Gabriel joins Valencia from Arsenal

Arsenal have sold Gabriel to Valencia for a fee understood to be £10m.

The Brazilian defender had fallen down the pecking order under Arsene Wenger after signing from Villarreal in January 2015, following the arrivals of Rob Holding and Shkodran Mustafi.

Gabriel made 64 appearances for the Gunners during his two and a half years at the club, soring once and winning the FA Cup on two occasions.

The 26-year-old made just 19 Premier League appearances in his final campaign at the Emirates Stadium.

Valencia announced the signing in a statement on their official website.

It read:

“Valencia have reached an agreement with Arsenal for the transfer of … Gabriel Paulista.

“The Brazilian player has signed for the next five seasons until June 30, 2022, with a termination clause of 80 million euros.”

Gabriel sustained a serious knee injury in Arsenal’s final Premier League game of last season and did not feature in pre-season.

Gabriel could be the first of a number of departures at the Emirates, with Lucas Perez, Calum Chambers and Joel Campbell also linked with moves away.

Meanwhile, Arsenal have turned down an approach by Inter Milan to sign Mustafi on loan

Tottenham sign Ajax defender Davinson Sanchez on a cub-record six-year deal

Tottenham have announced the signing of Ajax defender Davinson Sanchez subject to a medical and the granting of a work permit.

The 21-year-old Colombian centre back has put pen to paper on a deal until 2023 for a reported club-record £42million fee.

He is the first player to join Spurs this summer and his arrival comes after much debate about the club’s transfer policy during the off-season.

In a statement, Tottenham said:

“We are delighted to announce that we have reached agreement with AFC Ajax for the transfer of Davinson Sanchez subject to medical and work permit.

“The Colombia international, 21, has signed a contract with the Club until 2023.”

The fee is believed to eclipse the previous club record of £30million which Spurs paid Newcastle for midfielder Moussa Sissoko last summer.

Sanchez joined Eredivisie side Ajax in June last year on a five-year deal after leaving Atletico Nacional in his homeland.

He played in last season’s Europa League final, which Manchester United won 2-0, and was named Ajax’s player of the year in May.

Sanchez said:

“I would like to thank the coach, management, players and fans of Ajax. It is a great move for me to come here to develop my career.

“I am very excited to be signing for such a famous club as Tottenham Hotspur. “I am looking forward to working with Mauricio Pochettino and the players and meeting everyone there.”

Sanchez has represented Colombia at Under-17, Under-20 and Under-23 levels before making his senior debut in November last year, and has two international appearances.

Winston Reid signs new six-year contract at West Ham

West Ham defender Winston Reid has signed a mammoth new six-year contract.

The 29-year-old New Zealand international has committed his future to the Hammers until 2023.

Reid, who joined West Ham from FC Midtjylland in 2010, told the club’s website:

“I’m very happy. “I’m pleased we’ve got it sorted so I’m obviously looking forward to the seasons ahead. It’s going to be a big amount of time I’ve spent at the club and I’m looking forward to it.

“I’ve been here a long time now. I think with the business we’ve done over this summer and the players we had here before, I think we can go on to have a good season and seasons ahead. It’s all about trying to get better.

“I enjoy being here and my family does as well so I’m very happy I’m able to stay here.”

Reid has so far made 204 appearances for West Ham and scored 10 goals.

Barcelona striker Luis Suarez out for one month; deals for Dembele and Coutinho ‘close’

Barcelona have suffered a blow on the eve of the new La Liga season after Luis Suarez was ruled out for a month with a knee injury.

Suarez was hurt during the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup against Real Madrid,which La Liga champions won 2-0 at the Bernabeu to clinch a 5-1 aggregate victory.

Suarez will definitely miss Barca’s league opener against Real Betis and further fixtures against Alaves and Espanyol, with the trip to Getafe on September 17 representing a potential opportunity to return to action.

A statement published on Barca’s website on Thursday afternoon said medical tests on Suarez had revealed damage to the back of his right knee.

Defender Gerard Pique, meanwhile, has injured an adductor muscle and could also miss Sunday’s meeting with Betis.

Reinforcements may be on their way, though, with Barca general manager Pep Segura on Wednesday claiming the signings of Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele, from Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund respectively, are “close”.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Gianluigi Buffon top 24-man list of Best FIFA Men’s Player of the Year

Cristiano Ronaldo will be hoping to be named Best FIFA Men’s Player for the second year running after being included among the nominations for the 2017 award.

