Sturridge misses England training

 Posted by at 6:22 AM
May 262016
Daniel Sturridge scored 13 goals in all competitions for Liverpool this season

Daniel Sturridge missed England’s training session on Wednesday with fellow striker Marcus Rashford set to start the Euro 2016 warm-up match against Australia on Friday.

Sturridge, 26, who missed Sunday’s 2-1 win over Turkey, was sidelined with an unspecified knock.

He has had an injury-hit season for his club Liverpool, making 25 appearances.

Friday’s game is the last before boss Roy Hodgson trims three players from his provisional 26-man Euro 2016 squad.

“It is interesting because Sturridge is one of the players who Roy Hodgson said has a question mark over him,” said BBC Sport senior football reporter Ian Dennis.

“Rashford will play on Friday night, this raises the prospect of him maybe starting and does it then increase the chances of him going to Euro 2016?

“I expect Hodgson to be pressed on the fitness of Sturridge at his news conference on Thursday.”

Rashford, 18, scored eight goals in 18 appearances in his debut campaign for Manchester United.

Marcus Rashford made his Manchester United debut in February this year

Sturridge, who has five goals in 17 England caps, finished as Liverpool’s top scorer this season with 13 goals, despite missing much of the campaign through injury.

The striker, along with Liverpool team-mates Adam Lallana, James Milner and Nathaniel Clyne, joined Hodgson’s squad on Monday after having played and scored in the Reds’ 3-1 Europa League final loss to Sevilla.

Chelsea defender Gary Cahill, who had an injection in the days leading up to captaining England in the win over Turkey, also missed Wednesday’s session.

Jamie Vardy, who scored the winner against Turkey, was the only other absentee after being given time off to get married.

Leicester team-mate Danny Drinkwater was there for the ceremony but returned in time for training in Manchester, where Jack Wilshere and Jordan Henderson were involved as they looked to prove their fitness.

Midfielder Eric Dier says he does not consider himself a definite starter for England despite having featured in all of their last five games.

“I wouldn’t call myself a key member but it’s been a crazy 12 months for me,” said the 22-year-old, who helped Tottenham finish third in the Premier League. “It’s been a great 12 months and I’m really enjoying every minute of it.

“Hopefully I can repay the manager’s faith and keep improving.”

Who do you think should start at Euro 2016? Step into Roy Hodgson’s shoes and pick your XI – and then share it with your friends using our brand new team selector.

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Benitez stays as Newcastle manager

 Posted by at 1:34 AM
May 262016
Benitez has become a fans’ favourite at St James’ Park

Rafael Benitez is staying as Newcastle United manager after signing a new three-year contract following their relegation from the Premier League.

The 56-year-old Spaniard was appointed in March following Steve McClaren’s sacking but failed to keep the Magpies in the top flight.

He had a break clause in his contract if Newcastle were relegated and was widely expected to leave the club.

“The love I could feel from the fans was a big influence for me,” he said.

Former Liverpool, Chelsea, and Real Madrid boss Benitez will have control over “all football-related matters” at the club, Newcastle said.

His predecessor McClaren was named as head coach last summer, working alongside chief scout Graham Carr.

“This is a huge club and I wanted to be part of the great future I can see for Newcastle United,” added Benitez, who has also managed Valencia, Inter Milan and Napoli.

Benitez, who was sacked by Real in January, took over with Newcastle one point adrift of safety.

Despite losing only three of his 10 matches in charge, the Magpies were relegated with one game of the season remaining as north east of England rivals rivals Sunderland survived.

Newcastle managing director Lee Charnley said the club was delighted to keep Benitez, who he described as a “world-class” manager.

“When we brought Rafa to the club in March, we knew he was a phenomenal manager and everything we have seen from him since has only served to reinforce that,” he added.

Former Newcastle striker Alan Shearer said earlier this month he would be “amazed” if Benitez stayed at St James’ Park.

Shearer, who managed Newcastle briefly in 2009, told BBC Sport: “I’m sure he’ll have loads and loads of offers, not only from the Premier League but from around the world.”

More to follow.

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Image rights hold up Mourinho deal

 Posted by at 12:53 AM
May 262016
Mourinho is still expected to be announced as Manchester United manager this week

Negotiations over Jose Mourinho’s image rights are delaying him becoming the new Manchester United manager.

Mourinho is expected to replace sacked Louis van Gaal, with talks ongoing between his agent Jorge Mendes and United officials.

But it has emerged that Chelsea still own the ‘Jose Mourinho’ name as a trademark – meaning United may need to pay a six-figure sum for the rights.

However, the issue will not scupper any deal, which is expected this week.

Discussions will now enter a third day, despite the deal to bring the 53-year-old former Chelsea boss to Old Trafford being largely complete. On Wednesday, Mourinho told waiting reporters at his home in London that he was going to Portugal.

What is the hold-up?

Chelsea registered both the name Jose Mourinho and his signature as a European trademark in 2005, meaning they can use it to sell merchandise such as toiletries, technology, clothing and jewellery.

Sports lawyer Carol Couse told BBC Sport it was “really unusual” for an individual not to own the trademark to their own name.

“Chelsea could be earning revenue every time someone uses Mourinho’s name. It could prevent United from exploiting his signature,” said Couse, of law firm Mills & Reeve.

“One of the things United will be looking to acquire is not only Mourinho’s image but also his name.

“If United had a brand of Mourinho clothing it would be in breach of the trademark Chelsea currently own.”

What are the possible solutions?

Mourinho cannot override the trademark, so the options are

  • United do not use Mourinho’s name against the exhaustive list of items that Chelsea have registered – read the full list here