Arsenal blow! World class striker rubbishes links by claiming Real Madrid is his ‘home’

first_imgFor all those clowns who want to make believe things at my fans. Here this is my home ! #HalaMadridYNadaMas pic.twitter.com/og6tMZKoft— Karim Benzema (@Benzema) August 24, 2015//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema looks to have ended any speculation regarding his future in the Spanish capital by taking to Twitter to confess Madrid is his ‘home’.The prolific French forward has been linked with a move to Arsenal over the summer as the Gunners look to strengthen their attacking options.But, despite new Los Blancos manager Rafael Benitez considering moving Cristiano Ronaldo into the number nine role, the former Lyon forward has no intention of leaving.Benzema didn’t feature in Real’s 0-0 draw with Sporting Gijon on Sunday in their opening La Liga fixture after being sidelined with a thigh injury.Here is the 27-year-old’s tweet from earlier: Karim Benzema center_img 1last_img read more

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Ex-Manchester United star Darren Fletcher lauds defender as ‘one of the best’ he’s every played with

first_img Jonny Evans and Darren Fletcher West Brom captain Darren Fletcher has described Johnny Evans as one of the best defenders he has ever played with.Evans followed Fletcher to the Hawthorns in August after the pair spent more than a decade together at Manchester United, where the 27-year-old centre-back won three Premier League titles.Evans’ two appearances for Albion since his £6million arrival have brought successive clean sheets and Fletcher believes that is no fluke.“Jonny is a fantastic signing. I spoke about it when he came and I was so excited when he signed,” said the Scotland midfielder.“He’s a top player. A great leader and a good talker and I think it’s a fantastic signing for the Albion and he’s going to be a mainstay in that defence for a number of years and it’s no coincidence that (clean sheets) and there’s more to come as well. “He’s a great lad and I can’t speak highly enough of him.“I knew we were getting a top, top player. One of the best defenders I’ve ever played with at Manchester United and now here.”Fletcher admits that once he learned of West Brom’s interest in Evans, he was desperate to do all he could to persuade him to sign.“I was constantly on the phone to him. Probably doing his head in, I was phoning and texting him every day,” he said.However, Fletcher also revealed he has now been lumbered with some additional duties since his friend moved to the west midlands.“I’m his personal driver too. I’m his chauffeur. That was part of the negotiations so I think he’s struck lucky,” he said.“I’ll pick him up and spoil him a little bit. He’s always been good company, we’re good friends, live very closely and families are very close so for me personally I was really happy when he came.” 1last_img read more

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Ronald Koeman denies Southampton interest in £16m-rated South American star

first_img Juan Quintero 1 Ronald Koeman has insisted Southampton are not trying to sign Porto winger Juan Quintero.Southampton have been linked with a £16million January move for the 22-year-old, currently on loan at Rennes.Arsenal are also said to be tracking the Colombia star, but Koeman ruled out chasing any midfield recruits in the January window.“We don’t need midfielders, so no,” said Koeman, when asked if Quintero is a target.“I’m very happy with the players we have.“I can’t say it’s 100 per cent because it’s football, but it’s unlikely that we’ll have new players in January.“It’s an important line in your team, to have good ball possession.“And I’m happy with the balance there in our squad.“It’s always the most difficult decision, who plays in midfield.”last_img read more

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Crystal Palace: American investors complete deal to take large stake in the Premier League club

