Newcastle takeover LIVE: Premier League fixtures LEAKED, Bin Salman deal LATEST, fans not refunded for season tickets – The Sun

NEWCASTLE fans are still nervously waiting to see if their £300m Saudi-led takeover goes ahead.

With two weeks to go until the return of the Premier League, the Toon is still in limbo with Mohammad Bin Salman's group being assessed.

Follow all the latest updates from the North East below…

  • FULL FIXTURE LIST

  • PREM FIXTURES LEAKED

    Newcastle will return to action by hosting Sheffield United on Sunday 21 June at 2pm, live on Sky Sports.

    The Magpies then host Aston Villa on Wednesday 24 June at 6pm, live on BT Sport.

    The following weekend they are in FA Cup quarter-final action against Manchester City, again at home on Sunday 28 June at 6pm on the BBC.

    Steve Bruce's men then travel to Bournemouth on Wednesday 1 July for a 6pm kick-off, live on Sky Sports.

  • IT'S TOTT IDEAL

    Daniel Levy has called for talks to find a way to get fans back into stadiums after Tottenham were forced to take a £175million loan from the Bank of England to deal with the crisis caused by Covid-19.

    Tottenham Hotspur Stadium limited has taken the finance available through the government’s CCFF Scheme to help the club through the financial turmoil caused by the global pandemic.

    But with social distancing measures likely to remain in place for months to come, the Spurs chairman says it is vital for live events industries to come up with a plan with the government which would ease the cash-crisis caused by playing in empty stadiums.

    Levy said: “We have always run this Club on a self-sustaining commercial basis. I said as early as 18 March that, in all my 20 years at the Club, there have been many hurdles along the way but none of this magnitude – the COVID-19 pandemic has shown itself to be the most serious of them all.

    “It is imperative that we now all work together – scientists, technologists, the Government and the live events sector – to find a safe way to bring spectators back to sport and entertainment venues.

    “Collectively we have the ability to support the development of new technologies to make this possible and to once again experience the passion of fans at live events.”

  • INJURY RATES SET TO SOAR

    Players may be at an increased risk of injury as professional sports rush back into action following the coronavirus stoppage, a global union representing 85,000 athletes said on Thursday.

    Some football leagues in particular have condensed a large number of fixtures into a short space of time in an attempt to complete the season.

    “Many players will not have had access to the necessary training methods to ensure that they have the necessary fitness and conditioning to compete,” said the World Players' Association (WPA), whose members play in the NBA, MLB, NHL, NFL, European soccer and Australian Rules football, among others.

    It added: “At the same time, many sports will be eager to make up for lost time and revenue which may result in compressed schedules and elevated demands on playing and training load.”

    WPA executive director Brendan Schwab pointed to a study conducted by Australian sports scientist Joel Mason last month which suggested an increased injury rate in the Bundesliga since Germany's professional soccer league restarted on May 16.

    According to the study, a pre-stoppage rate of 0.27 injuries per match this season climbed to 0.88 in the first round of matches following the restart.

  • DILLY DALLY

    Top flight clubs avoided a vote – but effectively kicked the can down the road – if a second wave of coronavirus kicks in, reports MARTIN LIPTON.

    While there remains a split over what should happen if the season is “curtailed” by a second outbreak of Covid-19, the clubs opted to avoid a spat.

    And rather than pit the divisive issue to a vote, the teams took a position that it was not necessary to fight over a situation that may never actually arise.

    An agreement was reached that the debate will only be reopened if the season is forced into stopping for a second time.

    That avoided the faultlines between the clubs being further exposed.

    If the season cannot be finished, a points-per-game option is available, but clubs facing relegation are not keen on it.

  • PREM'S HIGH FIVE

    Premier League clubs have again put off a decision on what to do if the restarted League cannot be completed, reports MARTIN LIPTON.

    In a surprise move, the clubs agreed that the issue will not discussed UNLESS it becomes necessary because of a second shut-down.

    But the clubs did vote to approve a vote urged by Chelsea which means managers will be able to make five substitutions for the rest of the season.

    And there was also approval for another Chelsea proposal for teams to put nine players on the bench for the final part of the campaign.

    The latest meeting of the 20 Shareholder clubs lasted just under three hours.

  • LOAN EXTENDED

    Newcastle have agreed to extend Valentino Lazaro’s loan.

    The Austrian midfielder, 24, can stay at St James’ until the end of the season.

    Lazaro is understood to be open-minded about a permanent move to the North East at the end of the season and it appears dialogue between the clubs is open on the matter.

    He scored in the Toon's FA Cup win over West Brom before lockdown.

  • GOALINTON

    Joelinton was firing in the players' training session today.

    The Brazilian looks sharp on the training pitch.

  • SING WHEN YOU'RE WINNING

    Premier League TV plans will include the option of fake crowd noise and could give fans rare dressing room access, according to reports.

    TV coverage is one of the items on the agenda at today's meeting between all 20 Premier League clubs.

    Sky are said to be one of the channels considering the move for the games that will be played behind closed doors from June 17, according to the Mirror.

    Supporters had the option to listen to fake crowd noise during recent Bundesliga matches and the feedback was mixed.

    Some fans got behind the idea but many said it was “too weird” and had to “mute the unnatural sound”.

    As a result, Sky could offer each game on two of their channels – one with crowd noise, and one without.

  • MORNING NEWCASTLE FANS

    Newcastle have been blasted for a “dereliction of duty” by their supporters’ trust after continuing to take season ticket money for next year.

    With the Saudi takeover in the hands of the Premier League, owner Mike Ashley has maintained a wall of silence over reimbursing supporters.

    Whereas other clubs acted quickly, Magpies supporters have not received refunds for games to be behind closed doors.

    And some have even had four direct debit payments taken for next season, despite not knowing if fans can attend.

    One man left in limbo by the potential takeover is on-loan winger Valentino Lazaro, who has been told by the club that they are “yet to decide” on whether they will sign him permanently, according to TuttoMercato.

    Steve Bruce's side can make the deal permanent for just shy of £20million – but may have to wait until their potential Saudi takeover goes through before making a decision.

    Meanwhile, Newcastle have offered contract rebel Matty Longstaff a new £20,000-a-week deal – 24 times his current pay – to snub Udinese, according to reports.

    The Italian side have offered the Toon midfielder, 20, a £30,000-a-week deal – a monster leap from his current £850 weekly pay packet.

    But Newcastle are hoping to keep their boyhood fan at St James' Park – despite offering £10,000-per-week less than Udinese.

  • LAZARO LIMBO

    Newcastle United have told on-loan winger Valentino Lazaro that they are “yet to decide” on whether they will sign him permanently, according to reports.

    Steve Bruce's side can make the deal permanent for just shy of £20million – but may have to wait until their potential Saudi takeover goes through before making a decision.

    According to TuttoMercato, the Magpies have explicitly told Lazaro and his entourage that they are yet to make their minds up on the 24-year-old's future.

  • ICYMI – FANS TICKED OFF

    Newcastle have been blasted for a “dereliction of duty” by their supporters’ trust after continuing to take season ticket money for next year, reports OSCAR PAUL.

    With the Saudi takeover in the hands of the Premier League, owner Mike Ashley has maintained a wall of silence over reimbursing supporters.

    Whereas other Prem clubs acted quickly, Magpies supporters have not received refunds for games to be behind closed doors.

    And some have even had four direct debit payments taken for next season, despite not knowing if fans can attend.

    In a letter written to MD Lee Charnley last week, the Newcastle United Supporters’ Trust demanded confirmation of refunds for this campaign and season ticket payments for next to be paused.

    It said: “We understand the club finds itself in a complex situation in light of the prospective sale of the club by the incumbent owner.

    “That does not give you a legitimate right to a dereliction of duty to your supporters. Without supporters, Newcastle United does not exist.”

  • WAT ON EARTH?

    The Telegraph's Matty Longstaf report claims that he has been advised by former Great Britain hockey star dad, David Longstaff, to reject a new Newcastle deal and move to Italy.

    However, Longstaff could be back in England as early as January 2021, with Watford keen on the midfielder.

    The Hornets are affiliated with Udinese – both owned by the Pozzo family.

    The long-winded deal could be put in place to allow Watford to pay a lower compensation sum.

    Should Newcastle fail to tie Longstaff down to a new contract, Udinese will be able to sign the hot prospect for just £400,000 in compensation.

  • STAY TOONED

    Newcastle have offered contract rebel Matty Longstaff a new £20,000-a-week deal – 24 times his current pay – to snub Udinese, according to reports.

    The Italian side have offered the Toon midfielder, 20, a £30,000-a-week deal – a monster leap from his current £850 weekly pay packet.

    But Newcastle are hoping to keep the boyhood Geordie at St James' Park by offering £10,000-per-week less than Udinese.

    Toon chiefs had been offering the younger of the two Longstaff brothers around £15,000-a-week as they looked to tie him down for five more years.

    But Serie A side Udinese are said to have made an audacious effort to land the midfielder this summer – also offering a five-year deal.

    The Telegraph are now claiming Newcastle are willing to offer him “more than £20,000-a-week” in a bid to tempt him into staying in the North-East of England.

  • PREM CORONA SCARE

    One Premier League player has tested POSITIVE for coronavirus from one club, but they remain anonymous.

    The league said in a statement: “The Premier League can today confirm that on Monday 1 June and Tuesday 2 June, 1197 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19. Of these, one has tested positive from one club.

    “Players or Club staff who test positive will now self-isolate for a period of seven days.

    “The Premier League is providing this aggregated information for the purposes of competition integrity and transparency.

    “No specific details as to clubs or individuals will be provided by the League and results will be made public after each round of testing.”

  • MORE ON SEASON TICKETS

    The Supporters' Trust continued: “We have previously contacted Newcastle United to express our concerns at the lack of action by Newcastle United to assist its supporters in a time of need during this unprecedented global health and economic crisis.

    “You have called on the fans of Newcastle United for support so often over the years and when we called for you to stand by your supporters, you did nothing.

    “The majority of clubs have managed to find solutions to these ticketing issues and to offer support to their fans.

    “There is no obvious obstacle to Newcastle United doing the same.”

  • FANS TICKED OFF

    Newcastle have been blasted for a “dereliction of duty” by their supporters’ trust after continuing to take season ticket money for next year, reports OSCAR PAUL.

    With the Saudi takeover in the hands of the Premier League, owner Mike Ashley has maintained a wall of silence over reimbursing supporters.

    Whereas other Prem clubs acted quickly, Magpies supporters have not received refunds for games to be behind closed doors.

    And some have even had four direct debit payments taken for next season, despite not knowing if fans can attend.

    In a letter written to MD Lee Charnley last week, the Newcastle United Supporters’ Trust demanded confirmation of refunds for this campaign and season ticket payments for next to be paused.

    It said: “We understand the club finds itself in a complex situation in light of the prospective sale of the club by the incumbent owner.

    “That does not give you a legitimate right to a dereliction of duty to your supporters. Without supporters, Newcastle United does not exist.”

  • PREM FIXTURES UPDATE

    The Premier League have not announced the dates and kick-off times of their fixtures because the broadcasters are scrambling to get their ducks in a row.

    Sky Sports, BT Sport, BBC Sport and Amazon have all paid for rights and are set to broadcast live games, even thought the BBC only has a highlights package.

    But the four media bodies have to announce the fixtures at the same time.

    That means we won't hear about firm dates and kick-off times until potentially NEXT WEEK.

    Luckily we already know Manchester City are playing Arsenal on June 17, as well as Aston Villa vs Sheffield United

    For fans who have waited nearly three months to watch their team in some form or another, that doesn't leave much time to decide which beer, crisps and pizza to buy for their Premier League viewing.

  • VALUE FOR MONEY

    SunSport has collated the most-expensive players in football after the coronavirus crisis.

    Football has been hit severely, with some clubs paying their players in full, while others have reduced their wages.

    Here is how transfer values will look after the crisis.

  • BLACK LIVES MATTER

    Christian Atsu is clearly behind Newcastle's photo of the players taking a knee at training.

    View this post on Instagram

    @nufc #blacklivesmatter✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿

    A post shared byChristian Atsu (@chris_atsu) on

  • PREM STREAMING ON AMAZON

    Amazon is set to stream live Premier League games, WITHOUT the need for a Prime membership.

    The online shopping giant-turn-video-service will broadcast 33 games for free in the UK.

    Great news for footie fans!

  • MATT FINISHED

    Newcastle would receive just £450,000 in compensation for Matty Longstaff, according to reports.

    The midfielder, 20, has been offered a £30,000-a-week deal by Udinese, it has emerged.

    And the Toon would NOT get the large sale for the player, who was valued at several million just 12 months ago, while the club are paying him £850 a week.

  • 'FEAR FOR MY LIFE'

    DeAndre Yedlin has revealed his family would be worried for him if he was in the US instead of Tyneside.

    The American full-back said: “A couple days after George Floyd's death, my grandfather texted me and told me he's glad that I am not living in the US right now because he would fear for my life as a young black man.

    “As days have passed, this text from my grandfather has not been able to leave my mind.

    “He was born in 1946, lived through the civil rights movement, lived through some terribly racist times in US history, and now 70 years later he STILL fears for the life of his black grandchild, in the country he and his grandchild were born in, in the country his grandchild represents when he plays for the United States, in the country his grandchild represents when he's playing in England.

    “I remember being in elementary school, and having to recite the Pledge of Allegiance which ends “.. with liberty and justice for all.”

    “Every American needs to ask themselves, is there ‘liberty and justice for all’ and if their answer is yes, then they are part of the problem.”

  • PREM FIXTURES TODAY

    The Premier League is expected to announce the fixture list for Project Restart at some point today.

    Manchester City vs Arsenal and Aston Villa v Sheffield United will kick off proceedings on Wednesday 17 June, but we are set to find out what time and on what TV channel.

    Manchester United's trip to Tottenham is expected to be the first game of the weekend on Friday night.

    The league schedule is looking like full match rounds on six long weekends, with three midweek slots including games on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

    The midweek rounds are expected to be 23-25 June, 7-9 July and 14-16 July.

    Stay with us for all the latest…

  • PLAYING THE LONG GAME

    Newcastle wonderkid Matty Longstaff has reportedly been offered a £30,000-a-week, five-year deal by Udinese.

    That is believed to be more than DOUBLE what the Magpies are offering the 20-year-old midfielder.

    According to Sky Sports, Longstaff flew out to Italy before lockdown and held talks with the Italian side.

    But it is understood he would rather stay with Newcastle where he plays alongside brother Sean Longstaff.

    But the Premier League side, who are still waiting to complete their takeover by Saudi company Public Investment Fund, might have to up their offer.

    Whatever contract he accepts, it will see a significant wage rise on his current £850-a-week. SunSport reported how Rotherham-born Longstaff is still on the same contract that he signed back in 2018, his first professional deal.

Source: Read Full Article

1.30pm Man Utd news LIVE: Havertz keen on United, Raul Jimenez £18m transfer, Sancho flew to England without permission – The Sun

MAN UTD are continuing their preparations for the return of the Premier League, and a likely clash with Jose Mourinho's Tottenham.

We've the very latest on the long-running saga with Borussia Dortmund ace Jadon Sancho, Leverkusen's Kai Havertz and a potential cut-price deal for Raul Jimenez.

Follow all the very latest news from Old Trafford below…

  • KIDS ARE ALRIGHT

    Andreas Periera shared a picture at home with his baby, while wearing compression shorts.

    The Brazilian, 24, may see his gametime at United limited though, after the signing of Bruno Fernandes.

    View this post on Instagram

    Recuperando de boa com minha neném 🥰

    A post shared byAndreas Pereira (@andreaspereira) on

  • HAIRLINE ON THE WAYNE

    Wayne Rooney is back in training for Derby – sporting an impressive bushy beard and a thinning hairline.

    This is despite spending thousands on hair transplants over the years.

    The former Manchester United and England striker was put through his paces ahead of the Championship season resuming after the coronavirus suspension.

    But lockdown didn't look like it had done much for his thinning scalp.

    SunSport previously reported how the 34-year-old has spent as much as £30,000 on hair transplants.

    He has also been accused of using a spray-on hair thickener during match games to cover up.

