Daniel Sturridge Claims He Can Replicate Chelsea Legend & Secure 2022 World Cup Spot

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge believes that he can be like a ‘fine wine’ and improve with age to secure a place in England’s squad for the 2022 World Cup.

The 28-year-old is currently on the fringes of Jürgen Klopp’s first team and his future at Anfield will continue to be in doubt up until the transfer window closes on August 9.

Blackburn Rovers v Liverpool - Pre-Season Friendly

Sturridge only has one year left on his contract with Liverpool, and it looks increasingly likely that the forward won’t be offered an extension before next summer. 

However, the former Chelsea striker is confident that he can find his best form during the latter stages of his career, much like his former teammate at Didier Drogba, in an attempt to make the Three Lions squad in four years.

“Look, man, you can never say what could have been or I should have been [at the World Cup] or this, that,” Sturridge told ESPN

“I helped them get to the World Cup and I scored some goals on the journey, but I’m happy for everyone that went, too, because you can never take these things personally. Next World Cup, I’m trying to be there, 100 per cent.

“I’ve got a lot of time,” he added. “I look at someone like Didier, I’d say he came to prominence when he was like 26, 27.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League

“He joined Chelsea when he was 26, 27. I think in his career, he started growing as he started getting older. His career started getting just like fine wine, baby. He just gets better and better with age.”

Sturridge has made 26 senior appearances with England throughout his career, the most recent of which came as a substitute against Lithuania back in October. 

But the Liverpool star hasn’t found the back of the net for the Three Lions since November 2016, and a call-up to the national team seems highly unlikely without a drastic turn in form.

Real Madrid Midfielder to Cut Post-World Cup Holiday Short to Play in UEFA Super Cup

World Cup finalist Luka Modrić will return from his holidays early and link up with the Real Madrid squad in an attempt to reach full fitness ahead of the club’s UEFA Super Cup final against city rivals Atlético, according to reports.

The Croatia international was the star performer at the World Cup in Russia and he was awarded with the prestigious Golden Ball award despite suffering defeat in the final against France at the Luzhniki Stadium.


Despite being allowed extra time off this summer thanks to Croatia’s impressive display at the tournament, Modrić will return to Real Madrid’s pre-season camp early to help the club win their first piece of silverware this season, according to Marca.

The 32-year-old is currently on holiday with family and friends, as well as club and international teammate Mateo Kovačić, in his homeland.

Los Blancos will take on Manchester UnitedJuventus and AS Roma during the remainder of pre-season before preparing for their UEFA Super Cup final – which sees the winners of the Champions League and Europa League fight for an extra piece of silverware.

Bitter rivals Atlético Madrid are also preparing the match at the Lilleküla Stadium in Estonia, following their successful campaign in the Europa League where Los Colchoneros overcame the likes of Sporting CP, Arsenal and Marseille.

Real Madrid will have just four days to prepare for their opening match in La Liga after their game against Atlético, with Getafe CF making the short trip across the capital city to the Santiago Bernabéu on August 19.

Leeds Open Talks to Bring Middlesbrough Striker Patrick Bamford to Elland Road

​​Leeds are reportedly in talks with ​Middlesbrough to bring Patrick Bamford to Elland Road in a deal that would cost the west Yorkshire club approximately £7m.

Bamford joined Boro from Chelsea in January 2017, having previously enjoyed a successful loan spell at the Riverside, in which he scored 19 goals in 44 games during the 2014/15 season and was named Championship Player of the Season.

After something of a false start to his permanent career on Teesside, Bamford became a regular again last season and scored 10 Championship goals for Boro, including a first ever professional hat-trick in March of this year. Ironically, it came against Leeds.

They must have been sufficiently impressed with Bamford, as they are now interested in making him their first permanent signing of the summer, according to ​Sky Sports News.

The appointment of former Argentina and Chile manager Marcelo Bielsa had raised expectations at Elland Road, but two loan signings are all they have to show for their efforts so far this transfer window.

Burton Albion v Middlesbrough - Sky Bet Championship

Bamford was tipped to be a future England star when he was on the books at Chelsea and playing for the Three Lions at youth level, but he never earned his way into the first team at Stamford Bridge and was repeatedly sent out on loan.

