Latest Football News

Chelsea, Barcelona and Iceland legend Eidur Gudjohnsen has retired from football after a glittering 23-year career.

Barcelona sporting director Robert Fernandez is hopeful Lionel Messi will sign his new contract with the club “soon.”

Diego Costa has moved his family to Madrid to push through his transfer to Atletico Madrid.

The player – who has not returned to the club and remains in Brazil – has still given no indication of a return to the Blues, despite being included in their Premier League squad.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is targeting Tottenham’s £60m-rated defender Toby Alderweireld, 28, as a long-term successor to Belgium team-mate Vincent Kompany, 31.

City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo says his Chile team-mate Alexis Sanchez, 28, feels bitter after his move from Arsenal to Etihad Stadium broke down on transfer deadline day.

Arsenal remain interested in Manchester City’s 22-year-old England winger Raheem Sterling.

Arsene Wenger has backed Alexis Sanchez to win back Arsenal’s fans after he was booed by some at the Emirates on Saturday.

Arsenal legend Thierry Henry says Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will need to “bring something to the table” if he is to be good enough to succeed at Liverpool following the 24-year-old England midfielder’s £35m move during the transfer window.

Luis Enrique could be lined up for a swift move to the Chinese Super League, according to reports in Spain.

Andres Iniesta’s father is insistent his son will not “wear a jersey other than Barcelona”.

Stoke boss Mark Hughes has accused Jose Mourinho of sour grapes for refusing a handshake after the 2-2 draw against Man Utd.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says he will not be appealing against Sadio Mane’s red card from the 5-0 defeat, saying it would be “another waste of time, like the game”.

Liverpool’s injury-plagued Danny Ings was substituted 36 minutes into the U23s match against Manchester City on Sunday.

Frank de Boer has defended his start to life at Crystal Palace saying he “can’t do any more” despite watching his team lose for the fourth straight game.

Manchester United are prepared to fight Arsenal for Monaco’s £92m-rated star Thomas Lemar by making a January bid.

United are willing to splash £100 million to sign Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann next year.

Jose Mourinho believes Manchester United failed to evolve under his predecessors David Moyes and Louis van Gaal, describing their tenures as an “empty period” for the club.

Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho is hurt by Barcelona’s lack of effort to complete his signing in the summer transfer window and the 25-year-old Brazil international is now prepared to turn down a move to the Nou Camp.

West Ham believe highly rated Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri is the man to replace manager Slaven Bilic.

Real Madrid are showing an interest in RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner as they explore ways to improve their attacking options.

Juventus will compete with Liverpool to sign Southampton and Netherlands defender Virgil van Dijk, 26, in January.

Virgil van Dijk will make his comeback from injury on Monday in a game for Southampton’s reserves.

Leicester and West Brom are both believed to be interested in signing Bacary Sagna, after the defender’s release from Man City this summer.

Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton could be out for several months after suffering a suspected dislocated shoulder in Sunday’s 1-0 win over Crystal Palace.

Leeds United are planning to launch a £2m swoop for Orlando City star Cyle Larin in January

Mike Ashley has offered his Newcastle United players £20m in bonuses to win the FA Cup.

Chelsea could face punishment from the FA after their fans chanted an offensive anti-Semitic songduring the 2-1 win over Leicester.

Chelsea have issued a statement urging their supporters to stop singing an Alvaro Morata chant which contains anti-Semitic language aimed at their London rivals Tottenham.

Bibiana Steinhaus became the Bundesliga’s first female referee, taking charge of Hertha Berlin’s draw against Werder Bremen.

On Saturday, Lorraine Watson became the first female referee in Scottish men’s football when she officiated Edinburgh City’s 1-0 win over Berwick Rangersin League Two.

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Wayne Rooney retires from international duty

England’s all-time leading goalscorer Wayne Rooney has retired from international football after turning down the chance to be part of the squad for next month’s World Cup qualifiers.

The Everton striker was asked by England boss Gareth Southgate to be involved against Malta and Slovakia.

However, the former Manchester United captain will play no further part for his country after informing Southgate of his decision to quit international football for good in the same phone conversation.