  • HAVE A LOOK IN

    Kai Havertz wants guaranteed game time at his next club in order to consider his next move, according to reports.

    The German attacking midfielder/forward, 20, has been linked with a series of big moves this summer.

    And according to the MEN, Bayer Leverkusen would look to sell Havertz in the coming months because of financial difficulties as a knock-on effect of coronavirus.

    United’s top transfer priority remains landing Jadon Sancho, while Jack Grealish is also a realistic option in midfield.

    It remains to be seen whether United would have the funds to afford all three transfers though, with Chris Smalling earmarked to a permanent move to Roma for £25million.

  • JESSE'S NEW DO

    Midfielder Jesse Lingard has been showing off his new locks as United players continue training.

    View this post on Instagram

    🤘🏾😁 #GetDisWork

    A post shared byJLingz👑 (@jesselingard) on

  • SERGE IN INTEREST

    United remain favourites to sign Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, thanks to their title challenge in Italy.

    That’s even though the club appear not to need him.

    Here are Betfair's odds on potential clubs:

    • 11-4- Man Utd
    • 10-3- Real Madrid
    • 4-1- Chelsea
    • 6-1- Tottenham
    • 15-2- Paris Saint-Germain
    • 9-1- Juventus

    TRIPLE EXIT

    United hope to flog Alexis Sanchez, Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo to fund a transfer spree with Jadon Sancho their No1 priority, according to reports.

    The Red Devils know it will take a huge bid of around £105million to land the Borussia Dortmund winger this summer, even with the financial impact of coronavirus.

    But according to the Evening Standard, United know they face a tricky task raising the cash from player sales this summer.

    All three players are out on loan this season, with Sanchez heading to Inter Milan.

    But his massive £505,000-a-week wages mean it will be very difficult to find a club willing to pay out a significant transfer fee as well as come close to paying his salary – especially considering Sanchez turns 32 this year and has scored just three league goals since signing for United in January 2018.

    Smalling, meanwhile, has enjoyed a fine season with Roma this term, racking up 28 appearances and winning over plenty of fans in Italy and the club hope for a £25m sale.

    HE'S ON BRAND

    United are set to offer Brandon Williams a bumper new deal following his breakthrough season.

    The 19-year-old, who has played 12 times in the Premier League, currently pockets £4,000-per-week at Old Trafford.

    But according to The Athletic, Williams is set for a huge payrise as part of the deal offered by United.

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side are keen for his new contract to reflect his importance within the first-team.

    Williams could see his wages multiply significantly to put him on par with some of his team-mates at Old Trafford.

    In comparison, fellow left-back Luke Shaw rakes in £190,000-per-week and Diogo Dalot takes home £50,000.

    WEATHER LOOKS TERRIBLE

    Ander Herrera joked that it's like being back in Manchester during training in Zaragoza.

    The PSG midfielder has been back in Spain since the cancellation of the French league.

    The Spaniard, 30, posted on Instagram: “Rainy session, these days make me feel like back in Manchester”.

    He added a wink face emoji, a rainy cloud and a football

    Rashford replied: “Ah bro, get yourself back to Manchester. Weather looks terrible”.

    Herrera said back: “All the best kid, smash it these 10-15 games left, I will be watching you.”

    Rainy session, these days make me feel like back in Manchester 😜🌧⚽️

    A post shared byAnder Herrera (@anderherrera) on

    WERNER TO LIVERPOOL 'EFFECTIVELY DONE'

    Timo Werner’s agent has reportedly told Manchester United and Chelsea to stop wasting their time as the deal to take the German to Liverpool is effectively done.

    Transfer expert Ian McGarry said: “Werner has agreed personal terms with Liverpool.

    “On a five-year contract that will pay the player around £140,000-a-week.

    “It has been widely reported that Chelsea and Manchester United have been interested in the player. Our information is that's not the case.

    “The reason for that is that they believe and have been told by the player's representatives that a deal is effectively done to Liverpool.

    “And effectively they would be wasting their time.”

    UNITED FRONT

    United are favourites to sign Harry Kane if he leaves Spurs.

    The Red Devils are looking for a striker and Harry Redknapp admitted the Tottenham forward would have to leave White Hart Lane if he wants to win trophies.

    Coral have made Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side favourites to land the England captain.

    • 2-1 Manchester United
    • 9-2 Real Madrid
    • 8-1 Bayern Munich
    • 10-1 Manchester City
    • 10-1 Barcelona
    • 10-1 Juventus
    • 12-1 PSG
    • 16-1 Liverpool

    BRUNO STATS

    How much are you looking forward to seeing the Portuguese prince playing once again?

    His stats show how he has been arguably the Premier League's signing of the season!

    THEATRE OF DREAMS

    Bruno added: “For me, playing in England and for Manchester [United] was the highest part of my career.

    “To play in the Premier League, for one of the best teams in the world.

    “When I received the call saying, ‘Bruno, you have the chance of moving to Manchester’ I called my wife, my brother, my sister, my mother and just started crying.

    “But I was crying through happiness. I fought all my life for this, for this top club. The chance was here and I needed to take it with both hands, to follow my dream.

    “My family knew since the beginning that I wanted to be a footballer, they knew my big dream was to be in the Premier League and to play for Manchester.”

    EMOTIONAL BRU

    Bruno Fernandes broke down in tears after landing his transfer to Manchester United as he says “I fought all my life for this club”.

    The Portuguese midfielder has hit the ground running at Old Trafford since his £55million move from Sporting Lisbon in January.

    Fernandes remembers his hero Cristiano Ronaldo making the switch to Old Trafford in 2003 which left him hoping that one day he too could reach the great heights of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner in Manchester.

    He admits he was overcome with emotion when he was told he would finally be completing his dream move.

    He told Mario Djurovski in an Instagram Live interview: “You know, I will say the truth that I was scared.

    “It was a dream [come true] but it was a big dream.”

    ACUTE ANGEL

    Brandon Williams enjoyed a tussle with Angel Gomes at training.

    The United left-back shared a picture of the pair in a quick sprint for the ball.

    JAD IN TROUBLE

    United and Chelsea target Jadon Sancho allegedly flew to England without permission from Borussia Dortmund, according to reports.

    German publication Bild suggests Sancho, 20, jetted to the UK after he and multiple team-mates were discovered having had haircuts.

    The winger is now in hot water with his club after it emerged they breached lockdown rules.

    Team-mates Axel Witsel, Thorgan Hazard, Raphael Guerreiro, as well as Sancho hired a barber to get stuck into their lockdown locks.

    It is reported Sancho, from Camberwell in South London, also flew to Britain during the height of the pandemic.

    WE'VE STRACH UP A TRUCE

    Gordon Strachan has revealed his long-running feud with Sir Alex Ferguson is dead and buried and the pair are pals again.

    Strachan followed Fergie from Aberdeen for United before joining Leeds as they won the 1992 First Division title.

    The former midfielder, 63, told the Mail: “There was a barrier that needed to be broken and I am delighted.

    “We should have spoken sooner and life is a wee bit better now that we can enjoy the past rather than be scared to speak about it.

    “We wrote our bits in our books and I look back now and wonder what on earth I was doing. He would probably feel the same.

    “He said to me, 'Ach, you know what I am like' and I said to him, 'Ach, you know what I am like'. And we moved on.”

    JIM'LL FIX IT

    Manchester United received a transfer boost with Wolves reportedly lowering their asking price for Raul Jimenez to just £18million.

    The Midlands club face a battle to keep hold of their Mexican No9 when the transfer market reopens with plenty of clubs interested.

    United are understood to be one of those sides – but they face competition from the likes of Juventus and possibly Real Madrid.

    And according to TuttoJuve, Wolves could demand as little as £18m for the striker.

    That is despite the club paying a record £32m to make his loan from Benfica permanent last summer.

    Jimenez, 29, has scored 39 goals for the Molineux side in 88 appearances, with 22 coming this term.

    SING WHEN YOU'RE WINNING

    Premier League TV plans will include the option of fake crowd noise and could give fans rare dressing room access, according to reports.

    TV coverage is one of the items on the agenda at today's meeting between all 20 Premier League clubs.

    Sky are said to be one of the channels considering the move for the games that will be played behind closed doors from June 17, according to the Mirror.

    Supporters had the option to listen to fake crowd noise during recent Bundesliga matches and the feedback was mixed.

    Some fans got behind the idea but many said it was “too weird” and had to “mute the unnatural sound”.

    As a result, Sky could offer each game on two of their channels – one with crowd noise, and one without.

    MORNING MAN UTD FANS

    With the Premier League’s return edging ever closer, Paul Pogba could finally make a return to the United first team.

    Some fans are salivating over the prospect of actually seeing their record signing, 27, play alongside January hit Bruno Fernandes.

    And former striker Dimitar Berbatov appears to be one of them.

    He told Betfair: “It will be the first time we get to see Fernandes and Pogba play together and it will be interesting to see if they can hit it off, they will have had the chance to get to know each other in training but that is totally different to a game.

    “It could be a great partnership and I am sure that Pogba’s return is a massive boost and will give huge confidence to the whole team.

    “One player doesn’t define a team, but when you have good, quality, confident players putting all their effort in to help the team then you are going to succeed.”

    Meanwhile, on the transfer front, Saul Niguez’s big announcement was regarding the launch of a new club in Elche… rather than a big move to Old Trafford.

    And in more unpopular news, Real Madrid are reportedly willing to enter the race for United’s top-target Jadon Sancho… but want to wait until 2021 to land the Borussia Dortmund starlet.

    It's not all bad though, with star forward Marcus Rashford believed to have told friends that he will be fit for the first game back against Spurs.

    JES ASKING

    Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard has reportedly asked Chris Smalling and Ashley Young what life is like in Italy.

    Lingard found it difficult to nail down a regular starting spot under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer prior to the season being halted due to coronavirus.

    Inevitably it has led to speculation that the 27-year-old might exit Old Trafford this summer.

    And according to The Independent, Lingard seems to fancy an Italian job.

    The newspaper reports that he “has been in regular contact with Chris Smalling and Ashley Young about what Italy is like”.

    It adds that “the midfielder is greatly tempted by a move to Serie A”.

    ON YOUR MARCS

    Marcus Rashford believes he will be ready to face old boss Jose Mourinho on the first day of Project Restart.

    The Manchester United forward has been sidelined since he suffered a stress fracture of his back in mid-January.

    However he was one of the first players to return to Carrington after it re-opened following the Coronavirus shutdown.

    And the signs are that his hard work has paid off – as he has told friends will be fit for the first game.

    That is scheduled to be away to Tottenham – where his old boss Mourinho is currently in charge.

    SOMETHING NEW FOR BRU

    Manchester United's new hero Bruno Fernandes has revealed his excitement at the “fantastic” opportunity to play alongside Paul Pogba later this month when the Premier League resumes.

    The January transfer hit told Mario Djurovski on an Instagram Live: “I think Paul is one of the best players in Manchester and in the world.

    “He was injured for a lot of time. The opportunity to play side to side with him is fantastic because you want to play with the best players you can.”

    JUSTICE FOR GEORGE FLOYD

    Anthony Martial's wife Melanie joined protesters in Paris in the wake of the tragic death of George Floyd.

    She wrote on Instagram: “JUSTICE AND EQUALITY FOR ALL ✊🏼✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿 SAY NO TO RACISM

    “I would also like to tell you that today I moved not only for the police blunders, but for racism in general…

    “Know that today I saw people of all origins come to support the same cause! That of fighting against racism and injustices ✊🏼✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿

    “Some speeches brought tears to my eyes, suffering in my eyes, on the faces of these people moved me. I am horrified to see that in 2020 racism still exists

    “Let's change things”

    View this post on Instagram

    🙌🏽🙌🏾🙌🏿 JUSTICE ET ÉGALITÉ POUR TOUS ✊🏼✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿 SAY NO TO RACISM 🇫🇷 Je sais que tout le monde préfère liker des photos de bombes atomiques sur Instagram mais désolée les réseaux sont pour moi un moyen de partager ma vie mais aussi de soutenir les causes qui me tiennent à cœur 💓 Ça fait longtemps que je soutiens @assa.traore_ sur les réseaux sociaux et bien d’autres, je n’avais pas eu l’occasion jusqu’ici de me déplacer, aujourd’hui c’est chose faite et je ne regrette absolument pas! D’autre part je voudrais également vous dire qu’aujourd’hui je me suis déplacée pas uniquement pour les bavures policières, mais pour le racisme en général… Sachez que aujourd’hui j’ai vu des personnes de toutes origines venir soutenir une même cause! Celle de lutter contre le racisme et les injustices ✊🏼✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿 Certains discours m’ont mis les larmes aux yeux, la souffrance dans les yeux, sur les visages de ces personnes m’ont bouleversées. Je suis horrifiée de voir qu’en 2020 le racisme existe encore 💔💔💔 Changeons les choses 🤍🤎🖤 #justiceforgeorgefloyd #justicepouradama #justicepourtheo #justicepourgayecamara #justicepourziedetbouna #justicepourtous

    A post shared by Mélanie Martial DC (@melaniemartialdc) on

    MORE FROM DIOGO DALOT

    There was only one man, given that he a Portuguese Man United star, that could have been Diogo Dalot's hero growing up…

    Quizzed on that very subject by Man United's official website, Dalot replied: “Cristiano [Ronaldo].

    “I’ve said that many times. I think there’s not a lot more to talk about.

    “He’s an example and he showed everyone how good he is. For me, he’s been a role model since the beginning.”

    PORTUGUESE CONNECTION

    Manchester United full-back Diogo Dalot has spoken of his joy at seeing compatriot Bruno Fernandes hit the ground running at Old Trafford.

    He told the club's official website: ““It was very good.

    “I think it was more something that helped me a lot as well, when you have a Portuguese guy that you know as well, in your team, sharing all the moments that you shared with the other ones but now a friend.

    “It’s fantastic to have him there and more of that feeling that he’s a very good player for the team and for the club.

    “That makes me happy the most and it’s unbelievable for me and for everybody.”

    Source: Read Full Article

Newcastle takeover LIVE: Pochettino drops HINT, Bin Salman deal LATEST, Shearer wants Mbappe transfer, Coutinho update – The Sun

NEWCASTLE fans are still nervously waiting to see if their £300m Saudi-led takeover goes ahead.

Reports suggest Saudi Arabia will bid for Premier League TV rights, but the FA are reportedly also placing the Saudis under the microscope for reported piracy of FA Cup matches.

Follow all the latest updates from the North East below…

  • UNITED WE STAND

    Newcastle's first-team squad have all taken a knee in training in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

  • COUT AND PASTE

    Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers believes Chelsea target Philippe Coutinho would quickly remind everyone of his quality if he returns to the Premier League this summer.

    He told the Beautiful Game podcast: “Most people probably look at him and think he's not for the Premier League, but what a talent.

    “He intimidates people when he has the ball with his quality.

    “It's sad to see, I hear people talk him down at the moment. This boy is top and if he comes to this league, he'll show that. He's world-class.”

  • RETURN TO THE FOLD

    Philippe Coutinho’s agent is “definitely” interested in a return to the Premier League.

    Kia Joorabchian told talkSPORT: “We’re still waiting until the season finishes before we start talking about anything in terms of transfers.

    “I’ve always said he loves to play in the Premier League.

    “He enjoyed his time very much and if the opportunity arises to come back to the Premier League, whether it be this year or in the future, he’s definitely looking at that.”

  • ED-ING TO ENGLAND?

    Newcastle have received a boost in their bid to sign Paris Saint-Germain star Edinson Cavani this summer.

    The Uruguayan striker is set to end his seven-year stay in France when his current contract expires at the end of the season.

    Inter Milan were thought to be in the driving seat but Le10 Sport claims the Serie A side are unlikely to be able to meet Cavani's salary demands.

    The 33-year-old, who has been tipped as one of Newcastle's first signings following their £300million Saudi takeover, earns a reported £171,000-per-week and is unwilling to take a pay-cut.

  • POCH HINT

    Mauricio Pochettino has put Newcastle on red alert by dropping a hint about his next club.

    Pochettino is the bookies' favourite to be the next Toon manager ahead of Rafa Benitez, amid speculation Steve Bruce will be replaced if the Saudi Arabia takeover goes through.

