1 Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger sent his scouting team to watch Bayer Leverkusen star Lars Bender in action this week.The Gunners ran the rule over the dynamic midfielder during the Bundesliga side’s first leg Champions League qualifying defeat against Lazio and were reportedly impressed enough to ponder a bid for the 26-year-old.And now it has been revealed by Tutto Mercato that Arsenal are lining up an offer in the region of £12m for the Germany international – who has four years left on his BayArena contract.It remain to be seen whether Arsene Wenger will splash the cash to sign another central midfielder but the Frenchman is thought to be concerned at his team’s defensive qualities in the middle of the park. Bayer Leverkusen star Lars Bender
Everton have turned down a shock bid from Paris Saint-Germain for Irish defender Seamus Coleman, talkSPORT understands.The French champions are keen on bolstering their defensive options in the remainder of the transfer window and identified the Toffees full-back as their top target.According to sources in France, PSG were prepared to table a player-plus-cash deal worth £20million for the Republic of Ireland international, who was targeted by Manchester United earlier this summer.However, Everton rejected the offer outright, a move consistent with their stance all summer of not selling any of their prized assets.The Merseysiders have also refused to sell defender John Stones to Premier League champions Chelsea, who have had three bids rejected for the 21-year-old starlet.Coleman, 26, joined Everton from Irish side Sligo Rovers in 2008 for a mere £60,000, and his penchant for goals and assists has seen him develop into one the English top flight’s best attacking full-backs.Despite speculation over his future, Coleman signed a new long-term contract at Goodison Park last summer. Everton full-back Seamus Coleman 1
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp Jurgen Klopp has told his Liverpool side to be brave, rediscover the fun in football and forget about making mistakes.The German has captured the hearts of Reds fans already following an impressive first press conference as boss last week,And, in his first pre-match press conference ahead of his first game against Tottenham, his talk of playing with ‘open chests, running and fighting, shooting and defending together…how football looks in your best dream’ is sure to endear himself further with the avid Anfield faithful.Klopp has been preaching that to his squad as they returned in dribs and drabs from international duty during the week.And while he has not had a great deal of time to effect many changes, he expects to see the players at least approach Saturday’s White Hart Lane clash with a new mindset.“Some things you can change instantly: mentality, readiness. That is all you can change. It is not fixed that you cannot do more,” he said.“To get really tuned as a team takes time but I am really not interested in the problems we could have on Saturday.“I want to see more bravery, more fun in their eyes. I want to see that they like what they do – I saw that in the week and that is good.“We want to get back trust from outside, get back confidence in our own skills, our own quality.“It is the bravery we need in football, the bravery to make faults. It doesn’t work without faults. Never in history.“As a human being we always think about faults, we don’t think about the good things. That is what we have to learn again.“It is not important how many faults are made in the game, it is very important that no one can remember the faults after the game.“That is where we can always get better – to accept that something is not the best decision in your life.“Football works because you are prepared for your team-mate making a fault and you can help him.“You don’t have to always try the most risky ball in our lives – you have to learn to run and fight and do everything until the moment, and when the moment is there, take it.”Klopp has been keen to wipe the slate clean with the players in terms of what has occurred previously.It means he has told them what has happened this season – just one win in 90 minutes in their last nine matches – has no consequence for their futures.“The most important information is to start new and that is what we will do,” he added.“I am not interested in what the faults were a few weeks ago. I only think about what we can do to be stable in a game, close all our doors and if it is possible look a little bit out.“We have to open our chests: let’s run and fight and shoot and defend together and attack together – like football looks like in your best dream.” 1