In a statement released to Press Association Sport, Rooney said:

“It was great that Gareth Southgate called me this week to tell me he wanted me back in the England squad for the upcoming matches. I really appreciated that.

“However, having already thought long and hard, I told Gareth that I had now decided to retire for good from international football.

“It is a really tough decision and one I have discussed with my family, my manager at Everton and those closest to me.

“Playing for England has always been special to me. Every time I was selected as a player or captain was a real privilege and I thank everyone who helped me.

“But I believe now is the time to bow out.

“Leaving Manchester United was a tough call but I know I made the right decision in coming home to Everton. Now I want to focus all my energies on helping them be successful.

“I will always remain a passionate England fan. “One of my very few regrets is not to have been part of a successful England tournament side.

“Hopefully the exciting players Gareth is bringing through can take that ambition further and I hope everyone will get behind the team.

“One day the dream will come true and I look forward to being there as a fan – or in any capacity.”

It is 14 and a half years since the wide-eyed 17-year-old striker burst onto the scene for England, making his debut in a friendly against Australia at Upton Park in February 2003.

Rooney’s first international goal followed against Macedonia that September and the following summer his outstanding performances led to a place in the Euro 2004 team of the tournament.

The forward was unable to match those individual displays at a major competition, despite going onto play in three World Cups and two further European Championships.

Rooney has, though, left an indelible mark on the national game.

The 31-year-old – just as he would later do with Manchester United – usurped Sir Bobby Charlton as England’s all-time top scorer with his penalty against Switzerland in September 2015.

No outfield player has won more Three Lions caps than the 31-year-old, who netted a record 53 goals across 119 appearances for his country.

Rooney replaced David Beckham as the country’s most capped outfield player the following September in Slovakia – ahead of which he announced his intention to retire after the 2018 World Cup.

That decision looked to be taken out of Rooney’s hands when England manager Southgate dropped his captain in his first matches as permanent manager in March.

But leaving United for Everton has led to an immediate upturn in form and fortunes, making Southgate ready to recall the long-serving forward for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovakia.

Yet despite being within touching distance of Peter Shilton’s record 125-cap haul for England, Rooney has decided to walk away with what already is a remarkable record.

Captaining his country to a 3-0 World Cup qualifying win over old foes Scotland last November proved his final appearance.

The subject of Rooney’s retirement is sure to dominate the agenda when Southgate announces his squad for the upcoming matches at St George’s Park on Thursday.

Former Barcelona and Manchester United goalkeeper Victor Valdes retires

Ex-Barcelona and Manchester United goalkeeper Victor Valdes has decided to retire from football, according to a report in El Mundo Deportivo.

Valdes, 35, had offers from Deportivo La Coruna, Real Betis and Las Palmas to continue to play after leaving Middlesbrough in the summer, but has opted to hang up his gloves and focus on his new TV production company.

Valdes’ agent Gines Carvajal would not confirm or deny the story when contacted by ESPN FC.

The former Spain international has set up Crazy4fun TV, which was launched on July 27, an international production company with bases in Barcelona, London and Abu Dhabi.

El Mundo Deportivo reports that Valdes will not only be behind the camera but is also expected to present a TV show that will feature former players that has already been sold to 12 countries.

Valdes left Middlesbrough in May after his one-year contract expired following the club’s relegation from the Premier League, making 28 appearances for the club.

Valdes was a huge figure in Barcelona’s success, playing 535 games and winning 21 titles, including six La Liga titles and three Champions League trophies in his 12 years at the club.

He left the Camp Nou at the end of the 2013-14 season and eventually signed for Manchester United in January 2015, but failed to impress at Old Trafford under Louis van Gaal and moved to Standard Liege on loan a year later.

As an understudy of Iker Casillas, Valdes made 20 appearances for Spain and was part of the squads that won the 2010 World Cup and the European Championship two years later.

Huddersfield Town captain Mark Hudson has retired from playing and moved into a coaching role with the club

Huddersfield captain Mark Hudson has retired ahead of the new Premier League season and joined the top-flight newcomers’ coaching staffvjust four days before the start of the new season.

The 35-year-old defender won his third promotion to the uppermost division in May – the previous two having come with Crystal Palace and Cardiff.

