Gianni Infantino: Fifa’s president has urged women’s football to “pick the right battles” in the fight for equal pay while placing the onus on women to enforce the change. Of course he has. John Brewin has the latest …
Cardiff City: The Championship club have signed the Greece international defensive midfielder Manolis Siopis on a three-year contract.
The 29-year-old former Olympiacos defensive midfielder has played 23 times for his country and was a free agent after leaving Turkish club Trabzonspor.
“I know [Cardiff manager] Erol Bulut,” Siopsis told the official club website. “We worked together and he wants to win every time. I also work like this all of my career.”
Chelsea have confirmed the signing of Roméo Lavia from Southampton. The 19-year-old is the second defensive midfielder bought by the club this week, after Moisés Caicedo, and the deals mean Mauricio Pochettino has at his disposal two players who had been wanted by Liverpool. Jacob Steinberg reports …
The Leeds midfielder is en route to the south coast to undergo a medical at Bournemouth after the club triggered the £20m relegation release clause in his contract.
Adams had been linked with a move to Chelsea and looked on the verge of signing for them, before the club cooled their interest and went for Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia instead. The USA team captain has not played since March and is expected to be out until September with a hamstring injury.
Eddie Howe: During his press conference, the Newcastle manager was asked if he felt comfortable with the news that St James’ Park will be hosting two Saudi Arabia friendly internationals against Costa Rica and South Korea next month.
“I found out, like you, in the media,” he said. “I had no pre-knowledge of what was happening. All I’d say on that is I think Newcastle is an incredible venue to play not just football, but we’ve had bands, rugby, lots of different people, sports at the stadium and it is a truly iconic place to play.”
A number of Newcastle fans have voiced disquiet at the manner in which their club and it’s ground is apparently being used as, what they see as a sportswashing machine for Saudi Arabia, while plenty of others, including Howe, see no problem whatsoever in the iconic local cultural asset staging these friendlies.
With Mohammad Bin Salman due to visit England for the first time since being implicated in the 2018 murder of the journalist Jamaal Khashoggi, the Saudi football team are unlikely to be the most controversial visitors to the country from the sovereign state in the coming months.
The England striker is speaking, well and at great length, to the ladies and gentlemen of the Fourth Estate ahead of England’s World Cup final against Spain on Sunday.
“I think everyones excited and also calm at the same time,” she says. “That’s really the feeling in camp is right now. You’ve got the wise heads in Mary [Earps], Millie [Bright], Lucy [Bronze] … people like that, which is great because obviously they’ve experienced a lot and they’re very experienced players in ourt squad. To have them there to lean on if you need them is important.”
Earlier, Russo had tried to play down the significance of Sunday’s final. “We’re all aware it’s the World Cup final but as soon as the first whistle goes it’s just a normal game,” she siad. “That’s what we love to do, what we want to be doing. It’s 11 v 11, we know our job, we know what we want to do. We’re just going to play our game.
“Everyone’s obviously excited but we’re very relaxed, very chilled. It’s just another game for us. It shows the composure f the team. It’s another game that we must win.”
Australia. Stan Sport pundit, former Crystal Palace captain, humanitarian and all around good bloke Craig Foster has tweeted in support of Ellie Carpenter. The Australia defender, whose error allowed Lauren Hemp to score England’s second goal in the World Cup semi-final, has been the target of vile misogynistic abuse on social media.
Newcastle United: Eddie Howe takes his side to Manchester City for one of the weekend’s more mouthwatering games tomorrow night and Eddie Howe has already spoken to the press. He told reporters that if Newcastle’s reported deal to sign 18-year-old Chelsea left-back (and occasional midfielder) Lewis Hall is signed sealed and delivered, he expects that to be the club’s last bit of transfer business in the current window.
Newcastle have already added Sandro Tonali, Harvey Barnes, Tino Livramento and Yankuba Minteh to their squad this summer. “It’s a loan deal,” said Howe of Hall. “He’s a player I like — very versatile with really good potential. Let’s see what happens today. If we do bring a player in, that will be our transfer business concluded, unless we suffer injuries.”
Having snubbed overtures from Liverpool, even after Chelsea signed Moises Caicedo from Brighton, Romeo Lavia has gone to Chelseas for £35m and will be unveiled at Stamford Bridge today after signing a seven-year deal. The Belgian midfielder has bid farewell to Southampton and their fans on his Instagram page.
“As I saw goodbye, I want to say a big thank you for everything you have given me during my time here,” he wrote.
“I’ve instantly felt the love from you all despite us not achieving our shared goals. I’ll never forget the belief the club and Saints all around the world showed me and I hope I was able to repay the faith you put in me.
“I would especially like to thank all my teammates and all staff members within the club involved closely or not for putting your arms around me since the day I walked through the Staplewood Campus and for all the daily work and help behind the scenes making me become a better person, athlete and football player. You have all played a massive part into making my integration into real professional football easier.
“I will forever be grateful to you. For those reasons, this club will always remain close to my heart. Good luck this season and I look forward to seeing the club marching back to the Premier League where it belongs very soon.”
Those of us who already felt old when Sven-Goran Eriksson included the whey-faced 17-year-old Arsenal winger in England’s squad for World Cup 2006 will be weeping salty into our Ovaltine tonight now it’s been revealed Theo Walcott has retired from football.
Calling it quits at the ripe young age of 34, Walcott had offers to continue his career in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere, Walcott has decided the time is right to hang up his Nike Phantom GTs. “It’s very scary, I can’t lie,” he told Gary Neville in an episode of the Overlap podcast. “It’s scary because football’s all I’ve known from the age of 16 or even younger. I want to try new things I never experienced as a kid – I missed out on a lot. I just feel like I want to experience life – things [usually] revolve around football for me.” We wish him well in his dotage.
Sarina Weigman and her Lionesses will take centre stage in Sydney, when football fans of every stripe across England and will be foregoing their usual Sunday rituals to tune into the Women’s World Cup final. England take on Spain and a nation expects. Well, two nations expect. Or at least hope … and we all know that’s what kills you.
Closer to home, unless you happen to live Down Under, there’s no shortage of other fairly high profile football action to look forward to over the next few days. Still in its infancy, the Premier League campaign enters its second round of fixtures, which means we’ll bring you news from the press conferences of a whole host of top flight managers, as well as any other talking points that arise during the day.
Ahead of Tottenham’s home game against Manchester United tomorrow, a penny for the thoughts of Ange Postecoglou, who can finally look forward to his first media briefing as Tottenham manager without having to field questions about the future of Harry Kane. Wouldn’t it be funny if he was forced to face a barrage of relentless questioning about the future of Davinson Sanchez instead?
Such flights of fancy aside, the top flight action kicks-off tonight at the City Ground, where Nottingham Forest host Sheffield United, before concluding on Monday evening at Selhurst Park, when Crystal Palace host their fellow London side Arsenal. But in truth, while some may beg to differ, the only game that really matters kicks off in Sydney on Sunday at 11am (BST).