Dave Stevens joins the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast to round up the latest sporting odds.The Coral spokesman brings us the latest odds in the managerial merry-go-round, with David Moyes the latest man looking for a new job following his axe at Real Sociedad.Ex-Everton and Man United boss Moyes is 2/1 to be back in the Premier League with any club this season, and with Garry Monk under pressure at Swansea, overseeing just two wins in ten Premier League games, the Welsh side are 4/1 favourites to be the Scot’s next destination.Meanwhile, a return to his homeland with Celtic is priced at 7/1, a switch to struggling Newcastle is 8/1, while a move down to the Championship with QPR or Fulham is 8/1 and 12/1 respectively.Coral is the official betting partner of the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast
1 Jermaine Pennant is to have a trial in Singapore in an attempt to prolong his career.The former Premier League ace, who played for Arsenal, Liverpool and Stoke in the top-flight, has been without a club since leaving Wigan at the end of last season.Now, according to Red Card Radio in Singapore, the 32-year-old has agreed to spend at least a trial spell with S.League club Tampines Rovers.Tampines begin their season at the end of the month and the hope is to sign Pennant for a year.A deal for Pennant, who recently had a trial in Thailand too, is part of an ambitious plan by Stags new chairman Krishna Ramachandra.The Nottingham-born player will join a host of domestic internationals and the club have also announced plans for a youth academy with Brazilian legend Ronaldinho. Jermaine Pennant
Guus Hiddink Guus Hiddink has vowed to blood youngsters in Chelsea’s pursuit of a top-four finish in the Premier League – and insisted the quest would not be “boring”.The Chelsea interim boss has every intention of fielding the likes of 19-year-old Ruben Loftus-Cheek as the holders bid to make up a 13-point gap to fourth-placed Tottenham. The midfielder scored in last Sunday’s FA Cup defeat of Scunthorpe.“So long as we have the possibility to go to fourth place we will go for that,” Hiddink said.“It’s not that we are without chances to go there [fourth] and then we bring in youngsters, no.“I will not hesitate whenever possible to bring in youngsters as well. The youngsters must try to learn also to work under this pressure.”Hiddink was asked whether he had ever been bored watching one of his teams, a reference to fellow Dutchman Louis van Gaal’s admission that he has found his Manchester United side dull at times this term.United are fifth, three points behind Spurs and 10 ahead of Chelsea, who play West Brom on Wednesday night and Everton on Saturday in two home games which will test their top-four credentials.“You cannot expect that every game is an exciting game, but all the coaches I think like to see their game played in an exciting way,” Hiddink said.The Blues will have to go for broke to claim fourth, with some estimating they need an average of 2.6 or 2.7 points per game in the remaining 18 fixtures.Hiddink, who only lost one league game of his interim spell in 2009, said: “That’s huge. [If we lose only one game] then we are close – and that is not boring.” 1
1 Diego Fabbrini Watford have allowed out-of-favour midfielder Diego Fabbrini to join Birmingham in a £1.5million move.The Italian, who spent the end of last season on loan at St Andrew’s, has put pen to paper on a three-and-a-half-year deal.Birmingham announced the deal on their official website, stating: “Blues have today completed the permanent signing of Italian midfielder Diego Fabbrini from Premier League side Watford.”The 25-year-old had been on loan at Middlesbrough and was scheduled to stay until the end of the season, but his deal at the Riverside was cancelled by mutual consent.Fabbrini, who featured five times for Birmingham at the end of the 2014/15 campaign, made 26 appearances for Middlesbrough this season, scoring six goals.He has one full cap for Italy, where he began his career with Empoli before moving on to Udinese in 2011. He has also had loan spells at Palermo, Siena and Millwall.