first_img1 Crystal Palace Crystal Palace have completed a deal that sees American investors Josh Harris and David Blitzer take a large stake in the club.The duo, who already own the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and the NHL’s New Jersey Devils, will join chairman Steve Parish in control at Selhurst Park.A statement from the Barclays Premier League club said: “Crystal Palace Football Club is delighted to announce that it has today signed a deal with investors Josh Harris and David Blitzer. The deal will see chairman Steve Parish, Josh Harris and David Blitzer take control of the club in a general partnership structure.“They will be joined by a number of other investors in a limited partnership that will include current CPFC2010 shareholders, Stephen Browett, Jeremy Hosking and Martin Long, who will all retain a substantial shareholding.“All shareholders have agreed an initial £50million injection of capital for the development of the stadium, with more to follow. This will give fans the first-class facilities they deserve.“The deal offers the club the best opportunity to build on the enormous progress made over the last five years, during which time it has come out of administration and established itself as a thriving, financially secure member of the Premier League.“It ensures that, while overseas investors are joining us, the heart and soul of the club remains in south London.”The deal has been long in the offing, with Palace manager Alan Pardew saying this week that investment was on the agenda when he agreed to take charge of Palace in January.Harris, Blitzer and Parish will each own an 18 per cent stake in Palace under the new arrangement.Chairman Parish said: “I’m delighted that Josh and David have agreed to make this investment and join me in shaping the future of Crystal Palace.“I have had the great pleasure of getting to know them both over the past 18 months and I am sure they will be a huge help to me and add an enormous amount of value.“I am looking forward to getting started with them and continuing to drive this great football club to ever great heights. I would like to thank Stephen, Jeremy and Martin, as well as all the club’s supporters, for their incredible support over the past five years and I am thrilled they will retain a shareholding for the next part of the journey”.In a joint statement, Harris and Blitzer said: “We couldn’t be more excited to be joining the Crystal Palace family. We were drawn to the club’s rich history, exciting brand of football, strong leadership and, above all, its passionate fans.“We’ve had the great pleasure of getting to know Steve and have the utmost respect for him and his partners, Stephen, Jeremy and Martin.“We look forward to supporting Steve in his role as the operating co-owner and leader of the club. Crystal Palace has a storied legacy, a bright future and we’re proud to become a part of it.”Palace sit sixth in the Premier League table, having been rejuvenated under Pardew’s leadership this year, avoiding relegation last season and mounting an early push this term for a place in the Europa League.last_img read more

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Newcastle to axe McClaren in next 48 hours, Leicester star has £30m exit clause

first_imgHere are the top transfer-related stories in Tuesday’s newspapers…Steve McClaren’s future at Newcastle United remained in a state of damaging limbo on Monday night although the former England coach is expected to be sacked within the next 48 hours. (Guardian)Newcastle are preparing to contact possible replacements for McClaren — including David Moyes, Rafael Benítez and Nigel Pearson — to gauge their interest in the position. (Daily Telegraph)It will cost £30 million to prise Jamie Vardy away from Leicester City after the Premier League leaders inserted a buyout clause into their record-breaking striker’s contract. (The Times)Highly-rated Leicester midfielder N’Golo Kante is in line for a new deal to stave off interest from the big guns. The 24-year-old, signed for just £5.6million from Caen on a four-year deal last summer, has made a stunning impact on the Premier League title favourites. (Daily Mirror)Tottenham have opened talks with Mauricio Pochettino over a new contract. Boss Pochettino is a man in demand after overseeing a brilliant transformation job at White Hart Lane. Manchester United and Chelsea both have the Argentinian on their wanted lists in their respective searches for a new manager. (Daily Mirror)Diego Costa is a shock transfer target for Paris Saint-Germain. The French giants have already been linked with a raid for Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard. But now the club, who aim to dump Chelsea out of the Champions League for the second year running on Wednesday, have also turned their attention to star striker Costa. (Daily Star)Max Allegri has ended speculation about his future by insisting: I will be at Juventus next season. The Italian boss has been heavily linked with the Chelsea manager’s job — and even the Real Madrid hotseat. (The Sun)Liverpool scouts watched Serie A duo Leandro Paredes and Piotr Zielinski over the weekend. The Reds sent their representatives to eye the pair in action for Empoli. (Daily Star)Southampton misfit Gaston Ramirez says he would consider making his loan move to Middlesbrough permanent if the Teessiders win promotion to the Premier League. (Daily Mirror)And here are the latest talkSPORT.com headlines…??Rangers boss Mark Warburton ‘feels some sympathy’ for Celtic counterpart Ronny Deila‘It wasn’t a game, it was an EVENT!’ Tottenham legend Glenn Hoddle looks back on electric north London derby‘Benteke has gone down far too easily’ – Former Premier League referee says Liverpool penalty decision was wrong callBarcelona ready to launch move for Leicester City sensation Riyad MahrezNewcastle United and Swansea City monitoring Napoli forward Manolo GabbiadiniEverton preparing £23m bid for in-form Sporting Lisbon forward Islam SlimaniFrench starlet Kylian Mbappe snubs Arsenal and Real Madrid interest by signing Monaco dealLiverpool winning race to land Belgian wonderkid Samuel BastienArsenal, Leicester City and Manchester United joined by Barcelona in battle for French starletNapoli join Arsenal and Manchester United in chase for Ajax’s ‘new Bergkamp’Bayer Leverkusen defender Omer Toprak a top summer target for Manchester Unitedlast_img read more