    And Pochettino has spoken about wanting to win a trophy at the next club he calls home after being sacked at Spurs.

    “That moment will arrive when we have to win a trophy,” Pochettino told La Liga TV. “Society only recognises the one that wins a title and lifts it. We’re in this fight to try to do that.

    “But we have lifted many ‘trophies’. When you leave a good impression with the people you worked with, helped people to progress or when people are proud to have worked with you – they’re also trophies that must be celebrated.”

  • MORNING, NEWCASTLE FANS

    Newcastle have joined the race in signing Gent's £31million-rated striker Jonathan David.

    According to TodoFichajes, the 20-year-old forward is also being looked at by Liverpool and Tottenham, while Arsenal have also been linked.

    David has scored 23 goals in all competitions for the Jupiler Pro League club, including five in the Europa League.

    In other news, the Magpies have joined Manchester City, Napoli and Real Madrid in the race for Penarol teen star Facundo Pellistri.

    According to Catalan newspaper Sport, Atletico Madrid are trying to get ahead of their rivals – but Newcastle are hoping to pip potential suitors to his signature.

    And finally, Tottenham and Newcastle are in negotiations to extend Danny Rose’s loan spell, according to reports.

    The England left-back’s loan spell at St James’ is due to expire, but the loan will continue until the end of the season.

    Newcastle are keen to keep Rose longer-term but he will be a free agent at the end of next season.

  • TON OF BOTHER

    Former Newcastle midfielder Lee Bowyer has confirmed THREE of his Charlton players are refusing to return to action ahead of the Championship season's resumption.

    Top scorer Lyle Taylor, Chris Solly, and Birmingham loanee David Davis have all informed the club of their intention to sit out the remainder of the campaign.

    According to Bowyer, 43, the trio fear a significant injury amid concerns over footballers being rushed back into match action.

    The former midfielder told talkSPORT: “It’s a difficult one for us. We have 15 players out of contract, six loans and nine of our own contracted players out [on loan].

    “Unfortunately for us three of those players have said they’re not going to play, and Lyle is one of them.

    “That’s tough for us, that’s tough for me as the manager. Lyle’s a big player for us, a bit like [Troy] Deeney at Watford – when he plays we can win games – and Lyle has said he’s not going to play because of risk of injury.

    “Chris Solly has said the same and Davis is on loan from Birmingham and he’d said he doesn’t want to come back and play games. So we’re three players down.”

  • HAPPY VALENTINES

  • CHALLENGES

    Steve Bruce has highlighted some of the challenges for the Newcastle squad as they look to get back to 100 per cent fitness during lockdown.

    The Toon boss said: “That was the difficult part, not knowing when we were going to get going, having it put off for three weeks and then another three weeks, sorting through the logistics of where the players were and when we could get them back in

    “Our focus now is doing a form of preparation that we’ve never done before.

    “How do we do it, what can we do and how can we make it so the players are ready?

    “What kind of input can we put into a training session to make sure they’re in their best physical condition?

    “If you look at Germany, for example, there’s been a 250 per cent increase in injuries over the past three weeks.”

  • HAPPY WITH MBAPPE

    Alan Shearer wants Newcastle to go for broke and sign Kylian Mbappe.

    The World Cup winner is PSG’s prized asset at the moment, but Shearer reckons he would be perfect for the Premier League.

    SunSport columnist Shearer told Canal+: “I would very much like Kylian Mbappe to come.

    “With his skill, the confidence he has in someone so young, and all the goals he scores, that would be a big plus for the Premier League.”

  • DANNY CAN STAY

    Tottenham and Newcastle are in negotiations to extend Danny Rose’s loan spell, according to reports.

    The England left-back’s loan spell at St James’ is due to expire, but the loan will continue until the end of the season.

    Newcastle are keen to keep Rose longer-term but he will be a free agent at the end of next season.

    Rose told the Standard in November: “I’ve said I've got 18 months left on my contract and I'm not going anywhere until my contract has finished.

    “Daniel Levy told me in the summer there was no new contract for me at Tottenham, which is fine. I respect that. We move on.

    “My contract is up in 18 months' time and I'll leave the football club then.”

  • STAYING TOONED IN

    Newcastle are joining Manchester City, Napoli and Real Madrid in the race for Penarol teen star Facundo Pellistri.

    According to Catalan newspaper Sport, Atletico Madrid are trying to get ahead of their rivals – and surprise package Newcastle.

    European papers are linking the Toon with players around the continent, despite the fact that their takeover has not even been confirmed yet.

    According to Sport, winger Pellestri has Spanish heritage and can get an EU passport, so work permit issues would not be a problem.

    He has one assist in five games for Penarol this season.

  • IT'S IN THE GAME

    Empty Premier League football grounds could use noise from Fifa 20 to replicate the atmosphere generated by fans.

    With 92 games still remaining in the English top-flight season, the sounds from EA Sports’ top-selling game is due to be discussed by clubs.

    German clubs have placed cutouts of fans in the stands and some broadcasts have had fan noise clips placed in for effect.

    Fifa 20 has over 10 million players and remains the world’s most popular soccer game, ahead of Pro Evolution Soccer.

    And 450million matches of the game have been played worldwide.

    So fans might be forgiven for chucking their controller around if their team concedes!

  • JON OUR RADAR

    Newcastle are interested in signing Gent striker Jonathan David, who is rated at £31million.

    According to TodoFichajes, the 20-year-old forward is also being looked at by Liverpool and Tottenham.

    David has scored 23 goals in all competitions for the Juliper Pro League club, including five in the Europa League.

  • GOOD MORNING NEWCASTLE FANS

    Newcastle could spend up to £200MILLION in one season and STILL not get stung for FFP, according to one football expert.

    Kieran Maguire told the Shields Gazette: “I’ve crunched the numbers and NUFC have an FFP profit of around £82million over the past two seasons to the end of 2018/19.

    “The allowable loss is £105m over a three-year period.

    “Assuming the new owners sign players on four-year deals, they could spend anywhere between £150-200m in one window or a season and still stay within the Premier League limit.

    “There is little love towards Mike Ashley – and rightly so – but he's leaving a financial legacy that is attractive to any rich successor.”

    Meanwhile,Rob Elliot has mixed feelings over playing without any fans, as he said: “There's pluses and minuses.

    “When you play away from home, you've got that bonus of not having the fans but, obviously, for us at home, with the support we get, especially with the FA Cup included in that, it's going to be a big miss.

    “But I think the thing is you're very aware, even when you play in a packed stadium, that it's not just the 52,000; it's the millions around the world that do watch and we will be very aware that there will be people at home watching.

    “It will mean just as much regardless of whether the stadiums are full.”

    And finally,former Magpie striker Michael Chopra believes Newcastle should forget about appointing Mauricio Pochettino and bring back Rafa Benitez.

  • CRY NO MOUR

    Jose Mourinho has told players worried about the season restarting to stop being selfish and get on with it.

    The Tottenham boss admitted last week he was worried about players getting injured by the rush to resume the campaign.

    But after the Government gave the green light for the Premier League to return on June 17, the Special One seems to have changed his mind.

    He said: “We shouldn’t be selfish, we shouldn’t demand too much. It’s our time to give.

    “Everyone has pre-season injuries in normal seasons so we cannot expect now not to have an injury here and there.

    “We cannot ask for more than the authorities are giving us, which is maximum security.

    “I think now it’s time just to play and to give people what they want.”

  • KEEP THAT MAN

    Newcastle fans have been vocal in their support of defender Javier Manquillo, with his Tynseside future still unclear.

    The Spanish right-back wants to stay at the club, regardless of what happens with the proposed takeover.

    And after making a good impression at St James' Park in his short spell, Toon fans are hoping the club can snap him up on a longer deal.

    One fan said it would be “crazy to let him go”, while another added he “deserves to stay for another year at least”.

    During the current campaign, the full-back has made one assist in 11 starts.

  • PRETTY PENNIES

    Newcastle could spend up to £200MILLION in one season and STILL not get stung for FFP, according to one football expert.

    Kieran Maguire told the Shields Gazette: “I’ve crunched the numbers and NUFC have an FFP profit of around £82million over the past two seasons to the end of 2018/19.

    “The allowable loss is £105m over a three-year period.

    “Assuming the new owners sign players on four-year deals, they could spend anywhere between £150-200m in one window or a season and still stay within the Premier League limit.

    “There is little love towards Mike Ashley – and rightly so – but he's leaving a financial legacy that is attractive to any rich successor.”

  • ANFIELD EPIC 'GREATEST EVER'

    Alan Shearer and Ian Wright both agree on the greatest ever Premier League game: Liverpool's win over Newcastle in 1995-96.

    Shearer, still at Blackburn at that point, said: “Newcastle had that 12-point lead earlier in the season in January over Man United, and Man United were chipping away at it.

    “It was a game, they had to go there, they had to get something.

    “It just had everything, that game. Kevin was never ever going to change the way he wanted his team to play football.

    “It was all-out attack. If you’re going to score three then we’re going to try and score four.

    “Once I got into Newcastle then I could understand his philosophy and the way he wanted his team to play football – to go out and entertain the fans.”

  • GIVE POCH THE CHOP

    Former Magpie striker Michael Chopra believes Newcastle should forget about appointing the Mauricio Pochettino and bring back Rafa Benitez.

    He explained to the Daily Star: “I would go for Benitez over Pochettino.

    “Pochettino built up Tottenham from pretty much nothing, got them to the Champions League final and on the verge of winning the Premier League.

    “But the only thing going against him is he didn't win anything – which puts me off a bit.

    “With Benitez, he's got unfinished business. He did well at the club and had a great relationship with the fans.

    “He just wanted a bit more money to try and push them into the top 10.

    “Benitez has already got plans for the football club and at almost every team he's been at he's won trophies.”

  • HOME AND A-YAY

    Rob Elliot has mixed feelings over playing without any fans, seeing it as advantage away… but not ideal at St James’.

    The keeper, 34, told an Instagram Live Q&A with the IPKA Academy: “There's pluses and minuses.

    “When you play away from home, you've got that bonus of not having the fans but, obviously, for us at home, with the support we get, especially with the FA Cup included in that, it's going to be a big miss.

    “But I think the thing is you're very aware, even when you play in a packed stadium, that it's not just the 52,000; it's the millions around the world that do watch and we will be very aware that there will be people at home watching.

    “It will mean just as much regardless of whether the stadiums are full.”

  • MORNING NEWCASTLE FANS

    Magpies boss Steve Bruce has warned his players to be prepared to play in the summer heat as they look to earn a top-ten finish in the Premier League.

    He told NUFC TV: “We have had an unbelievable seven or eight weeks in terms of weather. That adds it's problems as well.

    “If we are going to be playing (Premier League) in July it is unheard of. We will address all of that.

    “It's unprecedented so we will do the best we can and make sure we are ready for whatever is ahead.”

    In a boost for the club, former striker Salomon Rondon has teased fans about a possible return to St James' Park.

    The 30-year-old told TNT Sports: “There was a lot of talk about what happened at Newcastle with the purchase of the Saudi group.

    “There are a lot of rumours about the interest, but you have to wait. My present at the moment is in China.

    “I have worked very well with Rafa for a year and a half. But you have to wait and see what happens. I would not look badly on a return to the Premier League.”

    Meanwhile, owner Mike Ashley is reportedly refusing permission for the club’s new bosses to speak to Bruce.

    According to Duncan Castles, the Saudi-backed PCP Capital Partners are being blocked from speaking to the former Manchester United defender and Mapgies manager.

    Castles said on the Transfer Window podcast: “Interestingly, they haven't spoken directly to Steve Bruce and that, I believe, is because Mike Ashley has not given them permission to speak to Steve Bruce.

    “I don't think that should be taken as an indication that there's any kind of reluctance on Mike Ashley's part to sell.

    “My information is that the deal is there, he cannot back out of this deal if the Premier League give approval, he has to go through with it.”

    And finally, Newcastle are being tipped to sign Liverpool attacking midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri.

    The Swiss international is not a first choice at Anfield, but has made a significant impact in bursts for Jurgen Klopp.

  • DAVE KIDD

    They have bent over backwards to make Project Restart a reality and ensure that Liverpool claim the title they so richly deserve.

    Despite the quite reasonable fears of many players, managers and others in wider society, the Premier League’s clubs have shown unity and decisiveness by agreeing to restart the season on June 17.

    There will be no nulling and voiding and, assuming all is safe and well, no asterisk to denote a curtailed season against the Reds’ first title in 30 years.

    So there should be no squabbling over whether Liverpool are allowed to play on Merseyside until they have been confirmed as champions — or even if they are forced away from Anfield for the remainder of this season.

    With Jurgen Klopp’s men a staggering 25 points clear, there is no doubt they will be crowned champions. Their season to date has been the most dominant league campaign in the history of the English top flight, with 27 wins from 29 matches.

    And so there can be no reasonable argument about a lack of ‘sporting integrity’ in them being asked to play their remaining home matches at neutral venues, as well as their next fixture, the Merseyside derby scheduled for Goodison Park.

  • HAY DAY

  • ZERO COVID CASES

    The Prem have confirmed that after the fourth round of testing for coronavirus, they've had NO new positive results… so on we march to June 17!

    A statement said: “The Premier League can today confirm that on Thursday 28 May and Friday 29 May, 1,130 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19.

    “Of these, zero have tested positive.

    “The Premier League is providing this aggregated information for the purposes of competition integrity and transparency.

    “No specific details as to clubs or individuals will be provided by the League and results will be made public after each round of testing.”

Source: Read Full Article

Newcastle takeover LIVE: Owners urged to REJECT Pochettino, Bin Salman deal LATEST, Rondon and Shaqiri transfer links – The Sun

NEWCASTLE fans are still nervously waiting to see if their £300m Saudi-led takeover goes ahead.

Reports suggest Saudi Arabia will bid for Premier League TV rights, but the FA are reportedly also placing the Saudis under the microscope for reported piracy of FA Cup matches.

Follow all the latest updates from the North East below…

  • ANFIELD EPIC 'GREATEST EVER'

    Alan Shearer and Ian Wright both agree on the greatest ever Premier League game: Liverpool's win over Newcastle in 1995-96.

    Shearer, still at Blackburn at that point, said: “Newcastle had that 12-point lead earlier in the season in January over Man United, and Man United were chipping away at it.

    “It was a game, they had to go there, they had to get something.

    “It just had everything, that game. Kevin was never ever going to change the way he wanted his team to play football.

    “It was all-out attack. If you’re going to score three then we’re going to try and score four.

    “Once I got into Newcastle then I could understand his philosophy and the way he wanted his team to play football – to go out and entertain the fans.”

  • GIVE POCH THE CHOP

    Former Magpie striker Michael Chopra believes Newcastle should forget about appointing the Mauricio Pochettino and bring back Rafa Benitez.

    He explained to the Daily Star: “I would go for Benitez over Pochettino.

    “Pochettino built up Tottenham from pretty much nothing, got them to the Champions League final and on the verge of winning the Premier League.

    “But the only thing going against him is he didn't win anything – which puts me off a bit.

    “With Benitez, he's got unfinished business. He did well at the club and had a great relationship with the fans.

    “He just wanted a bit more money to try and push them into the top 10.

    “Benitez has already got plans for the football club and at almost every team he's been at he's won trophies.”

  • HOME AND A-YAY

    Rob Elliot has mixed feelings over playing without any fans, seeing it as advantage away… but not ideal at St James’.

    The keeper, 34, told an Instagram Live Q&A with the IPKA Academy: “There's pluses and minuses.

    “When you play away from home, you've got that bonus of not having the fans but, obviously, for us at home, with the support we get, especially with the FA Cup included in that, it's going to be a big miss.

    “But I think the thing is you're very aware, even when you play in a packed stadium, that it's not just the 52,000; it's the millions around the world that do watch and we will be very aware that there will be people at home watching.

    “It will mean just as much regardless of whether the stadiums are full.”

  • MORNING NEWCASTLE FANS

    Magpies boss Steve Bruce has warned his players to be prepared to play in the summer heat as they look to earn a top-ten finish in the Premier League.