Madrid dominate the list of nominees given their successful 2016-17 campaign, boasting seven players in total.

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Alongside Ronaldo sits Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Dani Carvajal and Keylor Navas.

Barcelona are next in line with four nominees, with Neymar — now of Paris Saint-Germain — Luis Suarez and Andres Iniesta joining Messi on the list.

Real Madrid star Ronaldo, who won the inaugural award last year, is one of 24 players to have been nominated for the accolade.

The award, which covers the period of Nov. 20, 2016, to July 2, 2017, is voted for by national team coaches, captains, selected media and fans and will be handed out at the Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony on Oct. 23 in London.

Ronaldo’s nomination comes after a year that saw him help Madrid to a third Champions League crown in four seasons and a first La Liga title in five years, as well as the FIFA Club World Cup.

Ronaldo scored twice as Madrid beat Juventus 4-1 in the Champions League final, while also finishing top scorer in the competition with 12 goals.

Ronaldo faces competition from long-time rival Lionel Messi, who finished up as La Liga’s top scorer with 37 goals — 12 ahead of Ronaldo — and helped Barcelona to Copa del Rey success in what was a largely disappointing season for the club.

Tottenham forward Harry Kane is the only British player named on FIFA’s player of the year shortlist for 2017.

Kane scored 38 goals in all competitions last season, 29 in the Premier League, winning the golden boot in the process.

While he is the only British player on the shortlist, Kane is joined by several other Premier League stars – Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez, Chelsea’s title winners N’Golo Kante and Eden Hazard and Manchester United’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Juventus captain Gianluigi Buffon will also be vying for the award after guiding his club to a Serie A and Coppa Italia double as well as a place in the Champions League final.

Voting closes on 7 September and the winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in London on 23 October.

Best FIFA Men’s Player of the Year :

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (GAB – Borussia Dortmund)

Leonardo Bonucci (ITA – Juventus/AC Milan)

Gianluigi Buffon (ITA – Juventus) Dani

Carvajal (ESP – Real Madrid)

Cristiano Ronaldo (POR – Real Madrid)

Paulo Dybala (ARG – Juventus)

Antoine Griezmann (FRA – Atlético Madrid)

Eden Hazard (BEL – Chelsea)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (SWE – Manchester United)

Andres Iniesta (ESP – FC Barcelona)

Harry Kane (ENG – Tottenham Hotspur)

N’Golo Kante (FRA – Chelsea) Toni Kroos (GER – Real Madrid)

Robert Lewandowski (POL – FC Bayern Munich)

Marcelo (BRA – Real Madrid)

Lionel Messi (ARG – FC Barcelona)

Luka Modric (CRO – Real Madrid)

Keylor Navas (CRC – Real Madrid)

Manuel Neuer (GER – FC Bayern Munich)

Neymar (BRA – FC Barcelona/Paris Saint-Germain)

Sergio Ramos (ESP – Real Madrid)

Alexis Sanchez (CHI – Arsenal)

Luis Suarez (URU – FC Barcelona)

Arturo Vidal (CHI – FC Bayern Munich)

The 10 top-scoring subs in Premier League history

Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United favourites are among the top 10 super subs in Premier League history – but none top the list.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who defined the role of the super sub with his heroics for Manchester United.

10. Tore Andre Flo – 13 goals, 111.2 mins-per-goal

One of the members of Chelsea‘s cosmopolitan squad of the late-90s, Flo was a popular figure at Stamford Bridge, winning the League Cup, FA Cup, Cup Winners’ Cup and UEFA Super Cup during his four-year spell in west London.

But when Eidur Gudjohnsen and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink formed an effective strike partnership, Flo grew frustrated at his role as a super sub and left for Rangers, where he also became a fan favourite.

The less said about his season at Sunderland, however, the better.

9. Darren Bent – 13 goals, 107.9 mins-per-goal

“My missus could have scored that one.”

Darren Bent’s Premier League career will always be overshadowed by Harry Reknapp’s infamous quip after the striker missed a sitter for Tottenham, but he was consistently a reliable goalscorer in England’s top flight.

