International News - Issue 310


John Terry: I Want To Sign New Chelsea Contract

John Terry may not have played his final game for Chelsea after confirming he wants to sign a new contract at the club. Terry is facing a two-match suspension for his sending-off at Sunderland on Saturday, which means he would miss the Blues' final two fixtures of the season. After that, his contract at Stamford Bridge will expire, and the final decision over whether to give the 35-year-old centre-back a new deal will be made by incoming head coach Antonio Conte. "I still want to play for a couple more years, hopefully at Chelsea," Terry said in an interview which was aired on Danish club Brondby's YouTube channel. Terry is a friend of Brondby owner Jan Bech Andersen. "I'm a Chelsea player and Chelsea's been my club from the age of 14. I love Chelsea." Terry has made 703 appearances for the Blues, and more than 500 of them as captain, since making his first-team debut in December 1998. Such is his affection for the club, Terry has hired the Stamford Bridge pitch for a match with his friends on Monday, following the completion of the Premier League season. The club usually charge £22,000 for the privilege of hiring the ground but Terry, as one of the most successful players in Chelsea history, will be given use of the stadium for free.

Jamie Vardy says he is "happy" at Premier League champions Leicester and hopes the title-winning squad remains intact next season. Vardy has been one of the key figures in Leicester's remarkable rise scoring 24 league goals this season with one game remaining. Interest in Leicester's star players is set to be high this summer,  but manager Claudio Ranieri is calling for his squad to "stay for another year", and Vardy dismissed the idea that he might be tempted by a lucrative move away from the club. "I have just won the League and will be playing in the Champions League next year," said the former Fleetwood man, as he launched his V9 Academy on Monday. "I am happy here. It has been said before and I will say it again, we are literally all like brothers. We are not just once you leave the training ground that's it, you're not going to see them until the next day. "We are constantly talking to each other, going out for meals. I think in our dressing room, that is the main thing that has got us where we are. "There are going to be names thrown into the hat all summer, but with the group of lads that we have got, and obviously winning the league, and with Champions League football next year, you would hope that would keep us all together." Vardy also stressed Leicester are not relaxing now the title is safely secured, claiming the team were angry about conceding a late goal during last weekend's win over Everton. "Everyone was disappointed," he said. "It was another clean sheet we could have had. The hunger will still be there (next season) and we want to keep that mentality of winning. "We have been back on the training ground this week and hopefully we can put in a performance on Sunday (at Chelsea) that gets us another win." Vardy is clearly looking forward to the challenge of playing in the Champions League and does not see any reason why Leicester's counter-attacking style should not be effective against continental sides. "We have got ourselves into this situation playing that way, why change it?" he said. "It has worked for us, hopefully it will work for us again. "Leicester has been on everyone's radar all season and so a lot of European teams have probably been watching us. They will need to do their homework and we will do our homework on them."

West Ham have made a £24m bid for a top forward in France and will bid £25m for another in England this week if they are unsuccessful, co-owner David Sullivan has confirmed. The Hammers had made Marseille's Michy Batshuayi, Lyon's Alexandre Lacazette and Liverpool striker Christian Benteke their three priority targets this summer. Speaking to Sky Sports News as part of a special farewell to the Boleyn Ground on Monday, Sullivan said the club are intent on signing a top-class striker and are confident of bringing one to their new home at the Olympic Stadium. "We are hopefully going to bring one or two top players in. The Olympic Stadium gives us about £12m extra revenue a year, but not £100m," he said. "We put in a bid today for €30m (£23.7m) for a player and other bids will be going in. We are going to make a £20m or £25m bid for a player in England this week. So whatever happens, we'll bring a top striker in. "It's a statement of intent. We'll spend between £30m-£50m on transfers this summer. But you've got to build it up gradually. You can't compete with the likes of Manchester United overnight. "We might have to put our own money in - we've done it before - but we hope we're clever enough for the €30m bid." Sources in France say that both West Ham and Juventus have already had one offer for 22-year-old Batshuayi rejected in recent months, while the likes of Tottenham, Borussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid are also interested in the Belgium striker. Several British newspapers including the Daily Telegraph have reported that West Ham also like Manchester City's Ivory Coast international forward Wilfried Bony.