    He told NUFC TV: “We have had an unbelievable seven or eight weeks in terms of weather. That adds it's problems as well.

    “If we are going to be playing (Premier League) in July it is unheard of. We will address all of that.

    “It's unprecedented so we will do the best we can and make sure we are ready for whatever is ahead.”

    In a boost for the club, former striker Salomon Rondon has teased fans about a possible return to St James' Park.

    The 30-year-old told TNT Sports: “There was a lot of talk about what happened at Newcastle with the purchase of the Saudi group.

    “There are a lot of rumours about the interest, but you have to wait. My present at the moment is in China.

    “I have worked very well with Rafa for a year and a half. But you have to wait and see what happens. I would not look badly on a return to the Premier League.”

    Meanwhile, owner Mike Ashley is reportedly refusing permission for the club’s new bosses to speak to Bruce.

    According to Duncan Castles, the Saudi-backed PCP Capital Partners are being blocked from speaking to the former Manchester United defender and Mapgies manager.

    Castles said on the Transfer Window podcast: “Interestingly, they haven't spoken directly to Steve Bruce and that, I believe, is because Mike Ashley has not given them permission to speak to Steve Bruce.

    “I don't think that should be taken as an indication that there's any kind of reluctance on Mike Ashley's part to sell.

    “My information is that the deal is there, he cannot back out of this deal if the Premier League give approval, he has to go through with it.”

    And finally, Newcastle are being tipped to sign Liverpool attacking midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri.

    The Swiss international is not a first choice at Anfield, but has made a significant impact in bursts for Jurgen Klopp.

  • DAVE KIDD

    They have bent over backwards to make Project Restart a reality and ensure that Liverpool claim the title they so richly deserve.

    Despite the quite reasonable fears of many players, managers and others in wider society, the Premier League’s clubs have shown unity and decisiveness by agreeing to restart the season on June 17.

    There will be no nulling and voiding and, assuming all is safe and well, no asterisk to denote a curtailed season against the Reds’ first title in 30 years.

    So there should be no squabbling over whether Liverpool are allowed to play on Merseyside until they have been confirmed as champions — or even if they are forced away from Anfield for the remainder of this season.

    With Jurgen Klopp’s men a staggering 25 points clear, there is no doubt they will be crowned champions. Their season to date has been the most dominant league campaign in the history of the English top flight, with 27 wins from 29 matches.

    And so there can be no reasonable argument about a lack of ‘sporting integrity’ in them being asked to play their remaining home matches at neutral venues, as well as their next fixture, the Merseyside derby scheduled for Goodison Park.

  • HAY DAY

  • ZERO COVID CASES

    The Prem have confirmed that after the fourth round of testing for coronavirus, they've had NO new positive results… so on we march to June 17!

    A statement said: “The Premier League can today confirm that on Thursday 28 May and Friday 29 May, 1,130 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19.

    “Of these, zero have tested positive.

    “The Premier League is providing this aggregated information for the purposes of competition integrity and transparency.

    “No specific details as to clubs or individuals will be provided by the League and results will be made public after each round of testing.”

  • XHERD A RUMOUR

    Newcastle are being tipped to sign Liverpool attacking midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri.

    The Swiss international is not a first choice at Anfield, but has made a significant impact in bursts for Jurgen Klopp.

    Former Leeds and Man City full-back Mills reckons he could be just right for the Toon.

    He told TalkSport: “Obviously he is a quality player. If you can get him fit… we saw what he did for Liverpool last season. He has a lot to offer.

    “If the price is right and the wages are not too high it could be a quality player for them.

    “They would maybe play him in a more central role, an eight or a ten role – give him a bit of license and do not ask him to track back.”

  • MASTERS OF NONE

    Richard Masters says there is still work to do as the government gives its thumbs up to the return of sport, after nearly two months of negotiations.

    The Prem chief exec said: “All major sports, including the Premier League, have been working together with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to produce this Stage Three protocol.

    “We could not have reached this point without the full support of the Government, especially DCMS, Public Health England and the Chief Medical Officer’s team.

    “We have provisionally planned to restart the Premier League on 17 June, but there is still much work to be done to ensure the safety of everyone involved.

    “This includes consulting with our clubs, players and managers – along with all our other stakeholders – as the health and welfare of our participants and supporters is our priority.

    “If all goes well, we will be thrilled to resume the 2019/20 season in just over two weeks’ time.”

  • MAKE HAY WHILE SUN SHINES

    Isaac Hayden is desperate to pull the black and white shirt on again.

    The Toon midfielder said: “I’ve been champing at the bit to get back training and playing.

    “There’ll be no fans in the stadium and bits and pieces will be different, but playing football and doing our job will be the same.

    “We’ll be ready and raring to go on the 20th. It was fantastic to be back to be competing again because there’s only so much dribbling around mannequins unopposed.

    “It’s just that competition everyone’s enjoying.

    “Everyone is smiling and shouting, it’s already started, the banter and competitiveness, which is great.”

  • BOBBY JOBBY

    Confusion surrounds the need to use neutral venues for Premier League games after statements from two key police forces on Friday.

    They come after UK's football policing lead, Deputy Chief Constable Mark Roberts of South Yorkshire Police, had earlier suggested games would be moved at local forces' request.

    At least five top-flight matches have been earmarked to be played at neutral venues, plus any further games where Liverpool could win the title.

    Among the games picked out were the Merseyside derby, Liverpool's clash away to Manchester City and Manchester United's home match against Sheffield United.

    Merseyside Police later said there were no objections from the force to holding games at Goodison Park or Anfield in relation to crime and disorder, while Greater Manchester Police said a decision on moving high-risk games has yet to be taken.

  • TOON OUT FOR NOW

    Mike Ashley is reportedly refusing permission for the club’s new owners to speak to Steve Bruce.

    According to Duncan Castles, the Saudi-backed PCP Capital Partners are being blocked from speaking to the former Manchester United defender and Mapgies boss.

    Castles said on the Transfer Window podcast: “Interestingly, they haven't spoken directly to Steve Bruce and that, I believe, is because Mike Ashley has not given them permission to speak to Steve Bruce.

    “I don't think that should be taken as an indication that there's any kind of reluctance on Mike Ashley's part to sell.

    “My information is that the deal is there, he cannot back out of this deal if the Premier League give approval, he has to go through with it.”

  • TV NASTY

    Saudi Arabia’s main TV sports station have reportedly been threatened with legal action by the Football Association for illegally broadcasting old FA Cup matches.

    The Times claim KSA Sports, the state-owned channel in the country, received a letter from English football's governing body accusing them of airing games involving Newcastle from the Alan Shearer era.

    The report adds that the notice states that the FA feel broadcasting games are a clear infringement of their property rights.

    The FA, who have claimed that their lawyers will take action if KSA Sports don't cease airing games by June 2, also copied in the Saudi government and the Premier League in the letter.

    It read: “It has come to our attention that KSA Sports is engaged in the unauthorised and illegal broadcast of extracts from the matches (amongst other sports content) in the territory of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

    “As you have neither sought nor obtained permission from the FA or any of its authorised licensees to use this content on your channels, your present use is an infringement of the FA’s rights.”

  • IT'S NOT BLACK & WHITE

    Contract talks have to be put on ice while Newcastle’s takeover gets set to be completed.

    The club are in limbo over what to do next regarding players’ futures and the coronavirus crisis, that has affected so many contract negotiations, is now confusing agents involved with the club.

    According to the Chronicle, representatives of players are now getting in contact with the prospective new owners, even though they don’t legally have control of the club.

    Danny Rose, Valentino Lazaro and Nabil Bentaleb are expected to stay on Tyneside until the end of this coronavirus-affected season is completed.

  • WATCH THE DROP

    Paul Merson is worried Newcastle would get RELEGATED if the club bring in Mauricio Pochettino.

    The former Arsenal, Portsmouth and Aston Villa midfielder said in his Daily Star column: “Can you really see someone like Pochettino being a success there?

    “He likes to open games up and tries to win with flair. Newcastle’s squad isn’t made for that.

    “If they think it’s suddenly going to be Kevin Keegan football all over again they will end up getting relegated.

    “It’s all very well saying the new owners will throw money at it. But how much? And who could you attract to transform that team overnight? It won’t be easy.”

  • TRANSFER CHAOS

    Agents and brokers across the football world think that Newcastle prospective takeover will go through – but are confused as to who to speak to about transfers.

    The Newcastle Chronicle say one high-profile agent has told friends he believes the takeover is in the offing.

    Another said advisors were continuing to speak to Newcastle as a potential destination for players.

    And a third agent spoke about the “confusion” of who they are supposed to be dealing with.

    With the takeover delayed, the club is effectively in limbo when it comes to transfer business.

  • RONDON RETURN

    Former Newcastle striker Salomon Rondon has teased fans about a possible return to St James' Park.

    Rondon impressed on loan from West Brom last season scoring 12 goals and being named the club's player of the year, before linking up with ex-Toon boss Rafa Benitez at Chinese club Dalian Yifang.

    The 30-year-old told TNT Sports: “There was a lot of talk about what happened at Newcastle with the purchase of the Saudi group.

    “There are a lot of rumours about the interest, but you have to wait. My present at the moment is in China.

    “I have worked very well with Rafa for a year and a half. But you have to wait and see what happens. I would not look badly on a return to the Premier League.”

  • PHILIPPE MYSTERY

    Dimitar Berbatov has given his view on Philippe Coutinho's transfer situation.

    “There have been a lot of Premier League clubs linked with him, Arsenal, Chelsea, Newcastle and even Manchester United, but sometimes the obvious choice isn’t always the correct one,” the Bulgarian said.

    “Everyone thought he would do great when he moved to Barcelona but it didn’t work out, sometimes you need to step back to go forwards, he will go to a good team there is no question about that, but he needs the trust of a manager to believe in him and make him the main man so that he can play calm and be free to do what he does.

    “Other people will see him linked with a move to United and they will point out his connections with Liverpool and how he would never be forgiven if he switched to Old Trafford, but honestly, United don’t need him right now.”

  • RACE ON

    Newcastle are set to host the Britain's first major sporting event since coronavirus put the UK in lockdown.

    On Monday, racecourse Gosforth Park will host the national return of horse racing after 11 barren weeks.

    The Newcastle Chronicle say a staggering 369 entried were lodged for a 10-race card where runners will be limited to 12 per charge.

    There has been no racing in the UK since a jumps fixture at Wetherby on March 17.

  • HOT HOT HOT

    Steve Bruce has warned his Newcastle players to be prepared to play in the summer heat as look to earn a top-10 finish in the Premier League.

    He told NUFC TV: “We have had an unbelievable seven or eight weeks in terms of weather.

    “That adds it's problems as well.

    “If we are going to be playing (Premier League) in July it is unheard of.

    “We will address all of that.

    “It's unprecedented so we will do the best we can and make sure we are ready for whatever is ahead.”

  • PUBS SHUT, MIKE'S BUSY

    Mike Ashley was due to meet Newcastle United Supporters' Trust (NUST) representatives over a pint in May before the UK went into lockdown, according to trust chair Alex Hurst.

    Speaking on the Guardian's Football Weekly Extra podcast Hurst was asked how much dialogue the NUST have had with Ashley during his regime.

    “Depressingly little dialogue,” he said. “Frustratingly little dialogue. Funnily enough, I might get bitten on the a*** for this one, but they have talked about us meeting Mike Ashley in May this year before coronavirus kicked off so we thought we were making some kind of progress there.

    “It was going to be an informal meeting that involved beer, because that's how Mike likes it apparently, but sadly that might never happen now.

    “It's been really tough and a lot of decisions Newcastle United seemed to have made – not just in the last 12 months but before that – seemed to have been almost deliberately antagonistic towards the fan base, which is a strange thing to do as a football club but that's where we found ourselves unfortunately.”

  • GOOD MORNING, NEWCASTLE FANS

    Newcastle's would-be buyers hope the Premier League confirming its restart on June 17 will help them complete their £300million takeover.

    Video conferences and paperwork, plus uncertainty over the Prem relaunch and controversy over the Saudi-backed consortium, all mean the buy-out has been somewhat stuttering towards a conclusion.

    But with the Prem returning, Amanda Staveley, the Reuben brothers and Co believe the takeover can be completed smoothly and quickly.

    Nonetheless, another spanner in the works over TV coverage has been thrown in the works.

    Already dogged by claims of pirating Prem games owned by Qatar's beIN Sports, the FA have now also threatened Saudi Arabian broadcasts with legal action.

    The Times say the Football Association have written to Saudi network KSA Sports, ordering them to stop playing old Newcastle FA Cup matches – and copied the Prem into the letter.

    The letter states: “It has come to our attention that KSA Sports is engaged in the unauthorised and illegal broadcast of extracts from the matches…

    “As you have neither sought nor obtained permission from the FA or any of its authorised licensees to use this content on your channels, your present use is an infringement of the FA’s rights.

    “Broadcast piracy is a significant concern…”

    Meanwhile, ex-England striker Paul Merson insists Newcastle should keep Steve Bruce.

    And if they do sack him, “pragmatic” Rafa Benitez would be a far better option than football purist Mauricio Pochettino.

    TV pundit Merse says axing Bruce would be a “big mistake” as he has done a “fantastic job”.

    And he fears former Spurs chief Pochettino could even relegate the Toon if he tried to transform them too quickly into free-flowing entertainers.

  • TOON BACK THE CLOCK

    Project Restart will boost Newcastle's would-be buyers.

    That's the hope for the Saudi-led consortium fronted by Amanda Staveley and the Reuben brothers ahead of the Premier League resumption in June 17, with Newcastle facing Sheffield United over that weekend.

    Video conferences and paperwork, plus uncertainty over the Prem relaunch, complicated the Toon takeover.

    But now the backers hope and believe they can get the buy-out back up to full speed.

  • PROJECT RESTART 'NOT PERFECT'

    SunSport columnist Karren Brady says clubs have to accept Project Restart “won't be perfect” if they want the season finished.

    The West ham vice-chairman says: “It’s a delicate balance. 

    “But if we want to finish this season, we are all going to have to accept a restart won’t be perfect.

    “There are obvious and genuine concerns about what happens to your match results if your club has a number of players testing positive for coronavirus, or in self-isolation.

    And as a result you simply cannot field your usual or strongest starting XI. Or what if other teams play a weakened first XI by choice when they have nothing to play for, or they want to give their first-team players a longer break.

    “Or they simply want to protect players from catching the virus, and that ends up skewing results? Or what if your manager tests positive, as Arsenal’s did back in March?”

  • IT'S OUR TOON FOR GLORY

    Newcastle fans are dreaming of a takeover and FA Cup double

    With the buy-out of Mike Ashley's ownership crawling closer to a conclusion,the Toon will face Manchester City in the quarter-finals over the weekend of July 18-19

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10.15pm Arsenal news LIVE: Coutinho £10m loan transfer, Away kit LEAKED, Saliba legal dispute, Man City on June 17 – The Sun

ARSENAL know the exact date they will return to Premier League action, with a trip up the M6 to Man City scheduled for June 17.

And the Gunners' new away kit has been leaked while Mikel Arteta is still desperate to sign Philippe Coutinho but may have to settle for a loan deal.

Get the latest news, gossip and updates from the Emirates here…

  • MANY LACA RETURNS

    Arsenal posted a hilarious alternative commentary video on their Twitter to celebrate Alexandre Lacazette's birthday.

  • LOAN RANGER

    Arsenal will have to settle for a loan deal if they are to have any chance of signing Philippe Coutinho, according to ESPN.

    Barcelona are keen to recoup over half the £142m fee they agreed with Liverpool for the Brazilian, which would price the Gunners out of the market.

    However, they are willing to loan Coutinho out for a £10m fee.

    But even if a deal can be agreed with Barcelona, Coutinho's £250,000-a-week wages may prove a stumbling block for the Gunners and Tottenham.

    Most of the Arsenal squad have already agreed a 12.5 per cent pay cut, meaning wages the likes of Coutinho's could be out of the question.

    And ESPN state that would put Chelsea in pole position to land the former Liverpool man, but so far they also have been unwilling to accept Barca's demands.

  • STAT ATTACK

    Arsenal's Premier League stats up until the football blackout.

