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05-14-2016, 10:02 AM

Vardy named Premier League Player of the Season



Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy has been named the Premier League's Player of the Season following his remarkable campaign for the Foxes.

The Foxes striker has beaten off competition from the likes of his Foxes team-mates Riyad Mahrez, Wes Morgan, N'Golo Kante and Kasper Schmeichel, along with Tottenham trio Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Toby Alderweireld to win the award.

Vardy has scored 24 goals thus far this season, as Claudio Ranieri's men romped to the Premier League title, having been battling relegation last term.

The Foxes have lost just three games all season and sit 10 points clear of second-placed Tottenham ahead of the final game of the season.

Vardy has also won six England caps this season, scoring against both Germany and the Netherlands, and is poised to travel to Euro 2016 this summer with the Three Lions.

Mesut Ozil of Arsenal and West Ham's Dimitri Payet were also nominated for the award after shining for their respective clubs, but they too fell behind Vardy after his scoring exploits this term.
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05-14-2016, 10:04 AM

Congratulations Vardy!:cool:
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05-14-2016, 10:09 AM

Chelsea dealt major blow in Nainggolan race as midfielder vows to stay at Roma



Chelsea have been dealt a major blow in their pursuit of Radja Nainggolan after the midfielder declared that he has no intentions of leaving Roma.

Goal understands that Chelsea have offered £28 million for the Belgium international, who is one of Antonio Conte’s priority signings this summer.

But the 28-year-old is adamant that he will not be departing the Serie A club this summer.

"I will stay, I'm not moving from here,” Nainggolan told fans at a Sky Italia event. “I’m happy in Rome, I don't want to leave.”

Meanwhile, Chelsea have confirmed that John Terry has been offered a new one-year contract, although the former England captain has yet to confirm whether he has accepted the deal.
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05-14-2016, 10:10 AM

I didn't join Bayern to change German football - Guardiola



Pep Guardiola has played down suggestions he has changed German football during his time at Bayern Munich.

The Spaniard will take charge of his final Bundesliga game as Bayern manager when the champions host Hannover on Saturday.

Guardiola, who will join Manchester City in the summer, may have won three straight league titles with the Bavarians, but was unwilling to comment on claims his style has altered German football."I'm not the right person to say how great my influence on German football was," he said on Friday.

"I didn't come here to change German football. I'm arrogant, but not that arrogant.
"I came here to learn, the same reason I'm going to England."What can I learn from the players and English football? The reason is to live in other countries and experience different ways of playing."

Guardiola joined Bayern after they had won just their second league crown in five years in 2012/13, but has since turned them into serial title winners
The former Barcelona coach feels his side's achievements during his spell in charge have been “outstanding”."We lost nine games in three years and five came when we were already champions," Guardiola said. "That is outstanding."

Midfielder Xabi Alonso will miss Hannover's trip to the Allianz Arena through a rib complaint, while Javi Martinez is also out with an ankle injury.Guardiola is hopeful Martinez will be fit for the DFB-Pokal final against Borussia Dortmund on May 21.

However, he ruled Arjen Robben out of the clash with Dortmund as the winger continues to struggle with a hamstring problem.
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05-14-2016, 10:11 AM

Hummels impossible to replace - Tuchel


Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel knows the difficulties awaiting him in trying to replace departing captain Mats Hummels.

Hummels, 27, confirmed on Tuesday he will join Dortmund's Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich at the end of the season.Tuchel says it will be hard to fill the defender's void, but is confident he can find a suitable successor.

"It's not possible to find a like-for-like replacement for Mats," he told a news conference on Friday."Mats' successor will have other strengths. I am sure they will succeed."Dortmund are preparing for their final league game of the season against Cologne on Saturday.

However, Tuchel insists he has no plans to rest players ahead of his side's DFB-Pokal final against Bayern on May 21.While Hummels is leaving, one player who has agreed to come the other way is highly-rated Rennes forward Ousmane Dembele, signing a five-year deal at Signal Iduna Park.

Tuchel says he is thrilled with the signing and hopes the 18-year-old shines in Germany."I'm over the moon with the signing of Dembele and I can't wait to work with him," he said. "We're very excited for his arrival.

"He is a very technically gifted player and a big goal threat. We worked very hard to get him."
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05-14-2016, 10:12 AM

Ibrahimovic changed PSG - Blanc



Laurent Blanc admitted he is sad to see Zlatan Ibrahimovic leave Paris Saint-Germain, hailing the influence the striker has had on the club.The 34-year-old announced on Friday he was leaving the club at the end of the season, ending a four-year stint in the French capital.

Ibrahimovic has won four Ligue 1 titles and three Coupe de la Ligue crowns at PSG and will attempt to add a second Coupe de France to his list of honours in the final with Marseille on May 21.

The Sweden striker has scored 36 league goals this season and news of his departure will have put many clubs on alert.

And Blanc says the impact Ibra has had on the club is huge and says the club held talks with him over a new deal."Zlatan has greatly moved the club," Blanc told a media conference ahead of Ibrahimovic's final game at Parc des Princes against Nantes this weekend."Now, we have to think about the future.

"There have been talks. Personally I am sad because we lost our best player, but sad in the sense that this time had to come."At the same time I'm hopeful – for him first. And I think the club have to start on something else."

Ibrahimovic is battling a calf injury but - while Blanc has advised him not to play against Nantes - the PSG boss expects the former Barcelona striker to feature and try to break Carlos Bianchi's French top-flight record of 37 goals set in 1977-78.

