Thomas Tuchel CONFIRMS Marcos Alonso is set to complete his Barcelona move

Thomas Tuchel has confirmed Chelsea wing-back Marcos Alonso is on the brink of a move to Barcelona.

Alonso was left out of the squad for the Everton game at his own request, and following the £62million arrival at Stamford Bridge of Marc Cucurella, the 31-year-old is poised to agree a move back to Spain.

Chelsea coach Tuchel said: ‘He tries to leave and we agreed to this wish and that’s why it would not have made sense to put him on the pitch today.

‘He would have been on the pitch otherwise but I think in this situation it was the right thing to do.’

Spain international Alonso joined Chelsea in August 2016, making 154 appearances.

Meanwhile, Everton boss Frank Lampard is weighing up his options after losing Ben Godfrey for two to three months after the defender broke his leg in a challenge just 10 minutes into the Chelsea game.

Lampard could face an early-season defensive injury crisis, as Yerry Mina limped out of the game with 20 minutes to go.

Lampard insists he has the cover to cope, but has already been linked with a move for Wolves’ Conor Coady to bolster a defence which is still awaiting Seamus Coleman’s return.

‘It’s a small fracture of his fibula bone,’ Lampard said of Godfrey’s injury.

‘We are thinking two or three months, that is a really quick assessment.’

Lampard is close to making his fourth signing of the summer, with Lille midfielder Amadou Onana at Goodison Park after his medical ahead of a £33m move.

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  • 46 минут назад 19.08.2022Sport
    Megan Rapinoe ‘told Joe Biden to do MORE to free Brittney Griner’ in phone call

    US Soccer star Megan Rapinoe last month urged President Joe Biden in a phone call to do more to secure the release of Brittney Griner from her detention in Russia.

    According to Politico, Rapinoe made the request when Biden called her to inform her she would be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the highest honor bestowed upon a civilian in America.

    When Rapinoe attended the ceremony at the White House on July 7, she wore a blazer with Griner’s initials inscribed on the lapel.

    Griner, 31, was sentenced to nine years in prison in Russia earlier in August after being convicted of drug possession and smuggling.

    Griner brought vape cartridges with cannabis oil into Russia when she flew to Moscow to play basketball in the city of Yekaterinburg during the WNBA offseason.

    Biden denounced the ruling as ‘unacceptable’, with the verdict coming amid soaring tensions between the US and Russia over Ukraine. There have been numerous reports that Griner could now be involved in a high-profile prisoner swap between the two countries.

    But Rapinoe, 37, still took her opportunity to tell Biden to secure Griner’s release as quickly as possible.

    Politico says that Biden phoned Griner’s wife, Cherelle, in the days after speaking with Rapinoe.

    Rapinoe also called for Biden to step up efforts to free Griner in a speech at the ESPY awards in July.

    ‘We love her, we miss her, we’re doing every single thing we can to get her out,’ Rapinoe said. ‘BG deserves to be free, she’s being held as a political prisoner – obviously.

    ‘Every time we see BG’s face, every time we say her name in interviews it puts pressure on everybody. it puts pressure on the administration, on Russia and lets BG know we are thinking about her all the time.

    ‘We haven’t done enough, all of us, we can do more, we can support her more.’

    Cherelle Griner has previously outlined frustration with how the Biden administration is dealing with Griner’s situation.

    Speaking in June, she said: ‘I wish I could say I have a clear understanding (of the White House’s strategy to free her). They do a lot of talking in code with me.’

    Since then, reports have surfaced of the possible prisoner swap with Griner and Paul Whelan, a former US marine who is held in Russia.

    Griner has been held since February 17. Earlier this week, her legal team in Russia appealed her conviction.

    On Thursday, Russia’s foreign ministry said it was engaged in ‘quiet diplomacy’ over the possible swap involving Griner.

    ‘Quiet diplomacy is under way and it should bear fruit if Washington follows it, and not fall into propaganda through media hype to score points before an election,’ said Ivan Nechayev, a spokesman for the Russian foreign ministry, referring to the midterm elections in November.

    Griner is a two-time Olympic gold medallist and a star player in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) – she plays for Phoenix Mercury.