  • There will be four matches on Sundays too, at 12pm, 2pm, 4.30pm and 7pm.

    In order to fit in all games on TV, new kick-off times will be introduced.

    Friday and Monday games will be at 8pm, while Saturday will have FOUR matches starting at 12.30pm, 3pm, 5.30pm and 8pm.

    Midweek games, played on Tuesdays, Wednesday and Thursdays, will have 6pm and 8pm starts, allowing fans to watch footie all evening.

  • Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters confirmed earlier reports by saying: “Today we have provisionally agreed to resume the Premier League on Wednesday 17 June.

    “But this date cannot be confirmed until we have met all the safety requirements needed, as the health and welfare of all participants and supporters is our priority.

    ‘’Sadly, matches will have to take place without fans in stadiums, so we are pleased to have come up with a positive solution for supporters to be able to watch all the remaining 92 matches.

    “The Premier League and our clubs are proud to have incredibly passionate and loyal supporters. It is important to ensure as many people as possible can watch the matches at home.

    “We will continue to work step-by-step and in consultation with all our stakeholders as we move towards resuming the 2019/20 season.”

  • IT'S BACK

    Premier League chiefs have confirmed England's top flight WILL return on June 17 – with Manchester City vs Arsenal starting the action.

    New kick-off times have been announced and all 92 remaining matches will be televised.

    As part of the plans to show every game, four matches will be shown for free on BBC for the first time.

    However, all safety requirements must be in place for Project Restart to go ahead.

  • HOMES FROM HOMES

    Liverpool's remaining home games as well as some major London derbies will reportedly be played at neutral venues.

    The measures will be taken in order to deter fans from gathering outside the stadiums, according to the Times.

  • OH DANI BOY

    Arsenal fans shared their shock after Dani Ceballos became the latest star to show off his new lockdown hair with some supporters comparing him to Cristiano Ronaldo.

    The Spanish midfielder had been forced to abandon his usual cropped gelled look to debut his longer curlier locks at training this week.

  • Still, in reply to one tweet asking if Arsenal fans would have Wenger back, one joked: “I would even take him as a player.”

    Another posted: “That shouldn't be a question. We need him there at our club.”

    A fellow supporter wrote: “He's got the eye to spot crazy talented youngsters, he understands the club more than anyone.”

    Another reply read: “Hundred percent but he’d never do it.”

  • WENGER IN

    Arsenal fans have called for Arsene Wenger to “come home” as the club's new chairman after Sir Chips Keswick announced his retirement.

    Lifelong fan Sir Chips, 80, stood down today after 15 years on the club's board.

    And almost as soon as it was announced, Arsenal supporters took to social media to demand a return of Wenger.

    Funny, really, considering how vociferous the Wenger Out movement was during the French legend's final few years in North London…

  • OUT FOR BLOOD

    Arsenal's new 2020-21 away kit has been leaked and the blood-splatter design has left fans totally unimpressed.

  • FRASE THE OFFER

    More competition for Arsenal to consider as Galatasaray enter the mix for Ryan Fraser.

    The Bournemouth winger is out of contract in the summer and has long been linked with the Gunners.

    But Turkish outlet Takvim name Gala as another party keen on the Scot, along with Tottenham.

    And they will evaluate whether to launch an official bid when the season comes to a close.

  • 'AN HONOUR'

    Sir Chips Keswick has released a statement to the Arsenal website upon the news he is leaving the club.

    The 80-year-old first joined the board in 2005 and has served as chairman for seven years.

    It read: It has been an honour to be the chairman of this great football club. Arsenal has always held a special place in my life and that will remain the case in the future.

    “I made my plan to retire at the end of this season clear to the board, before the global health crisis we are now experiencing.

    “The club is in safe hands with Stan and Josh, the board and the executive team. I know Arsenal will emerge strongly from this situation and I look forward, like all our supporters around the world, to seeing the team in action as soon as possible.”

    The Gunners have confirmed that the board is now made up on Stan Kroenke, Josh Kroenke, Lord Harris and Ken Friar.

  • BREAKING: SIR CHIPS RETIRES

    Arsenal chairman Sir Chips Keswick has announced his retirement from the role after seven years.

  • JOHNNY ON THE SPOT

    Former Arsenal forward John Hartson wants Arsenal fans to make their minds up on David Luiz.

    There were plenty of Gooners annoyed at yesterday's reports that the centre-back will leave the club when his contract expires in June.

    But Hartson has called them out as exactly the ones criticising Luiz since he signed from Chelsea last summer.

  • BREAKING: PROJECT RESTART ON TRACK

    The Premier League is set to return on 17 June with Manchester City hosting Arsenal and Aston Villa taking on Sheffield United.

    Project Restart has been handed a huge boost after talks between the 20 clubs were held today.

    It is understood that the “majority” of Premier League clubs are keen to get the ball rolling next month.

    The initial plan was for football to return on Friday June 12 – but it is now expected to be delayed by just under one week.

    Players need more time to get back to match fitness to avoid the risk of injuries.

    But the four clubs with games in hand, due to the Carabao Cup final, are preparing for a midweek start before the full resumption days later.

  • PO-PO A GO-GO

    Police in England have reportedly given the green light for MOST Premier League games taking place at regular venues.

    Neutral grounds were touted as a major part of Project Restart but were met with fierce opposition from several teams.

    The Mail now reports that police are happy for games to be held across the country, in each of the 20 grounds.

    Yet they still hold reservations over a small number of high-profile matches that could still attract fans to gather outside the ground – breaking coronavirus restrictions.

  • AUBA AND OUT

    Mikel Arteta is on a mission to transform his Arsenal team into title contenders this summer.

    But the Gunners boss faces losing his top scorer and star centre-back in the upcoming transfer window.

    Paris Saint-Germain are said to be a weighing up a £35million move for contract rebel Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

    The Gabon international, who has scored 20 times this season, has just one year left on his current deal at the Emirates.

    And former Chelsea star David Luiz is reportedly set to quit the Gunners next month once his contract expires.

    Here, SunSport's Joseph Miles delivers an expert verdict on just how that transformation may pan out…

  • UNO MINUTO

    Bruno Fuchs is the latest name linked with Arsenal in the gossip columns.

    Website Todo Fichajes report on Ajax moving towards a deal with Internacional for the defender.

    But the Gunners are keeping a close on eye on things, along with Monaco and Manchester City.

    Fuchs is rated at £4.5million and reportedly wants a move to Europe this summer.

  • BIRTHDAY BOY

    It’s many happy returns for Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette today as the Frenchman turns 29.

    The club are celebrating their No9 with a compilation of his best bits at Emirates Stadium.

  • MONEYBALL

    Latest figures released by financial giant KPMG are not good reading for the Gunners…

    The list has named Real Madrid as the world’s most valuable club.

    Worth £2.95billion, Los Blancos are just ahead of Manchester United in second – at £2.84bn.

    Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Liverpool make up the top five with the Premier League leaders rising two places since the previous valuations.

    Manchester City are followed by Chelsea in seventh place, falling behind the Reds at a decreased value of £1.88bn.

    Tottenham jump up to eighth and Paris Saint-Germain are next.

    Hanging on in the top ten, Arsenal’s worth fell 13.2 per cent and is now rated at £1.57bn.

  • THERE YOU GHER

    Jamie Carragher is “not surprised” David Luiz is set to leave Arsenal.

    Reports suggest the centre-back's contract expires next month and the Gunners will not offer a renewal.

    And former Liverpool defender Carragher thinks William Saliba's summer arrival means Luiz will be no big loss for Arsenal.

    He told Sky Sports: “We know he can lack concentration and make poor decisions and that's cost certain teams. That's why he's moved on in his career.

    “I know Arsenal are really excited about the prospect of Saliba coming in who will be joining next season. He's only 19, so I still think they need a little bit more experience in that position.

    “To be honest, it's no surprise they won't be renewing David Luiz's contract.”

  • MER TO COME

    Paul Merson reckons Mikel Arteta will flourish when football returns.

    The Gunners’ transfer market plans are set to be held back by the coronavirus crisis and the ex-midfielder believes Arteta will be able to coach his young squad with less pressure.

    “I think this situation helps someone like Mikel Arteta. Arsenal need such an overhaul of players that it's actually almost impossible to get that many players in.

    “There's now an opportunity for him to work with the current crop, and I think it actually takes the pressure off of Arteta, and now anything is a bonus.

    “Arsenal's expectations will be nowhere near as high as they were a few months ago. I think he'll now be given loads and loads of time to build. He's young, he's enthusiastic, and he'll want to work with younger players.

    “He's not a Mourinho or Pep Guardiola, who I'd call your Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroys, they're just dealing in majors, nothing else! Arteta is the type who might work from the ground up with lesser players.”

  • SAK IT TO ME

    Arsenal remain “confident” of signing Bukayo Saka up to a new deal.

    Football.London report of the club’s optimism in tying down the young winger past his 2021 expiry date.

    Fans had become worried by a cryptic Instagram post by Saka.

    He posted on the social media site that he was a “kid with a dream” amid speculation he will have plenty of offers to leave the Emirates.

  • COACH TRIP

    Arsenal legend Paul Merson believes the coronavirus pandemic will increase the emphasis on coaching ability.

    With the quiet transfer market, managers will be forced to work harder to get the best out of their squads – rather than just buying in new talent.

    Merson told Sky Sports: “I just don't think clubs are going to be in a position to pay £70m, £80m on players anymore. I don't see that happening.

    “I quite like it because now coaches have got to be coaches, they've got to make these players better. I think clubs are going to be really, really cautious in the market.

    “For me, this is where coaches become coaches. It's all well and good buying £80m players all the time. Seriously, what do you need to coach an £80m player? If you're coaching an £80m player, telling them what they need to do, he isn't worth £80m.

    “The good coaches will come to the fore, and those that aren't will struggle. Some will blossom, some will not.”

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BBC to show FOUR live matches when Premier League returns on June 17

Premier League matches to be shown for FREE for the first time ever with BBC to host FOUR games when the season restarts on June 17 – as it’s confirmed ALL 92 matches will be live on TV

  • The BBC will broadcast live Premier League football for the first time ever
  • All remaining 92 Premier League games will be broadcasted live on UK television
  • The last time the BBC aired top-flight football live was 32 years ago, in 1988
  • Sky Sports will air 64 games, with 25 – including Everton vs Liverpool – free-to-air
  • BT Sport will show a total of 20 live matches and Amazon Prime will show four 

The BBC will broadcast four live matches when the Premier League returns next month – the first time in 32 years that the public-service broadcaster will show top-flight football live.   

It is also the first time ever that the Premier League will have matches live on free terrestrial television, as it was confirmed that all 92 remaining games will be live on UK television.  

The news comes after the Premier League announced on Thursday that football in the UK will return on Wednesday June 17, with Aston Villa vs Sheffield United and Manchester City vs Arsenal the first fixtures to be played. 

The BBC will air four live Premier League matches when the top-flight returns on June 17

It is the first time ever that Premier League matches will be shown live on terrestrial television

Premier League confirmed on Thursday that action will resume behind closed doors on June 17

Weekend matches will be scheduled as follows (all times BST):

Friday: 20:00, Saturday: 12:30, 15:00, 17:30 and 20:00, Sunday: 12:00, 14:00, 16:30 and 19:00, Monday: 20:00

Midweek matches will be scheduled as follows (all times BST):

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 18:00 and 20:00

The Premier League announced that all 92 remaining matches will be broadcast live in the UK by the League’s existing broadcast partners – Sky Sports, BT Sport, BBC Sport and Amazon Prime – given games will take place behind closed doors. 

The BBC will air four live games – currently unknown – alongside their usual weekly highlights Match of the Day programme. 

Sky Sports will broadcast 64 of the remaining 92 games, with 25 to be made freely available – including Everton vs Liverpool on the first weekend back. 

The 25 free-to-air games on Sky will be made available via Sky’s ‘Pick’ channel and simulcast on Sky Sports. 

BT Sport will show a total of 20 live matches, while streaming service Amazon Prime will show four live games. 

In addition, planned kick-off times in the UK for live matches will also differ from traditional times (see above). 

Sky Sports will broadcast 64 live matches, with 25 – including Everton vs Liverpool – free-to-air

There are four different time-slots on a Saturday and Sunday stretching from 12:00-20:00, as well as 6pm kick-off times for midweek games. 

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said: ‘Sadly, matches will have to take place without fans in stadiums, so we are pleased to have come up with a positive solution for supporters to be able to watch all the remaining 92 matches.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters announced the plans on Thursday evening

‘The Premier League and our clubs are proud to have incredibly passionate and loyal supporters. It is important to ensure as many people as possible can watch the matches at home.’  

Director of BBC Sport, Barbara Slater said: ‘This opportunity creates an historic moment for the BBC and our audiences. At a time when sports fans across the country are in need of lift, this is very welcome news. 

The Match of the Day team will present four live games and their usual weekly highlights show

‘We are delighted and excited to have the chance to show live Premier League games on the BBC. 

‘This will offer audiences, who haven’t had the opportunity in the past, live , free to air access to the best football league in the world, as the BBC continues to keep the country entertained during these unprecedented times.’ 

When the Premier League returns, a number of innovative new features, ‘to give fans an even more immersive experience’, will be launched by Sky Sports as the Premier League’s leading broadcast partner. 




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10am Chelsea news LIVE: Blues ‘could be good fit for Timo Werner’, Kante may miss rest of season LATEST, Willian updates – The Sun

CHELSEA are continuing their preparations for the Premier League's restart.

But there are no guarantees N'Golo Kante will return to training while Jorginho's agent isn't giving up on a move to Juventus.

Get all the latest Chelsea news and gossip here…

  • QUARANTINE PROBLEM

    Alan Shearer doesn't think this season's Champions League can be completed.

    The SunSport columnist said: “This is going to be a problem now.

    “The two-week quarantine rule is going to make that really difficult as it looks like sports teams will not be exempt.

    “If you think about the issue of two weeks of isolation for teams when going into one country and the same when you come back to the UK, it’s a big problem.

    “Unless it is relaxed before August I can’t see it.”

  • GOT HIS ED' SCREWED ON

    Eden Hazard has also spoken positively about Azpi becoming a manager.

    The former Chelsea winger said: “I think he talks a lot about football.

    “I think a manager (role) is more for defenders – or midfielders.

    “Wingers or strikers are not good managers, apart from Zidane.”

  • BOSSING IT

    Ruben Loftus-Cheek thinks Cesar Azpilicueta has everything he needs to become a top manager.

    The Chelsea midfielder said: “He’s the most professional player I’ve seen and he is a good captain.

    “I say he could go on to become a manager.”

  • CULTURE CLASH

    Ashley Cole has revealed he left Arsenal just two years after the amazing Invincibles season – because he did not think they were serial winners anymore.

    England left-back Cole quit to join London rivals Chelsea in 2006 – and says the culture was “falling apart” on the red side of London.

    Arguably the greatest Premier League left-back of all-time, Cole told the BBC: “The transition in terms of being in a different group, environment and players was easy because, at the time when I first started at Arsenal, we had a core – the Keowns, the Seamans, the Vieiras, the Henrys, the Adams'.

    “When they started to leave, I felt there were holes in the culture of what it was that brought success. I just felt it was falling apart a bit, or there were gaps missing, and they weren't filled.

    “So that transition in terms of finding myself in a different culture and the willingness and want to win, I went to Chelsea, and I had that.”

  • DAY OF THE TACKLE

    Premier League stars were cleared to kick off close-contact training on Sunday in a boost for the return of top-flight football.

    New Stage Two guidance lets elite athletes train in pairs and small groups and waives the two-metre social distancing rule.

    The news put a smile on the face of Wilfried Zaha as he began Crystal Palace training on Sunday.

    And the easing of restrictions came as just two new positive results returned from 996 Premier League tests last week. They were logged at different clubs and the figure is four fewer than the week before.

    More testing is due today and tomorrow before league bosses decide on Wednesday whether full-contact training will resume.

  • TIMO TO THINK

    Owen Hargreaves has told Timo Werner that Chelsea “could be a good fit” for him after urging the RB Leipzig striker not to join Liverpool.

