Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Statistically, the ICT index score of the best performing players in the English Premier League so far this season!

The ICT Index (Influence, Creativity, Threat) is a new feature for the 2016/17 Premier League campaign.

A football statistical index, it has been developed specifically to give a verdict on a player as a Football Premier League asset.

It condenses more than 40 match event statistics for three key areas – Influence, Creativity and Threat, to generate the data into a single score.

This score is what is known as an individual’s ICT Index score, and via this data is able to offer an accurate summary on player performance.

Season 2016/17 - Last update: 20/09/16 at 9am

For those of you currently playing 'Fantasy Premier League Football' you may want to take note!


1. Eldin Jakupovic (Hull) 16.3  ICT Index
2. Tom Heaton (Burnley) 16.0
3. Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea) 15.2
4. Ben Foster (West Brom) 14.5
5. Shay Given (Stoke) 14.0
6. Artur Boruc (Bournemouth) 14.0
7. Jordan Pickford (Sunderland) 12.8 (right)
8. Adrian (West Ham) 11.9
9. Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester) 11.2
10. Simon Mignolet (Liverpool) 10.8


1. Scott Dann (Crystal Palace) 33.6  ICT Index
2. Curtis Davies (Hull) 29.2
3. Kyle Naughton (Swansea) 27.0
4. Branislav Ivanovic (Chelsea) 26.4
5. Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool) 26.2
6. James Collins (West Ham) 25.0
7. Christian Fuchs (Leicester) 24.5
8. Cédric Soares (Southampton) 23.5
9. Antonio Valencia (Man Utd) 23.0
10. Adam Smith (Bournemouth) 22.9


1. Michail Antonio (West Ham) 60.8  ICT Index (right)
2. Kevin De Bruyne (Man City) 50.9
3. Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal) 55.4
4. Raheem Sterling (Man City) 52.8
5. Eden Hazard (Chelsea) 51.2
6. Theo Walcott (Arsenal) 50.4
7. Adam Lallana (Liverpool) 47.0
8. Dusan Tadic (Southampton) 46.8
9. Robert Snodgrass (Hull) 45.9
10. Willian Borges Da Silva (Chelsea) 45.0


1. Diego Costa (Chelsea) 62.9  ICT Index
2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Man Utd) 56.7
3. Romelu Lukaku (Everton) 56.5
4. Wayne Rooney (Man Utd) 47.2
5. Harry Kane (Watford) 44.1
6. Jamie Vardy (Leicester) 37.8
7. Kelechi Iheanacho (Man City) 37.1 (right)
8. Sergio Agüero (Man City) 36.2
9. Salomón Rondón (West Brom) 36.2
10. Fernando Llorente (Swansea) 33.4

1. Influence

Influence is the first measurement. This evaluates the degree to which that player has made an impact on a single match or throughout the season.

It takes into account events and actions that could directly or indirectly effect the outcome of the fixture.

At the top level these are decisive actions like goals and assists. But the Influence score also processes significant defensive actions to analyse the effectiveness of defenders and goalkeepers.

2. Creativity

Creativity assesses player performance in terms of producing goalscoring opportunities for others. It can be used as a guide to identify the players most likely to supply assists.

While this analyses frequency of passing and crossing, it also considers pitch location and quality of the final ball.

3. Threat

This is the third measure, producing a value that examines a player's threat on goal. It gauges individuals most likely to score goals.

While attempts are the key action, the Index looks at pitch location, giving greater weight to actions that are regarded as the best chances to score.

All three of these scores are combined to create an overall ICT Index score. That then offers a single figure that presents a view on that player as a Football Premier League asset.

Friday, September 09, 2016

Football Fans' Pre-Match Rituals

During the international football break I thought I would take the time out to do some research on the subject of football fans and their pre-match rituals.

Rituals of various kinds are a common feature of every known human society, past or present, and they may be performed on specific occasions by a single individual or by an entire community.

It is a well known fact that many football players have some unusual and often bizarre pre-match rituals.

In fact I wrote an article on the subject back in 2010.
Click on the link to read about 'The weird and wacky world of footballer's pre-match rituals' which includes entries about some of the biggest names in football, past and present, including: John Terry, Gary Lineker, Shay Given and Bobby Moore.

As for us fans of the game.........well we are not immune to some rather eccentric pre-match behaviour in an effort to bring our team good fortune. In fact almost two million adult football fans have pre-match rituals designed to bring their teams luck.

There are however, some generalised commonalities among the habits of most fans.

Many fans feel guilty if they don't carry out their ritual and their side goes on to lose the match.

Kissing the badge on the shirt, sitting in the same seat, or wearing your lucky pants are all classic examples of superstitious behaviour, that help football fans feel they've done a little to influence the outcome of the game.

Football is an unpredictable game, but performing a ritual or superstition can give supporters a feeling of control in what is essentially an uncontrollable situation.

Carrying out their ritual gives fans peace of mind or confidence that they are helping their team towards victory.

Across European countries and clubs there is a wide variety of rituals in which football fans engage, consciously or unconsciously, prior, during and after matches.

Once a match has kicked-off it is rife with ritualised behaviour, such as chanting and flag-waving, but the period immediately before and sometimes after the game – what we term 'playing football outside of the match' – also provide numerous examples of symbolic ways in which fans demonstrate their passion for the team.

Here are some of the most common pre-match rituals/superstitions performed by football fans across the globe:

a) Drinking in the same pub before a game.

b) Wearing lucky clothing, from scarves, shirts, hats to pants.
c) Eating a particular meal or visiting a lucky burger van.
d) Taking the same route to every game.
e) Watching the game from the same seat.
f) Placing a bet before kick-off.
g) Having sex before the game.
h) Using the same parking spot on match day.
i) Using a lucky toilet before the game starts.
j) Praying.
k) Watching the match with the same group of friends.
l) Kissing the badge on your shirt.
m) Listening to a particular piece of music before a game.

From John a Leeds fan:
"When Leeds were in the Champions League I spilt some spaghetti bolognese down my Leeds top during the first televised game, which we won. I did exactly the same for the second game and after that I didn't wash the top and deliberately spilt spaghetti on it every game. It nearly worked, we got to the semi-finals!"

From Dave an England fan:

"It is sod's law a team always scores when I go to the toilet. So if England are 1-0 ahead I stay right where I am. We could be the team that scores the second goal, making it 2-0, but I'm not willing to take the chance."

From Roddy an England fan:
"Praying to St.Jude often helps. The patron saint of desperate causes."

