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Liverpool’s chief executive officer Peter Moore will step down at the end of August after three years in the role, the Premier League champions said on Friday.

Liverpool owner John Henry, chairman Tom Werner and president Mike Gordon said in a joint statement that Moore had helped the club move forward since coming onboard in 2017

“He has strengthened the club’s business operations through his leadership and we are grateful to him for his passion, dedication and support, ” they said.

Managing director Billy Hogan would replace Moore from September 1, the club said.

“To think we have won the Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup and the Premier League title during my time here is way beyond my dreams,” Moore said.

“It’s been a phenomenal achievement by the manager, players and staff. The team fully deserves the plaudits and recognition and the memories I will cherish forever.”

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Manchester United are reportedly close to signing Wolves star Raul Jimenez.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has publicly admitted he is on the lookout for a new centre-forward this summer

All of the goal scoring burden was placed on Anthony Martial and Odion Ighalo last term.

Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood chipped in with their fair share from the wide positions.

But for the Red Devils to launch a serious challenge for the title it is deemed that they need a world class forward.

Wolves star Jimenez apparently fits the bill after he netted 27 goals across all competitions last season.

The Mexican moved to Molineux for £33m and it will likely cost United much more than that to take him to Old Trafford.

Portugese sources claim a transfer is already in place and the 29-year-old will be playing Champions League football under Solskjaer next year.

The report adds that super-agent Jorge Mendes has concluded a deal for Wolves to sign Paulinho.

The 27-year-old netted 25 goals in 48 appearances which was enough to convince Nuno Espirito Santo he is the ideal man to replace Jimenez.

Meanwhile, Solskjaer warned last month that he was in the market for a new striker.

“You need competition for places at Manchester United,” the Norwegian said.

“If you think you’ve got a divine right to be playing every game and are doing so well that we’re not going to look for players to replace you, you’re in the wrong place.

“I’ve been here myself for so many years as a striker and Teddy Sheringham comes in, Dwight Yorke comes in, Ruud van Nistelrooy comes in, Wayne Rooney comes in.

“We’ve always got to look at improving, and if they don’t improve, we might have to look somewhere else to get better because we have to be better.

“We’re too far away from where we need to be and want to be.”

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Criminal proceedings against Fifa president Gianni Infantino have begun in Switzerland over meetings he held with the country’s attorney general.

A special federal public prosecutor, Stefan Keller, was appointed last month to examine complaints made in relation to the meetings in 2016 and 2017 involving Infantino, attorney general Michael Lauber and the chief public prosecutor for the Upper Valais region, Rinaldo Arnold.

Keller has now opened criminal proceedings against Infantino and Arnold, and has sought approval from the Swiss parliament to do the same against Lauber, who must have immunity from prosecution lifted before proceedings against him can be opened.

He has concluded that “there are indications of criminal conduct” in relation to the meetings.

Infantino and Fifa say they will co-operate fully with the investigation, with Infantino insisting he was trying to assist Lauber with the attorney general’s investigation into historic corruption.

The Fifa president was asked about the meetings with Lauber at the world governing body’s Council meeting in June, and said: “To meet with the Attorney General of Switzerland is perfectly legitimate and it’s perfectly legal.

“It’s no violation of anything. On the contrary, it is also part of the fiduciary duties of the president of Fifa.”

The first meetings with Lauber occurred in 2016, just after Infantino had been elected as president and in the aftermath of the corruption scandal which engulfed Fifa under Infantino’s predecessor Sepp Blatter.

Lauber’s office was investigating that scandal, in which Fifa was being treated as a victim rather than a suspect.

Infantino said there was a “mountain of questions” regarding those investigations, and added in June: “It’s legitimate to offer to contribute to the Swiss attorney general about the clarification of these events, hoping that those who have done criminal acts and damaged Fifa will be held to account for that.”

The statement from the supervisory authority for the office of the attorney general said the meetings had generated concerns of abuse of public office, breach of official secrecy, assisting offenders and incitement to these acts.

Infantino added on Thursday: “As president of Fifa, it has been my aim from day one, and it remains my aim, to assist the authorities with investigating past wrongdoings at Fifa.

“Fifa officials have met with prosecutors in other jurisdictions across the world for exactly these purposes.

“People have been convicted and sentenced, thanks to Fifa’s co-operation, and especially in the United States of America, where our co-operation has resulted in over 40 criminal convictions.

“Therefore, I remain fully supportive of the judicial process, and Fifa remains willing to fully co-operate with the Swiss authorities for these purposes.”

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Manchester City have agreed a deal to sign Valencia winger Ferran Torres, according to reports.

City recently said goodbye to Leroy Sane, as the winger returned to Germany to join Bayern Munich. But with their Champions League ban overturned, they have quickly shifted focus to attracting a replacement.

The player it appears they are about to sign has been in demand for several months. Torres made 34 appearances in the recently completed La Liga season, and has attracted interest from Liverpool and Manchester United.