    Werner hit a hat-trick in Leipzig's 5-0 thrashing of Mainz on Sunday, topping up his tally to 30 goals for the season.

    And Hargreveas said: “Well, he's not going to get past Bobby Firmino, who is one of my favourite players to watch.

    “I think that's the thing. Wherever he goes, he has to play. With the way United play right now, I could see him there. They need a number nine.

    “Chelsea could be a good fit, I just think he's perfect for Liverpool in a way, but he's not guaranteed to start.

    “If he's happy rotating in the front three then yes, he'd be a great fit for Jurgen Klopp.

    “He works hard, he's a good goal-scorer, he's a good team-mate, all those things they need but he's not going to play ahead of Roberto Firmino, I just don't see that. He's too good in that team.”

  • MORNING CHELSEA FANS

    Blues goalkeeper Kepa could reportedly be offered an escape route of Chelsea by Valencia.

    The 25-year-old looks set to leave Stamford Bridge this summer after falling out of favour under Frank Lampard.

    And according to Mundo Deportivo, LaLiga side Valencia are interested in securing his services.

    Meanwhile, Jorginho's agent has admitted a move to Italy could be on the cards with Juventus the firm favourites.

    Agent Joao Santos told Tuttomercatoweb: “I don't know whether Juve want Jorginho or not, as he has three years left on is Chelsea contract. We'll see.

    “He is a professional, so if an important club in Italy calls, then why not?”

    Finally, Chelsea look likely to play the remainder of the campaign without star midfielder N'Golo Kante.

    The Blues have granted permission for the Frenchman to miss the rest of the season if his fears linger over coronavirus.

    It will be a blow to Chelsea's hope of qualifying for the Champions League as they currently sit three points above Manchester United who occupy fifth.

    But Kante's absence could be Billy Gilmour's gain with the youngster ready to stake his place in the first-team.

  • KEP ON MOVING

    Kepa Arrizabalaga could reportedly be offered an escape route out of Chelsea by Valencia.

    The 25-year-old became the world’s most-expensive goalkeeper when the Blues forked out £71million to sign him from Athletic Bilbao in 2018.

    But he has fallen out of favour under Frank Lampard this campaign with the West London side possibly looking to offload him once the transfer window re-opens.

    And now Mundo Deportivo claim LaLiga’s Valencia want the Spaniard on loan.

  • HOLD THE FORT

    Premier League clubs are increasingly pushing towards a June 26 restart.

    We revealed how June 12 was expected to be ditched, with many also believing staging games on June 19 could be too much of a rush.

    Now restarting the league on June 26 is a plan gathering momentum.

    And clubs could rubber-stamp the date at a meeting on Thursday.

    A senior Premier League source said: “The more you look at it, you realise we cannot start until the end of June.

    “It is just too hasty to put games on any earlier.”

  • MOUR TO COME

    Frank Lampard is likely to play out the rest of the season without star midfielder N'Golo Kante.

    The Blues have granted the Frenchman permission to miss the rest of the season if his fears linger over coronavirus.

    The World Cup winner has been harbouring anxieties about the bug ever since the UK was locked down in March.

    Here's how they could line-up without the Frenchman…

  • HAV TO HAVE HIM

    Ex-Chelsea star Frank Leboeuf has urged the Blues to sign Kai Havertz instead of Philippe Coutinho.

    He told ESPN FC: “When we were talking Chelsea about Coutinho, when you see that player [Havertz], he should be in the Premier League very soon.

    “He should be because he's a very, very talented player.”

    Leboeuf added: “I like his maturity on the field, he looks like someone who is 30 and knows exactly what he has to do it.

    “The goal he was scored was very clever, between the goalkeeper's legs.”

  • BLUE IS THE COLOUR

    Jorginho's agent has again talked up a potential move to Juventus as the pressure piles on Frank Lampard to let the midfielder reunite with Maurizio Sarri.

    A swap deal between the Brazilian-Italian and Miralem Pjanic has been mooted, even though the Bosnian Juve star is reportedly determined to join Barcelona.

    Nevertheless, agent Joao Santos told Tuttomercatoweb: “I don't know whether Juve want Jorginho or not, as he has three years left on his Chelsea contract. We'll see…

    “He is a professional, so if an important club in Italy calls, then why not?”

    In other news, Chelsea could be without N'Golo Kante for the rest of the season.

    The Frenchman has so far opted against returning to training due to worries about coronavirus.

    And Willian has suggested he will certainly leave Chelsea if they do not come back with an improved contract offer.

    The Brazilian, who has been targeted by Tottenham and Arsenal, said: “It’s a difficult situation, Chelsea offered me two years and they are not going to change.

    “I don’t know if it will be possible to stay.

    “My goal is to continue working and focus on the remainder of the season, so that Chelsea can continue winning games.

    “I have a clear head and I'm focused for the rest of the season that we have left. Let's see what happens.”

Source: Read Full Article

8am Chelsea news LIVE: Coutinho transfer to Chelsea ‘on’, Kante may miss rest of season, Kepa exit to Valencia – The Sun

CHELSEA are back in training as the return of the Premier League draws closer.

But N'Golo Kante is not among the squad due to coronavirus fears, and the club will not put any pressure on the Frenchman to return.

Follow all the latest updates from Stamford Bridge below…

  • COUTINHO TO CHELSEA 'ON'

    Philippe Coutinho's transfer to Chelsea is reportedly “on” after Bayern Munich officially passed up their opportunity to sign the Barcelona playmaker.

    Coutinho has spent this season on loan at Bayern but they have decided not to make the move permanent.

    Bayern chief Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said: “The option has expired and we have not exercised it. We will see if the player can still have a role to play with us or not.”

    And the Evening Standard say that paves the way for a move to the Premier League, with Chelsea, Manchester United and Leicester all in contact with Barcelona.

    According to Spanish sports paper Mundo Deportivo, the former Liverpool star fancies a move to Stamford Bridge.

  • GOOD MORNING, CHELSEA FANS

    Frank Lampard's men face a Champions League headache – and not just because they trail Bayern Munich 3-0 from the first leg amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    Chelsea's players would be quarantined for 14 days upon returning from Germany under new government rules on UK arrivals, starting on June 8. 

    Bayern Munich have also emerged as major rivals to Chelsea, Manchester United and Co in the hunt for Jadon Sancho.

    A huge summer move seems less likely now, given the financial impact of Covid-19, but nonetheless Borussia Dortmund's England attacker has a growing list of suitors.

    Meanwhile, Chelsea and United target Miralem Pjanic has reportedly ruled out moving to London and is desperate to join Barcelona.

    The Bosnia midfielder, 30, has also been linked with PSG as Juventus chief Maurizio Sarri is prepared to let him to.

    Chelsea boss Frank Lampard was reportedly willing to let Jorginho head to Turin in a bid to land Pjanic.

    But Brazil star Willian, wanted by Arsenal and Spurs has reiterated he is keen to stay at Chelsea for the rest of the season, even if that means playing into July and August.

  • JOSE: I WAS A SILLY BERGA

    Ex-Chelsea and Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho admits he was a “d***head” to his Inter Milan Treble-winning side of 2010.

    The Spurs chief also revealed he was violent with his players and told them “they had won the Scudetto of s**t” following a defeat to Bergamo.

    Mourinho lifted the Serie A title, the Coppa Italia and the Champions League in 2009-10.

    The Portuguese, 57, said: “I’m never fake, I’m original. It’s me and that’s it. I was also a d***head but that was me.”

    Mourinho lost his cool with his Inter squad following the 3-1 defeat to Bergamo in January 2009.

    He told Gazzetta dello Sport: “I was very violent with the players — I told them they had won the Scudetto of s**t.

    “It was only afterwards I understood I had hurt them and I apologised.”

  • YOU MUST BECOME HEAVYWEIGHT HAVERTZ

    Dimitar Berbatov has urged Kai Havertz to snub the Premier League for now — and bulk up.

    The Bayer Leverkusen midfielder, 20, has been linked with Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and United and enhanced his growing reputation with two goals in Monday’s 4-1 win over Werder Bremen.

    But ex-United striker Berbatov, who left Leverkusen to join Spurs in 2006, believes Havertz is not yet tough enough to leave his native Germany.

    Berbatov, 39, said: “I’d like to see Havertz in the Premier League but it is a bit too early for him.

    “He will need a bit more muscle. We all know how defenders can squash you and smash you into pieces.

    “He should stay at Leverkusen and develop even more, get that experience which will help him for when the time comes to go somewhere else.”

  • BAYERN DECLINE TO PAY COUTINHO FEE

    Bayern Munich will spark more talk of Philippe Coutinho returning to the Premier League by declining to pay a £110million option to buy the Barcelona playmaker.

    Chelsea, Manchester United and even old club Liverpool have been linked with the Brazil star, 27, although financial restraints due to the coronavirus pandemic make a summer transfer less likely.

    Bayern chairman  Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told Der Spiegel: “The option expired and “we haven't activated it.

    “Now we're going to draw up squad planning internally (for next season) and we'll see if he still has a role to play with us or not.”

    Coutinho started just 15 of Bayern's 25 games, coming on as substitute eight times, before the Covid-19 lockdown halted football action. 

    But with Barca insisting he could still have a role back at the Nou Camp, he hopes to impress now the Bundesliga has restarted.

  • FUTURE IS UP IN THE PIERRE

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's future seems more up in the air than his air.

    Just as the Arsenal skipper was mocked on social media for his untidy locks on returning to training, so he was being linked with PSG, in addition to longer-term suitors Barcelona.

    The Gabon striker is entering the final year of his contract, although Premier League interest seems to have died down, Manchester United having initially been rated as strong contenders.

  • BAY IN WAIT FOR SANCHO

    Bayern Munich have emerged as major rivals to Jadon Sancho's host of Premier League suitors, like United and Chelsea.

    Reports in Germany suggest the Bundesliga champions regard the Borussia Dortmund attacker as an alternative to Manchester City's Germany wideman Leroy Sane.

    England star Sancho has bagged 19 goals and 17 assists for German giants Dortmund in all competitions this season.

  • PREM 'CONFIDENT' OF RETURN

    Premier League chief executive Richard Masters insists they are “as confident as we can be” about restarting in June.

    He said the Prem would be “flexible” about a restart date, having previously targeted June 12 after the coronavirus pandemic halted action on March 13.

    Masters told the BBC: “There is some momentum. We've taken the first step.

    “It's great for everybody, including the fans, to see our players back on the training ground.”

    He said the Prem would learn from the Bundesliga's return last weekend, which went smoothly despite being behind closed doors.

    British football could even be played out to empty stands until next year.

  • CUT-OUTS FOR SHUT-OUTS

    Three Premier League clubs are interested in having cardboard cut-outs in empty stands when top-flight football returns.

    SunSport understands those behind the new ‘Stay at Home – Be at the Game’ project have held talks with club officials – two sides in the top half of the table – about adopting the concept.

    If those discussions prove successful, then £20 recyclable and water-proof cut-outs could be placed in stadiums when the Premier League resumes in June.

    Some of the money raised will be donated to the NHS in the fight against coronavirus.

    Top US sporting bodies like the NBA and MLS have also shown an interest as international sport looks set to return behind closed doors in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

    It is the brainchild of ingenious German super-fan Ingo Muller, who has organised almost 14,000 cut-outs of fans and season-ticket holders for his beloved Borussia Monchengladbach.

    It will go live to the world when the Bundesliga side face Bayern Leverkusen at the Borussia-Park on Saturday afternoon.

  • BARNES IS SAN FAN

    Chelsea and United target Jadon Sancho is one of three possible signings Liverpool should prioritise, says Anfield legend John Barnes.

    The former England winger thinks Jurgen Klopp should pursue Borussia Dortmund’s England attacker Sancho, plus Leicester City's Turkey defender Caglar Soyuncu and Real Sociedad’s Spain centre-back Diego Llorente.

    But it is RB Leipzig and Germany striker Timo Werner who remains the player most commonly linked with a huge summer switch to Liverpool.

  • BARCA CRACK MIRA DEAL

    Chelsea and Manchester United target Miralem Pjanic has ruled out moving to London and is determined to join Barcelona, reports say.

    The Bosnia midfielder, 30, has also been linked with PSG as Juventus chief Maurizio Sarri is prepared to let him to.

    But Mundo Deportivo claim he has already agreed to sign for Barca once the season finally ends.

    Pjanic was reportedly eager to switch the Serie A champs for the LaLiga kings.

    And Barcelona also wanted to add experience to the midfield, to help a batch of rising stars coming through.

    A deal with Juve could see Barca's Brazil midfielder Arthur, 23, head the opposite way on a season-long loan.

    Chelsea boss Frank Lampard was reportedly willing to let Jorginho head to Turin in a bid to land Pjanic.

  • THIBAUT'S KEEPING A TRACK

    Real Madrid's ex-Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois will will compete in Formula One Virtual Monaco Grand Prix – then take on F1 star Pierre Gasly at NBA 2K this Sunday.

    Belgium No1 Courtois has been hosting weekly NBA2K20 games for the NBA Together scheme.

    But his battle with Scuderia AlphaTaur's Frenchman Gasly will be his last.

  • EURO LOCK-OUT?

    Chelsea, Manchester United and City's European hopes are in doubt after the government confirmed a two-week quarantine on UK arrivals from June 8.

    No exemptions are being given to sports stars, potentially causing a real headache for British clubs left in Europe.

    It means should Real Madrid fly to England for the second leg of their last-16 tie with Pep Guardiola's side, the Spanish giants would have to wait in complete lockdown for two weeks before being able to train and then play the match.

    Similarly, Chelsea are due to fly to Germany to play Bayern Munich which would again cause the same problems for Frank Lampard's men when they return to England.

    United are still in the Europa League, beating LASK 5-0 in the first leg of their last-16 clash in Austria with the second leg at Old Trafford, while Wolves and Scottish side Rangers could also fall victim to the new crackdown.

  • YOU KAN MAKE YOUR OWN CHOICES

    Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante and Watford skipper Troy Deeney have been backed by Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson after they missed training due to worries over coronavirus.

    The Champions League-winning midfielder said: “I fully respect their opinion and their decision to do that.

    “I think everybody is in a different situation with their family and at home.

    “Ultimately, if you don't feel comfortable or safe, you shouldn't feel forced or pressured to come into work.

    “I fully respect the lads that don't feel comfortable as of yet, and I hope that they respect my opinion and that of the other players who have come back.

    “Everybody's situation is different but ultimately, for me, I feel very safe here at the training ground, otherwise I wouldn't be here. My team-mates as well.”

  • WILL I AM STAYING

    Arsenal target Willian has reiterated that he is keen to stay at Chelsea for the rest of the season, even if that means playing into July and August.

    The Brazilian, 31, has a contract till June 30, but according to the Athletic the winger will continue at Stamford Bridge no matter what.

    The terms of any short-term deal into July and August are unclear.

    And Willian is wanted by Arsenal and Tottenham ahead of next season, with no shortage of options elsewhere around Europe.

  • NEW HAZARD TO WORRY ABOUT

    Dimitar Berbatov has tipped Man Utd and Liverpool target Kai Havertz to become Eden Hazard’s long-term replacement at Chelsea.

    The former Spurs and Man Utd striker told Betfair: “I think it is interesting to see Chelsea linked with him, they haven’t really replaced Hazard since he left and it was always going to be difficult to do so.

    “I think for sure they need to go for a young player with a lot of football ahead of them, if that is the case then they will also have to be patient as well because sometimes young players need time to adjust to the physicality and speed of Premier League.

    “Havertz is an option for them but it has only been the first week back of the Bundesliga and I hope that he continues to way he has comeback, by scoring and producing the goals that he has done so far.”

  • KURT-SHIP

    Arsenal and Chelsea are both tracking German teenager Kaan Kurt.

    The full-back has played this season for Borussia Monchengladbach II in the country's fourth tier but has yet to appear for the club’s first team.

    Kurt, 18, who has played at German international youth level right through until the under-19s, mostly plays as an attacking right-back but can also operate on the left.

    He is contracted with Gladbach until 2022 and would cost about £4million.

    Kurt also played three times for Turkey's under-17s and has attracted interest from Fenerbahce.