  • 46 минут назад 19.08.2022Sport
    South Sydney forced to take drastic step as fans hit young star Jaxson Paulo with vile abuse

    South Sydney supporters have turned on their own, with torrents of abuse being levelled at young gun Jaxson Paulo after he had a night to forget in the Rabbitohs’ 26-22 loss to Penrith on Thursday night.

    The winger was unable to finish off two regulation tries and committed five errors in the loss which ensured the Panthers will finish the regular season as NRL minor premiers.

    Fans savaged the 22-year-old, blaming him for the loss and squaring him up with vile abuse.

    That resulted in Paulo changing his Instagram account to private and South Sydney shutting down comments on their official match thread on Facebook.

    ‘Full Time. We’ve now turned off the comments, we’re all in this together,’ the post read.

    While most of the comments were moderated and removed from social media, many still remain.

    ‘This is NRL football … not a counselling session. Paulo is complete and utter s*** and played like a pony. He lost us the game – simple as that. The sooner the fans stop wrapping players in cotton wool the better,’ one furious supporter posted.

    ‘Paulo is paid good money to play football. He was crap he needs to go. That should be his last game at Souths,’ said another.

    ‘I never want to see Jackson play for us again ducking hopeless lost us the game still proud of the effort from the team but Jackson [sic] has to go,’ posted another.

    Former NRL player Keith Galloway slammed the abuse aimed at the Souths back, pointing out the hypocrisy of calling for better mental health support after the tragic death of Paul Green, then attacking players who have a bad game.

    ‘Last week everyone was preaching mental health, this week people are attacking Jaxson Paulo online, I hope the poor kid doesn’t read social media. It’s only a game of football,’ he said.

    After the loss, Rabbitohs coach Jason Demetriou indicated that Paulo could face the axe for his performance.

    ‘We’ll sit down and have a conversation,’ Demetriou said.

    ‘Against the best teams that’s the level that you’ve got to get to. As a young bloke you understand every error has an impact on the game.

    ‘I still think we should have defended better, Liam Martin scores a barge-over to win the game — that’s a tackle we’ve got to make, and we don’t make it.’

    The Fox Sports commentators were quick to point out Paulo’s errors as well.

    ‘The shake of the head, Jaxson Paulo did not commit enough to this one,’ Andrew Voss said after Paulo bombed his first try.

    ‘He had the lottery, he had the winning ticket, it blew away in the breeze, what happened,’ Voss said.

    ‘Jaxson Paulo, that is his second chance tonight,’ he added when Paul bombed his second.

    ‘It was bobbling, he was given a chance, then he spilt his lollies,’ Fox League’s Michael Ennis said.

    Souths fans were quick to rally around their embattled winger on Friday.

    ‘How about you leave the kid alone. Do you think he deliberately set out to have a bad game. He would be feeling crap enough without our so called fans attacking him. When did we become a club that insults our players?’ asked one supporter.

    ‘I am sick of them bagging of players, yes he had a bad game but no need to crucify the young fellow,’ said another.

    ‘Please stop these pointed remarks towards players accidental errors. Stop and think what mental buttons you may press by picking out or ridiculing any unintended mistakes an individual might make,’ another fan posted.

    Penrith supporters also showed empathy toward Paulo and called for NRL fans to leave the young winger alone.

    ‘Noted that the South Sydney page has now turned off comments for last nights game. Given what I observed last night at Accor stadium, and how some of the supporters were about to have an aneurysm screaming and abusing both team players [and supporters] I am not surprised. Passion is good, I applaud it, but no need to be feral animals either,’ a Panthers fan posted.

    ‘Some of the things I have seen written about Jaxson Paulo are disgusting and they should turn off their comments,’ said another

    ‘Your [sic] not wrong I was reading it last night and this morning savage,’ posted another.

  • 46 минут назад 19.08.2022Sport
    James Hird could coach Essendon as club is slammed for ‘butchering’ coach Ben Rutten

    James Hird could coach Essendon next year after their main target Alastair Clarkson inked a five-year deal with North Melbourne.

    It would be a stunning turnaround of fortunes for the former champion midfielder, who required mental health assistance following the infamous drug supplements saga of 2011 and 2012.