Hudson played nearly 500 games in his career, over 100 of which came across three seasons with the Terriers.

He signed a three-year deal with the Yorkshire club in April 2016 and although his exact role in David Wagner’s coaching set-up is yet to be defined, it was a transition that was anticipated when that contract was penned.

“I’m very happy that Mark is becoming part of my back-room staff,” Wagner said.

“From my first day in England, Mark has been one of the biggest positives. He is a huge influence in our dressing room – a total professional with a winning mentality – and that was why securing his future to Huddersfield Town was so important last April.

As a player and a potential coach, it was vital that we keep Mark here.

“Make no mistake, Mark made a huge contribution to the success this club enjoyed in 2016-17, both through his performances on the field and his influence off it.

“I believe the qualities that Mark has as a person and a footballer should make him an excellent coach. I know retirement can feel like a sad day as a former player, but he has so much still to give this club and football, and that is exciting.

“We will all help Mark as much as we can as he makes the transition into coaching and continues to learn, but I’m sure he will still be a big help and influence on our squad as we prepare for the Premier League.”

Hudson later posted a message on Instagram which read:

“It’s official. I can honestly look back on my playing career with so many amazing memories.

“The players I’ve played with the mangers I’ve worked with and currently working for, I thank you all. “I will miss playing and certainly leading the team out. I am not sad as i am a positive person and know this opportunity doesn’t come around very often.

I will waste no time and give my full attention to the next stage of my career.

“I have to thank all my family and my wife @ml_hudson for the support they have given me and will continue to do so x. Lots to learn.. #happymemories #focused #nextstage.”

Antonio Cassano signs for Hellas Verona, retires, unretires, then retires from professional football

Antonio Cassano’s eventful career has come to an eventful conclusion. The former Roma and Real Madrid forward caused raised eyebrows earlier this month when he announced he was retiring just eight days after signing for Serie A side Hellas Verona.

But within hours he had a change of heart and said he would stay, adding he wanted to “rise to the challenge” and have a “crazy season”.

Six days later, and after playing in two pre-season friendlies for his new side, the 35-year-old has again said he is retiring.

Cassano, who won 39 caps for Italy, has not played a league game since May 2016 and was released by Sampdoria in January.

On Monday, his wife Carolina Marcialis said he would leave Verona but still hoped to find another club.

Cassano later clarified that he had retired. “As opposed to what appeared on my wife’s official social profiles, I would like to clarify my future,” he said in a statement.

“Carolina got it wrong. After thinking and reflecting in the end I decided – Antonio Cassano will not be playing football any more. “I apologise to the city of Verona, to all the fans, to president Maurizio Setti, to sports director Filippo Fusco, to coach Fabio Pecchia, to my team-mates and to the medical and technical staff.

“For a 35-year-old man it’s the motivation that guides my life, and at this moment I feel that my priority is that I’ll be staying close to my children and my wife.”

Cassano and his family live in Genoa, which is about 300km (186 miles) away from Verona.

Having called a news conference last week to announce his retirement, Cassano told the reporters who attended that he had been homesick but regretted saying he would quit.

“I had a moment of weakness,” he said at the time. “I had a meeting with Fabio Pecchia and the others to say that I wanted to stop. “I was yearning for my family but the club’s management has asked them to come and they gave me the strength to carry on. I want to rise to the challenge and have a crazy season.”

Cassano started his career at his hometown club Bari before rising to prominence at Roma, where he scored 39 goals in 118 games.

He then had an unsuccessful season at Real Madrid before spells at Sampdoria, AC Milan, Inter Milan and Parma.

Cassano, who scored 10 times for Italy, was diagnosed with a defect in his heart and had surgery in November 2011. He was fined by Uefaafter saying he hoped there were no homosexuals in the Italy squad for Euro 2012.

Burnley and former Tottenham goalkeeper Paul Robinson retires from professional football 


Ex-England goalkeeper Paul Robinson has retired from the game, his former club Burnley have announced.

Robinson, 37, made 375 top-flight appearances for Leeds, Tottenham, Blackburn and the Clarets, as well as featuring for England on 41 occasions.

