former England international is expected to complete his transfer to DC United and Everton are expected to move for the 21-year-old Maddison soon. Maddison, who scored 15 goals in the Championship last season, wants to make the step up to the Premier League and it is doubtful Norwich will stand in his way. Continue reading...

Leicester City sign Jonny Evans on a three-year contract

• Fee for Northern Ireland defender in region of £3.5m
• ‘I hope I can give lots to the team and the club’ says EvansLeicester City have confirmed the signing of Jonny Evans on a three-year contract for a fee believed to be in the region of £3.5m. Evans was part of the West Bromwich Albion side that was relegated from the Premier League last season but the centre-back was among their better, most consistent players and has been ever since he arrived at The Hawthorns from Manchester United in 2015. Indeed, such was the quality of Evans’ displays for West Brom that he had been linked with moves to Manchester City and Arsenal, prior to joining Leicester. Continue reading...

Premier League finances: the full club-by-club breakdown and verdict

The 2016-17 accounts of all top-flight clubs and what the figures say about their health. Manchester United top the charts again with a £581m income and £57m profit Financial figures for 2016-17, for the 20 clubs that were in the Premier League during 2016-17. All details from the most recently published annual reports at Companies House. Crystal Palace have missed the deadline for filing their accounts; as a consequence, all rankings of clubs are out of 19, not 20. Net debt is as stated in the accounts; debts minus cash held at the bank. The separate categories of turnover are listed according to the wording in individual club’s accounts and are each rounded up or down, so added together they do not always tally with the total turnover figure. Continue reading...

Bouncebackability: a word coined for the play-offs that fits them perfectly

The best preparation a team can have for a play-off final is the experience of losing one the year before By Richard Foster, author of The Agony and the Ecstasy Iain Dowie coined the word bouncebackability in the 2003-04 season when describing how his Crystal Palace team had gone from the fringes of relegation in December to winning promotion through the play-offs in May. Not many managers have been responsible for adding words to the English lexicon but Dowie shared the honour with Sir Alex Ferguson in 2005 when both “squeaky bum time” and “bouncebackability” entered the Oxford English Dictionary. It is fitting that Dowie came up with the word while discussing a side promoted in the play-offs, as bouncebackability has been remarkably common in so many sides who have won promotion in these showpiece finals. Of the 10 beaten finalists who have returned to the same fixture the Continue reading "Bouncebackability: a word coined for the play-offs that fits them perfectly"

Manchester City will have to pay Leicester in region of £75m for Mahrez

  • Considerable add-ons will supplement basic fee of £60m
  • Guardiola turned to Mahrez after Sanchez joined United
Manchester City will have to pay a basic fee of £60m for Riyad Mahrez, with Leicester City also to demand considerable add-ons which could push the final price closer to £75m for the 27-year-old. The total would still be closer to the champions’ own valuation and is considerably lower than the total package of £95m demanded by the 2016 title-winners in January. That resulted in the Manchester club walking away, with the hierarchy believing the demand to be particularly unrealistic. Continue reading...

Leicester agree deal to sign Portugal defender Ricardo Pereira

• Porto player, 24, will join on five-year deal
• Pereira has previously played under Claude Puel on loan at NiceLeicester have agreed a deal for the Porto defender Ricardo Pereira, who will move to the King Power Stadium on a five-year contract once the transfer window opens formally on 9 June. The 24-year-old, who has been named in the Portugal squad for the World Cup this summer, was in Leicester on Saturday to finalise personal terms and complete a medical. He spent time on loan at Nice when Claude Puel was in charge there. Continue reading...

Tottenham fight back to beat Leicester in thriller and seal third spot

The Tottenham Hotspur support chanted that they were going home and there is certainly excitement among their number at the prospect of returning to the rebuilt White Hart Lane next season. Yet what a send-off they gave to Wembley. The merits of the club’s temporary accommodation at the national stadium have been a talking point throughout a season in which they have secured third place in the Premier League and a third consecutive Champions League qualification. Continue reading...

Tottenham v Leicester: match preview

Leicester’s 3-1 win over Arsenal on Wednesday was welcome, not least for Claude Puel but the mutterings continue that the manager is set to be replaced. Before midweek, his team had taken one point from an available 15 but three against Tottenham could drive them to an eighth-placed finish – surely a decent effort? Mauricio Pochettino worries that nothing is ever good enough for some Spurs fans. He wants to make sure of third. David Hytner Sunday 3pm Continue reading...

Premier League: 10 things to look out for on the final day

A wake is in store in Swansea, Klopp faced with a juggling act and a swansong for Conte and Benítez? This feature, you will note, is called ‘10 Things to Look Out For’ rather than ‘10 Things to Look Forward To’. Thank goodness for that, because there might not be much to look forward to at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday. The match between Swansea and Stoke is likely to be a wake, with both clubs wondering how the hell they got into this mess. A number of players will be making their last appearance for both sides, seeing no contradiction in the belief that they are far too good to play in the Championship. Swansea could still stay up, but they need snookers, a miracle and, most unlikely of all, at least one goal. RS Continue reading...

Jamie Vardy and Leicester make 10-man Arsenal pay for misdemeanours

It is a week when all good things come to an end for Arsenal and this was in keeping with that theme as Arsène Wenger suffered his first defeat against Leicester City in 23 matches, leaving his team without a point away from home this year and enduring their worst run of form on the road since 1966. In many ways the evening felt like a microcosm of Arsenal’s season as they pressed the self-destruct button not once but twice. Konstantinos Mavropanos was sent off after only 15 minutes for hauling down Kelechi Iheanacho, who had earlier punished some poor defending to put Leicester ahead, and although Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang equalised early in the second half, Wenger’s side handed the initiative to the home team again when Henrikh Mkhitaryan brought down Demarai Gray. Continue reading...

Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action

Aubameyang can revive Arsenal, Butland lays bare Stoke’s shameful truth and West Ham would be foolish to ditch Moyes Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang might not be a classic Arsène Wenger signing because he cost a lot of money and is already close to his peak but at 28 he is certainly a man who can lead the next incarnation of Arsenal. Alongside Alexandre Lacazette the duo showed how exciting Arsenal can still be even if Burnley looked like a team packed for their summer holidays as they made up the numbers, offering less energy than the post-match speeches, in what was effectively a testimonial at the Emirates. Wenger might rue the fact he missed bringing the Gabonese international Aubameyang to England earlier – a striker not deemed good enough by Milan in his youth would have made the perfect project for the outgoing manager – but he is still leaving behind something Continue reading "Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action"

Santi Cazorla returns to first-team training after 18 months out

As per a report published by Goal, Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla has returned to first-team training on Saturday after enduring an 18 month spell on the sidelines, having undergone several vital operations on a career jeopardising Achilles injury sustained in October 2016, which also required a skin graft. The 33-year-old midfielder, as part of the process […]