From Ian a Sunderland fan:
"If Sunderland are losing by one goal, I always take off my watch and put it into my pocket. When they equalise I put it back on. I have done this in nearly every game for about 10 years."

The title for the most superstitious football fans goes to the Spanish teams Barcelona and Real Madrid. Their fans don’t keep their superstitions to themselves but pass them onto family members. Tony, a F.C Barcelona fan currently residing in Tampa, Florida, requests his wife cook garlic-filled meals throughout game week. His entire family must sing the F.C Barcelona anthem at exactly midnight on the eve of game day, and just before he leaves for the game, he sleeps with his wife.

Some fans believe if they don’t show up to a game, their team will lose. This is the case with Real Madrid fanatic Diego. He confesses that he visits his grandmother on game day, asking her to pray over him as he wears his Real Madrid replica shirt. It’s not uncommon to see Real Madrid fans stop at local cathedrals in between bar-hopping for a moment of prayer.

Examples such as these further support the notion of the fan as being 'the twelfth man' – as an entity whose presence and actions off the field can help alter the course of events on it.

For newcomers, the frenzy-like culture of football initially may seem chaotic, irrational and overwhelming. The many rituals and traditions of football fans cannot be easily summarized. However, catching onto the wave is easier than you may think.

Here’s your newcomers starter kit.

The Ten Commandments of Football:

1. Thou shall not support another team. Choose one team and stick with them till the end.
2. Thou shall wear the proper regalia. A replica is a good start, but you could at least paint one side of your face.
3. Thou shall disrespect thy neighbor’s team. You must make your neighbor feel as uncomfortable and unwelcome as legally possible.
4. Thou shall respect thy neighbor’s bounds. Know your territory. If you’re the only one wearing blue in a sea of red, don’t choose that moment to announce your pride. This advice is not to hurt your ego, but to enhance your physical well being.
5. Thou shall rally. It’s imperative to congregate wherever you can. Rally on the train, in the pub, in the town square, in the ally, at the game and after the game.
6. Thou shall expect your team to win. Bad jujube starts in your mind. You must believe your team will win and expect your opponents to be utterly destroyed.
7. Thou shall sing at all times, pausing only to drink.
8. Thou shall freak out for every goal your team makes.
9. Thou shall begin a tradition. Take a drink for every corner kick, eat a meat pie at half time, or sleep with your significant other before the game.
10. Thou shall sober up in the morning, go back to work and become an integral part of society.

It shall surely come to pass, if you obey the commandments that I have given you this day, you will immediately feel a sense of belonging and an overwhelming desire to countdown to the next game. You will receive the promise of triumph. Welcome to the feeling of victory. Welcome to the religion of football.

Whilst coming to the end of this piece I remembered an article I read in 2009 about Matt 'Shaggy'
 Lawrence, a professional footballer with Crystal Palace at the time. To those people who think as fans that they have a very obsessive pre-match ritual, or to their long suffering spouses who think their fanatical partners are 'barking mad' when it comes to their superstitious behaviour come matchday, then when it comes to how a modern day football player prepares for a match..........Matt is in a league of his own!

I cannot divulge any further details, but if you ever bump into the former Wycombe, Fulham, Millwall, Crystal Palace and Gillingham defender (above), make sure you ask him about how this modern day football player prepared for a match!

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Babe of the Month - It's Skelton hot in here!

Helen Elizabeth Skelton was born was born on 19 July 1983 in Carlisle, Cumbria and is an English television presenter, who recently hosted coverage for the BBC of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, with Rebecca Adlington, Adrian Moorhouse, Andy Jameson and Mark Foster. 
She became an 'internet sensation' whilst hosting the swimming events during the Olympics by appearing on screen in a number of 'sexy and revealing' outfits!

      'Hell's Bells' - The Cumbrian born babe caused quite a stir at Rio with her outfits!

Helen was brought up on a dairy farm in the village of Kirkby Thore. She graduated from Cumbria Institute of the Arts, where she gained a BA degree in journalism. During her time at college, she worked as an extra on Coronation Street and Cutting It.

She is probably best known for co-presenting the BBC children's programme Blue Peter from 2008 until 2013 and as an occasional presenter on Countryfile. Skelton worked on other projects during her time on Blue Peter, mainly correspondent-based. These included reporting from the Wimbledon Tennis Championships.

After her departure from Blue Peter, she became a presenter of live FA Women's Super League football matches for the BT Sport channel, as well as retaining her BBC reporter roles, including presenting the London Marathon Highlights show on the BBC.

Helen is also well known from her incredible charity achievements and is a self confessed "adrenaline junkie."

In April 2009, Skelton became only the second woman ever to finish the 78-mile (126 km) Namibian Ultra Marathon. Skelton completed the run in 23 hours and 45 minutes – just 15 minutes under the time limit of one day. "It was a gruelling experience, but one I'll never forget. There were tough times but also amazing times," she told Newsround. Just weeks later, she completed the 2009 London Marathon.

In early 2010, Skelton kayaked the entire length of the River Amazon for Sport Relief 2010. She kayaked 2,010 miles (3,230 km) on a solo journey from Nauta in Peru on 20 January, to Almeirim, Brazil on 28 February. She achieved two Guinness World Records: the longest solo journey by kayak, and the longest distance in a kayak in 24 hours by a woman.

On 28 February 2011 Skelton walked a 150-metre tightrope between chimneys at Battersea Power Station, 66 metres above the ground, to raise money for Comic Relief. Blue Peter created two specials about her walk.

In 2012, Skelton raised more money for Sport Relief by becoming the first person to reach the South Pole using a bicycle. The bike was custom built for her trip, with eight inch-wide tyres. She also used skis and a kite to help her pull a sled containing 82 kg of supplies.

In April 2013, wanting to inspire the young Blue Peter viewers to do something to support Comic Relief, she took on seven challenges set by Comic Relief while breaking one world record. She called this series of challenges her "Magnificent 7," a reference to the 1960 Western 'The Magnificent Seven.'

Performing In 2 Shows On One Night – Succeeded
Rugby Kick – Failed
Flying With the Red Arrows – Succeeded
Photo Shoot – Succeeded
Rope Bridge – Succeeded
Longest Line of Bunting – Succeeded (at the time, a World Record)
Coin Toss – Failed

In December 2013, Skelton married England national rugby league team player Richie Myler. Skelton ran the London Marathon again in 2014 (below), and gave birth to her first child, a boy named Ernie, on 19 June 2015. After Myler joined the Catalan Dragons rugby club, the couple moved to France in September 2015.