Leeds would be the ninth different club that the 24-year-old Bamford has represented in his career already.

WATCH: Footballing World Comes Together to Support ‘One Carl Ikeme’ in Heartfelt Tribute Video

​In a spectacular show of respect for recently retired ​Wolves goalkeeper Carl Ikeme, stoppers allover the world have come together to give their support to the Wolves hero – in quite possibly the longest ever rendition of his fan chant at Molineux.

Friday saw the bad news arrive. Ikeme officially retired from professional football at 32 years old, following a year long battle with acute leukaemia. While the entire footballing world is saddened by his decision, the important thing is his health, and now that he’s now fully recovered from the cancer, he can go on to spend more time with his family as a result.

Social media on Friday afternoon was full of showings of support and respect for the man who has been at Wolves since he was 14, but Saturday saw it get thrown into overdrive.

Tweeted by the club’s official Twitter account, a three minute video was posted, full of different goalkeepers, fans, players and coaches all shouting/singing “there’s only one Carl Ikeme” into the camera.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Sheffield Wednesday - Sky Bet Championship

The likes of David Seaman, Marc-Andre Ter Stegen and Iker Casillas reached out to the former Wolves keeper – and the video was beautifully closed by club manager Nuno Espirito Santo.

If that wasn’t enough, later on in the day, goalkeeping legend Gianluigi Buffon even chipped in to give his love to Ikeme.

An incredible gesture from allover the world. Ikeme was without doubt a complete fan favourite at Molineux, his time there spanning way back to 2003. For many, it’ll be strange not having him in the club, but you’ll still be hearing his name sung around the ground every other week.

Mauricio Pochettino Admits Post-Season Difficulties But Insists Spurs Will Be Ready for Kickoff

Mauricio Pochettino has admitted the Premier League’s early transfer deadline brings its problems, however is happy with ​Tottenham’s pre season progress.

​The English transfer window closes in just two weeks, on August 9th, whilst the window for all other European clubs will remain open. With Spurs still yet to make a signing this window, time is ticking for Pochettino to make any last adjustments to his squad.

Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur - The Emirates FA Cup Semi Final

Tottenham are currently in Los Angeles participating in the International Champions Cup as part of their pre season preparations, and Pochettino admitted to Sky Sports that the early transfer deadline had complicate things for him and his side – but appeared largely positive in regards to his team’s preparation.

​He said: “The Premier League transfer (deadline) day is so early when you compare it with the rest of Europe. It’s not going to help a team like us but that is how they decided to work.


“Every season is the same, we talk about adding more quality. It is always about (players) in and out. We are trying to arrive in the best condition.

“There are a lot of things to improve but I am happy in the way we are working. After the World Cup it’s always difficult but we need to adapt our plan for different players, but that is a good challenge for everyone.”

Tottenham continue their preparations for the new season as they face Barcelona on Sunday morning before going up against AC Milan on Wednesday morning. They will then kick off their Premier League season with a trip to Newcastle on the opening weekend.

David Bentley Opens Up on the Time Jonathan Woodgate Left a Steamy Surprise in His Washbag

Retired footballer David Bentley is a man known for his outlandish ways during his playing days. Never seeming the most professional type, you can imagine that he’s got a few decent stories up his sleeve from over the course of his career…you wouldn’t be wrong.

Whether it’s winning a £15,000 watch from his agent for kicking a ball into a skip, or going off to Northern Ireland and being a Gaelic footballer for a week – Bentley has done it all. He wasn’t too bad at football, either.

Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

Speaking to ​FourFourTwo in his cocktail bar in Marbella, the former Premier League cult hero has spilled it all – even discussing the time he found a steamy number two in his wash bag whilst at ​Tottenham

“​I had my car stolen, but the worst was someone sh***ing in my wash bag when I was at Spurs,” explains Bentley, opening up on the worst bit of banter he ever suffered.