Manuel Pellegrini has announced he will leave Manchester City at the end of the season.The Chilean will depart the club one year before the expiration of his contract, and outgoing Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola has already been announced as his successor.In the meantime Pellegrini will see out the rest of the campaign.And it could be a triumphant farewell for the 62-year-old, with the club still fighting on all fronts in the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup.Pellegrini confirmed the news on Monday, saying in a press conference: “The club are not doing anything behind me, I knew this one month ago. With clause the club or me can choose not to use that.”The former Real Madrid manager’s future at the Etihad Stadium has been the subject of debate even before Bayern confirmed Guardiola’s intension to leave back in December.While his tenure will be deemed a moderate success, having won the Premier League title and League Cup in his first season in charge, City’s continued disappointment in the Champions League and further failure to add to their trophy haul last season meant he was rarely seen as a long-term option.Pellegrini signed a one-year extension to his original three-year contract last summer, but the manager revealed on Monday he will leave at the end of his original deal after the club agreed terms his Guardiola.“Before we finish I will tell you that I talked with the club and I will finish my contract on the original date in June,” he said at the end of a standard press conference to preview Tuesday’s Premier League game at Sunderland.“We extended the contract one year more but with the clause that one of the club or me may not use that extended contract. So, I will finish here on the original date, June 30.“There has been a lot of speculation about things, but they [the club] are not doing anything behind me. I knew this one month ago.“I don’t think it is good to have speculation about different things. I prefer to finish [by announcing] today – that is why I have told the press and told the players. I told the club two weeks ago that I would do it.”City revealed in a club statement they have chased Guardiola since his departure as Barcelona boss in 2012, saying his three-year deal at the club is the conclusion to talks which began when he left the Nou Camp four years ago.It read: “These negotiations were a re-commencement of discussions that were curtailed in 2012.“Manuel Pellegrini, who is fully supportive of the decision to make this communication, is entirely focused on achieving his targets for the season ahead and retains the respect and commitment of all involved with the leadership of the club.”It is rumoured Pellegrini’s departure from City could see him become manager of the Chile national team. 1 Manuel Pellegrini
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.“A lot of teams are playing guys they know are going to play. They’re running their rotations and experimenting with one or two players. We’re not at that level yet. There’s time. There’s a week ahead. We still have three games.” The Lakers face the Utah Jazz tonight at the Honda Center and again Thursday in San Diego. They play the Sacramento Kings on Friday in Las Vegas, and then it’s almost show time. Opening night is Oct. 30 against the Houston Rockets. It’s been difficult to gauge the Lakers’ potential. Injuries have made it impossible for Jackson to use his anticipated player rotations. Lineups have been patchwork, with some veterans playing limited minutes. What’s more, Jackson has attempted to install an up-tempo offense as an option to the triangle. Jackson has had only limited success with it, acknowledging he might scrap it altogether if he doesn’t get the results he wants. “Oh, we’re really happy there’s only a week left,” Jackson said with a chuckle. “(Training camp) has kind of been like kissing your sister. I thought we were taking a couple of steps forward, then we took one back (in a 112-96 loss to the Clippers).” By Elliott Teaford STAFF WRITER Heading into the final week of training camp, the Lakers are still very much a work in progress. “We’re still experimenting,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said Monday afternoon, less than 24 hours after a loss to the Clippers dropped them to 2-3 in exhibition games. The Lakers had 22 turnovers, including seven by Kobe Bryant in only 16 minutes. Jackson seemed more concerned than Bryant, who had four turnovers in 21 minutes the night before in a victory over the Charlotte Bobcats. “Oh, it just can’t be like that,” Jackson said when asked about Bryant’s turnovers. “You can’t defend turnovers. That’s basically the rule. You can defend good shots or second opportunities, but you can’t defend turnovers. It just puts you in jeopardy. “We’re working through it, seeing how our lineups work.” Bryant chalked up the turnovers to the makeshift lineups necessitated by injuries and Jackson’s tinkering, plus the change in the offensive strategy. Bryant is averaging 12.8 points and 4.4 assists, but also 5.2 turnovers in 20.4 minutes in exhibition play. “Stop experimenting,” Bryant said when asked how to cut down on the turnovers. “In the preseason, we experiment to see who can do what. If you’re going to try something and see who can do what, you do it in the preseason.” Odds and ends Luke Walton sat out practice because of a strained right hip suffered in Saturday’s game against Charlotte. He said he was uncertain whether he could play tonight against Utah. … Chris Mihm also did not participate in the workout, suffering from general soreness after playing Saturday and Sunday. … Lamar Odom is set to have his final doctor’s examination on his surgically repaired left shoulder this week, but it remains unclear if he’ll be cleared to play on opening night. Odom’s surgery was his second in as many offseasons to repair a torn labrum. … Asked about the Lakers’ many injuries, Jackson said: “Overall, we were in better shape than last year. Last year, we had Kobe and Kwame (Brown) out at this point.” … The Lakers have 14 players on the roster with guaranteed contracts for the season, one shy of the NBA limit. Jackson said he would prefer to stick with 14, which means free agents Elton Brown, Andre Patterson, Coby Karl and Larry Turner might be looking for work next week. firstname.lastname@example.orgWant local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!