He signed a new one-year deal at Turf Moor last summer and Burnley confirmed that he had now decided to call time on his career.

Robinson said: “Unfortunately, my back problem returned towards the end of last season and has prevented me being ready for the start of the new season. Taking everything into consideration I’ve decided to announce my retirement.

“I have been very fortunate to play the game I love for so many years and make it my career.

“I intend to take a short time out to spend time with my family and explore the different options available to me.

“I would like to sincerely thank all my family and friends who have stood by me throughout my playing career.

“I have been very lucky to play for four very special football clubs and my country. I would like to say a huge thank-you to the supporters and staff of every one as I was able to build a very special relationship with each.

“I would like to say thank-you to Sean Dyche, Billy Mercer, the staff and players at Burnley who gave me the chance to play in the premier league again at 37 years old.

“In all my career I have never been a part of a more dedicated, hard-working set of players and staff.

“I wish them and all my former clubs the very best of luck for next season.”

Burnley boss Dyche, who signed Robinson in January, 2016 after he had spent a few months out of the game, said: “Paul played a big part in what we have achieved over the past couple of seasons – literally at times last season – and always as an important member of the group.

“He made a big contribution during his time at Burnley and we would all like to wish him well in his next venture, as well as making sure that he will always welcome back at Turf Moor.”

Former Swansea striker Michu retires

​Former Swansea striker Michu has retired from football due to injury.

The 31-year-old played for boyhood club Real Oviedo last season, making 27 appearances and scoring one goal.

The Spaniard spent three seasons at Swansea, moving to the Liberty Stadium from Rayo Vallecano in the summer of 2012 for a fee of around £2m.

He hit the ground running with the Swansea, scoring seven goals in his first nine matches for the club.

In his first season with the Welsh club he went on to score 22 goals and his form saw him called up for Spain in October, 2013.

He made his debut for the national side in the same week, starting in a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Belarus, but that proved to be his only appearance.

Injury then started to hamper Michu, who scored just six goals in 24 appearances during the 2013/14 season.

He then moved to Napoli on loan but he endured another frustrating period in Serie A as injury restricted him to just five appearances under Rafa Bentiez.

Spells on the sidelines were becoming a regular occurrence for Michu and he moved to the fourth tier of Spanish football with amateur side UP Langreo, before returning to Oviedo.

However, injury issues have continued which has forced him to retire from professional football.

Reports in Spain suggest Michu will now look to move into coaching and a role with Oviedo has been touted as he looks to remain involved in football.

Per Mertesacker to take charge of Arsenal academy after retirement next season

Arsenal captain Per Mertesacker will take charge of the club’s academy at the end of the 2017-18 season, when he will retire as a player, the club have announced.
Mertesacker will play for the club in the coming season after being handed a one-year contract extension in January, but will also prepare for a switch to a coaching role.
Current academy boss Luke Hobbs, who replaced Andries Jonker when he left to manage Wolfsburg last spring, will remain in the role for the 2017/18 season.

Arsenal club captain Mertesacker told the club’s website: “This is the start of an exciting new chapter for me and I am delighted that I will be able to stay part of the Arsenal family.
“This season I will remain fully focused on my job with the team and am looking forward to a successful last season on the pitch.

“After that, I look forward to the exciting challenge of helping produce young players good enough to play for the Arsenal first team.”
Arsene Wenger added: “Per is an exceptional character who is a great example for young players.

“He is a deep thinker about the game and committed to helping players fulfil their potential. He will be an inspirational figure for everyone connected with the academy.”

Former Chelsea, West Ham, Spurs midfielder Scott Parker retires from football 

Former England international Scott Parker has officially announced his retirement from football.

The 36-year-old began his career at Charlton, before playing for Chelsea, Newcastle, West Ham, Tottenham, and most recently Fulham. He was capped by England on 18 occasions in a career which spanned two decades.

Parker was also named the Footballer Writers’ Player of the Year in 2011 during his four-season spell at West Ham.

“The decision to retire has not been an easy one for me but having thought long and hard over it, and having discussed it with those closest to me, I believe that now is the right time to move on to the next chapter in my life and career,” Parker said in a statement released to Sky Sports on Wednesday.