The latter had reportedly identified Torres as a cheaper alternative to Jadon Sancho. However, their rivals have stolen a march on them.

According to sources in England, City are on the verge of agreeing a deal for Torres. The initial fee is said to be in the region of £20.9m.

Valencia are under pressure financially to sell some of their prize assets, presenting a good opportunity for potential suitors. With Torres in the final year of his contract, they have been able to reach an agreement at a lower price than may have been expected.

With the clubs happy for the deal to go through, the player has also given the move his blessing. According to The Guardian who say the fee is actually £24.5m Torres has agreed to sign a five-year deal.

The chance to work under Pep Guardiola was a major factor in convincing Torres, who is a Spain Under-21 international. Valencia had previously valued him at around £40.8m.

Torres became Valencia’s youngest ever Champions League goalscorer in 2019. Valencia will not be in the competition again next season, but his potential new club will, after the Court of Arbitration for Sport overturned City’s UEFA ban.

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice as Milan picked Sampdoria apart and extended their unbeaten run to 12 matches in all competitions with a 4-1 victory.

Stefano Pioli’s men have not lost since the Serie A season resumed in June, a run of form that has taken them to sixth place and European qualification while securing the coach an extended contract.

January signing Ibrahimovic has been key and proved the star of the show again with his two goals plus an assist for Hakan Calhanoglu – following a VAR review – in a dominant display at the Marassi that concluded with Rafael Leao’s well-taken fourth.

Gianluigi Donnarumma saved a penalty in the second half but was eventually beaten by a brilliant effort from Kristoffer Askildsen.

Milan were outstanding from the off and needed just four minutes to forge the opener as Ante Rebic’s smart turn on the left created space for a cross that found Ibrahimovic inexplicably unmarked for a simple header.

A second should have swiftly followed, but Theo Hernandez shot straight at Wladimiro Falcone, who bounced back up to steer Davide Calabria’s drive clear.

Falcone then got a toe to Rebic’s low finish, before he again came to Samp’s rescue with a scrambling stop from a scuffed Ibrahimovic effort on the half-hour mark.

The home side somehow made it to half-time just a goal behind and almost capitalised with an equaliser six minutes after the restart as Donnarumma parried Fabio Quagliarella’s free-kick and Omar Colley nodded the rebound over.

However, Milan went straight down the other end and deservedly doubled their lead, with Calhanoglu reaching Ibrahimovic’s knockdown to thrash home. Referee Fabrizio Pasqua initially perceived a non-existent foul on Ronaldo Vieira by the goalscorer but made amends with a visit to the pitch-side monitor.

Now ruthless where they had earlier been wasteful, Milan had a third when Calhanoglu returned the favour and fed Ibrahimovic to shoot through Falcone.

Donnarumma blocked from close range to deny Quagliarella a consolation and Samp still could not beat the goalkeeper even after Simon Kjaer barged Andrea Bertolacci to the ground in the area, with Gonzalo Maroni’s penalty saved.

It took a spectacular effort to finally get the better of Donnarumma as Askildsen curled into the top-right corner three minutes from time, far too late to cause Milan major concern as Leao instead restored the three-goal cushion in style in stoppage time.

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Brentford reignited their bid to reach the Premier League with a 3-1 win over Swansea to reach the play-off final.

The Bees overturned Swansea’s one-goal lead from the first leg within the first 15 minutes through goals from Ollie Watkins and Emiliano Marcondes.

Bryan Mbeumo added the third just after half-time and, despite Rhian Brewster pulling one back the Bees, who last week blew their chance of going up automatically, took a big step towards redemption.

Seven straight wins after lockdown had left promotion tantalisingly within Brentford’s grasp, before successive defeats by Stoke and Barnsley consigned them to the play-offs.

That mini implosion set up one, final, dramatic match at Griffin Park, their home for 116 years, before next season’s move to a new 17,250-capacity ground.

They were able to bid farewell in style and a memorable victory means the Brentford Community Stadium could still be hosting top-flight football in September, with the Bees attempting to become the 50th different team to play in the Premier League.

Thomas Frank’s side will now head to Wembley on Tuesday for a £170million showdown with Cardiff or, more likely, their west London neighbours Fulham.

Swansea, who had finished 11 points behind the Bees having gatecrashed the play-offs with an unlikely six-goal swing on the final day, saw their first-leg advantage wiped out after 11 minutes.

Brentford broke quickly from a Swansea free-kick near the corner flag, goalkeeper David Raya catching Matt Grimes’ cross and immediately hurling the ball to Mathias Jensen.

The Danish midfielder came up with one of the passes of the season, inch-perfect through the backpedalling Swansea defence where Watkins was racing towards goal, the striker nervelessly firing past Mulder into the corner.

Four minutes later Brentford had their second and the tie had been turned on its head.

Once again Jensen started the move, finding Said Benrahma who lifted the ball on to the head of Marcondes to guide home.