  • BAME CONCERNS

    The Government will today be asked for immediate research on whether BAME players are at enhanced risk by the planned return to contact training, reports MARTIN LIPTON.

    PFA deputy chief executive Bobby Barnes will urge the country’s deputy chief medical officer, Jonathan Van Tam, to intercede and demand proper answers.

    The fears of the players has been articulated by Watford’s Troy Deeney, worried about the impact of potential Covid-19 infection on his five-year-old son.

    Chelsea have also given fearful N’Golo Kante dispensation not to return to training unless he feels confident in his health and safety.

    But while Barnes has previously spoken to Premier League chiefs over the concerns, asking for more research to be undertaken before the green light can be given by the players, the union chief will now press the issue again.

    By going direct to Van Tam at a three-way video meeting this afternoon, also attended virtually by League bosses and medical chiefs, Barnes wants to make it clear that the issue must be properly addressed before players will assent to a full training ground return.

  • TER STAYIN'

    Marc-Andre Ter Stegen is reportedly set to sign a new five-year deal at Barcelona to deal Chelsea a major blow in their search for a new goalkeeper.

    Ter Stegen, 28, has two years left on his contract at the Nou Camp and Sport had claimed that the Blues were looking to bring him to Stamford Bridge.

    Frank Lampard is claimed to be looking to replace Kepa Arrizabalaga after being left unconvinced that he's the right man to have between the sticks.

    Kepa has failed to justify the £71.6million fee the West Londoners forked out to bring him to the Premier League from Athletic Bilbao in 2018.

    And with contract talks set to have stalled between Barca and Ter Stegen, Spanish media stated that Chelsea were ready to pounce.

    But Sport have now insisted that Ter Stegen is set to end speculation that he could leave by penning a new deal next month until 2025.

  • BAND OF BROTHERS

    Chelsea flop Gonzalo Higuain is reportedly considering a summer switch to MLS side DC United to link up with his brother.

    The front page of Italian newspaper Tuttosport claim the Argentine striker is set to leave Juventus at the end of the season.

    Maurizio Sarri, who had been in charge of the 32-year-old at Napoli, Chelsea and the Old Lady, appears to have finally given up on Higuain.

    The Argentine international returned to Italy earlier this month after the Serie A champions threatened to terminate his contract after he went AWOL in his homeland.

    Despite still having a year left on his current deal, Higuain is still expected to be offloaded this summer as Juve look to free up wages in their squad.

    The former Chelsea misfit has struggled for playing time at the Allianz Stadium following the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo.

  • SKY BLUE THINKING

    An image of Chelsea's 'pre-match shirt' has been leaked on social media.

    As usual, it's Footy Headlines who have done the honours and popped the snap on Twitter.

  • WILL POWER

    Willian has reiterated that he is keen to stay at Chelsea for the rest of the season, even if that means playing into July and August.

    The Brazilian, 31, has a contract till June 30, but according to the Athletic the winger will continue at Stamford Bridge no matter what.

    The terms of any short-term deal are unclear, but surely that is the kind of dedication Frank Lampard wants to keep in West London, even if only for next season?

  • DANI’S DATE

    Has Arsenal midfielder Dani Ceballos revealed the start date for the Premier League?

    The Spaniard, on loan from Real Madrid, has suggested the players are getting ready to restart on June 20.

    The 23-year-old told RTVE: “We are going to start a week late with respect to what is being talked about in Spain, which is June 12, and we are going to start the league on the 20th.

    “Forty-eight hours ago we passed the tests and the truth is that the entire team have given a negative result.”

  • HAV A GO

    Dimitar Berbatov has tipped Man Utd and Liverpool target Kai Havertz to become Eden Hazard’s long-term replacement at Chelsea.

    The former Spurs and Man Utd striker told Betfair: “I think it is interesting to see Chelsea linked with him, they haven’t really replaced Hazard since he left and it was always going to be difficult to do so.

    “I think for sure they need to go for a young player with a lot of football ahead of them, if that is the case then they will also have to be patient as well because sometimes young players need time to adjust to the physicality and speed of Premier League.

    “Havertz is an option for them but it has only been the first week back of the Bundesliga and I hope that he continues to way he has comeback, by scoring and producing the goals that he has done so far.”

Source: Read Full Article

8am Arsenal news LIVE: Kolasinac’s wife held by police at UK airport, Tagliafico open to Gunners transfer, Auba latest – The Sun

ARSENAL have returned to training in small groups as the Premier League takes its first baby steps towards a restart.

But will Gunners fans ever see captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the flesh again as PSG prepare to test the water with a £35m transfer bid?

Follow all the latest updates and gossip from North London below…

  • TAGLIAFICO TO ARSENAL EXCLUSIVE

    Arsenal are chasing Ajax star Nicolas Tagliafico in a £20m deal – as Mikel Arteta searches for a new left-back.

    The Gunners are understood to be keen on a left-back this summer, to allow Bukayo Saka to move naturally further up the pitch and provide cover for the injury-prone but highly-rated Kieran Tierney.

    Tagliafico is is open to a move to the Emirates, and believed to want to test himself in the Premier League next season.

    The full-back has been touted around Europe, and his reps have had contact from clubs during the Covid-19 break.

    On top of this, he has an agreement with Ajax to let him leave this summer, as long as an acceptable offer comes in.

  • GOOD MORNING, ARSENAL FANS

    Mikel Arteta looked as perky and healthy as ever as the Arsenal boss confirmed both his own recovery from coronavirus and the return of serious training.

    The Spaniard’s positive Covid-19 test in March was the trigger for the suspension of football across the country.

    But Arteta oversaw – from a distance – stars like David Luiz, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Shkodran Mustafi during strictly-controlled, socially-distanced practice sessions.

    Talking of skipper Aubameyang, Gunners fans have been pulling their hair out with frustration this summer – amid continuing stories linking the striker with numerous other clubs – now including PSG.

    But this time the suggestion was that the Gabon superstar had been doing something like that himself – as photos posted by Arsenal showed his lockdown locks in a rather unflattering manner.

    At least speculation over a switch to a major Premier League rival seems to have faded – with Chelsea even briefly mentioned, along with longer-term admirers Manchester United.

    Meanwhile, centre-back Mustafi has been linked with AC Milan – despite his improved form since Arteta took over.

    Todo Fichajes claim the Germany ace, 28, is not part of Arsenal's long-term plan. 

    The Gunners and Chelsea are both said to be tracking 18-year-old full-back Kaan Kurt, who has been playing in the German fourth tier for Borussia Monchengladbach II.

  • STUN GUNNER

    The Wag held for bringing a stun gun into the UK was the wife of Arsenal’s Sead Kolasinac.

    Anxious Bella Kolasinac, 27, bought the weapon for ­protection following a knife attack on her husband and Gunners team-mate Mesut Ozil in the street last year.

    Security fears saw her flee to Germany soon after and she obtained a legal permit there to carry an “electro shocker”.

    But she did not realise the powerful device was illegal in Britain — and yesterday The Sun told how she was held by Border Force officers at London Biggin Hill Airport when it was found in her luggage.

    She could have been jailed for six months for importing a banned weapon but was let off with a caution after the flight from Frankfurt on Sunday.

    A spokesman for Kolasinac, 26, said: “It was all a misunderstanding. The electro shocker was still in its packaging and didn’t have any batteries.

    “Bella was able to prove she sent emails to the flight operators to make sure she could import it.”

  • NO SIGN OF PEPE PAYBACK

    Jeremie Aliadiere has his doubts about Nicolas Pepe's £72million transfer fee.

    The former Arsenal striker said: “I saw what he did with Lille last season and he is an amazing player.

    “So, I’m not denying his talent.

    “What I’m seeing, though, is the most expensive player in Arsenal’s history and even if you don’t want to think about the money, the fact is that money is, unfortunately, a big thing in football.

    “And when you spend that much money on a player, you expect more goals and you expect more assists.”

  • BAYERN DECLINE TO PAY COUTINHO FEE

    Bayern Munich will spark more talk of Philippe Coutinho returning to the Premier League by declining to pay a £110million option to buy the Barcelona playmaker.

    Chelsea, Manchester United, Aarsenal and even old club Liverpool have been linked with the Brazil star, 27, although financial restraints due to the coronavirus pandemic make a summer transfer less likely.

    Bayern chairman  Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told Der Spiegel: “The option expired and “we haven't activated it.

    “Now we're going to draw up squad planning internally (for next season) and we'll see if he still has a role to play with us or not.”

    Coutinho started just 15 of Bayern's 25 games, coming on as substitute eight times, before the Covid-19 lockdown halted football action. 

    But with Barca insisting he could still have a role back at the Nou Camp, he hopes to impress now the Bundesliga has restarted.

  • MIK'S EMOTIONS

    Mikel Arteta led the way at Arsenal training yesterday to show he has made a full recovery from coronavirus.

    The Spaniard’s positive Covid-19 test in March was the trigger for the suspension of football across the country.

    But Arteta was pictured back on the grass at London Colney and Gunners stars David Luiz, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Shkodran Mustafi looked happy to see their fit-again boss again during the social distancing session.

    As Arsenal continued to prepare for Project Restart next month, Premier League clubs have been asked how they want to finish the season in a shock move.

    Officials are keen to know what way the table would be settled if the full 38-game campaign does not end.It is the first step towards a vote on the ideal outcome and one that will get the necessary 14-club backing.

    The plan is still to play on and restart the matches next month, but a date has not been decided yet and the Prem need a set plan if that fails.

  • FUTURE IS UP IN THE PIERRE

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's future seems more up in the air than his air.

    Just as the Arsenal skipper was mocked on social media for his untidy locks on returning to training, so he was being linked with PSG, in addition to longer-term suitors Barcelona.

    The Gabon striker is entering the final year of his contract, although Premier League interest seems to have died down, Manchester United having initially been rated as strong contenders.

  • PREM 'CONFIDENT' OF RETURN

    Premier League chief executive Richard Masters insists they are “as confident as we can be” about restarting in June.

    He said the Prem would be “flexible” about a restart date, having previously targeted June 12 after the coronavirus pandemic halted action on March 13.

    Masters told the BBC: “There is some momentum. We've taken the first step.

    “It's great for everybody, including the fans, to see our players back on the training ground.”

    He said the Prem would learn from the Bundesliga's return last weekend, which went smoothly despite being behind closed doors.

    British football could even be played out to empty stands until next year.

  • SPLIT END OF THE PIERRE SHOW

    Shocked fans have been teasing Arsenal skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang over his post-lockdown hairstyle after the Gunners put out photos of the players back in training.

    The Gabon striker himself seemed to relish the return to practice sessions, albeit strictly controlled and individualised.

    But supporters were less than charitable about less-flattering locks, posting comments in social media like “Lol what happened to Aubameyang” amid coiffure comparisons to Liverpool frontman Sadio Mane.

  • CUT-OUTS FOR SHUT-OUTS

    Three Premier League clubs are interested in having cardboard cut-outs in empty stands when top-flight football returns.

    SunSport understands those behind the new ‘Stay at Home – Be at the Game’ project have held talks with club officials – two sides in the top half of the table – about adopting the concept.

    If those discussions prove successful, then £20 recyclable and water-proof cut-outs could be placed in stadiums when the Premier League resumes in June.

    Some of the money raised will be donated to the NHS in the fight against coronavirus.

    Top US sporting bodies like the NBA and MLS have also shown an interest as international sport looks set to return behind closed doors in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

    It is the brainchild of ingenious German super-fan Ingo Muller, who has organised almost 14,000 cut-outs of fans and season-ticket holders for his beloved Borussia Monchengladbach.

    It will go live to the world when the Bundesliga side face Bayern Leverkusen at the Borussia-Park on Saturday afternoon.

  • GAEL HOWLS AT DEFENCE

    Ex-Arsenal left-back Gael Clichy has slated the Gunners for leaking too many goals.

    Admitting that his spell in North London also saw them concede too many, he said: “Even today’s team they have that quality to score four goals in 10 minutes.

    “Don’t ask me why Arsenal have always been able to do this but they can also even today concede goals for fun.”

  • MILAN'S TAF LOVE

    Arsenal centre-back Shkodran Mustafi is being linked with AC Milan – despite his improved form since Mikel Arteta took over as Gunners boss.

    TodoFichajes claim the Germany star is not part of Arsenal's long-term plan.

    And they say the 28-year-old is on a list of rearguard targets for Serie A giants Milan, who are worried about their poor defensive record.  

  • STRICTLY BALL ROOM

    With the Gunners back in training at London Colney, Arsenal have underlined what a different world it is practicing under the coronavirus lockdown.

    In a statement on their website, they say: Our first-team squad is strictly abiding to the Government protocols which were developed with club doctors, independent experts, players and managers.

    “They will undergo regular testing for COVID-19 and must keep a safe, two-metre distance from each other at all times as they work outside.

    “Only players and key staff are permitted at London Colney at this time.

    Our players must bring their own kit, boots and water bottles with them each day.”

  • GUNNERS WILL BE PATENT

    Arsenal target Willian has reiterated that he is keen to stay at Chelsea for the rest of the season, even if that means playing into July and August.

    The Brazilian, 31, has a contract till June 30, but according to the Athletic the winger will continue at Stamford Bridge no matter what.

    The terms of any short-term deal into July and August are unclear.

    And Willian is wanted by Arsenal and Tottenham ahead of next season, with no shortage of options elsewhere around Europe.

  • KURT-SHIP

    Arsenal and Chelsea are both tracking German teenager Kaan Kurt.

    The full-back has played this season for Borussia Monchengladbach II in the country's fourth tier but has yet to appear for the club’s first team.

    Kurt, 18, who has played at German international youth level right through until the under-19s, mostly plays as an attacking right-back but can also operate on the left.

    He is contracted with Gladbach until 2022 and would cost about £4million.

    Kurt also played three times for Turkey's under-17s and has attracted interest from Fenerbahce.

  • VID-S THE BILL

    Mikel Arteta will look again at signing World Cup star Domagoj Vida to sure up their defence.

    The Gunners’ shambolic defence has been an Achilles heel for three consecutive managers, Arteta included.

    According to Turkish paper Aksam, the required sum to sign the 31-year-old former Dynamo Kyiv ace is just £6million.

    Such experience could be crucial adding some steel to Arteta’s defence with William Saliba set to come in at the end of the season.

    Vida was impressive alongside Dejan Lovren in Croatia's march to the World Cup final two summers ago and had been tipped for moves to one of Europe's big clubs, but he went to Besiktas in the end.

  • BAME CONCERNS

    The Government will today be asked for immediate research on whether BAME players are at enhanced risk by the planned return to contact training, reports MARTIN LIPTON.

    PFA deputy chief executive Bobby Barnes will urge the country’s deputy chief medical officer, Jonathan Van Tam, to intercede and demand proper answers.

    The fears of the players has been articulated by Watford’s Troy Deeney, worried about the impact of potential Covid-19 infection on his five-year-old son.

    Chelsea have also given fearful N’Golo Kante dispensation not to return to training unless he feels confident in his health and safety.

    But while Barnes has previously spoken to Premier League chiefs over the concerns, asking for more research to be undertaken before the green light can be given by the players, the union chief will now press the issue again.

    By going direct to Van Tam at a three-way video meeting this afternoon, also attended virtually by League bosses and medical chiefs, Barnes wants to make it clear that the issue must be properly addressed before players will assent to a full training ground return.

  • ROBERT THE GOOSE

    Ray Parlour has revealed that Arsene Wenger told Pat Rice to stop having a go at Robert Pires, because he would go into his shell.

    Parlour told talkSPORT: “Arsene Wenger knew exactly the characters he could have a go at and the players he couldn’t.

    “I remember Pat Rice, we came in at half-time in one game and Robert wasn’t playing well, and Pat went to have a shout at him…

    “But Arsene Wenger said: ‘No, shut up Pat!’

    “’Keep going Robert,’ he said. ‘Keeping getting the ball, keep trying’.

    “You knew if you had a go at Robert you might as well take him off, because he wouldn’t respond to that.

    “Other players respond to people having a go at them, so as a manager you really have to know the characters you can really have a go at and will respond to it, and Arsene Wenger had that.”