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Ducks are caught lagging

first_imgNHL: Road-weary Anaheim doesn’t have energy to play with Columbus. By Rusty Miller THE ASSOCIATED PRESS COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ducks’ World Tour took a wrong turn Friday night. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityRick Nash had two goals and a career-best four points, and Pascal Leclaire stopped 28 shots to help the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the road-weary Ducks, 4-0. Asked if his team was tired after playing four games on two continents and in three arenas in less than a week, Ducks coach Randy Carlyle refused to take the easy way out. “Those are excuses,” he said. “That’s the way it goes. We didn’t have the energy that was necessary to compete at the level they played at.” Sergei Fedorov and Ron Hainsey each added a power-play goal and an assist for the Blue Jackets, opening their first full season under Coach Ken Hitchcock. The defending Stanley Cup champions looked tired and disorganized for the first two periods, which was to be expected after what they’ve been through this week. They opened the season by splitting two games with the Kings in London – England, not Ontario – last weekend. They took a flight to Detroit and lost in a shootout Wednesday night before traveling on to Columbus. They complete the grueling trip tonight against Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins. “They came at us right from the start of the game,” forward Ryan Getzlaf said of the Blue Jackets. “We weren’t prepared for it. We did a lot of things tonight and none of them were the right ones.” It was Leclaire’s second career shutout. He missed most of last year with leg and knee injuries. “We were right there in their face and stayed there all night,” Leclaire said. Columbus was 3-for-11 on the power play and the Ducks were 0-for-7. The Blue Jackets received a standing ovation when they left the ice with a 2-0 lead after the first period. The Ducks didn’t get their first shot on goal until more than 16 minutes had elapsed. Columbus had 14 shots before the Ducks got their first. With the puck seldom leaving Columbus’ offensive zone, Nash crashed the net and, with a defender in front of him, attempted to pass across the slot to David Vyborny. The puck never got to him, though, glancing off the skate of Shane Hnidy and into the net at the 6:44 mark. Hnidy shrugged and hung his head as the crowd cheered. “It was great,” Nash said of the win. “The first game is always like that. You just have to remember not to get too high. It’s just the first game. We’re right back at it (tonight).” On a power play, Nash tried a shot from a hard angle. Goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov deflected the puck with his stick but it ricocheted to the left wing where Fedorov scored with a one-timer before Bryzgalov could recover.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Executions on hold till Supreme Court rules on lethal injections

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.With society’s view of cruel and unusual punishment shifting dramatically in recent decades, legal experts say the almost universal embrace of one form of execution – a lethal dose of drugs – has made the time right for an unprecedented review of how states end the lives of condemned killers. Most of the 38 states with the death penalty rely on the same three-drug combination to execute inmates, including California, where a challenge to lethal injection has put executions on hold for nearly two years. The Supreme Court’s recent decision to review Kentucky’s lethal injection method has ensured that a near-moratorium on executing the more than 3,300 condemned prisoners in the U.S. will last until the justices rule next year. In recent years, the conservative, closely divided Supreme Court has scaled back the death penalty somewhat – barring the execution of juveniles and the mentally retarded. At the same time, the court made sure most death sentences were preserved. Legal experts say the justices could not wait any longer to weigh in on lethal injection. Lawyers for Death Row inmates, armed with evidence of botched executions in states such as Ohio and Florida, have flooded courts around the country with legal challenges in the past few years. Firing squads. Hanging. The electric chair. The gas chamber. None of these methods of execution tossed the nation’s capital punishment system into as much disarray as lethal injection, the supposedly antiseptic solution to concerns about how best to put condemned killers to death. A metastasizing legal furor over lethal injection has forced the U.S. Supreme Court to examine a method of execution for the first time since 1878, effectively halting capital punishment around the country. One legal expert has dubbed it a “molasses moment” in death penalty history. A confluence of historical, legal and social factors have pushed the showdown over lethal injection onto the high court’s docket – a paradox for an institution that never considered whether the hangman’s noose or “Old Sparky” were constitutional ways to put someone to death. “I think the court felt absolutely compelled to step in and make some sense of this,” said Michael Laurence, director of California’s Habeas Corpus Resource Center, which represents Death Row inmates. “There is also the idea that the states need to get it right.” For all practical purposes, the Supreme Court has never addressed what it takes for states to “get it right” when it comes to executions. There is surprisingly sparse precedent on the subject, and the justices have never outlawed a form of execution. Most legal experts do not expect the Supreme Court’s ultimate ruling in the Kentucky case to end the death penalty. Instead, the consensus is the court will provide guidelines for what states must do to ensure that executions are carried out humanely, whether in the types of drugs they use or in the safeguards put in place during executions. Judges around the country have found serious flaws in state lethal injection methods. Last year, San Jose U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel declared California’s process “broken.” Fogel is considering whether to put that legal challenge on hold while the Supreme Court reviews the Kentucky case. Legal experts predict the Supreme Court will follow the approach used several years ago when ruling that it is unconstitutional to execute mentally retarded inmates: Rather than lay out a rigid protocol, the justices left it to the states and lower courts to set the standards for mental retardation in capital cases. “They are going to want to make sure executions continue,” said Deborah Denno, a Fordham University law professor and lethal injection expert. “But at the same time, there is going to be some sort of compromise.” The challenges to lethal injection center on the argument that the combination of drugs, coupled with sloppy procedures and inadequate medical training, create an unnecessary risk that Death Row inmates will suffer painful executions. That, lawyers argue, violates the 8th Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment. But even the handful of Supreme Court decisions touching on execution methods have not dealt with whether the mechanics of any particular method amounted to cruel and unusual punishment. Legal experts say the lethal injection issue will put the Supreme Court in uncharted territory. “There is certainly no case on point,” said Ellen Kreitzberg, a Santa Clara University law professor and death penalty expert. “There is no case where there is precedent they need to follow.” howard.mintz@mercurynews.com (408) 286-0236160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Yet another fire reported in Santa Clarita

