Newcastle in £12m deal for Shelvey

 Posted by at 4:53 PM
Jan 122016

Newcastle United have agreed a £12m fee with Swansea City to sign England international midfielder Jonjo Shelvey.

Shelvey will have his Newcastle medical Tuesday before a deal is done between the Premier League relegation rivals.

The 23-year-old, who signed a new four-deal year at Swansea in 2015, is the first player leave the Liberty Stadium since Alan Curtis became Swans boss.

Shelvey is set to be Newcastle’s second January signing after Senegal midfielder Henri Saivet’s arrival.

The 25-year-old, who played for Senegal at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations,
joined from Bordeaux on a five-and-a-half-year deal for an undisclosed fee after helping the French club win Ligue 1 in 2009.

Shelvey joined Swansea from Liverpool for an initial fee of £5m in July 2013 and helped the Swans to their highest Premier League finish of eighth in the 2014-15 season.

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Man Utd have bored me – Van Gaal

 Posted by at 6:15 AM
Jan 122016
Man Utd have bored me - Van Gaal

Louis van Gaal admits he has been “very bored or angry” during some Manchester United games this season.

The Old Trafford boss said he had “enjoyed” some matches during a campaign defined by the Dutchman’s possession-based tactics.

United are out of the Champions League and fifth in the Premier League.

Home supporters booed Van Gaal’s team off at half-time in Saturday’s FA Cup tie
against Sheffield United, with thousands leaving early.

Asked why many fans had gone before
Wayne Rooney’s 93rd-minute penalty secured a 1-0 third-round win, Van Gaal replied: “‘They are not thinking that we would score, I think, and maybe also because of the traffic.”

Van Gaal suggested United fans should be “happy” with their team’s current form, despite the home side not managing a shot on target until the 69th minute against their League One opponents.

Van Gaal refused to react to former United midfielder Paul Scholes, who said both the players and manager looked “bored” and there was “no spirit”.

But the 64-year-old later admitted: “There are matches that I have enjoyed. And there are also matches where I’m very bored or angry because we are not disorganising our opponent’s defence, but that is football.”

United travel to the Championship’s second-placed side Derby County in the fifth round.

‘Maybe fans wanted to beat the traffic?’

‘I don’t believe in yelling from the sidelines’

Scholes is one of
several ex-United players to be very critical of United’s style of play.

“There’s nobody having a go at each other, there’s no smiling, there’s no entertainment,” the 11-time Premier League winner
said. “I think even Van Gaal on the bench looks bored, but he’ll come out and say he’s happy.”

Van Gaal said he never discusses such comments with assistant manager Ryan Giggs – an ex team-mate of Scholes – and defended his absence form the touchline during matches.

“I’m not Sir Alex, as you know,” said Van Gaal. “Everybody is different and I don’t believe in yelling from the sidelines. I believe in communication during the week, during the preparation and I believe in my players who have to perform.

“A lot of managers are [yelling from the sidelines] but I doubt if they have real influence.”

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Jan 122016
Messi wins fifth Ballon d'Or award

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has won the Ballon d’Or award for the world’s best player for the fifth time.

The 28-year-old Argentine had 41.33% of the vote, with Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo (27.76%) second and Barca’s Neymar (7.86%) third.

Either Messi or Ronaldo, who became a three-time winner last year, have won the past eight awards.

United States midfielder Carli Lloyd, who scored a hat-trick in the World Cup final, won the women’s award.

England coach Mark Sampson was beaten to the women’s football coach of the year award by USA boss Jill Ellis.

Messi’s 2015 in numbers

  • 61 games, 52 goals and 26 assists.
  • A goal every 101 minutes and an assist every 202 minutes.
  • Best minutes-per-goal rate – 80 – of anyone scoring a minimum of 10 goals across Europe’s top five leagues during 2015.
  • Directly involved in 49 goals in La Liga – 34 scored and 15 assists – which was the joint-most with Ronaldo in 2015 across the top five European leagues.
  • Scored in all six club tournaments in 2015, as Barcelona won five of them.

Ballon d’Or – world player of the year

Neymar (left), Cristiano Ronaldo (centre) and Lional Messi

Neymar (left), Ronaldo (centre) and Messi all play in Spain’s La Liga

Lionel Messi extended his record haul of world player of the year awards with his fifth after winning the treble – La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Champions League – with Barcelona in 2014-15.

Portugal captain Ronaldo, 30, had scored 57 goals in as many games – including a record 16 Champions League goals – in 2015, but that was not enough to win him Ballon d’Or number four.