You can follow Helen on Twitter and Instagram

Monday, August 22, 2016

All the very latest football news and gossip across Europe!

With the new season well underway and the summer transfer window slamming shut in just 10 days' time, many clubs across Europe are frantically trying to tie-down players to new deals or are looking to bring in new players to fill any voids in their squads!

Here is a round up of all the latest football news/gossip across Europe today, which includes the likes of: Chelsea, Arsenal, Barcelona, Zinedine Zidane, Arsene Wenger, Sam Allardyce, Liverpool, Tottenham, Valencia, Danny Drinkwater, Andriy Yarmolenko, Giorgio Chiellini, Real Madrid, Newcastle and Ajax to name but a few!

Sam Allardyce has told Sky Sports News HQ that Joe Hart will be named in his first England squad on Monday. The Manchester City man has been dropped by manager Pep Guardiola, and is set to leave the Etihad before the end of the window - skysports.com

Chelsea are set to make a £25m bid for Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini - The Sun

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane insists James Rodriguez is happy at the club, despite links in the British press with a move to Chelsea and Arsenal - skysports.com

Santos striker Gabriel Barbosa could be set to link up with Brazilian team-mate Neymar at Barcelona, with Manchester United and Leicester also interested - The Sun

Arsene Wenger has admitted he hopes Arsenal's signing of Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi "will be done" before the transfer deadline - SFR Sport (French TV station)

Valencia say defender Shkodran Mustafi won't be sold in this transfer window. Mustafi has already agreed in principle to move to Arsenal. The defender has a £43m buyout clause and is in the Valencia's squad for their first La Liga game of the season against Las Palmas tonight - skysports.com

Arsenal may have to spend £50m on acquiring defender Shkodran Mustafi - Daily Mirror

Tottenham are keen on signing Barcelona forward Munir. The 20-year-old has also reportedly gathered interest from Everton and Stoke, and is rated at around £13m - Sport (Spanish daily sports newspaper)

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is weighing up a move for Dynamo Kiev winger Andriy Yarmolenko - The Sun

England midfielder Danny Drinkwater, 26, will become the latest Leicester City player to sign a new contract this week, thought to be worth £90,000-a-week - Daily Telegraph and skysports.com

There have been plenty of reports over the weekend linking Middlesbrough striker Jordan Rhodes with a move to the Championship, with Wolves at the front of the queue to sign him. 'Boro paid £12million to sign him from Blackburn last January but he was left out of the squad for the win at Sunderland yesterday - skysports.com

Tottenham have made a number of offers for Espanyol's 21 year-old Spanish goalkeeper Pau Lopez - skysports.com

Sunderland have bid £3m for Barnsley defender Alfie Mawson as they prepare to lose Lamine Kone - Daily Mail

Newcastle forward Siem De Jong has joined PSV Eindhoven on a season-long loan - skysports.com

Tim Krul is set to sign a new one-year contract with Newcastle, but will leave the club on loan to join Ajax. The goalkeeper is reportedly wanted as a replacement for Jasper Cillessen, who is close to joining Barcelona - Daily Mail

West Brom are keen on signing Southampton's forgotten man Jay Rodriguez on loan. Hull City are also interested - Daily Telegraph and skysports.com

West Brom have signed Everton defender Brendan Galloway on a season-long loan deal - skysports.com

Hull City have offered Abel Hernandez a new bumper deal in an effort to keep the striker at the club. The 26-year-old has been linked with a move to Newcastle and Aston Villa - Hull Daily Mail

Nottingham Forest face a battle to keep hold of teenage midfielder Oliver Burke before the transfer window closes, with Arsenal, Sunderland and West Ham all circling the Scotland winger - Daily Mirror

Hull City caretaker-manager Mike Phelan has urged the club to allow him to beef up the squad after their fine opening to the Premier League campaign - Daily Mail

Arsenal are interested in signing Porto midfielder Yacine Brahimi, after failing to sign Leicester City star Mahrez. The Dragoes value him around £35milliom - Daily Mirror

Phil Jones could be sold to free up enough space for Southampton defender Jose Fonte to join Manchester United - Daily Express

Championship side Wolves have signed Cameron Borthwick-Jackson on a season-long loan from Manchester United, as well as Ola John from Benfica - skysports.com

Fiorentina want to sign West Ham's 24 year-old Spanish midfielder Pedro Obiang - Gazzetta dello Sport (Italian newspaper)

Liverpool are poised to sell 23 year-old defender Tiago Ilori to Olympiakos for £5milliom. The defender has made just three appearances since joining from Sporting Lisbon in 2013 - The Sun.

Atletico Madrid are interested in 22 year-old Portuguese born Monaco midfielder Bernardo Silva - AS (Spanish daily sports newspaper)

Antoine Griezmann admits he would be tempted by a move to the Premier League if he left Atletico Madrid - The Guardian

Colombia winger Juan Cuadrado, 28, is expected to complete a permanent move from Chelsea to Juventus in the next few days - ESPN

Los Angeles Galaxy have ruled out a move for Joleon Lescott, with the 34-year-old defender seeking a way out of Championship club Aston Villa - Daily Mirror

Leon Britton has signed a one-year extension to his Swansea contract, keeping him at the club until 2018 - skysports.com

Former QPR and Spurs midfielder Adel Taarabt wants to move to Marseille. The 27-year-old, currently at Benfica, is desperate to leave the club and "return home" - France Football (French football news website)

FC Porto have convinced Portugal Under-21 striker Andre Silva, 20, to sign to a new five-year contract - ESPN

Reading manager Jaap Stam is hoping to sign defender Tyler Blackett from Manchester United skysports.com

Liverpool set the highest possession rating for a losing team in the Premier League with 80.6 per cent against Burnley at the weekend - Daily Mail

Cheltenham Town are set to sign free agent forward Jeffery Monakana - skysports.com

Friday, August 05, 2016

My Predictions for the 2016/17 Football Season and the Betting Odds

National League:

Winners: Tranmere Rovers 6/1

Promotion by winning the Play-offs: Lincoln City 14/1

# Sky Bet odds correct at time of writing.


Sky Bet League Two:

Winners: Plymouth Argyle 3/1

Runners-up: Portsmouth (4/1 to win League Two and Evens to win promotion)

Promotion by winning the Play-offs: Doncaster Rovers 10/1, Luton Town 11/1, Leyton Orient 11/1 or Carlisle 14/1