“I think it was Jonathan Woodgate. I opened it up and there was a big turd inside. I found it funny. Every day, mad things would happen. Once, I walked out onto the training pitch in Ugg boots. Harry (Redknapp) took one look at me and said: “F**k off.”

Hull City v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

On the subject of Harry Redknapp, it was Bentley’s love for pranks that broke his relationship with the managerial legend – admitting that the time he soaked his boss in water after qualifying for the Champions League is what was the final straw.

“He wasn’t happy; he thought I was being disrespectful. I did it because we all loved him so much.

“I had played a lot and been involved. I was dropped for the game, even though I had set up goals the week before – he picked Aaron Lennon ahead of me – so I could have had the hump with him but I didn’t. I was well happy. We’d done it. 

Bolton Wanderers v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

“I was part of it, and because the whole dressing room liked him, I did him with the water. It got back to me that he wasn’t pleased, and that was disappointing because I really like him.”

Roy Hodgson Aiming to Bolster Crystal Palace Options With Bid for Galatasaray Star

​Crystal Palace are aiming to strengthen their ranks ahead of the new season and could be set to launch a bid for Galatasaray midfielder Younes Belhanda, ​according to reports from Turkey.

Roy Hodgson has only signed one player this summer – goalkeeper Vicente Guaita – but he wants to add a few more players to his squad so that the Eagles can go one better than last season and finish in the top half.

Attacking midfield is a priority position and Hodgson has reportedly identified Belhanda as the ideal man to fill the role. Turkish media outlet ​Haberturk claims that Palace could open negotiations with a bid of €6m (£5.3m).

Turkish Spor Toto Super Lig'Fenerbahce AS v Galatasaray AS'

The report goes on to suggest that Galatasaray would demand an improved bid, at which point it would depend on how high Palace were prepared to go.

The Eagles have not been afraid to splash the cash in previous summers, spending £27m on Christian Benteke in 2016 and £26m on Mamadou Sakho 12 months ago.

Belhanda, who was born in France but plays his international football for Morocco, is more of a creative presence than a goalscorer. That would be most welcome at Selhurst Park after the departure of Yohan Cabaye.

Portugal v Morocco: Group B - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Belhanda scored three goals and provided 10 assists for Galatasaray last season as they won their first Turkish league title in three years.

He has been something of a journeyman in recent seasons, playing in four different countries over the last three years. As well as Turkey, he has also played in Ukraine, France and Germany.

He was part of the Moroccan squad that travelled to the 2018 World Cup but couldn’t prevent a group stage exit for the Atlas Lions.

Why Andriy Yarmolenko’s Departure Could Be Borussia Dortmund’s Best Summer Business

Borussia Dortmund winger Andriy Yarmolenko decided to call it quits after just one season at the Westfalenstadion earlier this summer in favour of a move to the Premier League, with the Black and Yellows forced to take a €5m hit on their big money signing from last year.

The 28-year-old was Dortmund’s biggest investment throughout both the summer and winter transfer windows last season. However, the Ukraine international, who for years was linked with a move to the club, arguably had the smallest impact out of any of their signings throughout 2017/18.

Borussia Dortmund v TSG 1899 Hoffenheim - Bundesliga

Yarmolenko scored six goals and claimed the same number of assists during his maiden year in Germany, an unimpressive, albeit far from catastrophic, tally for one of European football’s major leagues.

The highly-rated winger enjoyed some good form before the Christmas break under Peter Bosz, having a hand in seven Bundesliga goals. Frustratingly though, Yarmolenko wasn’t a player who Borussia Dortmund could depend on to perform consistently.

A man of the match performance against Augsburg, for example, was overshadowed by dismal displays in defeats against RB Leipzig and VfB Stuttgart during Dortmund’s rollercoaster Hinrunde – the first half of the league season in Germany.

Yarmolenko then had to battle with injury throughout the Rückrunde, making just five appearances, four of which were as a substitute. The winger managed to register just one assist during that time, continuing to frustrate with his temperamental performances.

Fans in Dortmund never questioned Yarmolenko’s ability, as it is quite clear for all to see that the 28-year-old has tremendous talent, but the feeling of walking to the Westfalenstadion and wondering ‘which version of Yarmolenko are we getting today?’ will not be missed.

