Top stories at sport7.co.uk

gettyimages-891669862

Crystal Palace's revival encapsulates just how tight the Premier League relegation battle will be in 2018

SportFootballPremier League Crystal Palace's revival encapsulates just how tight the Premier League relegation battle will be in 2018 There are 10 clubs in the fight to avoid relegation and it is set up to be one of the closest battles for many seasons
Ed Malyon Sports Editor @eaamalyon Friday 15 December 2017 20:24 GMT Click to follow
The Independent Sport Roy Hodgson has overseen a turnaround in Palace's fortunes Getty League tables are a funny thing, aren’t they?
Teams are ordered on the amount of points they have accrued over the course of the season but those standings – these official rankings – actually mean nothing until the final game is over.
After 17 of their 38 Premier League games this season, Crystal Palace made their way above an imaginary dashed line and out of the relegation zone for the first time. It was only for 24 hours, with West Bromwich Albion’s point at Anfield on Wednesday then seeing them leap out of the bottom three, but it was an immense psyc..

Read more ...
Barcelona-news-Liverpool-Philippe-Coutinho-892761

Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona: Liverpool settle on £127m transfer fee – shock report

Liverpool star Coutinho wants to join Barcelona and the Catalan club have continued their pursuit since the summer.
Liverpool issued a statement in August insisting the Brazilian won’t be sold.
But five months down the line and Barcelona are supposedly closing in on their top transfer target.
That is according to Barcelona-based newspaper Mundo Deportivo, who claim a rough transfer fee is being discussed.
The newspaper claims a top Barcelona source has told them Liverpool want £127m (€145m) for the 25-year-old.
GETTY
Barcelona and Liverpool have supposedly worked out a rough fee for Philippe CoutinhoGETTY
Philippe Coutinho wanted to leave Liverpool for Barcelona in the summer However, Barca want to drive down that price.
Mundo Deportivo report that discussions are ongoing over a January deal and Barca’s main objective is to work out the instalment and bonus plan to pay off Coutinho’s transfer fee.
The Nou Camp club are already safely through to the Champions League knockout stages and ..

Read more ...
guardiola-pochettino

Manchester City, Tottenham and how Mauricio Pochettino can beat the unbeatable by changing nothing at all

SportFootballPremier League Manchester City, Tottenham and how Mauricio Pochettino can beat the unbeatable by changing nothing at all The most natural Pochettino game just might have what it takes to finally expose City's weak points and inflict their first league defeat of this record-breaking season
Miguel Delaney Chief Football Writer @MiguelDelaney Friday 15 December 2017 12:20 GMT Click to follow
The Independent Sport Pep Guardiola and Mauricio Pochettino meet on Saturday evening Getty After a light-hearted Tuesday afternoon jokily discussing tunnel fights he had been involved in during his playing career, Mauricio Pochettino was eventually asked how he really felt deep down about the lack of fight that Manchester City are facing in this title race. The Tottenham Hotspur boss wanted to pay Pep Guardiola all due respect, but there was the slightest flicker that he was putting the gap down to money spent, within a fair degree of defiance.
“Of course, City was behind us in the..

Read more ...
Barcelona-news-Liverpool-Philippe-Coutinho-892761

Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona: Liverpool settle on £127m transfer fee – report

GETTY
Barcelona want to sign Philippe CoutinhoCoutinho wants to join Barcelona and the Catalan club have continued their pursuit since the summer.
Liverpool issued a statement in August insisting the Brazilian won’t be sold.
But five months down the line and Barcelona are supposedly closing in on their top transfer target.
That is according to Barcelona-based newspaper Mundo Deportivo, who claim a rough transfer fee is being discussed.
The newspaper claims a top Barcelona source has told them Liverpool want £127m (€145m) for the 25-year-old.
GETTY
Philippe Coutinho wanted to leave Liverpool for Barcelona in the summerHowever, Barca want to drive down that price.
Mundo Deportivo report that discussions are ongoing over a January deal and Barca’s main objective is to work out the instalment and bonus plan to pay off Coutinho’s transfer fee.
The Nou Camp club are already safely through to the Champions League knockout stages and are eight points clear of rivals Real Madrid in the La Liga ..

Read more ...
jose-mourinho3

FA ask Jose Mourinho to explain himself over diving comments about Manchester City players

SportFootballPremier League FA ask Jose Mourinho to explain himself over diving comments about Manchester City players United manager claimed 'a little bit of wind and they fall' in reference to City's players going to the ground easily
Jack de Menezes @JackdeMenezes Friday 15 December 2017 08:18 GMT Click to follow
The Independent Sport Jose Mourinho has been asked by the FA to explain comments that he made ahead of the Manchester derby Getty Jose Mourinho has been asked by the Football Association to explain comments he made in the build-up to Manchester United’s 2-1 derby defeat by Manchester City, in which he accused Pep Guardiola’s players of diving.
The FA has requested Mourinho’s observations of his own comments after he said of City’s players last week: “A little bit of wind and they fall.”
The request comes after Mourinho also claimed that had he made a political gesture such as Guardiola’s decision to wear a yellow ribbon on his chest – a symbol of protest a..