Dark Horses: Cheltenham, Colchester and Mansfield

Relegation: Newport 3/1 and Crawley 3/1

Top Scorers: John Akinde (Barnet) 11/1, Andy Williams (Doncaster) 11/1 or Pádraig Amond 20/1 e/w (Hartlepool)

Players to Watch: Dan Holman (Cheltenham), Joe Pigott (Cambridge), Ben Davies (Grimsby), Carl Baker (Portsmouth), Tommy Rowe (Doncaster), Jake Gray (Luton) and Jay Simpson (Leyton Orient)

# Sky Bet odds correct at time of writing.
* Each Way: 1/4 for first 4 places


Sky Bet League One:

Winners: Sheffield United 5/1

Runners-up: Millwall (10/1 to win League One, 3/1 to win promotion)

Promotion by winning the Play-offs: Charlton 12/1, MK Dons 12/1, Bradford 12/1 or Scunthorpe 14/1

Dark Horses: Chesterfield, AFC Wimbledon and Port Vale

Relegation: Oldham 6/4, Bury 9/4 and Southend 11/4

Top Scorers: Billy Sharp (Sheffield Utd) 6/1, Lee Gregory (Millwall) 8/1, Nicky Ajose (Charlton) 8/1, Matt Taylor (Bristol Rovers) 12/1, Paddy Madden (Scunthorpe) 12/1 or Kane Hemmings (Oxford Utd) 16/1 e/w

Players to Watch: Che Adams (Sheffield Utd), Gregg Wylde (Millwall), Lyle Taylor (AFC Wimbledon), Jerome Binnom-Williams (Peterborough) and Harry Beautyman (Northampton)

# Sky Bet odds correct at time of writing.
* Each Way: 1/4 for first 4 place


Sky Bet Championship:

Winners: Norwich City 9/1

Runner-up: Newcastle Utd (7/4 to win the Championship, 4/7 for promotion)

Promotion by winning the Play-offs: Derby 9/1, Brighton 11/1, Sheffield Wednesday 11/1 or Reading 22/1

Dark Horses: Bristol City and Birmingham

Relegation: Rotherham 13/8, Barnsley 11/4 and Blackburn 4/1

Top Scorers: Ross McCormack (Aston Villa) 10/1, Aleksandar Mitrovic (Newcastle) 12/1, Glenn Murray (Brighton) 16/1 e/w, Britt Assombalonga (Nottingham Forest) 20/1 e/w, Gary Hooper (Sheffield Wed), 25/1 e/w or Steven Fletcher (Sheffield Wed) 25/1 e/w

Players to Watch: Kieran Agard and Jonathan Kodjia (Bristol City), Scott Hogan (Brentford), Sam Mantom (Scunthorpe), Will Hughes (Derby County), Tom Bradshaw (Barnsley) and Kemar Roofe (Leeds Utd)

# Sky Bet odds correct at time of writing.
* Each Way: 1/4 for first 4 places


Barclays Premier League:

Winners: Chelsea 5/1

Runners-up: Manchester City

Europe (Champions League qualification): Manchester United and Liverpool

Premier League Top 4 Exact Order: Chelsea, Man City, Man Utd and Liverpool 200/1

Premier League Top 4 Any Order: Chelsea, Man City, Man Utd and Liverpool 9/1

Premier League Winner and Top Goalscorer: Chelsea and Aguero 28/1

Dark Horses: Watford and Stoke City

Relegation: Hull City 4/6, West Brom 9/4 and Sunderland 5/2

Premier League Relegation Treble: Hull, West Brom and Sunderland all to be relegated 40/1

Top scorers: Sergio Aguero 7/2, Zlatan Ibrahimovic 9/1, Jamie Vardy 14/1 e/w, Michy Batshuayi 14/1 e/w and Daniel Sturridge 20/1 e/w

Players to Watch: Andros Townsend (Crystal Palace), Joe Allen (Stoke), Andre Gray (Burnley), Ahmed Musa (Leicester), Calum Wilson and Nathan Aké (Bournemouth), Viktor Fischer (Middlesbrough), Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Manchester United), Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (Southampton)

1st Manager to Leave: Francesco Guidolin (Swansea) 5/1

LMA Manager of the Year: Antonio Conte (Chelsea) 7/1 or Slaven Billic (West Ham) 16/1

# Sky Bet odds correct at time of writing.
* Each Way: 1/4 for first 4 places


Monday, August 01, 2016

Babes of the Month - Team GB's Olympic Beauties

Tonia Couch

Tonia competing at the World Championships in Barcelona 2013

Tonia Couch was born in Plymouth on 20th May 1989 and is a British Olympic diver. In February 2002, she became the youngest girl ever to qualify for the lottery funded Junior Olympic Programme, when she took bronze in the Junior girls platform event at the British Championships.

In 2008 and 2009, her 8th places at the Olympics and then the World Championships (the best result by a British female for 20 years), have secured her place in diving history.

She competed at the 2009 World Championships in Rome and at her second Commonwealth Games in 2010 in Delhi. At the 2010 Commonwealth games her 10m Synchro partnership with Sarah Barrow gained them fourth place.

Tonia reached the World final again in 2011, finishing ninth in the 10m Platform. In Synchro partnership with Sarah Barrow the pair finished fourth again.

Couch competed at her fifth consecutive World Championships in the summer of 2013 in Barcelona, finishing ninth in the 10m Platform and fifth with Barrow in the 10m Synchro.

In the 2014 season she finished fourth at the World Cup in Shanghai, then combined with Sarah Barrow to win a silver medal at the Commonwealth games held in Glasgow, 2014.

At the March 2015 World Series event in Dubai, Tonia took third place in the 10m platform event

Tonia represents Plymouth Diving and is coached by Andy Banks. Tonia is a member of Team GB's diving squad and will compete at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

You can follow Tonia on Twitter and Instagram

Amber Hill

Amber Jo Hill was born 21st August 1997 in Windsor, Berkshire. She is an English sport shooter who specializes in the skeet.

The gorgeous petite 5ft 2in blonde, who uses Barbie-like pink cartridges, was introduced to the sport by her grandfather and began practising at her local firing range from the age of 10.

In 2013, Hill made her own shooting history by becoming the sport's youngest ever winner (aged 15) at the ISSF World Cup series and Amber was had also named the BBC's Young Sports Personality of the Year 2013.

She has won a total of three gold medals in a major international competition, spanning the ISSF World Cup series (2013 and 2015), and the inaugural European Games held in Baku, Azerbaijan in 2015.

