Championship

  • Arsenal: Arsène Wenger Targets £25 Million Barcelona Star to Replace Mesut Ozil

    Arsène Wenger will target Barcelona midfielder Arda Turan in an effort to replace the departing Mesut Ozil, according to a report.

    Newsweek
  • Manchester United target Antoine Griezmann could leave at any time - Diego Simeone

    Speculation continues to mount over the France star's future, with Manchester United among the clubs linked with the attacker.

    Sporting News
  • Why there could be an MLS team called Footy McFooty Face

    Boaty McBoatface has a lot to answer for - for there soon could be a Major League Soccer team called... Footy McFooty Face. The ownership group looking to bring an MLS expansion team to San Diego has released 50 potential names for its franchise, which fans will help vote on.

    The Telegraph
  • FIFA panel to review national team match schedule

    Reviewing FIFA's schedule of national team match dates is top priority for the world body's new football stakeholders committee that includes clubs and player unions. FIFA vice president Victor Montagliani told The Associated Press after chairing the panel's first meeting on Thursday that the international calendar was ''obviously the big behemoth'' on an agenda that includes transfer market reform, players' health, and respect for contracts. A proposed pan-American Copa America in June 2020 - likely hosted in the United States - could be organized only if FIFA changed the current calendar agreed through 2022.

    The Associated Press
  • Soccer-Out-of-favour Benzema wants showdown with Deschamps

    (Adds more quotes, details) PARIS, March 23 (Reuters) - Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has asked France coach Didier Deschamps for an explanation on why he was not selected for Saturday's World Cup qualifier against Luxembourg. Benzema had been indefinitely banned from the France team after being charged with conspiracy to blackmail in a sextape scandal involving team mate Mathieu Valbuena, but the ban was lifted last September. "What I would like is to have a conversation with the coach, so that he can tell me what he thinks, I have to know." Benzema, who won the last of 81 caps in October 2015, is hopeful he can still earn some more international caps.

    Reuters
  • Biggest winner of USMNT World Cup qualifiers? You could be surprised

    If the United States men’s national team emerges from its crucial set of World Cup qualifiers against Honduras and Panama by successfully reviving its bid for Russia 2018, there will be plenty of plaudits to go around. First, the turnaround would immediately validate U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati’s decision to replace head coach Jurgen Klinsmann with Bruce Arena and his much-needed pragmatic approach, although Gulati stuck with Klinsmann far too long.

    FC Yahoo
  • Soccer-Germany striker Werner to miss Azerbaijan qualifier

    BERLIN, March 23 (Reuters) - Germany striker Timo Werner, who earned his first cap against England on Wednesday, has been ruled out of Sunday's World Cup qualifier at Azerbaijan with a muscle injury, the team said on Thursday. The 21-year-old Werner had to be taken off in the 77th minute of their 1-0 friendly win over England in Dortmund and further checks showed he had torn muscle fibre in his left thigh. It was not yet clear how long the RB Leipzig forward, who has scored 14 times in the Bundesliga this season to keep his club in second place, would be out of action. ...

    Reuters
  • Soccer-Asian Cup berth in 2019 essential for India - coach

    Qualifying for the 2019 Asian Cup finals is essential for India if football in the country is to continue to develop in the wake of the success of the Indian Super League, coach Stephen Constantine told Reuters. India, currently ranked 132nd in the FIFA world rankings, have never played in the World Cup finals and kick off the latest phase of their attempt to qualify for the Asian Cup on Tuesday when they take on Myanmar in Yangon.

    Reuters
  • Soccer-Defender Olsson leaves West Brom for Sweden's Djurgarden

    Defender Jonas Olsson has left West Bromwich Albion for Sweden's Djurgarden IF, the English Premier League club said on Thursday. The 34-year-old, who has spent nine years at West Brom, reached an agreement with the club to terminate his contract so he could join the Stockholm-based side in time for the start of the Swedish top-flight season in 10 days. "It's all happened so quickly I've not had chance to say a proper farewell to so many people," Olsson, who has made nine appearances in all competitions this season, told the club website (www.wba.co.uk).

    Reuters
  • Soccer-Collina calls for steps against abuse towards referees

    Pierluigi Collina, the chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee, has warned of a global shortage of match officials if efforts are not made to tackle abuse and violence towards referees at the grassroots level. Collina, who was in charge of the 2002 World Cup final between Brazil and Germany, said it is a "real threat" when match officials face verbal and physical abuse in amateur football. "It's a worldwide problem that we need to consider and we need to take (action) as soon as possible," Collina told Sky Sports.