Barcelona striker Neymar, 23, was the first Brazilian to finish in the top three since Kaka won the 2007 award. He scored 45 goals in 62 games and is joint top scorer in this season’s La Liga with 15, level with team-mate Luis Suarez.

“It’s a very special moment for me to be back here on this stage, winning again another Ballon d’Or after seeing Cristiano win it,” Messi said.

“It’s incredible that it’s my fifth. Much more than anything I would have dreamed of as a kid.”

Women’s world player of the year

Carli Lloyd

Carli Lloyd was emotional when accepting the award

USA’s World Cup-winning midfielder Carli Lloyd,
33, won the women’s world player of the year award after scoring a hat-trick in the final against Japan, including a sensational strike from the halfway line. She earned the Golden Ball for best player in the tournament.

Former Germany striker Celia Sasic finished second despite retiring halfway through 2015 at the age of 27. However in the first half of the year she was top scorer in the World Cup with six goals and won the Champions League with Frankfurt.

Japan midfielder Aya Miyama, 30, captained her country to the World Cup final, where they lost to the USA. She was third.

None of the shortlisted trio had won the award before.

Lloyd said: “It has been a dream ever since I started with the national team. Keep your dreams and just go after them.”

Fifa/Fifpro World XI

Real Madrid had as many players as Barcelona, four, in the world team of the year despite not winning a trophy.

Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was German champions Bayern Munich’s only representative. The Premier League was the only of Europe’s top five leagues to not have anyone in the team.

Fifa/Fifpro World XI

The team of the year is voted for by professional footballers worldwide

World coach of the year – men’s football

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique won the world coach of the year award after leading his side to five of the six trophies on offer in 2015, including the Champions League, La Liga and the Copa del Rey.

He beat Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola, who was second, and Chile’s Copa America-winning coach Jorge Sampaoli to the award.

World coach of the year – women’s football

Jill Ellis

Ellis has been USA head coach since May 2014 after several different jobs in the United States set-up

United States coach Jill Ellis was named women’s football world coach of the year after leading her country to World Cup glory in the summer.

England coach Mark Sampson finished third with 10.68% of the vote after their third-place finish in Canada. Second place was Japan coach Norio Sasaki, whose side beat England in the semi-finals, but lost to USA in the final.

“It is a true honour,” said Ellis. “To Fifa, to our own federation, thank you for your belief, your vision and your investment in women’s football.”

Puskas award – goal of the year

Atletico Goianiense’s Wendell Lira
won the goal of the year award for a spectacular overhead kick in Brazil’s Goiano state league game against Goianesia.

Barcelona star Lionel Messi’s run from halfway and finish in the Copa del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao finished second, with Roma full-back Alessandro Florenzi’s 55-yard goal against Barca third.

Fair play award

Former Leeds and South Africa captain Lucas Radebe announced the winner of this year’s fair play award – all football clubs and organisations supporting refugees.

There was no shortlist for this award.

How does voting work?

Journalists, national team coaches and captains vote for their top three in all categories, apart from the Puskas and fair play ones.

They select their first, second and third choice for each award, with five, three and one points given to each place respectively.

The winner is the person with the most points. In the event of a tie, it goes to the player or coach with the most first places.

The Puskas award, for the “most beautiful goal” of 2015, is voted for by users of the Fifa and France Football websites.

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Jan 122016

Bournemouth have re-signed striker Lewis Grabban from Norwich City for a fee of about £7m.

The 27-year-old left the Cherries for Carrow Road in 2014 and has returned on a three-and-a-half-year contract.

After scoring 12 Championship goals last season he has found the net once in six Premier League games this term.

The signing of Grabban comes a day after Bournemouth completed a move for
Wolves striker Benik Afobe, taking the Cherries’ spending to £16m in 24 hours.

It was initially thought that Afobe cost £10m, but that fee is now believed to be £9m.

“I think we’ll be getting a better Lewis Grabban,” said
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe.  “But he’ll realise that we’ve got better as well and he will have to adapt too. But we’re in no doubt we’re getting a good player back.

“He’s also someone who was popular in the dressing room, behind the scenes he’s a strong motivator and we’re delighted to be bringing him back.

“It was such a long drawn-out transfer but we’re delighted it’s been done.”

Grabban, who began his career at Crystal Palace, joined Bournemouth from Rotherham for £300,000 in May 2012.

In two years on the south coast he scored 35 goals in 86 league appearances before making the move to Norwich, who were promoted alongside Bournemouth last season.

Find all the latest football transfers
on our dedicated page.

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