A member of the British national team, Hill trains under the tutelage of her personal coach Joe Neville at E.J. Churchill Shooting Ground in Wycombe. Amber is a member of Team GB's shooting squad and will compete in the women's skeet at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

You can follow Amber on Twitter and Instagram

Katarina Johnson-Thompson

Katarina in hurdles action during the European Indoor Championships in Prague 2015

Katarina Johnson-Thompson was born in Liverpool on 9th January 1993, and is an English track and field athlete specialising in the heptathlon.

She represented Great Britain in the heptathlon at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, finishing 15th, then KJT finished fifth at the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow.

In the Long jump, she is the 2012 World Junior champion and the 2014 World Indoor silver medallist. In 2015, she became the European Indoor champion in the pentathlon with a British record of 5000 points. She also holds the British high jump record, with a height of 1.97 m in 2015, and the British indoor long jump record, with a distance of 6.93m.

Johnson-Thompson represents Liverpool Harriers and is coached by Mike Holmes. Katarina is a member of Team GB's women's track and field squad and will compete at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

You can follow KJT on Twitter and Instagram

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

All the very latest football news and gossip across Europe!

The European Championships are over.
Clubs across Europe are preparing for the start of the new season, which begins in just a couple of weeks! Some clubs are away on pre-season tours, others are preparing a little closer to home but every club is looking to strengthen their squads.

Here is a round up of all the latest football news/gossip across Europe today, which includes the likes of: The FALeicester City, Manchester City, Paul Pogba, Saido Berahino, Georginio Wijnaldum, Manchester United, Juventus, Crystal Palace, Diego Costa, Arda Turan, Alvaro Negredo, West Ham, Chelsea, Newcastle, Loic Remy and Robin Van Persie to name but a few!

Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri says reigning PFA Players' Player of the Year Riyad Mahrez wants to remain with the Premier League champions - skysports.com

Manchester City will move for Leicester City and Algeria forward Riyad Mahrez, 25, if they fail to sign Schalke's 20 year-old Germany winger Leroy Sane - French Football News‎

It is no secret that Manchester United are interested in Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba and have Manchester United have had an £85m bid for the midfielder rejected by Turin club. An Italian newspaper have taken things one step further and say that he will be joining United, for a fee of €125m euros (£104.9m) - Corriere dello Sport (Italian newspaper)

In France they are saying a deal has been agreed for Paul Pogba to return to Manchester United from Juventus. Apparently negotiations will now be formalised over the final price and it is thought it could be €120m euros. It is suggested it could be completed in a ‘matter of days’ - L’Equipe (French daily newspaper)

Juventus want Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic and Newcastle’s Moussa Sissoko to replace Paul Pogba should he leave the club this summer. The Blues are not willing to part with the Serbia international Matic for anything less than €30m (£25.2m), while Newcastle want €41.7m (£35m) for France international Sissoko - Gazzetta dello Sport (Italian newspaper)

New Bayern Munich head coach Carlo Ancelotti says he will not allow striker Robert Lewandowski to leave for Real Madrid - Sportbild (German sports daily newspaper)

Talks are ongoing between Stoke and Liverpool with a £13 million fee agreed to take Joe Allen to the Britannia Stadium - skysports.com

Olivier Giroud is unlikely to leave Arsenal this summer, according to his agent Michael Manuello. Uncertainty has surrounded the 29-year-old's future, with reports suggesting he could be on his way to Napoli with Gonzalo Higuain potentially heading to the Emirates Stadium - Evening Standard

Atletico Madrid are the only club to have 'bid' for Arsenal target Gonzalo Higuain, according to Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis, although Italian champions Juventus Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain are all 'keen' on the striker - skysports.com

20 year-old defender Rob Holding's transfer from Bolton Wanderers to Arsenal will be completed in the next few days - skysports.com

Former Arsenal and Manchester United striker Robin van Persie has been heavily linked with a return to the Premier League this summer, after spending a year in Turkey with Fenerbache.
It is reported that Stoke and Middlesbrough are in pole position for the 32-year-old's signature, after West Ham turned down the opportunity to bring him back to London - The Mirror

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has said that West Brom have rejected more than one offer for 22-year-old striker Saido Berahino, which reports suggest could have reached £20m. Crystal Palace and Watford are also interested in Berahino - skysports.com

Chelsea have emerged as favourites to sign Real Madrid forward Alvaro Morata - The Sun

Alvaro Negredo will join up with Aitor Karanka’s Middlesbrough squad in Spain today. The Valencia striker has agreed a one-year loan deal with an option for Boro to make the deal permanent next summer. The former Man City frontman will have his medical with the Middlesbrough doctors out in Marbella - skysports.com

However Middlesbrough's pursuit of Borussia Dortmund defender Neven Subotic has broken down, and the defender will travel back to Germany. Boro had agreed a fee of around £8m with Dortmund for the Serbia international and he was shown around the club's facilities nearly two weeks ago - skysports.com

Scans have revealed that Michael Dawson has sustained significant damage to the medial collateral ligament in his knee. The Hull City defender is expected to be out of action for three months - bbc.co.uk

Atletico Madrid may turn their attention to Liverpool's Belgium striker Divock Origi, 21, if they fail to sign Spain international Diego Costa, from Chelsea - Bleacher Report

Newcastle may be interested in signing Liverpool's Brazil midfielder Lucas Leiva, 29, as part of a deal taking Georginio Wijnaldum to Anfield, with the Magpies valuing Wijnaldum at £27m - Daily Telegraph

In Holland it is being reported that Everton and Tottenham will both bid for Newcastle's 25-year-old Georginio Wijnaldum, sparking a bidding war - De Telegraaf (Dutch newspaper)

Tottenham have ended their interest in Newcastle midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum. Spurs were keen on the Dutch international but manager Mauricio Pochettino has decided he is too expensive, with the Magpies unwilling to budge on their £25m valuation - skysports.com

Chelsea and Everton will go head-to-head to sign Napoli and Senegal international defender Kalidou Koulibaly. Chelsea are understood to have had a £20m bid rejected by Napoli, but the London club are set to revise their offer.
Everton meanwhile, backed by new owner Farad Moshiri, are willing to spend £37m on Koulibaly as new boss Ronald Koeman aims to steer the club back into Europe - The Sun

Liverpool have confirmed the signing of 30-year-old Estonia centre-back Ragnar Klavan from FC Augsburg. Klavan, who has appeared 112 times for his country, is believed to have cost the club €5m (£4.2m), with reports suggesting he has signed a three-year deal - bbc.co.uk and skysports.com

