News and gossip making the headlines for the day
Sam Allardyce confirms interest in Walcott
The Everton manager has confirmed reports linking the Merseyside outfit to a £20 million move for the English forward.
Big Sam affirms that he feels the England winger is at the perfect age at 28 and would add much-needed goals and creativity to Everton’s attack, and was quoted by The Mirror, saying; “You’re all aware of our interest in Theo and if that’s possible to get over the line, I’d be delighted.
“Negotiations are happening at the moment and if that can be all sorted out, which is one of the most difficult things to do today, then that would be a great addition in my opinion to come and join us.
Everton face competition from Southampton, his boyhood club.
Conte: No transfer talk in chat with Sanchez
Antonio Conte has moved to deny suggestions he might have tried to lure Alexis Stamford bridge prior to the Carabao Cup semi-final 1st leg.
The Chelsea manager and the Chilean winger were spotted chatting in the Stamford bridge channel before the game, but when pressed on what had been said, he replied with a smile, “I said hello. He’s a great player and he knows very well that in my first season at Juventus we tried to buy him from Udinese, and then he decided to go to Barcelona.
“He knows very well my admiration for him – it was a good chance to say hello. [There were] no other conversations. I have great admiration for great players, I think Alexis Sanchez is one of these players.
Zidane backs misfiring stars
The embattled Real Madrid manager has come in defense of his underperforming stars who have failed to sparkle consistently this season and find themselves 16 points behind Barcelona in the La Liga race ahead of Saturday’s meeting with Villareal at the Bernabeu.
This has brought inevitable criticism, but he played down the negatvitity around the club, “We can’t always look at or listen to what is being said. It’s difficult, but nowadays everything that is said about Real Madrid is negative, and I don’t see it that way, we’re not that bad.
“The positive thing is that we are still alive in all competitions. I watch the matches back two or three times and I don’t agree with everything that’s being said. I accept what is being said, but there are lots of positive things coming out of this team at the minute.”
Claude Puel insists on Iheanacho stay
The Leicester city manager has dismissed reports linking Kelechi Iheanacho with a move away from the King Power stadium, reaffirming the club’s desire to help in his development.
Speculation on the youngster’s future was rife, especially after Nigerian national team manager, Gernot Rorh claimed he expected Iheanacho alongside Ahmed Musa to leave the midland club in search of more playing time.
However, speaking to Sky sports, The Foxes manager dismissed that notion, saying; “We don’t know about what the national trainer said. We will see. We have discussions with different players. For example, Iheanacho is a young player, arrived this season, and he will stay with us.
“Iheanacho is a young player, he signed this season with us and we have to develop him. I hope he can have more game time in the second half of the season.
Morocco beef up 2026 World Cup bid
Morocco have added weight to their third attempt at hosting the World cup by hiring the services of London-Based VERO, International consultants who worked on the Qatar 2022 World cup bid.
The North African nation previously bid to host the global showpiece in 1998 and 2010, and currently constitute the only opposition to the joint bid from the United States, Canada and Mexico.
The votes for the rights to host the tournament in 2026 comes up in 6 months time.
Baba Rahman on the verge of Schalke return
The Chelsea left back has been on the sidelines for about a year from a serious knee injury he incurred at the African nations cup.
On-loan at Schalke at the time, the Ghanaian full back returned to Chelsea to complete his recovery but could be back for another loan spell at the Velins-Arena, as sporting director Christian Heidel has confirmed the Bundesliga club are close to tying up a loan deal for Chelsea left back Baba Rahman.
Speaking to reporters about the progress in negotiations with Chelsea for Rahman, He was quoted by the Evening Standard as saying “We’re in talks with Chelsea regarding Baba Rahman. There are still one or two things to clear up on their end. We could agree on a deal with the player himself relatively quickly.”
Roy Hodgson keeps mum on move for Diafra Sakho
The Crystal Palace manager refused to confirm reports that suggest a £10 million deal has been agreed for the West Ham striker to move to Selhurst Park.
Sky sources believe a deal is close and a medical is on the cards, but when pressed on the club’s pursuit of the Senegal international, Hodgson said: “I’m not prepared to talk about any players. There is bound to be conflicting reports.
“It would be very foolish of me to start commenting on anybody at the moment. We are doing it as best we can and as professionally as we can. It is better to keep quiet on the subject.”