first_img1 Steven Gerrard has claimed Tottenham wanted to sign him from Liverpool before he decided to join the Los Angeles Galaxy.The former England and Liverpool captain was coming towards the end of his Anfield career last season and was flattered by the Spurs interest.But Gerrard felt there “would not have been much of a buzz” in a move to White Hart Lane, and was determined he could never play against his beloved Liverpool.Gerrard opted for Major League Soccer, having also turned down big money from Qatar plus approaches from French, Spanish and Turkish sides, he writes in his autobiography.With whispers emerging of his possible availability, Gerrard said: “The first offer came from Besiktas, then managed by Slaven Bilic. Monaco were next. They came in strong. Paris Saint-Germain were also very keen. David Moyes called my agent a couple of times, to see whether I would be interested in playing for him at Real Sociedad.“A few English clubs called but I wouldn’t play against Liverpool. There was interest from Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino. It was good to know he still rated me. I was sure I could play in the Premier League for another year but there would not have been much of a buzz doing the same thing all over again with Tottenham.”In the book, being serialised by the Daily Mail, Gerrard suggests “a perfect scenario” would have seen him offered a one-year contract at Liverpool that could have seen him split playing and coaching duties.But when it came to negotiating a possible new deal, with a 40 per cent pay cut and performance-incentive bonuses, he said: “It was pretty much a case of ‘this is the offer’. It seemed as if I wanted them more than they wanted me.”Gerrard said he accepted less money in Los Angeles than Liverpool were prepared to put on the table, because he sensed the quality of life would fit his family’s needs.“It’s also why I turned down a 13.5million euros (around £10million) net deal to play in Qatar for two years,” he said. “That would have been more than I’d ever earned, but Qatar wasn’t the right place for me and my family.” Steven Gerrard last_img read more

first_img Reports have emerged that Ander Herrera is disillusioned at Old Trafford 1 Reports emerged overnight that Manchester United fan favourite Ander Herrera has requested showdown talks with Louis van Gaal after becoming disillusioned with life at Old Trafford.The attacking midfielder has struggled to hold down a starting berth in the team with Van Gaal preferring to rotate between Bastian Schweinsteiger, Michael Carrick and Morgan Schneiderlin for the two central midfield roles.Herrera has also not been given a huge opportunity to establish himself in the no.10 position due to the Dutchman’s reluctance to drop out of form Wayne Rooney.Predictably, Manchester United fans have reacted with outrage at this news, instead calling for Van Gaal’s head.See the best tweets backing Herrera below!last_img read more

first_img1 Southampton have recalled defender Jack Stephens from his loan spell at Middlesbrough.The 21-year-old joined the Championship leaders in July and had been expected to remain there for the duration of the season but, to the frustration of Southampton manager Ronald Koeman, he has made only five first-team appearances.Four of those five appearances came in the Capital One Cup, and Koeman told Southampton’s official club website: “Jack is back from Middlesbrough.“He wasn’t playing there and then why is he on loan if he doesn’t play? It’s better for him to come back.”Shortly before joining Middlesbrough, Stephens was given a two-year contract extension to keep him at St Mary’s until 2019.His return, incidentally, comes shortly after reports Koeman could prematurely terminate defender Steven Caulker’s season-long loan deal from parent club QPR. Southampton defender Jack Stephens last_img read more

first_img Shane Ferguson 1 Millwall have signed loanee Shane Ferguson on a permanent deal from Newcastle for an undisclosed fee.The 24-year-old midfielder, who is set to feature for Northern Ireland at Euro 2016, has signed a contract until summer 2017 after scoring two goals in 28 appearances for the Sky Bet League One club this season.“Shane has displayed his ability in two different positions for us since he joined on loan, so naturally I’m delighted that he is now with us on a permanent basis,” Lions boss Neil Harris told the club’s official website,“He has shown a real desire to stay here and is of an age where he needs to be playing football regularly for the sake of his own development, and we have given him that opportunity.“I believe that it is a fantastic piece of business and I would like to thank the board for giving me the opportunity to buy a player of Shane’s quality and age.”Ferguson played 32 times for Newcastle and has also enjoyed loan spells with Birmingham and Rangers.“It’s a relief to get the deal done,” he said.“I’ve been keen to get everything sorted and I’m now really looking forward to my future with Millwall.“I’ve loved every second of my time here so it was a no-brainer to sign on a permanent basis.“My task now is to help Millwall get back to where we belong, which hopefully can be done this season.”last_img read more

first_img Jose Mourinho 1 Inter Milan president Erick Thohir has denied claims the club are trying to hire former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.The Italian side were top of Serie A at Christmas but have since slipped to fifth in the table after a poor run of form.It has led to claims that current boss Roberto Mancini could be sacked, with Mourinho taking his place.The Portuguese manager won the Champions League with Inter in 2010 and has recently been linked with the Manchester United job.But while Mourinho may be off to Old Trafford, Thohir has insisted he will not be returning to the San Siro.“I met Mourinho in Jakarta a few years ago before I was Inter President,” Thohir told Sky Italia.“He’s a great coach, he made history with Inter, but we have Mancini now who also wrote history with this club, achieving excellent results. I firmly believe he can revive the team.“Look what’s already changed compared to Inter last year, though of course we need more time.”last_img read more

