Bayern sign Hummels and Sanches

 Posted by at 6:48 PM
May 102016
Mats Hummels (left) and Renato Sanches (right) have both signed five-year deals at Bayern

German champions Bayern Munich have signed Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels and Benfica midfielder Renato Sanches from the start of next season.

Hummels, 27, will join Bayern on a five-year deal subject to a medical.

Bayern have paid Benfica €35m (£27.5m) for 18-year-old midfielder Sanches, who was also wanted by Manchester United, in a deal which could rise to €45m.

Carlo Ancelotti takes charge at the Allianz Arena this summer, when manager Pep Guardiola joins Manchester City.

Hummels started his career at Bayern, playing one Bundesliga match in 2007, before moving to Dortmund. His final appearance for Dortmund will be against Bayern in the German Cup final on Saturday, 21 May – if selected.

The clubs have agreed a “silence” over the fee.

Chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said: “Mats is one of the best central defender in the world. With him, we can increase the quality of our team again.”

Portugal international Sanches, who had a medical on Monday, has also signed a five-year deal with Bayern, who won the German title for a record fourth year in a row this season.

Rummenigge added: “Renato is a dynamic, combative and technically gifted midfielder who will strengthen our team further.”

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May 102016
Chelsea’s FA Cup final win last season was their first major trophy

The Women’s FA Cup final is set for a new attendance record after initial ticket sales of more than 30,000, the Football Association has said.

Holders Chelsea Ladies face 13-time winners Arsenal at Wembley on Saturday.

A competition record of 30,710 attended last year’s final, the first to be held at the national stadium, as Chelsea won 1-0 against Notts County.

Fewer than 5,000 fans turned out for the 2013 final at Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium, when Arsenal beat Bristol 3-0.

The competition, which was first staged in 1971, also saw finals played at venues including Dunstable Town FC and Scunthorpe’s Glanford Park, before being held at Wembley for the first time last August.

Last year’s bumper crowd came only a month after England’s historic third-place finish at the World Cup in Canada.

“It’s excellent news that we’re looking set to match and even surpass last year’s ticket sales,” said Kelly Simmons, FA head of football participation and development.

“Last year’s final was a fantastic occasion and another landmark for women’s football, and we’re delighted that this year’s looks set to be another fitting showcase for the game.”

In this season’s semi-finals, Arsenal thrashed Sunderland 7-0 to reach their 15th final, while Chelsea beat league leaders Manchester City 2-1 after extra-time.

Last month, Chelsea boss Emma Hayes said she hoped to see a crowd in excess of 50,000 to watch this year’s all-London final.

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May 102016
Bacary Sagna and his Manchester City team-mates have not been out of the top four all season

Manchester City’s players will be to blame if they fail to qualify for next season’s Champions League, says defender Bacary Sagna.

City have won only one of their past four Premier League matches, drawing 2-2 with Arsenal on Sunday, and are in danger of dropping out of the top four.

Manchester United – two points behind – will beat them to fourth place if they win their final two games.

“We had everything in our hands to be the best,” said 33-year-old Sagna.

“If we play like we did against Arsenal we are the best team, but we have to play like this all season.

“We deserve it. We gave it a lot. Of course we are not perfect, of course we could have done better, but we deserve to be in the Champions League places.”

If United win their game in hand against West Ham at Upton Park on Tuesday, City will drop to fifth before their last game of the season at Swansea on Sunday.

Manuel Pellegrini’s side were favourites to win the Premier League after opening the season with five successive victories.

However, they have won only 14 of 32 league games since, and have managed one victory from 14 matches against the other teams in the top eight.

City reached the Champions League semi-finals for the first time this season, when they were beaten by Real Madrid.

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May 102016

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Burnley’s Joey Barton has to go without Championship medal

Burnley have apologised after midfielder Joey Barton failed to receive a Championship winners’ medal.

Clarets player of the year Barton, 33, was one of the last players to arrive at Burnley Town Hall as the players were about to lift the trophy.

“The Football League advised the club that 25 medals were to be presented, but the club put forward 27 players,” Burnley tweeted.