"I hope he can participate in this game," Blanc said."I advised him not to do anything. There is an important match against Marseille in the final of the Coupe de France, and the Euros with his national team.

"But I think he will not listen to me and he will want to play the game at all costs. He'll want to beat the record of Bianchi. It makes sense."
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05-14-2016, 10:12 AM

'Leicester winning race to sign Lapadula' - Pescara president



Leicester City are winning the race to sign Pescara striker Gianluca Lapadula, according to the Serie B outfit's president.

The former Parma forward has scored 24 goals in 38 league games this season, leading to interest from Lazio and Napoli in the 26-year-old.

But Daniele Sebastiani has revealed the Premier League champions are in pole position to secure his signature this summer despite being feaful of a repeat of Marco Verratti's situation, who left the club in 2012 to join Paris Saint-Germain.

"[Lazio President Claudio] Lotito and [sporting director Igli] Tare made their interest in Lapadula clear to me in a recent meeting," he told Radio Incontro Olmypia.

"Lazio are very much interested. They have been monitoring him for some time and they want [to buy] him. However the competition is fierce, both in Italy and abroad.

"Juventus, who have already acquired [Pescara’s Rolando] Mandragora, Napoli and above all Leicester are on the hunt for our striker.

"At the moment [Claudio] Ranieri’s side are decisively ahead, even if, as has happened with Verratti in the past, I would not like to see Lapadula play and succeed in a top European club rather than in a top Italian club.

"In any case we will go over it with the president and sporting director of Lazio."
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05-14-2016, 10:14 AM

Woodward avoids mention of Van Gaal in Man Utd quarterly



Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward insists the club will continue to invest in their squad in order to challenge for titles but made no mention of manager Louis van Gaal in his latest quarterly conference call.

United released financial results for the 2016 fiscal third quarter and nine months ending March 31 on Friday, with total revenue up 31.6 per cent to £380.8million on account of significant increases in commercial, broadcasting and matchday income.

Woodward spoke in glowing terms of United's record of promoting young talent into the first-team this season and the club's ambition of winning a record-equalling 12th FA Cup against Crystal Palace next weekend, without making a specific mention of Van Gaal or the prospects of a top-four finish.

United surrendered the initiative to neighbours Manchester City in the race for Champions League qualification as they fell to a 3-2 defeat at West Ham on Tuesday, heightening speculation over the Dutchman's future, with former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho again linked with the post.

Manuel Pellegrini's team realistically only require a draw at Swansea City in Sunday's final match to finish above Van Gaal's men due to a vastly superior goal difference.

Woodward reported broadcasting revenue, which was up by 38.6 per cent to £92.7m in the latest figures, would be hit by around £30m if United participated in the Europa League as opposed to the Champions League.

A clause in United's kit deal with Adidas, meaning a 30 per cent reduction in payments from the German sports giant, will only kick in if they miss out on reaching the group stages of the Champions League for two consecutive seasons - meaning the earliest it can now come into play is the 2017-18 campaign
"We will always invest in the squad so we are challenging for titles," said Woodward, who credited the Old Trafford youth system for helping with the effort of "re-tooling" the first-team squad over recent years.He added: "This Premier League season has demonstrated once again why this is the most compelling sporting completion in the world.

"I'm delighted by the development of our young players. Marcus Rashford made an immediate impact with goals on his debuts in the Europa League and then the Premier League."Rashford, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Jesse Lingard are now first-team regulars and Manchester-born.

"We have won three of the last four Under-21 Premier League titles, which is an impressive achievement given the number of players who have moved up to the first team."We are continuing a long Manchester United tradition of bringing through our own talent."
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05-14-2016, 10:14 AM

Van Gaal: Manchester United being trained to attack



Louis van Gaal claims he is training Manchester United to become a more potent attacking force.

Anthony Martial is the only player in the squad to have reached double-figures in terms of top-flight goals this season, and Van Gaal knows their struggles in the attacking third are their greatest challenge to overcome.

The manager has been criticised for a dull brand of football during his time at the helm but has assured work is being done to make United more formidable in front of goal.

Asked whether United need to become more adept at killing opponents off, Van Gaal replied: "We train to overcome this problem, training in the situations that are ahead and making the pitch bigger and keeping the ball better."When you make the pitch big the opponent has to run more metres and it is easier to do that.

"I can say what we still have to improve. I don't think we have to improve much in our defensive organisation because we are doing well."We have to score more in our attacking organisation which is something I have said at the start of this season.

"We need creative, fast players in attack. We have to change that and that is very important."
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05-14-2016, 10:15 AM

Euro 2016 hopes dashed with Shaw to miss FA Cup final



Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has confirmed that Luke Shaw will not play in next weekend’s FA Cup Final with Crystal Palace.

Shaw has not played a single minute of first-team football since suffering a double fracture to his right leg in a Champions League defeat to PSV in September.There had been rumours suggesting that Shaw would make his return for United at next week's final, but Van Gaal's announcement confirmed otherwise, with any slim hopes the left-back had of being in contention for England's Euro 2016 squad seemingly over.

"It is a pity because he cannot reach that level to play. He needs more time to play but it keeps his motivation very high," Van Gaal said."I have always said to Luke that he can play in the final to keep his motivation high, but now I cannot say that anymore because we are in the final!

"It is still high and I have to give compliments to him because it is not easy to be away for such a long time. He is coming back, but he is coming back next season."
The former Southampton full-back has won six international caps for the Three Lions since making his debut in 2014.
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