Burnley and England international goalkeeper Tom Heaton has chosen to extend his stay at Turf Moor. Heaton, 30, joined Burnley from Bristol City in 2013, and was part of England's Euro 2016 squad has signed a new four-year deal - skysports.com and bbc.co.uk

Swansea are reportedly keen to sign Tottenham's Nacer Chadli. Spurs value the Belgian at around £15m, which would be a club-record fee for Swansea - Daily Mirror

Turkish side Besiktas will target Chelsea's France striker Loic Remy, 29, if they fail to agree a deal with Fiorentina for Germany international Mario Gomez - Evening Standard

Germany striker Mario Gomez says he will be leaving Besiktas because of the "political situation" in Turkey - skysports.com

Europa League champions Sevilla have completed the signing of Palermo midfielder Franco Vazquez. The 27-year-old has signed a five-year deal - skysports.com

Barcelona are willing to sell £20m-rated Turkey midfielder Arda Turan, 29, with Chelsea and Arsenal are both said to be interested in the Turkey international - Talksport

Barcelona pair Munir El Haddadi and Sergi Samper have signed contract extensions, the La Liga champions have confirmed. Both Munir and Samper have penned a three-year renewals that will see them remain at the Camp Nou until June 2019.
Munir has a €60m (£50.1m) release clause in his new contract, while Samper has had a €50m (£42m) clause inserted in his deal - skysports.com

Crystal Palace, Sunderland, Swansea and West Brom are interested in West Ham's £15m-rated Senegal striker Diafra Sakho. However Diafra Sakho will not be sold until West Ham find replacements, according to co-chairman David Sullivan - Daily Mirror and bbc.co.uk

Manchester City and Manchester United both want 17-year-old West Ham defender Reece Oxford, who is valued at £15m by his club - skysports.com

Manchester United are eyeing a £25m move for the Monaco and Brazil international full-back Fabinho - Daily Mail

Manchester City are close to signing 24 year-old Argentina goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli, for £4m from Real Sociedad - Guardian

Newcastle have agreed a fee with Blackburn Rovers for defender Grant Hanley. The Scotland international will travel to Tyneside for a medical today after a fee of £5.5m was agreed between the sides - skysports.com

Aston Villa 'keeper Brad Guzan could be set to leave the club on a free transfer, ahead of a switch to Middlesbrough. The Teeside club announced the signing of Spanish World Cup-winning goalkeeper Victor Valdes earlier this month - Telegraph.

Transfer news coming from Portugal, concerning two Benfica players, who could be coming to a Premier League club. Reports that Talisca, a 22-year-old Brazilian attacking midfielder, and Eduardo Salvio, 26, an Argentina international winger, could both be moving in a joint deal worth £50m (£41.9m). Where are they going? The paper doesn't say, but does add that club president Luis Felipe Vieira is negotiating a deal in London - A Bola (Portuguese newspaper)

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is willing to let defender Tyler Blackett, 22, and strikers Will Keane, 23, and James Wilson, 20, leave Old Trafford - Daily Telegraph

Fulham are hopeful of agreeing a loan deal for England Under-21 international James Wilson - The Sun

Liverpool goalkeeper Adam Bogdan has joined Wigan Athletic on a season-long loan - skysports.com

West Brom goalkeeper Boaz Myhill has signed a one-year contract extension to keep him at the club until 2018 - skysports.com

Real Madrid youngster Borja Mayoral will leave the club’s training camp in Montreal to finalise his loan move to Wolfsburg. The striker, 19, will head to Germany today to sign his season-long deal with Wolfsburg - Marca (Spanish newspaper)

Aston Villa say that Stiliyan Petrov will not be offered a playing contract, but will be offered a role at the club - skysports.com

Arsenal have signed 16-year-old Norway defender Erik Tobias Sandberg from Lillestrom SK - The Sun

Stoke City are keen on striker Jose Angulo, 21. He plays for Independiente del Valle in his native Ecuador - Guardian

Sheffield United have turned down a £1m bid from Birmingham City for their young striker Che Adams - skysports.com

Bury have completed the signing of 30 year-old defender Leon Barnett on a two-year deal after his release by Wigan Athletic - bbc.co.uk

Rotherham United have secured the signature of 22-year-old Brighton's Jake Forster-Caskey. The central midfielder has 12 England under-21 caps, and signs on a season-long loan - skysports.com and bbc.co.uk

Luton Town striker Jack Marriott has pledged his long-term future to the club by signing a new three-year contract - skysports.com

Port Vale have signed midfielder Sebastien Amoros on a one-year deal, with an option of a further year. The 21-year-old joins from Monaco, where he came up through academy - skysports.com

Burton Albion manager Nigel Clough is hoping to offer Irish teenager Ryan Delaney a permanent deal with the club. Defender Delaney, 19, currently with Wexford Youths, has impressed the Brewers boss while on trial - skysports.com

Chelsea youngster Alex Kiwomya has joined Crewe on loan until 9th January 2017 - skysports.com

Crawley Town have signed midfielder Billy Clifford on a one-year deal following a successful trial, the Sky Bet League Two club have announced - skysports.com

Hearts have signed striker Tony Watt on a season-long loan from Charlton - skysports.com

# New rules to stop "intolerable behaviour" by players and managers have been introduced in English football.
In a statement, the Premier League, English Football League and Football Association said poor conduct has reached "unacceptable levels."
Starting this season, red cards will be issued to players who confront match officials and use offensive language.
Behaviour within the technical areas will also be more rigorously enforced.

Monday, July 11, 2016

A statistical look back at UEFA Euro 2016

The following article outlines STATISTICS for the UEFA European Championships 2016, which took place in France from 10 June to 10 July 2016 inclusive.