The former England international failed to truly establish himself at Spurs amid competition from the likes of Dimitar Berbatov, Robbie Keane and Roman Pavlyuchenko, yet he still finished as the club’s top scorer in 2008-09.

8. Edin Dzeko – 13 goals, 89.1 mins-per-goal

A common theme among this list is that many of these players were underrated and written off as ‘merely goalscorers’ as if that’s such a bad thing.

Dzeko was once described as “rubbish at football but brilliant at goal scoring” by Manchester City superfan Noel Gallagher – and the Bosnian will always be cherished for coming off the bench to really take the biscuit with two late goals in City’s 6-1 demolition of Manchester United at Old Trafford.

7. Olivier Giroud – 13 goals, 72.3 mins-per-goal

Giroud is relatively new to the role of super sub but has taken to it like a duck to water, albeit a duck who is now considering flying to Everton.

With Arsene Wenger opting for Alexis Sanchez to lead the line for Arsenal last term, 18 of Giroud’s 29 Premier League appearances came from the bench, scoring five times.

His overall record as a substitute, particularly his minutes-per-goal record, is as magnificent as his wonderful, French face.

6. Victor Anichebe – 14 goals, 147.4 mins-per-goal

The surprise name on this list. Anichebe has only scored 27 Premier League goals as his career, with more than half of those coming after entering the fray as a substitute.

Anichebe has now joined Chinese second division outfit Beijing Enterprises – we’ve literally only just found out as well; also, why do they sound like an insurance firm? – where he will hope to be more prolific as a starter.

5. Daniel Sturridge – 14 goals, 108.8 min-per-goal

After never really establishing himself in the starting XIs of Manchester City or Chelsea, Sturridge’s all-too brief spell as one of Liverpool’s main men is over and he has found himself contemplating life on the bench once more.

With Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho the preferred attack of Jurgen Klopp – plus Mohamed Salah now among the Reds’ ranks – Sturridge’s future is once again in doubt, though there is no question about his talent.

4. Javier Hernandez – 14 goals, 83.6 mins-per-goal

The heir to Solskjaer’s throne at Old Trafford, Hernandez joined Manchester Unitedthree years after the original super sub had retired and relished in the role before doing exactly the same at Real Madrid.

In fairness to Mexico’s top scorer of all time, his two years at Bayer Leverkusen have produced a record better than a goal every other game, proving that he can be just as effective leading the line from the start.

3. Nwankwo Kanu – 17 goals, 159.1 mins-per-goal

One of the Premier League’s ultimate cult heroes, you can excuse Kanu for having to settle for life on the bench given he had Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry, two of the greatest strikers in the history of the game, ahead of him in the Arsenal pecking order.

According to Wikipedia, the Nigerian is still only 40, which seems absolutely mental.

2. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – 17 goals, 92.9 mins-per-goal

The definitive super sub, the hero of Manchester United’s Champions League triumph in 1999 and the inspiration for this list, both Solskjaer’s first and final appearances for the club saw him come off the bench to put the ball in the back of the net.

We can’t do the Baby-Faced Assassin justice here.

1. Jermain Defoe – 23 goals, 121.39 mins-per-goal

Defoe possibly doesn’t get the credit he deserves as one of the Premier League’s greatest ever goalscorers, partly because until recent years he hasn’t always been his club’s main man.

Conte, Zidane and Low in list of twelve coaches for Best FIFA Men’s Coach of the year

Antonio Conte is nominated following Chelsea’s Premier League title win in May.

He goes up against Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola of Manchester City and Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino.

They face competition from La Liga and European title-winning Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane, former Barcelona boss Luis Enrique and Germany’s national coach Joachim Low.

Best FIFA Men’s coach of 2017

Massimiliano Allegri (ITA – Juventus)

Carlo Ancelotti (ITA – FC Bayern Munich)

Antonio Conte (ITA – Chelsea)

Luis Enrique (ESP – FC Barcelona)

Pep Guardiola (ESP – Manchester City)

Leonardo Jardim (POR – AS Monaco)

Joachim Low (GER – German national team)

Jose Mourinho (POR – Manchester United)

Mauricio Pochettino (ARG – Tottenham Hotspur)

Diego Simeone (ARG – Atlético Madrid)

Tite (BRA – Brazilian national team)

Zinedine Zidane (FRA – Real Madrid)