  • GRIEF IS A THIEF

    Jose Antonio Reyes’ heartbroken mum Mari has lost 6st while grieving for the ex-Arsenal star after his tragic death.

    The former Real Madrid winger's dad Paco was speaking to Spanish publication Marca almost a year on from the 116mph car crash that took his life.

    He said: “You can't even imagine [the pain].

    “My only way out is to go to the cemetery at nine in the morning and home again.

    “We didn't leave here [our house] at all. My wife has already lost 6st and she hasn't stepped onto the street.

    “I haven't even seen a football match.”

  • PRICE WAS A TAD DIERE

    Jeremie Aliadiere has his doubts about Nicolas Pepe's £72million transfer fee.

    The former Arsenal striker said: “I saw what he did with Lille last season and he is an amazing player.

    “So, I’m not denying his talent.

    “What I’m seeing, though, is the most expensive player in Arsenal’s history and even if you don’t want to think about the money, the fact is that money is, unfortunately, a big thing in football.

    “And when you spend that much money on a player, you expect more goals and you expect more assists.”

  • ON THIS DAY

    It was 15 years ago that Patrick Vieira lifted the FA Cup after the Gunners beat Manchester United on penalties in the FA Cup final.

    The domestic cup was the last major trophy he won with Arsene Wenger's side.

  • WILL POWER

    Arsenal target Willian has reiterated that he is keen to stay at Chelsea for the rest of the season, even if that means playing into July and August.

    The Brazilian, 31, has a contract till June 30, but according to the Athletic the winger will continue at Stamford Bridge no matter what.

    The terms of any short-term deal into July and August are unclear.

    And Willian is wanted by Arsenal and Tottenham ahead of next season, with no shortage of options elsewhere around Europe.

  • DANI’S DATE

    Has Arsenal midfielder Dani Ceballos revealed the start date for the Premier League?

    The Spaniard, on loan from Real Madrid, has suggested the players are getting ready to restart on June 20.

    The 23-year-old told RTVE: “We are going to start a week late with respect to what is being talked about in Spain, which is June 12, and we are going to start the league on the 20th.

    “Forty-eight hours ago we passed the tests and the truth is that the entire team have given a negative result.”

  • 'TYPICAL ARSENAL'

    Clichy has also described how the Gunners conceded four goals after being 4-0 up at Newcastle in 2011, infamously drawing 4-4 at St James' Park.

    He told Premier League Productions: “This was typical Arsenal.

    “We could go anywhere and play anyone off the park then all of a sudden we could crumble in just a few minutes.

    “We were young, we had plenty of talent but people were talking about what we were missing and maybe that was a bit of experience.

    “We were an amazing team but we lacked character, if you want.

    “Even with a lead of three goals, we could feel the fans pushing and after the second goal I could feel that it was going to be difficult [to win].”

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Coronavirus UK LIVE: Deaths hit 33,186 as Covid-linked disease Kawasaki infects 100 kids and care homes get £600m fund – The Sun

UP TO 100 children in the UK have contracted “coronavirus-linked Kawasaki disease”.

Experts fear it's just the “tip of the iceberg”.

The youngsters – who were mostly aged between five and 16 – had become seriously unwell a few weeks after they were possibly infected with Covid-19.

The worrying news was announced on the same day as home buyers left in "limbo" after the UK-wide lockdown began in March can now move forward – but only if they live in England.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick acknowledged that this means people can visit a stranger's home for a viewing – but not their house where their parents live.

And earlier today, Boris Johnson pledged a further £600million to support care homes through the pandemic.

The funding package was revealed as the UK's death toll hit 33,186 after 494 more people died across Britain.

Follow our coronavirus live blog for all the latest news and updates…

  • NO FOOTBALL TRAINING 'UNTIL AT LEAST MAY 25'

    Clubs in the second to fourth tiers of English football should not return to training before May 25 amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

    That's what the English Football League (EFL) said today.

    The body, which governs the Championship, League One and League Two, says the consequences of the virus “will not be rectified simply by a return to play behind closed doors.”

    “Until all outstanding matters are concluded, including finalising a comprehensive testing programme on matchdays and non-matchdays, the EFL Board has informed its clubs that a return to training should not take place until May 25 at the earliest,” it said in a statement.

    “The EFL will continue to undertake consultation with our members before the next steps are determined.”

  • ANTI-VAXXERS ORGANISE HUGE GATHERINGS – DESPITE LOCKDOWN

    In news that's likely to make many of you crash your head straight onto the table, anti-vaccination protesters are advertising mass gatherings this weekend.

    Posters urge demonstrators to join the UK Freedom Movement with picnics and live music across Britain on Saturday.

    The group's UK Mass Gathering posters read: “We say no to the coronavirus bill, no to mandatory vaccines, no to the new normal and no to the unlawful lockdown.”

    Police have – obviously – warned people to not attend.

    Here's the full story.

  • VIRUS COULD BECOME 'ENDEMIC'– AND 'MAY NEVER GO AWAY'

    Coronavirus could become endemic like HIV, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says.

    Officials are now warning against any attempt to predict how long it would keep circulating and calling for a “massive effort” to counter it.

    “It is important to put this on the table: this virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities, and this virus may never go away,” WHO emergencies expert Mike Ryan told an online briefing.

    “I think it is important we are realistic and I don't think anyone can predict when this disease will disappear.

    “I think there are no promises in this and there are no dates.

    “This disease may settle into a long problem, or it may not be.”

  • DELE ALLI IS BEATEN DURING KNIFEPOINT ROBBERY

    A big exclusive has just gone online – England star Dele Alli was beaten and robbed by knife-wielding raiders who burst into his home early yesterday.

    The 24-year-old Spurs midfielder was punched in the mouth during the terrifying incident.

    At the time of the robbery, Dele is said to have been playing pool with six pals and girlfriend Ruby Mae.

    Here's the full story.

    Image: Reuters

  • FORD AND VAUXHALL TO REOPEN SITES

    Carmakers Ford and Vauxhall have announced plans to restart production at UK factories.

    Ford is to resume work from May 18 at its engine plants in Dagenham, Essex, and Bridgend, South Wales.

    The company's engine plant in Valencia, Spain, will also start operations again – meaning that all of Ford's European manufacturing facilities will be open.

    Meanwhile, BBC Newsnight has been told that Vauxhall will restart production at its Luton plant on the same date.

    Bosses say the plant, which produces vans, will start up with only a third of its 1,600-strong workforce.

    Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port plant, which makes cars, remains closed.

  • 'DON'T FLOOD BACK ONTO TRAINS AND BUSES'

    Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has urged people not to “flood back” onto public transport as they return to work.

    He warned that the need to maintain social distancing meant capacity on the transport network would be limited.

    “We are asking people to be very sensible and not flood back to public transport,” he told Sky News.

    “Even with all the trains and buses back to running when they are, there will not be enough space.

    “One in ten people people will be able to travel without overcrowding.

    “It is very important that we enable enough space on public transport for key workers, people who have no other option.”

  • BEAUTY SPOTS MOBBED AS BORIS EASES LOCKDOWN

    Brits have been flocking to beauty spots today after England's coronavirus lockdown restrictions were eased.

    It comes after some tourist bosses urged visitors to stay away.

    Here's the full story.

    Image: Graham Hunt

  • CORONAVIRUS INFECTIONS ARE HIGHER IN POORER AREAS OF SCOTLAND

    Rates of Covid-19 are higher in the poorest parts of Scotland, according to new analysis.

    Official data shows 22.7 per cent of cases were in the most deprived areas of the country, compared to 18.8 per cent in the least deprived.

    There was also a higher proportion of calls to NHS 24 about Covid-19 from the poorest areas, according to NHS Lothian analysis.

    It found 28 per cent of calls to the helpline were from the most deprived areas compared to 14 per cent from the least deprived.

    Figures announced by the Scottish Government on Tuesday showed 1,912 patients in Scotland have died after testing positive for coronavirus, while 13,763 people have tested positive.

  • YOUNGSTERS PLAY IN 'ISOLATION SECTIONS' AFTER RETURNING TO SCHOOL

    You might have seen this sad little photo today.

    Nursery school children in a French town have to play in 'isolation sections' after returning to classes.

    The image was taken in the northern town of Tourcoing, on the Belgium border, and shows a group of boys and girls being kept away from each other using areas marked out in chalk.

    The little ones, who are aged three and four, had returned to classes following almost two months of coronavirus lockdown.

    It's caused a lot of reaction in France – and you'll find the full story here.

  • UNITED AIRLINES CATERING STAFF HAVE DIED, UNION SAYS

    News from America now.

    A union representing catering workers wants to shut down a United Airlines facility in New Jersey, claiming that more than 40 workers have contracted coronavirus.

    Of those who caught the virus at Newark Liberty International Airport, four have died, says union Unite Here.

    The workers were preparing food and drinks and removing the rubbish from planes.

    United formerly employed 1,000 people in this role.

    Now it's just 100 due to the impact of coronavirus.

  • MORGUES 'OVERFLOW' IN MEXICO DESPITE OFFICIAL CLAIMS

    Mexico's coronavirus death rate is five times the official figure as morgues overflow and mass graves are dug, it's been reported.

    The government there has claimed the Covid-19 curve has been flattened and there will be a dramatic drop off in virus-related deaths in the coming days.

    But it's now said the situation is far worse than official reports would suggest.

    Here's our full story.

    Image: Sky

  • FACES OF OUR LOST HEROES

    News agency PA has shared these images of some of the frontline NHS and care workers who have died during the pandemic.

    More than 160 heroes are now known to have lost their lives after testing positive for Covid-19.

    However, that figure is likely to be still lower than the true number of workers who have died, as the names of some victims will not yet be in the public domain.

  • KREMLIN OFFICIAL SAYS VIRUS IS 'BLOODTHIRSTY'

    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday that he has been diagnosed with double pneumonia caused by the coronavirus.

    He said he hasn't met in person with Russian President Vladimir Putin for a month.

    In an interview with Russian business newspaper Kommersant, Peskov said that after he tested positive for the virus, his only sign of illness was initially a small fever.

    Peskov, 52, is a key aide of Putin's.

    Medics caught his illness “just in time”, he said.

    “The essential thing isn't to miss the moment – this virus is very bloodthirsty,” he said.

  • CONTROLLING PANDEMIC COULD TAKE FIVE YEARS

    It could be four to five years before the Covid-19 pandemic is under control, a senior global health official has said.

    Soumya Swaminathan, the World Health Organisation's (WHO) chief scientist, told the FT's Global Boardroom digital conference: “I would say in a four to five-year time frame, we could be looking at controlling this.”

    This could all depend on:

    • Whether the virus matures
    • The containment measures put in place
    • The development of a vaccine

    Ms Swaminathan said that a vaccine “seems for now the best way out”, but there were “lots of ifs and buts” about its efficacy and safety.

    CORONAVIRUS CRISIS – STAY IN THE KNOW

    Get the latest coronavirus news, facts and figures from around the world – plus essential advice for you and your family.

    To receive our Covid-19 newsletter in your inbox every tea time, sign up here.

    To follow us on Facebook, simply 'Like' our Coronavirus page.

    ALMOST HALF OF SCOTTISH FAMILIES ARE STRUGGLING DURING CRISIS

    Nearly half of families with children in Scotland are struggling to make ends meet during the coronavirus crisis, according to new analysis.

    A new report has found 49 per cent of families with dependent children are in “serious financial difficulty”.

    The figure equates to 300,000 households.

    MUM-TO-BE SCREAMED 'SOMETHING'S WRONG' BEFORE GIVING BIRTH TO BABY WHO DIED

    This is such a tragedy – a mum-to-be with coronavirus collapsed and screamed “something's wrong” before giving birth to a baby boy who died three days later.

    Coolio Carl Justin John Morgan was born on May 2 at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend, but passed away on May 5.

    The tot's mum Kimberly Phillips, 44, had tested positive for Covid-19 just before she gave birth.

    His primary cause of death was given as severe hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy, meaning the brain was starved of blood and oxygen.

    But “maternal Covid-19” was listed as a secondary cause of death.

    Here's the full story.

    MURDER INVESTIGATION LAUNCHED AFTER MAN IS STABBED TO DEATH

    Some breaking news this evening – police have launched an investigation and made arrests after a man was fatally stabbed in Southwark, south London.

    Officers were called to Great Dover Street shortly before 5.30pm after reports several men were fighting nearby.

    A man was found seriously hurt, and although paramedics and the London Air Ambulance attended, he died at the scene.

    A number of people have been arrested, police say.

    Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101, referencing CAD 5269.

    WELSH POLICE COULD GET MORE POWERS TO STOP THE ENGLISH

    Police in Wales could be given extra powers to stop people crossing the border from England.

    Speaking at a press briefing, Welsh Transport Minister Ken Skates said road checks are “regularly carried out” in Wales in a bid to curb “irresponsible behaviour”.

    He said: “I should just say it is not just that people are travelling across the border, whether it’s from England to Wales or Wales into England.

    “It’s also that some people are not behaving appropriately within Wales and are travelling too far for exercise when they should obviously not be doing so.”

    He added: “The police are doing an incredible job and of course if further resource, further powers are required then we will support them in their endeavours.”

    'WE'RE SO VULNERABLE'

    Colleagues of tragic railway worker Belly Mujinga, who died of coronavirus after she was spat at, have described feeling “vulnerable”.

    Ms Mujinga, who worked at Victoria station and was the mum of an 11-year-old daughter, lost her life a fortnight after being spat at while on duty.

    Her assailant told her he had Covid-19.

    British Transport Police continue to search for the suspect – more than seven weeks after the attack happened.

    Victoria station gate worker Victor Bangura, 34, says: “Imagine you see someone now like me and the next time they are dead.

    “My whole body went into shock.

    “I was very, very emotional.

    “We are all vulnerable, in the same station, it could happen to any one of us.”

    Here's our story on Ms Mujinga.

    Image: PA

    PANDEMIC MAY COST £7TRILLION AND WIPE OUT THE PAST FOUR YEARS OF WORK

    The United Nations has warned the economic downturn caused by coronavirus could wipe out the gains of the last four years, the BBC reports – and the total cost could be $8.5 trillion (£7tn) in economic activity.

    The UN’s assessment of global prospects says more than 30 million people are likely to fall into extreme poverty this year, mainly in Africa.

    It expects the rich economies to shrink more at 5 per cent, but for the developing world even the more moderate decline predicted means a marked increase in poverty.

    DEATH TOLL RISES IN IRELAND

    The coronavirus death toll in Ireland has risen to 1,497 after a further 10 deaths were announced by the National Public Health Emergency Team.

    There have been 159 new confirmed cases of the virus, bringing the total in Ireland since the outbreak began to 23,401.

    CHILDREN CONTRACT DISEASE LINKED TO VIRUS

    This is a very worrying story.

    Up to 100 children in the UK have contracted “coronavirus-linked Kawasaki disease” – and it's just the “tip of the iceberg”, an expert has warned.

    The youngsters – who were mostly aged between five and 16 – had become seriously unwell a few weeks after they were possibly infected with Covid-19.

    Here's the full story.

    ZOO FORCED TO RETURN PANDAS AFTER VIRUS CAUSES BAMBOO SHORTAGES

    The Calgary Zoo in Canada is having to send two giant pandas back to China – years ahead of schedule – because coronavirus disruptions mean there isn't enough bamboo.

    The pandas, Er Shun and Da Mao, consume a whopping six stone of bamboo a day.

    It makes up 99 per cent of their diet.

    Before the pandemic, bamboo was flow directly from China to Calgary.

    But those flights have been cancelled.

    Shipments are also often delayed, resulting in poor quality bamboo the pandas refuse to eat.

    As a result, the pandas, who arrived in Canada in 2014, will now be heading home.

    'FIVE PER CENT' OF PEOPLE IN SPAIN AFFECTED BY VIRUS

    Preliminary results from a nationwide coronavirus antibody study show that about 5 per cent of the overall Spanish population has been affected, the Health Ministry said on Wednesday, adding that results varied widely from region to region.

    The study, carried out by the Carlos III institute for health and the National Statistics Institute, began on April 27 and aimed to test 90,000 people across 36,000 households for the presence of antibodies generated to fight off the virus.

    Source: Read Full Article