Football player Patrick Ekeng, 26, died shortly after being rushed to hospital in Romania. The Dinamo Bucharest player had collapsed during a football match held last Friday evening in Bucharest, the Romanian capital. The team was playing against Viitorul Constanta, which is managed by football legend Gheorghe Hagi. Ten doctors had desperately tried to save his live at the Floreasca emergency hospital, which is located closely to the stadium where the game was taking place, according to local media reports. Some reports say that the football player has suffered a heart attack and had been brought back to life for a few seconds following this incident, but all was in vain. Dozens of Dinamo’s fans had gathered outside the hospital where the doctors where trying to save the life of the young football player. Players and staff were seen crying as the medical team went on the pitch to save Ekeng, who laid on the ground unconscious. The Cameroon-born athlete has played for Spanish club Cordoba, Swiss club Lausanne, and French club Le Mans. He moved to Dinamo in 2015. Ekeng fell on the pitch just seven minutes after he Dinamo coach Mircea Rednic had sent him in the game, substituting another player. Dinamo’s team had immediately thought of Catalin Haldan, another player that had died due to a heart attack during a game in 2000.

Claudio Ranieri has urged his Leicester City stars to stay for "another year and then go wherever they want". Interest in the key players who took the Foxes to a first ever Premier League title is set to be high this summer, but their manager Ranieri insists now would be the wrong time for them to leave. Various newspapers have reported that there is interest in midfielder N'Golo Kante, but Ranieri said: "I feel it is possible, maybe, to keep all the players. "It is important for us but it is important also for them because they don't know the Champions League. If they go away, it is not good for them. It is much better if they improve another year here and then go wherever they want. "But I have said so many times if one player comes to me and says 'Gaffer, I want to go', then I leave him to go because it is okay." The Italian will be pleased to hear that at least two of his first-choice players agree, with full-backs Danny Simpson and Christian Fuchs questioning why anyone would want to disrupt what they have built together. Fuchs said: "We're playing Champions League football next season. Isn't that a good enough reason to stay at this club? "I think all the lads know what this team is all about. So why not stay? I believe that. Bringing in other players is not in my hands but it's going to be a tough challenge and I think everybody should simply look forward to it. And Simpson said: "I want everyone to stay because it is a special group. Hopefully they stay and we can kick on because we are going places. "I've played in a lot of teams now and that is not easy to get. Hopefully everyone wants to keep going and grow as a group and as a club. "We all have a bit of banter [about transfer speculation] but at the end of the day we have had a job to do and been concentrating on the games. Whatever the lads decide to do is up to them. "We just hope we can keep this group together because for me it has so much potential to do even more things than what we have."

Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is confident he will return to the club "sooner rather than later". The ex-Reds midfielder, who made over 700 appearances during a 17-year career at Anfield, is currently playing for Major League Soccer side Los Angeles Galaxy. Gerrard says he is enjoying going unnoticed in the United States - but plans to return to Liverpool "somewhere down the line". The 35-year-old said he and his family were happy living in California, but admitted he missed friends and family in the UK as well as attending games at Anfield. Speaking at a fans' question and answer session at LA Galaxy's stadium, he said: "I will be going home at some point. "I don't want to start any unnecessary rumours. I'm really happy where I am at the moment. But I'm sure somewhere down the line I will represent Liverpool Football Club. "I miss my friends and my family. I miss a bit of cold weather. "I miss going to the games. I spent 35 years in Liverpool. Liverpool's my home, it always will be. This is my second home for a short period of time. "Sooner rather than later I will return to where I'm comfortable with my people - and that's Liverpool." Gerrard, who came on as a substitute and scored the Galaxy's final goal in their 4-2 win over New England Revolution on Sunday, said his wife Alex and daughters, Lilly-Ella, Lexie and Lourdes, were "enjoying a different life experience" in LA. He added: "Obviously the city's a fantastic city for myself and my family, the climate, there's plenty to do. I'm pretty much unnoticed as well, which is a bonus. "I'm getting on a little bit now so eventually we'll move back and settle in Liverpool."