    Hird eventually quit at Windy Hill in 2015 after serving a 12–month suspension imposed by the AFL stemming from the drug fiasco.

    Few felt he would ever return, but with under siege current coach Ben Rutten likely to be shown the door once the Bombers conduct a season review, Hird has emerged as a genuine candidate for 2023 and beyond.

    In May this year, Mark ‘Bomber’ Thompson said he would like to see Hird – viewed by many as the sacrificial lamb at the height of the Essendon drug scandal – be given another opportunity as an AFL head coach.

    ‘I hope Hirdy gets a senior job,’ Thompson told the Herald Sun.

    ‘He got cut out of the game pretty quickly, too early, and he never cut his teeth into coaching.

    ‘Look, everybody makes mistakes and you don’t hang people for making those sorts of mistakes. You try to give them another chance. You help them.’

    Hird is currently working as an assistant with the GWS Giants.

    Meanwhile, Rutten’s manager Adam Ramanauskas has hit out at the treatment of the embattled Essendon coach amid the Bombers’ audacious and unsuccessful pursuit of Clarkson, a four-time Hawthorn premiership coach.

    The 39-year-old is contracted for next season but it didn’t prevent Essendon from pursuing Clarkson, who opted on Friday to coach the Kangaroos ahead of the Bombers.

    Ramanauskas, who played in Essendon’s last premiership back in 2000, is staggered by how his former club has handled the situation.

    He labelled the treatment of Rutten ‘poor’ and ‘really disappointing’.

    ‘The behaviour and way he’s been treated is fundamentally not right,’ Ramanauskas told RSN on Friday.

    ‘Whether that’s Ben Rutten or another senior coach, there’s only 18 of these jobs available in the country, it’s a very high-pressure job.

    ‘The way you treat these individuals is critical to the success of your football club.’

    Ramanauskas claims the club, and David Barham, who replaced Paul Brasher as president on Monday amid board turmoil, had failed to inform Rutten of their intentions.

    ‘It’s fair to say Monday and half of Tuesday were pretty difficult days because no one was telling (Rutten) what was going on,’ Ramanauskas said.

    ‘He was reading on Monday he was sacked, and there was nobody who was telling him otherwise.’

    Ramanauskas was joined in his condemnation by ex-West Coast star Will Schofield, who wrote: ‘What a complete and utter butchering by Essendon – they still have a coach, who they clearly don’t want, board is spilling and now look completely lost. Weren’t they winning the premiership this year?’

    Barham defended the club’s failed pursuit of Clarkson, claiming he would have been ‘derelict in his duty’ if he didn’t speak with the former Hawks coach.

    He also apologised for not contacting Rutten after reports emerged he had been stood down on Monday, admitting it was a ‘mistake’.

    ‘It’s been horrible, but my job is to make sure the footy club is the best footy club it can be,’ Barham said.

  • 46 минут назад 19.08.2022Sport
    New York Knicks announce $3,000 ticket prices for new section of courtside ‘ultra-premium’ section

    The New York Knicks and owner James Dolan have become well known for making headlines in recent years whether good or bad and it appears they’ve found a way to make another one.

    New York has placed front row tickets on sale for the exuberant price of $3,000.

    Yes, you read that right – $3,000 will now get you a seat in the Knicks new ‘ultra-premium section’.

    The new section will now take up the first and second rows where media members and game officials would normally sit, giving fans a premium view of the action.

    ‘New York Knicks courtside seats are located right next to the scorer’s table and an arms-length away from the players on the floor.

    ‘The best Knicks courtside seats are described as Scorer’s Table Seats and fill out the sideline on either side of the scorer’s table,’ according to Knicksseatingchart.com

    This would appear to be a work around to the Knicks not raising ticket prices this year, something Dolan refuses to do following years the team doesn’t make the playoffs… One of the very few things Knicks fans approve of him doing.

    The New York Rangers on the other hand, whom did make the playoffs last season will indeed be raising on the other hand. The Rangers made it to the Eastern Conference Finals before losing the series 4-2 to the Tampa Bay Lightening.

    Madison Square Garden Sports on Thursday reported both the Knicks and Rangers are now at a 91% season ticket renewal rate and rising.