“When I started my career at Charlton Athletic all those years ago I could only have dreamt at that time just what was to follow over the next two decades.

“I feel incredibly honoured and proud to have enjoyed the career that I have and I’ve loved every moment of it.”

Parker made 31 appearances for Fulham last season, with his last professional outing coming as a second-half substitute in their 2-1 victory at Sheffield Wednesday on the final day of the Championship season. He was an unused substitute in both legs of Fulham’s play-off defeat against Reading.

Parker made his professional debut as a teenager for Charlton in 1997. He made nearly 150 appearances for the east Londoners before Claudio Ranieri took him to Chelsea for £10million in January 2004, shortly after Roman Abramovich had taken over the Stamford Bridge outfit.

The midfielder however, found opportunities at the Blues hard to come by and was sold to Newcastle the following year. Parker captained the Magpies after Alan Shearer retired -but following 55 Premier League appearances on Tyneside he headed back to London to sign for West Ham.

Parker became an integral player for the Hammers, making more than 100 league starts, before he handed in a transfer request following their relegation to the Championship. Tottenham would be Parker’s next stop. He enjoyed two seasons at White Hart Lane but signed a three-year deal at Fulham in 2013 which expired this summer.

The midfielder played every match of England’s Euro 2012 campaign under Roy Hodgson and featured for the Three Lions at all age levels. His last international appearance was as a second-half replacement for Frank Lampard in England’s 8-0 World Cup qualifying victory at San Marino in May 2013.

Alvaro Arbeloa retires from football

​Former Liverpool, Real Madrid and West Ham defender Alvaro Arbeloa has announced his retirement.

The 34-year-old former Spain full-back made three Premier League appearances for the Hammers last season before being released.

He spent three years with the Reds before returning to Madrid, for whom he made his senior debut, in 2009.

Arbeloa won one La Liga title and the Champions League twice at Madrid before signing for West Hamlast August.

“It’s time to say goodbye,” he said. “Physically I was OK to keep playing.”

“I always thought I would play until my legs held out, but in the end it was a head and motivation issue,” he told Marca.
Many times you consider life in a way or see the future in a way, but life has other things prepared and you have to know how to accept them and face them.
“Things this season did not come out as I had dreamed. I am being honest with myself when I say goodbye.” 
He added: “It has been complicated. It’s something that when it comes to my mind I try not to think much about.
“At a professional level it has not been an easy year and that also has a personal impact, of course.”

He made more than 200 appearances in total for Liverpool, Madrid and West Ham between 2007 and 2017 and was capped 56 times by Spain.

He was part of his country’s World Cup-winning squad in 2010 and helped them win the European Championship in 2008 and 2012.

Totti set for his last game for AS Roma

Francesco Totti says his “love for football will never fade” as he prepares for “the last time I can wear Roma’s jersey” on Sunday.

The 40-year-old Italian is to end his 24-year playing career with Roma – he is set to become a director at the only club he has played for

He has scored 307 goals in 783 games since making his debut in 1993 aged 16.

“I can’t tell you in a few words how much these colours meant, mean and will always mean to me,” he tweeted.

“I just feel that my love for football never fades. It’s a passion, my passion. It’s so deep I can’t imagine not fuelling it any longer. Ever.

“From Monday I’m ready to go again. I’m ready for a new challenge. Roma v Genoa, Sunday, 28 May 2017, the last time I can wear Roma’s jersey.”

Totti, a World Cup winner with Italy in 2006, has won one Serie A title and two Coppa Italias at Roma.

He was widely expected to quit playing last summer but signed a one-year extension to his contract.

This season he has made 27 appearances, mostly as a substitute. Roma are second in the table, four points behind newly-crowned champions Juventus before the final day of the season on Sunday.

Totti was 16 when he made his Roma debut as a substitute on 28 March 1993 in a 2-0 win against Brescia.

Sam Allardyce quits as manager of Crystal Palace  – hints  at retirement 

​Sam Allardyce has left his job as Crystal Palace manager after just five months in charge at Selhurst Park, stating that he has “no ambition to take another job” in football.