first_imgMALIBU – Fire crews appeared to have the upper hand today on the 4,400-acre wildfire near Malibu, and about 500 firefighters there were dispatched to other fire zones, authorities said. As on 9:45 a.m., no smoke was visible above the Malibu coast and nothing in the area was actively burning, said Ed Schaefer of the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Some 1,400 firefighters were assigned to the fire last night, said Inspector Ed Osorio of the county fire department. That number had been reduced to 900 as of mid-morning today. Crews remained on the lookout for hotspots, authorities said, and full containment of the blaze was expected by Friday. Six homes and two businesses were destroyed, and nine homes and five businesses were damaged. Three people suffered minor injuries, the county fire department reported. About 1,500 people were evacuated Sunday as the flames tore through brush and began jumping from rooftop to rooftop. Malibu Presbyterian Church was among the buildings destroyed. Among the homes destroyed was the Kashan Castle, also known as Hodge Castle, a 10,500- square-foot hilltop landmark built in 1978. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who declared a regional state of emergency because of the wildfires burning around the Southland, toured the area yesterday, and said significant progress had been made. He also said the firefight was smoother than the effort in 2003, when a fierce fire tore through more than 17,000 acres in Malibu, destroying more than 300 homes. Classes were canceled today at Pepperdine’s Malibu campus. City Hall was closed yesterday, and remained closed today to the public. However, city staff will be on hand to respond to urgent matters, the city reported. American Red Cross shelters remained open at Agoura High School, 28545 W. Driver Ave.; and at Pacific Palisades High School, 15777 Bowdoin St., and at Malibu High School, 30215 Morning View Drive. PCH remained closed between Topanga Canyon and Kanan Dume. Malibu Canyon and Topanga Canyon roads were closed between PCH and Mulholland Highway. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.The fire destroyed or damaged nearly two dozen homes and businesses and prompted hundreds of evacuations, authorities said. All public schools remained closed today in Malibu. A community meeting was planned for 7 tonight at Malibu High School, 30215 Morning View Drive, at which officials will brief residents on evacuations and road closures, the city of Malibu reported. Another community meeting is planned to start at 7 p.m. tomorrow at the Agoura/Calabasas community center, 27040 Malibu Hills Road, Calabasas. Further fire-related information is available online at The so-called Canyon Fire, which began about 4:50 a.m. Sunday, may have been sparked by power lines felled by strong Santa Ana winds, officials said. Gusts to 60 mph pushed the flames into canyons dotted with multimillion-dollar homes. The flames were about 15 percent contained this morning, the county fire department reported. last_img read more

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Yet, in dissecting Washington State’s 27-7 win over the Bruins on Saturday at Martin Stadium, many of UCLA’s defensive players said the Cougars’ decision to run the ball with such frequency came as a surprise. “They wanted to spread us out and get three receivers out there and run the ball at us,” UCLA defensive end Bruce Davis said. “We were out there expecting them to throw the ball, and they fooled us.” The Cougars running game, which was averaging 108.6 yards, sliced through UCLA’s defense for 274 yards on 51 carries. Washington State tailback Dwight Tardy was averaging 66 yards, and finished a career-high 214 on a career-best 37 carries. Even backup Kevin McCall got into the running frenzy, carrying 11 times for 51 yards. He had 22 carries for 105 yards total in the first seven games. Bruins senior Michael Norris, who played the nickelback spot, was asked if the Cougars’ offensive approach came as a surprise. “Definitely. It definitely did,” Norris said. “I was pretty much thinking more passes, given their history.” The Cougars struggled to run the ball throughout the season, but quarterback Alex Brink was throwing the ball well. Washington State led the Pacific-10 in passing at 299.6 yards per game. But during last week’s bye, the Cougars made it a point to work on their run blocking, and restructured their game plan to focus on their rushing attack. “The offensive line did a great job,” Tardy said. “They worked so hard during the week, during practice, and even staying after practice.” UCLA defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker said he expected the Cougars to try and run the ball, so much so he said certain periods of practice during the week were designed with that in mind. Still, Ealker made the decision to have his defensive try and stop the Cougars’ running attack by playing a nickel defense (five defensive backs, two linebackers) and try to slow down the passing game, rather than play a base 4-3 defense (four linemen, three linebackers) in an effort to first shut off the run game. That strategy didn’t always work, so Walker was forced to play more in the base defense as the game progressed. And by the end of a game in which the defense was on the field for 38 minutes, Washington State was able to salt away the win by running the ball. The Cougars scored two touchdowns in the final 7:31, including a 51-yarder by Tardy with 42 seconds remaining, to provided the lopsided final score. “At times, I had to commit more bodies (to the run) and take chances in the passing game and leave guys one-on-one,” Walker said. “It kind of fell in on us at the end.” [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SHIFTING TACTICS: UCLA expects Washington State to pass, but gets beat on ground. By Brian Dohn STAFF WRITER PULLMAN – UCLA spent the week practicing for Washington State’s spread offense. That meant playing lots of nickel packages readying for the Cougars to live off the passing game, which they did much of the season. last_img read more