first_imgAnother brush fire has now scorched about 14 acres near San Fernando Road just near the Eternal Valley Memorial Park cemetery in Santa Clarita, according to NBC4. The station reports that some homes are being threatened by the blaze. It was unclear if the fire was an offshoot of existing blazes in the area. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Hawks on Mideast help develop Giuliani policies

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Based on his public statements, Giuliani does not share all their views and parts company with traditional neoconservative thinking in some respects. But their presence has reassured some conservatives who have expressed doubts about Giuliani’s positions on issues like abortion and gun control, and underscored his efforts to cast himself as a tough-minded potential commander in chief. And while Giuliani, like other New York mayors, liked to be seen as conducting his own brand of foreign policy from City Hall, he had little direct exposure to many of the specific issues the next president will confront and is still meeting for the first time with some of his advisers to develop detailed positions on particular subjects. Giuliani has taken an aggressive position on Iran’s efforts to build a nuclear program, saying last month it was a “promise” that as president he would take military action to keep the Iranians from developing a nuclear weapon. Warnings like that one and his reliance on advisers like Podhoretz, who wrote an article in June for Commentary magazine called “The Case for Bombing Iran,” have raised concerns among some Democrats. Podhoretz said in an interview published Wednesday in the New York Observer that he recently met with Giuliani to discuss his new book, in which he advocates bombing Iran as part of a larger struggle against “Islamofascism,” and “there is very little difference in how he sees the war and I see it.” Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, a Democratic candidate for president and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said recently that the specter of a Giuliani presidency frightens him. “I mean, here’s a guy making statements about Iran that, if he means them, guarantee there is no option but a war,” Biden said in a recent interview. Asked in a recent interview if he agreed with Podhoretz that the time to bomb Iran has already come, Giuliani said: “From the information I do have available, which is all public source material, I would say that that is not correct; we are not at that stage at this point. Can we get to that stage? Yes. And is that stage closer than some of the Democrats believe? I believe it is.” Like the neoconservatives, who played a major role in developing the Bush administration’s rationale for invading Iraq, Giuliani is a strong supporter of Israel who has expressed skepticism about how far the United States should go to back the creation of a Palestinian state.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Rudy Giuliani’s approach to foreign policy shares with other Republican presidential candidates an aggressive posture toward terrorism, a commitment to strengthening the military and disdain for the United Nations. But in developing his views, Giuliani is consulting with, among others, a particularly hawkish group of advisers and neoconservative thinkers. Their positions have been criticized by Democrats as irresponsible and applauded by some conservatives as appropriately tough, while raising questions about how closely aligned Giuliani’s thinking is with theirs. Giuliani’s team includes Norman Podhoretz, a prominent neoconservative who advocates bombing Iran “as soon as it is logistically possible”; Daniel Pipes, the director of the Middle East Forum, who has called for profiling Muslims at airports and scrutinizing American Muslims in law enforcement, the military and the diplomatic corps; and Michael Rubin, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute who has written in favor of revoking the U.S. ban on assassination. The campaign says the foreign policy team, which also includes scholars and experts with different policy approaches, is meant to give Giuliani a variety of perspectives. last_img read more

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