International News - Issue 311

John Terry set for another season at Chelsea.
John Terry set for another season at Chelsea after penning down a new one-year extension with the Blues
John Terry Signs New One-Year Deal

Veteran Chelsea defender John Terry has signed a new one-year deal with the Premier League club. In an emotional speech after his side's final league game against Leicester on Sunday, the 35-year-old, who was out of contract in the summer, said he wanted to remain at the club. "Everyone knows I'm Chelsea through and through," said the ex-England skipper. "I am looking forward to next season under the new manager and hopefully we can make it a successful one." Chelsea will be managed next season by Italy boss Antonio Conte, who takes over from Guus Hiddink. Terry has made 703 first-team appearances for the Blues, having started his professional career at Stamford Bridge in 1998. Chairman Bruce Buck said: "We are delighted John will spend another year at the club.”He has been the leader of the Chelsea squad throughout the most successful period in our history. He recently reached the 700-appearance mark, which is testament to his professionalism and dedication as well as his undoubted talent."

London rivals Chelsea and Tottenham have been hit with large fines by the FA following the fractious 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge on May 2. Both clubs admitted three breaches of failing to control their players and/or officials and Chelsea have been fined £375,000 while Spurs will have to pay £225,000. An FA statement said the fines are for "incidents which occurred in the 45th and 87th minutes, and also at the end of their fixture at Stamford Bridge. " Prior to this fixture, Chelsea had breached FA Rule E20 on four separate occasions and Tottenham Hotspur twice since November 2014. "Following the Independent Regulatory Commission hearing, both clubs were also warned as to their future conduct." Having trailed 2-0 at half-time on that night in early May, Chelsea fought back to secure a dramatic 2-2 draw, a result which knocked Spurs out of the title running and ensured that Leicester would be crowned Premier League champions. A stormy derby encounter, it featured a number of ugly flashpoints, and 12 bookings in total, nine of the yellow cards going to Spurs players, which is a Premier League record. The match boiled over just before half-time when a clash between Danny Rose and Willian sparked a brawl in which Mousa Dembele appeared to gouge Diego Costa's eye, an offence for which the Tottenham midfielder was subsequently handed a six-match ban. And a further brawl erupted in the closing stage of the match, following Eden Hazard's 83rd-minute equaliser. There was also a large-scale melee near the tunnel at full-time, which involved players and coaches from both sides, during which Chelsea's interim boss Guus Hiddink was pushed to the ground.

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri has been named Manager of the Year by the League Managers Association (LMA). The 64-year-old Italian becomes just the second non-British manager to claim the prestigious accolade after Arsenal's Arsene Wenger, who won it in both 2002 and 2004. And Ranieri was also named the Premier League Manager of the Year at Monday night's awards dinner in London. The popular boss was a deserving and unsurprising winner of the awards, having guided the Foxes to a remarkable Premier League title success. Leicester struggled for much of the 2014/15 campaign but produced a superb run of form towards the end of the season to survive comfortably, before hiring the experienced Ranieri in the summer to replace Nigel Pearson. It was thought Ranieri might struggle in the post, having been sacked by Greece in November 2014 after a loss to the Faroe Islands, but he promptly oversaw an incredible campaign which ended with Leicester 10 points clear at the top of the table, having lost just three games all season. LMA chief executive Richard Bevan said: "Leicester's achievement has been made possible by the tactical and technical knowledge of Claudio and his coaching staff. "His passion for football, humility and charisma has underpinned an incredible ability to manage a team at the very highest level. He is a worthy champion and a true gentleman of the sport."


Zlatan Ibrahimovic's agent says there is no truth in reports that the prolific Swedish forward has been offered a contract by Manchester United.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic's agent says there is no truth in reports that the prolific Swedish forward has been offered a contract by Manchester United. Ibrahimovic announced last week that he would be leaving Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season, prompting speculation he might be interested in a move to the Premier League. And reports have subsequently emerged in France stating that United have offered the 34-year-old a one-year deal, with an option for a second year. However, Ibrahimovic's agent Mino Raiola has told Sky Sports News that such reports are not accurate. "In this world we have to accept some journalists use their imagination and make things up," said Raiola. "The story is not factual."

Newcastle United are edging closer to confirming that Rafa Benitez will stay on as manager next season. Benitez signed a three-year deal to become Newcastle boss back in March, when he replaced Steve McClaren, but the contract is reported to include an option to cancel at the end of the season. The Spaniard was unable to keep the club in the Premier League, leading to doubts over whether he would stay, but it appears a meeting with owner Mike Ashley and managing director Lee Charnley last Sunday was positive. They talked for two hours after the stunning 5-1 win over Tottenham at St James' Park, giving Ashley a first chance to speak to Benitez face-to-face since his arrival at the club. After the game Benitez said his heart was leading him towards staying on Tyneside to try and guide Newcastle back to the Premier League, and he admitted that fantastic support from the club's fans was also swaying him. Reports say that Ashley was impressed by Benitez during their meeting, with the Spaniard keen to find out what ambitions the owner has for their bid to get out of the Championship at the first attempt. Benitez is reported to be particularly keen to take control over the club's transfer business before committing his future to the club. After beating Spurs, he said: "I said I am quite open and I am quite pleased with everything, the staff, everything, now it's just to be sure that we have to do what we have to do to be sure that we can go up if I stay here. "They know, we have been talking. I have the same feeling as the fans, they want a strong team next season to be sure we go up again. "The way and the ideas will not be difficult to have, to have similar ideas, but we have to sit down and make sure of everything."