All too often the Ukrainian’s impact on a game would appear to be just down to his mood, and less to do with Yarmolenko’s run of form – much like former Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli.

With Dortmund already having to sweat over Marco Reus’ availability on a weekly basis, and now without a reliable goalscorer in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the club could not afford to have a key attacking player who is that inconsistent.

On top of that, Dortmund will now be able to offer even more players a chance to impress. The club’s competition for places should help their young players develop even further, as well as giving them more options in attacking areas.


Summer signings Maxi Philipp and Jadon Sancho quickly became fan favourites with their performances last season, while USMNT golden boy Christian Pulisic continued to show signs of development.

All three will see their game time improve even further when the season gets back underway, while Sergio Gómez and Jacob Bruun Larsen could also be in contention for a place in the squad under Lucien Favre.

It appears that Borussia Dortmund are still some way off before being able to offer Bayern Munich a regular challenge for the title, but offloading Yarmolenko could prove to a key move in asserting their dominance over local rivals ​Schalke 04 and reclaiming second place in the Bundesliga table.

Nottingham Forest Manager Aitor Karanka Admits Hopes of Signing West Ham Defender

Nottingham Forest manager Aitor Karanka hopes that they can confirm the signing of a new right-back this weekend – with West Ham United’s Sam Byram revealed as the leading candidate.

The Reds boss is keen to bring strength in depth to his side to assist with the amount of games Forest will have to endure, and the former Leeds United man tops their list.

West Ham United v Crystal Palace - Premier League

Byram came off the bench in West Ham’s 3-1 win against Aston Villa on Wednesday evening, and the Nottingham Post report that Karanka has named Byram as one of the players on his radar.

The Nottingham-based outfit are also monitoring the progress of Bristol Rovers and Wales international Tom Lockyer as an alternative if they can’t get the Byram deal pushed through.

Mexico v Wales

Karanka confirmed that he hopes that there is activity during the weekend and insists that they won’t make mistakes as Forest have a good squad, he said, “Yes, I hope it happens before the weekend.

“We have been doing business really well since the season finished. We know the players we have targeted, and it is about bringing in the right one.

“We are not going to make a mistake, because we are building a very good squad and we need to be sure that the right-back who comes, is also the right one.”

Nottingham Forest v Derby County - Sky Bet Championship

Karanka then confirmed that Sam Byram is one of the players that Forest are currently tracking.

“Sam is one of them. He is a Premier League player and we need to work differently in different situations.”

Nottingham Forest’s pre-season preparations continue this weekend as they look towards their first game of the season in the Championship against Bristol City at Ashton Gate on Saturday, August 4th

Jurgen Klopp Gives Interesting Response When Asked About Potential Nabil Fekir Transfer

Jurgen Klopp gave an interesting response when asked about the ongoing Nabil Fekir transfer saga.

​Prior to the World Cup it looked almost certain ​Liverpool had signed the Frenchman for a fee around £53m with just the formalities left to be sorted. However a spanner was then thrown in the works due to complications in the player’s medical examination results.


As a result the Reds tried to negotiate a lower transfer fee which ultimately lead to the ​deal falling through and to Klopp opting to use the money to fund a ​£67m move for Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson instead. 

Fans were very disappointed with the news of talks between the club and Fekir breaking down, however their hopes of signing the forward have been rekindled in recent weeks ​with ​reports suggesting Liverpool’s interest in Fekir is still alive.

​The Reds are currently in America competing in the International Champions Cup and speaking to Sky Sports (via the ​Daily Mirror) prior to their next game against Manchester United, Klopp was asked whether a deal for the Frenchman was indeed still on the cards and gave a rather cagey answer.

Manchester City v Liverpool - International Champions Cup 2018

He said: “If nothing happens with our boys, we press on. If something happens, you always have to make sure you react. If not now, then maybe next window or next summer.”

It looks as though Klopp won’t be pressured into a big money move for Fekir unless he’s forced too, especially after spending over £150m so far this summer, meaning fans will have to wait a little longer before a deal can materialise.