Read more ...

Arsene Wenger reveals crunch talks with Jack Wilshere as contract winds down

Wilshere has six months left on his current deal and has admitted he may need to leave in January after a lack of first team chances.
He started for the first time in the Premier League this season in the goalless draw with West Ham.
But Wenger has refused to guarantee he will stay, but says he’d like him to.
“We’ll talk next month,” Wenger said.
“He’s an Arsenal man and for him it is important for him to be happy here.”
Wilshere came in due to Aaron Ramsey’s injury and could keep his place on Saturday.
“Not sure yet,” Wenger said on his team selection.
“We’ll see how he recovers. I will have to assess a bit. He has done well.”

Read more ...
christian-benteke

Roy Hodgson running low on patience with struggling Christian Benteke

SportFootballPremier League Roy Hodgson running low on patience with struggling Christian Benteke The club-record £27m signing is yet to score in 12 appearances this season
Declan Warrington Thursday 14 December 2017 17:40 GMT Click to follow
The Independent Sport The forward is at risk of losing his place to Bakary Sako Getty Roy Hodgson has warned the goalless Christian Benteke he is willing to use Bakary Sako as a striker and that Crystal Palace “cannot afford to carry anyone”.
The club-record £27m signing is yet to score in 12 appearances this season, and despite being their only senior recognised striker, is under growing pressure after Sako came off the bench against Watford to score.
Hodgson had begun to convert Sako from a winger while Benteke was injured, and on Tuesday he scored a poacher's goal when being the first to react to rebounds from Heurelho Gomes' saves.
Despite Hodgson's team having a convincing attacking threat at Selhurst Park, they are yet to ..

Read more ...
Chelsea-news-David-Luiz-892482

David Luiz issues Chelsea transfer ultimatum after Antonio Conte talks – EXCLUSIVE

GETTY
Chelsea defender David Luiz has held talks with Antonio Conte but could join Bayern MunichBrazilian Luiz was dropped by Conte after a disagreement between the two over tactics following Chelsea's Champions League defeat by Roma in Rome in October, and his reaction to being substituted in the home game against the Italians.
The flamboyant centre back then picked up a knee injury and has been out of the Chelsea side now for three weeks.
But he could be ready for a return on Saturday when Chelsea face Southampton at home (3pm).
Luiz, now 30, has been linked with moves to Manchester United and Real Madrid, and it is understood that Bayern Munich are also motoring his situation.
GETTY
David Luiz (left) has not played for Chelsea since his mistakes against Roma Express Sport understands that Luiz and Conte met this week.
And the manager said he wanted the defender back in his team.
Luiz, however, told the Italian that he wants regular first team football.
A source close to Luiz sa..

Read more ...
gettyimages-884539870

Everton tie talented young trio Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Mason Holgate and Jonjoe Kenny to new contracts

SportFootballPremier League Everton tie talented young trio Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Mason Holgate and Jonjoe Kenny to new contracts Kenny and Holgate both signed deals until June 2022 while Calvert-Lewin agreed a contract to 2023
Lawrence Ostlere @lawrenceostlere Thursday 14 December 2017 19:08 GMT Click to follow
The Independent Sport Jonjoe Kenny, Mason Holgate and Dominic Calvert-Lewin have signed new deals Getty Everton’s prolonged and muddled search for a new manager did not smack of a club with a plan but the announcement that they have tied Jonjoe Kenny, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Mason Holgate to new contracts suggests there is at least a clear strategy in place when it comes to the array of young talent at Goodison Park.
Kenny and Holgate both signed deals until June 2022 while Calvert-Lewin agreed a contract to 2023 as the club moved to secure the future of their brightest prospects. “The depth of young talent in our squad is very encouraging,” said the manager, Sam Allardyc..

Read more ...
Manchester-United-Jose-Mourinho-892475

Jose Mourinho: Man Utd boss ordered to explain ref claims before Man City game

GETTY
Jose Mourinho has been asked to clarify his comments made before the derbyManchester United boss Mourinho caused controversy during his pre-match press conference on Friday, saying of the City players: “A little bit of wind and they fall.”
He then questioned Pep Guardiola’s permission to wear a yellow ribbon – a symbol of protest against the imprisonment of pro-independence politicians in the Spanish region of Catalonia – on the touchline.
And in a conversation with the Sunday newspapers, Mourinho warned match referee Michael Oliver of City’s “tactical fouls”.
United lost Sunday’s game 2-1 in a major blow to their title hopes.
The Football Association have requested observations from Mourinho regarding Friday’s press conference.
GETTY
Ander Herrera was booked for diving in the Manchester derbyHe has until 6pm on Monday to respond.
Mourinho was unhappy with the result of the derby and had an altercation with City players and staff after the game, which resulted in milk being throw..

Read more ...