    Either way the Knicks still brought in an average of $2.99 million in gate receipts per game.

    This was good enough for third in the NBA so New York will should have no problem selling tickets. No matter how highly priced they may be.

  • 46 минут назад 19.08.2022Sport
    Hilarious moment comedian panics when he realises the man he’s been joking about is a UFC fighter

    An Australian comedian has had an awkward moment on stage when he realised that the crowd member he’d been picking on is in fact ranked UFC fighter Jimmy ‘The Brute’ Crute.

    The incident occurred during funnyman Luke Kidgell’s recent standup comedy tour of Bendigo in country Victoria.

    In the video Kidgell, 26, asks the crowd, ‘Who reckons they’ve got the coolest job?’ Several audience members point to a large figure in the front row.

    ‘You fight in the UFC, really? says Kidgell uncertainly. ‘Do they have the UFC here?’

    ‘Oh, and I was trashing you about your mullet. Holy f***! Um, I’m just giving some distance. I wish I had of known that before the mullet comment,’ he laughed nervously.

    Moments later, Kidgell finds out Crute is ranked in the top 15 light heavyweight fighters in the world – and becomes even more disturbed.

    Soon after the Bendigo crowd start shouting out Crute’s first name name and the comic realises he’s talking to a well-known local.

    ‘You’re like a local celebrity. Not even – [you’re a] an actual celebrity! Oh, dude – thanks so much for coming,’ says Kidgell.

    Crute, 26, is a larger-than-life character around Bendigo who traded in his job as a plumber to become a mixed martial artist and compete in the UFC.

    He is known to many for his signature mullet and the fact that he lived in a van with his enormous dog Buddah while on the journey to become a professional MMA fighter.

    Many pundits tipped Crute to be a possible future title contender, with ESPN naming him the ‘No. 1 MMA fighter in the world under the age of 25’ in 2020.

    He is currently ranked No.15 in the world, but won’t be fighting again until 2023 due to a serious knee injury he had operated on earlier this year.

  • 2 часа, 45 минут назад 19.08.2022Sport
    Ash Barty reveals her big retirement regret about Serena Williams as American prepares to bow out

    Aussie tennis ace Ash Barty has spoken for the first time about her unfinished business with Serena Williams as she admitted she would have loved one last crack against the retiring American superstar.

    Williams, a 40-year-old 23-time grand slam champion, has announced she will be retiring from the sport after the US Open in September.

    Barty, 26, announced her shock retirement from tennis five months ago.

    The pair only faced each other twice over the years, with Serena winning on both occasions.

    Williams beat a teenage Barty at the Australian Open in 2014 in straight sets, 6-2 6-1, before getting another one over the Aussie golden girl at the French Open in 2018.

    Their second meeting was a closer affair, reflecting Barty’s huge improvement, with the Aussie going down in three after winning the first set 6-3.

    Barty told the Sydney Morning Herald that she doesn’t have any regrets from her playing career, but she wouldn’t mind another go at Williams to try and get one back.

    ‘The first [time] I was a very young girl who was intimidated,’ said Barty.

    ‘The second time I thought I had a chance and I did. But the way that she plays and her greatness was too good for me.

    ‘I would have loved to have challenged myself one last time. That’s my competitive spirit, and me learning from the experiences that I had.

    ‘Not many people on this planet get to say that they played Serena and I’m one of those few people that really got to experience her when she was at her best.

    ‘And I think that was really exciting. It’s a memory and an experience that I’ll never forget and learnt a lot from.’

    Earlier in the week Ash Barty announced her new and very unusual job title with one of Australia’s biggest companies. She’s the new Chief of Inspiration for Optus – a role that comes with an unusual title.

    ‘Inspiration for me has always been my north star, helping inspire Aussies and encouraging them to be the best version of themselves – and I cannot wait to do that with Optus,’ said Barty.

    Since her shock retirement in March after a fairytale win at the Australian Open, Barty has been very active.

    The three-time major winner married long-time partner Garry Kissick, did a shoey at Mick Fanning’s charity golf day and released a range of children’s books and spent plenty of time on the links – sparking rumours that Barty may attempt a move into professional golf.

    The Aussie golden girl is also finalising her memoir, which is set to be available for presale in November.

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