    Reuters
  • Soccer-Butland looking to regain lost ground at Stoke

    Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland knows he has a fight on his hands to displace Lee Grant as the team's first choice keeper when he returns from injury. Butland sustained an ankle injury on international duty with England in March 2016 and is yet to regain match fitness. In his absence, former Derby goalkeeper Lee Grant has excelled with nine clean sheets.

    Reuters
  • Soccer-Feghouli comes to terms with England's 'direct' football

    West Ham United's Sofiane Feghouli faced a "radical change" in football style when he moved from Valencia at the start of the season but is settling well after an initial injury setback, the midfielder has said. The Algerian international, who spent six seasons in the Spanish La Liga, suffered a hamstring injury in August that sidelined him for six weeks and on his return to full fitness found it difficult to break into Slaven Bilic's side. "It's been a radical change in footballing terms," Feghouli told the club website.

    Reuters
  • Soccer-Ireland have confidence to overcome Wales, says Ward

    (Clarifies Wales lost to Portugal, not Belgium, in third para) March 23 (Reuters) - Ireland are comfortably placed at the top of their World Cup qualifying group and defender Stephen Ward has said the team are confident they can beat Wales in Friday's match and increase their advantage. Ireland have won three and drawn one match to lead Group D with 10 points while Wales have managed only one win in four matches and are third with six points. Ireland were eliminated by hosts France in the Round of 16 stage of the 2016 European Championships while Wales were defeated by Portugal in the semi-finals.

    Reuters
  • Soccer-Recovery key for Liverpool's Origi ahead of Merseyside clash

    Liverpool striker Divock Origi is taking the hectic life of an international footballer in his stride as he looks to impress manager Juergen Klopp ahead of next week's Merseyside derby. Origi is likely to feature when Belgium host Greece in World Cup qualifier on Saturday and again in a friendly against Russia in Sochi on Tuesday, only four days before Liverpool host Everton in the Premier League. It will be a long trip, then all the focus will be on recovery," the 21-year-old told Sky Sports.

    Reuters
  • In national team, Pique and Ramos back to being friends

    Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique are calling a truce. The veteran defenders from Real Madrid and Barcelona, who have exchanged blows through social media and television interviews recently because of their club rivalry, have declared peace while with Spain's national team. It's all done in good health,'' Ramos said as he arrived at Spain's training camp this week ahead of Friday's World Cup qualifier against Israel in Gijon.

    The Associated Press
  • Soccer-Barca open memorial space for late president Montal

    Barcelona have announced they will open up a memorial space at the Nou Camp stadium on Friday for supporters to pay their respects to former club president Agusti Montal, who died on Wednesday aged 82. Montal, Barca president between 1969 and 1977, has been praised since his passing for signing Johan Cruyff from Ajax and re-establishing the club's Catalan identity during and after the dictatorship of Francisco Franco.

    Reuters
  • Toure's return top priority for new Ivory Coast coach

    Ivory Coast boss Marc Wilmots has made trying to persuade Yaya Toure out of international retirement one of his top priorities after taking over as coach of the former African champions this week. "I’ve seen the last two games that he played for Manchester City in a defensive midfield position.

    Reuters
  • Landon Donovan confirms retirement from soccer: 'No more playing for me'

    Donovan won’t be making another comeback. SAN JOSE, Calif. – When asked if he was ready to take Bruce Arena’s call if there were more injuries to the United States men’s national team, Landon Donovan laughed out loud. “I can’t even chase my son around my house,” Donovan said of his 14-month-old, Talon.

    FC Yahoo
  • Russia's World Cup CEO mulls FIFA Council spot

    MOSCOW (AP) -- The man in charge of organizing the World Cup in Russia is considering running for a spot on the FIFA Council after the country's deputy prime minister was barred from standing.

    The Associated Press
  • Soccer: Brazil replace Gabriel Jesus with Firmino for Uruguay clash

    Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino will replace Gabriel Jesus in the Brazil team to play Uruguay in Thursday's crunch World Cup qualifier, coach Tite said on Wednesday. Firmino will replace the injured Manchester City striker to win his 13th cap in Montevideo, where the Brazilians will be looking for an eighth straight win under Tite to all but book a spot in next year's finals in Russia. "Firmino has come in well, including scoring goals, and he has justified his selection," the coach told reporters.

    Reuters