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.This is no longer about being patient with their young players. About modest offseason moves. About scrutinizing the franchise purse strings. The Dodgers signed Torre to a three-year contract for a reported $13 million, which is what you might call a more serious investment than the annual $650,000 former manager Grady Little earned. But this is about a lot more than a major new managerial investment. Torre has earned his pay days. This is about recognizing that you don’t bring in someone with the credentials of Torre at his age unless you are prepared to go all out to win now. There isn’t time. He was hired less to shape the organization, than to deliver on it now. Not to offer a 20-minute pitch, but a finished film. So the Dodgers better look at that wealth of young talent and figure out which gems are ready to produce right now, and turn the others into trade bait. If they’re not deemed ready to become a serious contributor to a championship club right now, then they’re in the way. Patience just became a virtue the Dodgers don’t have time for. It may not have been their intent, but hiring Torre made them all about the now. So if Frank McCourt is privately thinking anyone who would pay Alex Rodriguez $30 million a year needs psychiatric treatment, it’s time for him to check out our finest local health care facilities. Because the Dodgers made a commitment Thursday to winning now, whether they realized it or not. It’s not that they haven’t been trying to win all along, but there is a sense of immediacy to it now. “Joe is 67 years old,” General Manager Ned Colletti said. “We don’t expect Joe to manage a very, very long time. “But in our conversations, if we can groom someone under Joe’s direction, we look forward to doing that.” So maybe down the road Don Mattingly is molded into the next Dodgers manager. That’s then. Right now, is all about right now. Torre will turn 68 next July and be 71 by the time his contract runs out. Managers in their 70s are as rare as a Juan Pierre walk. Easily the oldest manager ever to win a World Series was Jack McKeon in 2003 when he led the Marlins to victory over … Torre’s Yankees. Tommy Lasorda was 68 when he retired in 1996. Atlanta’s Bobby Cox, who seems like he has been around since Warren Spahn, is actually a year younger than Torre. This is not to say it wasn’t a great hire, that Torre has lost anything in the clubhouse. He actually seems an ideal hire for a franchise that has struggled to find its way since Kirk Gibson’s momentous home run. Torre is genuine, liked by all, calm as a morning pond. He has experienced everything baseball has to offer, including leading the Yankees to 12 consecutive postseasons and four World Series titles. “Joe Torre comes with a great resume,” Colletti said. “What he’s done the last 12 years is as powerful as any manager in recent memory. “The way he embraces the job, the way the players respond to him, the success that they have had and the way a city and a region support the man. I don’t think you can find any cracks in the foundation with that.” Those Yankees, of course, also carried the biggest payroll in baseball, times two. Missing pieces around expensive players were filled in with more expensive players. It was understood with Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, every season’s team was built to win right now. “No doubt he’s had more of a veteran club than he’ll have here at the outset,” Colletti said. Colletti noted Torre when started in New York, Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera were young. That he frequently worked in young players like a Jorge Posada or Robinson Cano or Melky Cabrera. But the Dodgers are almost overflowing with young talent. They started some lineups in the failed September stretch drive that had four or five players with two or less years experience. “As you watch young players develop, there’s usually a turning point where suddenly you start to see they understand it better,” Colletti said. “That they’re not so much worried about getting three or four hits as they are winning the game.” The Dodgers are at a turning point as an organization with the sad-eyed Torre. If his integrity is unquestioned, so should be his reason for coming here. He may have enjoyed his experience living in Southern California as an Angels broadcaster, but he arrives wanting to win a title with a franchise beyond the Yankees. So the Dodgers best be ready to tap every resource, explore every opportunity, including the game’s best and most expensive player, Rodriquez. “We’re going to meet as a group here at some point and time and discuss not only Alex Rodriguez but everybody else who’s a free agent,” Colletti said. “Plus the different trade scenarios we have coming up.” They’d best be fruitful meetings. Best have some urgency. The heat is on the Dodgers now, and they’re the ones who just stoked the fire. [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! OK, kiddies, time to grow up. Time to add some maturity to that swagger, some fully realized development to that potential. OK, management, time to deliver. Time to ante up and produce and hold nothing back. Time to go all in. Joe Torre is 67 years old. You don’t hire Joe Torre to build, but to produce. When the Dodgers officially hired the well-respected Torre on Thursday afternoon, they were also announcing this team and organization was officially about winning it all right now. last_img read more

first_imgParis Saint-Germain have joined Tottenham in the race for AZ Alkmaar star Vincent Janssen.The French champions are on the search for a striker this summer after Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s departure.They have been linked with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar, but they now appear to have set their sights on Janssen.According to L’Equipe, PSG are interested in signing the 22-year-old after watching him score 31 goals last season.?Tottenham are already working on a deal for the Dutchman, while German side Wolfsburg have made an approach too.And now  Netherlands international Janssen will have his pick of who to join as clubs prepare to fight for his signature this summer. 1 Vincent Janssen last_img read more