Antoine Griezmann
Tournament Winners: Portugal
Tournament Runners-up: France

Most Goals Scored by a Team:

France 13
Wales 10
Belgium 9
Portugal 9
Iceland 8
Germany 7

Team With Most Goal Attempts:

Portugal 121
France 121
Germany 108
Belgium 98
England 83
Switzerland 71

Hit The Woodwork:

Ricardo Quaresma
France 6 times
Croatia 4
Germany 4
Portugal 3

Pass Completion (%):

Spain: 91% - 2340/2562
Switzerland: 91% - 1947/2154
Germany: 90%  - 3639/4020
France: 88% - 3112/3519
England: 88% - 1767/2001

Possession (%):

Germany - 63%
Spain - 61%
England - 59%
Switzerland - 58%
Ukraine - 56%

Top Individual Goalscorers:

Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale
6 goals

Antoine Griezmann - France

3 goals

Olivier Giroud - France
Dimitri Payet - France
Cristiano Ronaldo - Portugal
Nani - Portugal
Álvaro Morata - Spain
Gareth Bale - Wales

Top Goal Assists:

4 Assists

Eden Hazard - Belgium
Aaron Ramsey - Wales

3 Assists

Cristiano Ronaldo - Portugal


Total Tournament Goals Scored:

Average Goals per match: 2.12
1 goal scored every 44 minutes

Most goals scored by a team: 13

Fewest goals scored by a team: 0

Most goals conceded by a team: 9

Fewest goals conceded by a team: 2
Italy, Poland, Switzerland

Best goal difference: +8

Worst goal difference: –5

Most goals scored in a match by both teams: 7
France (5–2) Iceland

Biggest margin of victory: 4 goals
Hungary (0–4) Belgium

Fastest goal in a match from kick-off: 2nd minute (1m:40s)
Robert Lewandowski for Poland against Portugal

Fastest goal in a match after coming on as a substitute: 1 minute
Ondrej Duda for Slovakia against Wales (introduced in the 60th minute)

Latest goal in a match without extra time: 90+6th minute
Dimitri Payet for France against Albania and Niall McGinn for Northern Ireland against Ukraine

Latest goal in a match with extra time: 117th minute
Ricardo Quaresma for Portugal against Croatia

Latest winning goal in a match without extra time: 90+4th minute
Arnór Ingvi Traustason for Iceland against Austria

Latest winning goal in a match with extra time: 117th minute
Ricardo Quaresma for Portugal against Croatia

Oldest goal scorer: 37 years and 61 days
Zoltán Gera for Hungary against Portugal

Youngest goal scorer: 18 years and 317 days
Renato Sanches for Portugal against Poland

Hannes Halldorsson

Most Saves:

Hannes Halldorsson - Iceland 27
Thibaut Courtois - Belgium 20
Rui Patrício - Portugal 20
Łukasz Fabiański - Poland 19
Gábor Király - Hungary 17

Most Clean Sheets:

4 clean sheets

Manuel Neuer - Germany
Rui Patrício - Portugal

3 clean sheets

Thibaut Courtois - Belgium
Hugo Lloris - France
Gianluigi Buffon - Italy

Quickest Players:
Kingsley Coman

(Top speed km/h)

Kingsley Coman - France

Yannick Carrasco - Belgium

Erik Johansson - Sweden

Šime Vrsaljko - Croatia

Albin Ekdal - Sweden


Overall attendance: 2,427,303

Average attendance per match: 47,594

Highest attendance: 76,833 – France vs Iceland

Lowest attendance: 28,840 – Russia vs Wales


Total number of yellow cards: 205

Average yellow cards per match: 4.02

Total number of red cards: 3

Average red cards per match: 0.06

Most yellow cards (team): 18

Most red cards (team): 1
Albania, Austria and Republic of Ireland

Fewest yellow cards (team): 2

Most yellow cards (player): 3
William Carvalho (Portugal), N'Golo Kanté (France) and Bartosz Kapustka (Poland)

Most red cards (player): 1
Lorik Cana (Albania), Aleksandar Dragović (Austria) and Shane Duffy (Rep of Ireland)

Most yellow cards (match): 10
Portugal vs France

Most red cards (match): 1
Albania vs Switzerland, Austria vs Hungary, France vs Rep of Ireland

(Goals scored during penalty shoot-outs are not counted and matches decided by a penalty shoot-out are counted as draws.)

# Some data courtesy of uefa.com

Friday, July 01, 2016

Babes of the Month - Sexiest Fans at Euro 2016

The 2016 European Championships currently being held in France are not just about the game of football and the players, it is also about the fans! I am talking about the beautiful female fans showcasing the tournament - whether it’s the French girls, the Poles, the Russians, the Irish, the Portuguese or the Albanians girls - they have all created quite a hype on social media, so here are a few of them for you.

Friday, June 24, 2016

All the very latest football news and gossip across Europe!

The 2016 European Championships may be in full swing, but there is still plenty of football news to report. Here is a round up of all the latest football news/gossip across Europe today, which includes the likes of: PSG, Manchester City, Paul Pogba, Sadio Mane, Borussia Dortmund, Southampton, Claude Puel, John Stones, Inter Mlan, Juventus, Crystal Palace, Axel Witsel, Aaron Ramsey, Liverpool, West Ham, Victor Wanyama, Piotr Zielinskiand and Alexis Sanchez to name but a few!

Paris St-Germain have sacked manager Laurent Blanc, with the former France defender receiving a £16.85m pay-off - L'Equipe (French nationwide daily newspaper devoted to sports)

Former Juventus striker Alvaro Morata has re-joined Real Madrid, despite rumours Chelsea had launched a €50m bid to sign the Spanin international striker - AS (Spanish daily sports newspaper) and skysports.com

New Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho will make a 'statement signing' during the summer transfer window, with Juventus France midfielder Paul Pogba, 23, a priority. Mourinho is also targeting a shock summer move for Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey. The Wales international, 25, is contracted to the Gunners until the end of June 2018 - Manchester Evening News and The Sun.

Tottenham have confirmed the signing of Victor Wanyama from Southampton for an undisclosed fee. The former Celtic midfielder has agreed a five-year contract with the club until 2021 - skysports.com

Leicester striker Jamie Vardy decided to snub a move to Arsenal as he was not convinced Arsenal play the right style of football to suit his game.
Arsenal triggered a release clause in Vardy's contract earlier this month, but Leicester announced on Thursday that the England forward has agreed a new four-year deal at the club, which he will sign once he is back from Euro 2016 - skysports.com

Juventus have drawn up a shortlist of strikers to sign this summer, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. The Serie A Champions recently saw forward Alvaro Morata re-join Real Madrid. As a result, boss Max Allegri is understood to be weighing up a summer move for either Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez, Everton's Romelu Lukaku or Marseille's Michy Batshuayi - skysports.com

Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri is keen to snap up Arsenal ace Alexis Sanchez, according to reports - Daily Star

Liverpool will step up their efforts to sign Southampton's Senegal forward Sadio Mane, 24, in a £30m deal next week - Daily Telegraph

Liverpool have rejected an £8m bid from Swansea for midfielder Joe Allen, 26, who left the Liberty Stadium for Anfield four years ago - Daily Mirror

Southampton and Leicester are interested in signing Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen - The Times

Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew wants to bolster his forward options with the signing of Liverpool striker Christian Benteke - The Sun