Incoming Chelsea manager Antonio Conte says he feels "stronger" after being cleared of any wrongdoing in a match-fixing scandal from 2011. The 46-year-old, who will lead Italy at Euro 2016 next month before joining Chelsea, was accused of doing nothing to halt a scandal while boss of Siena. But a judge in Cremona acquitted Conte because the accusations were baseless. "Today finally draws a line under this ugly story," said Conte in a statement on his official Facebook page. "Four years ago, a search of my house at 5am ushered in a nightmare period that at times I felt would go on forever. "Those who stood by me, and who know me best, know how much I have struggled with the idea that my name might be associated with the shameful world of match-fixing." In August 2012, while coach of Juventus, the former Italy international was banned for 10 months for not reporting alleged match-fixing in two games involving Siena in the 2010-11 season. This was later reduced to four months by an Italian sports tribunal and Conte became coach of his national team in August 2014. "I thank my family and the many people who never believed even for a moment the words which presented a false image of my lifestyle," he added. "I am a sportsman and I know no other way to achieve success than through sacrifice and total dedication. It was a terrible experience and I have faced it head on. "To all those who never doubted my honesty, I want to express my gratitude, and reassure them that I have emerged from this testing time as a stronger and more highly motivated person."

Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has defended the club over the postponement of this past Sunday's Premier League fixture against Bournemouth at Old Trafford. Woodward has revealed that the dummy bomb which caused the stadium to be evacuated and the game to be called off had been signed as having been recovered by a private company following a training exercise involving sniffer dogs held last Wednesday. The device, which was one of 14 that had been used during the training exercise for dog handlers, was also unable to be detected by a routine sniffer dog search on the day of the match as it contained no explosives. Greater Manchester mayor Tony Lloyd called for a full inquiry into the "fiasco" late on Sunday although security firm managing director Chris Reid has since taken full responsibility for leaving the device behind. But Woodward insists he is proud of the way the club's staff acted as the No 1 priority at Manchester United is the safety of the fans. He also claims the club would take the same action if they were presented with the same situation in the future. Woodward said in a statement released on Monday afternoon: "The safety of the fans is our No 1 aim at every event we host at Old Trafford. Overall, I'm proud of how our staff responded. On the discovery of a suspect package, the police and the club worked quickly and closely to identify the threat, make people safe and evacuate the ground calmly and efficiently. Fans of both clubs behaved impeccably and the evacuation - the first of its type in the UK - was a complete success. Following investigation, the device proved to have been left in error following the training of dog handlers by a sub-contractor. The contractor had signed the device as having been recovered along with the 13 other devices at the end of the exercise. That device could not have been detected by sniffer dogs on the routine matchday search of the 100 Club, as it contained no explosives and was used in an exercise training handlers not dogs. "Once a live situation was identified, the club and police had no option but to treat the matter as a potential terror threat; we could not have assumed it was a training exercise error. Presented with the same situation in the future, we would take the same action."


PSG join the race for Jose Mourinho's signature.

Jose Mourinho is in talks with Paris Saint-Germain and could move to the French champions unless Manchester United act quickly, according to reports. Mourinho is the prime contender to replace Louis van Gaal should United sack the Dutchman after Saturday's FA Cup Final. But Mourinho, 53 wants a deal agreed by next week and unless United make their move quickly they could miss out on the Portuguese. The news pushes United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward into a corner regarding the club's interest in the out-of-work boss. The former Chelsea manager views replacing Laurent Blanc at PSG as an excellent opportunity, particularly with the vast transfer budget that is likely to accompany his potential appointment. And the fact Mourinho is ready to take the reins in the French capital could force Woodward's hand one way or another. United are under pressure to make a decision as their Spain goalkeeper David de Gea, the club’s player of the year, wants to move if Van Gaal remains in his job. The 25-year-old is still wanted by Real Madrid, his hometown club. Blanc's position was thought to be safe having signed a contract extension earlier this year. However, the club's failure to make it past the Champions League quarter-finals has forced president Nasser Al-Khelaifi into a rethink. Mourinho's Champions League pedigree makes him the obvious candidate to replace Blanc should they decide to replace the Frenchman. And PSG's move for Mourinho is likely to accelerate United's decision to either persist with Van Gaal or follow through with initial plans to bring Mourinho to Old Trafford.