Virgil van Dijk has signed a new six-year contract with Southampton. The Dutch defender has agreed a deal that will keep him at St Mary's until the summer of 2022, having moved to the south coast from Celtic last summer. The 24-year-old has enjoyed an impressive debut season in the Premier League and he told the club's official YouTube channel: "I'm so pleased, I'm so happy. It's been amazing. It's only positive. "The club is growing and I definitely want to grow with them, that's how I feel. Hopefully we can make it happen." Van Dijk has featured in every league game since arriving from Glasgow and Southampton's executive director of football Les Reed added: "In his first year with the club, Virgil has quickly established himself as one of the top centre-backs in the Premier League, becoming an integral part of what has been another strong season for the team. "At 24, and with significant European experience already under his belt, we believe he can be a key pillar in our squad for years to come, and we are delighted to have agreed this new deal with him. "Although Virgil only joined us in September we felt it was important to strengthen our commitment and we believe this also provides further indication of how serious our ambitions are for the coming years."

Daniel Sturridge says there is no truth to reports of him being unhappy at Liverpool and says he is fully committed to the club. Sturridge feels there is 'something special' happening at Anfield since the arrival of Jurgen Klopp as manager and he is keen to be a part of the German's long-term plans. The England striker has been in and out of Klopp's side since returning from his latest injury setback, but says nothing should be read into that, one of the reasons behind stories casting doubt on his future. "Yeah, of course I am happy here," Sturridge said. "I'm happy. I'm happy. I have never expressed not being happy here. I think it is everyone playing Devil's Advocate. "They see that I have been left out sometimes and they think 'maybe that means he is unhappy' but, at the end of the day, the manager has got a job to do. "He has got to pick the team that he feels is best on the day. And I have got a job to do, which is to perform when I am playing. "I have had the injuries and I have been in and out of the side in recent times but it has never been a case that I am not happy at the club. "I am grateful to the club for giving me the chance to come here from Chelsea. I am grateful to Brendan [Rodgers] for signing me as well. "Now Jurgen has come in and he is giving me minutes on the pitch. You know - I could not be playing at all. But, of course, I want to be playing in every game. It's one of those things that you have to take on the chin." Liverpool reached the Europa League final - they will face Sevilla - thanks to a 3-0 win over Villarreal on Thursday and Sturridge hopes his goal in that game will not be the last he scores on a big Anfield night, more of which he fully expects under Klopp's leadership. "Hopefully it is the start of something special but we will take each game as it comes," he added. "We didn't win the last final we played in, so we have to learn from that. I think this game has shown we have learned. "This was a massive game, playing on our home turf. But we took things from the Capital One Cup in to Villarreal. We couldn't have any regrets. We had to put everything in to it to try and get the results."

Bayern Munich have completed the signing of Borussia Dortmund skipper Mats Hummels. World Cup winner Hummels, 27, had just one year left on his contract at the Westfalenstadion, but wanted a new challenge after eight years with the club. Dortmund had grown increasingly resigned to losing Hummels in recent months, but the long-time Manchester United target had insisted that he only wanted a return to his boyhood club. Hummels becomes the third BVB player in four years to join Bayern directly from Die Borussen; Mario Gotze (€30million) made the move in 2013, before Robert Lewandowski (free) did likewise the following year. Hummels is Bayern’s second confirmed signing for the summer, after they also completed the £27.5million signing of Portuguese starlet Renato Sanches. The 18-year-old will join from Benfica, ahead of Carlo Ancelotti’s arrival at the Allianz Arena and has signed a five-year deal.