Borussia Dortmund say Manchester United target Henrikh Mkhitaryan, 27, is available for £30.6m. The Armenia forward has one year remaining on his contract - Kicker (Germany's leading sports magazine)

Manchester United have had an offer worth £28m rejected by Roma for established defender Kostas Manolas - transfermarketweb.com

Wolfsburg have made a £20m offer to Juventus for striker Simone Zaza. The German side have made their move as their own Andre Schurrle is a target for Borussia Dortmund, who in turn want a replacement for Manchester United target Henrikh Mkhitaryan - Daily Mail

Manchester City have made another signing already this summer. They have beaten Barcelona and Manchester United to the signing of 15 year-old Argentina youngster Benjamin Garre The attacking midfielder has been starring in the youth ranks of Velez Sarsfield - La Pelota al 10 (Argentinian radio station) and Daily Mail

West Ham have lodged a €52m bid with Lyon for forward Alexandre Lacazette. The 25-year-old is contracted to the Ligue 1 club until the summer of 2019 - L'Equipe (French nationwide daily newspaper devoted to sports)

Inter Milan are in talks with Russian club Zenit Saint Petersbourg about signing the former Standard Liège and Benfica box-to-box midfielder Axel Witsel. The 27 year-old Belgian international is also being tracked by Juventus, AS Roma, Borussia Dortmund, Chelsea and Stoke City - transfermarket.com

Former Monaco, Lille, Lyon and Nice boss Claude Puel has emerged as the front-runner for the Southampton manager's job - Daily Telegraph

Poland star Piotr Zielinski will not sign for Liverpool until his nation are out of Euro 2016. Reports in Italy claimed that Anfield chiefs had wrapped up a £12m deal for the central midfielder from Serie A club Udinese - Daily Mirror

Manchester City are the frontrunners to sign Dinamo Zagreb's 19-year-old midfielder Ante Coric, who is part of Croatia's Euro 2016 squad, for £6m - Daily Mail

France midfielder Samir Nasri, 28, will have talks with new Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola next week as he wants to stay at the club - The Sun

Meanwhile, Guardiola has made Everton defender John Stones, 22, his number one transfer target - Marca (Spanish national daily sport newspaper) and Daily Express

Barcelona have joined Manchester United in the race to sign Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta. The Spanish giants are on the look-out for a new right-back as Dani Alves prepares to join Juventus.

Chelsea have snubbed an £18m bid for defender Andreas Christensen from Borussia Monchengladbach. The 20-year-old is on a two-season loan at the German club but Chelsea see him as an heir to John Terry at centre-half - Daily Mail

Chelsea target Radja Nainggolan is set to snub a big-money Blues switch to stay at Roma - Daily Mirror

Stoke City have offered nearly £20m for Napoli forward Manolo Gabbiadini - Daily Mirror

Roma have turned down a £28m offer from Manchester United for Greek defender Kostas Manolas, who is also a reported target for Arsenal - The Sun

Michy Batshuayi's future could be resolved this week, with West Ham and Juventus keen to sign the Belgium striker from Marseille. Tottenham are also considering whether to make an offer for the 22-year-old - Guardian

West Ham have made a €35m bid for Marseille's Michy Batshuayi - skysports.com

Northern Ireland goalkeeper Michael McGovern is wanted by Southampton after his Euro 2016 heroics - The Sun

Premier League newcomers Burnley are interested in signing Crystal Palace and Wales midfielder Joe Ledley - Croydon Advertiser

Tottenham have had a bid for Vincent Janssen turned down, according to his Dutch club AZ Alkmaar. Wolfsburg are also understood to be keen on the 22-year-old Dutch international striker, who was Eridivisie's top scorer last season.

Lazio want to take Southampton striker Graziano Pelle back to Serie A - The Sun

West Brom are interested in signing 24-year-old winger Andros Townsend from Newcastle and are prepared to sell winger 25 year-old Callum McManaman - Daily Express and Daily Star

Wales defender Chris Gunter is wanted by Premier League duo Swansea and Middlesbrough following his heroics at Euro 2016. The 26-year-old full-back is understood to have a release clause in his contract with Reading - Daily Mirror

Premier League champions Leicester City remain interested in Burnley defender Michael Keane, 23, after having an initial £10m bid rejected - Daily Mail and Leicester Mercury

Burnley are weighing up a double swoop for Aston Villa duo Ashley Westwood and Rudy Gestede -The Sun

Aston Villa have rejected Celtic's opening bid of £2m for winger Scott Sinclair. Brendan Rodgers wants to make the former Manchester City man his first signing as Parkhead boss - Daily Mail and Daily Record

Hull City goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic has signed a fresh two-year contract with the newly promoted Premier League club - skysports.com

Fiorentina chief executive Pantaleo Corvino, had started talks with Hull City over a deal for Uruguayan international Abel Hernandez (25) - La Gazzetta dello Sport (Italian sports newspaper)

Sunderland are in negotiations with Russian side Rubin Kazan for the permanent signing of midfielder Yann M'Vila, 25, who spent last season on loan at the Black Cats - Sunderland Echo

Watford have offered a new contract to Troy Deeney, 27, after Leicester had a £25m bid rejected for the striker - Watford Observer

Sevilla have signed Hiroshi Kiyotake after the Japanese midfielder passed a medical on Friday morning. Kiyotake joins from Bundesliga club Hannover 96 on a four-year contract - skysports.com

Chelsea and England Under-21 midfielder Lewis Baker is to spend a second season out on loan at Eredivisie side Vitesse Arnhem - sportinglife.com

Birmingham City have completed the signing of former Nottingham Forest midfielder Robert Tesche. The 29 year-old German has penned a three-year deal with the Blues - skysports.com

Portsmouth have completed the signing of striker Michael Smith from Swindon on a permanent basis - skysports.com

German defensive midfielder Marc Pfitzner, (31) has been signed by Werder Bremen, from Eintracht Braunschweigon on a deal lasting until June 2018 - transfermarket.com

St Etienne have signed 24 year-old midfielder Bryan Dabo from Montpellier, on a four-year contract - skysports.com

Marseille have completed the signing of Japanese defender Hiroki Sakai, the Ligue 1 club announced on their website. The 26-year-old was a free agent after his contract expired at Hannover 96 - skysports.com

Plymouth have signed defender Karleigh Osborne following his recent release by Bristol City. Teenage striker Louis Rooney has also signed a new deal with the Pilgrims - skysports.com

Walsall have completed the signing of former Yeovil captain Joe Edwards on a two-year contract.