Allardyce told Palace owner Steve Parish of his desire to leave the club during a meeting in central London on Tuesday.

The 62-year-old signed a two-and-a-half-year deal when he was appointed as Palace boss in December – less than three months after leaving his role with England – and managed to keep the club in the Premier League, lifting them from 17th to 14th.

“In some ways, this has been a very difficult decision to make but in others it has been a simple one,” Allardyce said in a statement released by his representative.

“I will always be grateful to Crystal Palace and Steve Parish for giving me the opportunity to go out with my head held high having helped keep the club in the Premier League.


“More than that, they gave me a chance of rebuilding my reputation after what happened with England. I felt I needed another shot at being a Premier League manager and showing that I still had the ability to achieve something significant. As I said last weekend, Palace gave me the chance of rehabilitation.
“That’s why it’s hard walking away now. I believe the club are heading in the right direction with a hugely supportive board of directors, a great squad of players and some of the most passionate fans I’ve ever met. It’s been a privilege to have worked for them for the past five months.

“But there comes a time when you have to take stock of what direction you want your life to take – and that’s been the simple part for me.

“I want to be able to savour life while I’m still relatively young and when I’m still relatively healthy, even if I’m beginning to feel all my 62 years.

“While I’ve got the energy, I want to travel and also spend more time with my family and grandchildren without the huge pressure that comes with being a football manager. I owe that to my wife and family.

“This is the right time for me, I know that in my heart. I have no ambitions to take another job, I simply want to be able to enjoy all the things you cannot really enjoy with the 24/7 demands of managing any football club, let alone one in the Premier League.
“Steve Parish has been superb during our conversations today. I know it came as a shock to him that I would walk away but our discussions have been incredibly civilised with no recriminations and no fall-out.

“This is not about transfer targets, club finances or anything along those lines. This is me taking the decision I believe is right for my family and myself.

“I would like to thank everybody for their messages of support since the news broke. I’ve no doubt I will miss management but I certainly have no regrets at this decision.”

The former England manager was appointed as Alan Pardew’s successor, with the Palace languishing in 17th place and just a point above the relegation zone.

It was a swift return to management for Allardyce, who had been out of work since leaving his post as England boss by mutual consent at the end of September after 67 days and just one game following a newspaper investigation.

Allardyce inspired Palace to six wins from eight matches, including victories over Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool, to help them preserve their top-flight status with a 14th-place finish.

In doing so, Allardyce maintained his record of having never been relegated from the Premier League.

Dirk Kuyt retires just days after winning the Eredivisie for Feyernood

Feyenoord captain Dirk Kuyt has announced his retirement, two days after his hat-trick sealed the Dutch club’s first title since 1999.

The ex-Liverpool forward, 36, described securing the Eredivisie with Sunday’s 3-1 win against Heracles Almelo as “the best  moment” of his career.

Kuyt started at Utrecht, moving on to Feyenoord, Liverpool and Fenerbahce, before returning to Rotterdam in 2013.

“All my dreams have come true,” said the former Dutch international.

Kuyt will remain at Feyenoord, with the club saying he will “focus on gaining a position” within their technical management team.

After making his Eredivisie debut for Utrecht in 1998-1999, he moved to Feyenoord five seasons later and went on to be their top scorer in each of his three seasons.

It attracted the attention of Premier League side Liverpool, who were believed to have paid about £10mto sign him in 2006.

He helped the Reds reach the Champions League final in his first season, but only managed to win the 2012 League Cup in his six-year spell at Anfield.

After three seasons at Turkish club Fenerbahce, who won the league and domestic cup during his time there, he returned to Feyenoord.

Last season he helped them win the Dutch Cup and then scored 12 goals during this season’s league triumph.

“I knew when I came back two years ago that we could win the championship and everyone laughed at me when I said so,” he said on Sunday.

Feyenoord technical director Martin Van Geel said: “We are unbelievably grateful for what Dirk has done over the past two years.

“With his attitude, professionalism and passion he has added a lot – in the locker room, on the field and beyond.”

Kuyt also won 104 caps for the Netherlands, including a start in the 2010 World Cup final which they lost to Spain.