Raya made a fine save to deny Conor Gallagher as Swansea attempted to hit straight back, but seconds later Brentford almost had a third with Benrahma striking the foot of the near post.

Suddenly the Bees were looking like the side who were sweeping all-comers aside post-lockdown, with their ‘BMW’ strikeforce Benrahma, Mbeumo and Watkins back at full throttle.

They grabbed a third a minute into the second half when Rico Henry, whose red card in the first leg was overturned on appeal, crossed for Mbeumo to volley home.

Swansea halved the deficit when a mistake by Pontus Jansson allowed Brewster to lob Raya with 12 minutes left, but this time Brentford did not choke.

Swansea could not find another to force extra time, and instead it was Brentford who almost added a fourth when Benrahma clipped the crossbar.

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Brighton have signed Netherlands defender Joel Veltman from Ajax for an undisclosed fee.

He is the Premier League club’s second signing of the summer, following the arrival of midfielder Adam Lallana from Liverpool on a free transfer on Monday.

Veltman, 28, played more than 200 times for Ajax and has 22 international caps. He has signed a three-year contract.

“He has terrific experience from his time with Ajax including the Champions League,” said head coach Graham Potter.

“He’s an excellent defender who can play at right-back and at centre half, but he’s also comfortable in possession.”

Veltman made his Ajax debut in 2012, having come through the club’s academy system.

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The proposed £300million takeover of Newcastle United has dramatically collapsed after the Saudi-backed buyers withdrew their bid.

A consortium bankrolled by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, and spearheaded by businesswoman Amanda Staveley, agreed a deal with Newcastle owner Mike Ashley in April.

However, the takeover fell through amid four months of scrutiny from the Premier League following concerns over piracy and human rights complaints in Saudi Arabia, leaving Ashley now without a buyer for the club.

And on Thursday, Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media announced it has formally withdrawn from the takeover process.

The news came as:

The Saudi royalty-backed fund blamed ‘the prolonged process’ of the takeover – and the scrutiny it was under from the Premier League and Government – and the global uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic for the deal’s collapse.
Deal broker Amanda Staveley said she was ‘heartbroken for the fans, the club and the community’.
The Campaign Against Arms Trade called for a revamped ‘fit and proper persons test’ and for football clubs to ‘never be propaganda vehicles for dictatorships’.
Scepticism continues to surround the reported rival £350m bid to buy the club from American television executive Henry Mauriss.
Sources close to the Saudis have also claimed that Ashley tried to ‘significantly renegotiate’ the £300m deal at the last minute, which contributed to the takeover collapsing.

The proposed takeover had taken plenty of twists throughout, and on Thursday morning it took another after Saudi Arabia appealed against a landmark piracy ruling – which placed fresh question marks on the mega-money deal.

The group were angered after Ashley tried to ‘significantly renegotiate’ the agreed £300m price following the expiry of the exclusivity deal which was signed four months ago.

Last month the World Trade Organisation issued a report which found representatives of the Saudi state had facilitated the activity of the pirate network beoutQ, which illegally broadcast a host of sporting events including Premier League matches.

Saudi Arabia initially claimed the WTO’s ruling was a vindication, but the WTO has since confirmed receipt of an appeal against it.

Documents relating to a £300m takeover at St James’ Park from current owner Ashley were registered with the Premier League back in April but it had been scrutinised throughout under an owners’ and directors’ test due to piracy and human rights issues.

But on Thursday afternoon, a statement from the investment group – PIF, PCP Capital Partners and the Reuben brothers – cited the economic uncertainty caused by the coronavirus crisis as a major factor in the takeover falling through.

The statement read: ‘Unfortunately, the prolonged process under the current circumstances coupled with global uncertainty has rendered the potential investment no longer commercially viable.

‘To that end, we feel a responsibility to the fans to explain the lack of alternatives from an investment perspective.
As an autonomous and purely commercial investor, our focus was on building long-term value for the club, its fans and the community as we remained committed to collaboration, practicality and pro-activity through a difficult period of global uncertainty and significant challenges for the fans and the club.

‘Ultimately, during the unforeseeably prolonged process, the commercial agreement between the investment group and the club’s owners expired and our investment thesis could not be sustained, particularly with no clarity as to the circumstances under which the next season will start and the new norms that will arise for matches, training and other activities.

‘As often occurs with proposed investments in uncertain periods, time itself became an enemy of the transaction, particularly during this difficult phase marked by the many real challenges facing us all from Covid-19.’

The takeover would have seen Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund gain an 80 per cent stake in the north east club.

The British-based Reuben brothers and financier Amanda Staveley were planning to each buy the remaining 10 per cent stakes to end the ownership of retail entrepreneur Ashley.

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Maddison to sign new deal

James Maddison made 38 appearances in all competitions for Leicester in 2019-20, scoring nine times

Leicester midfielder James Maddison has agreed a new four-year contract, tying him to the club until 2024.

BBC Sport understands the deal is worth more than £110,000 a week and should be confirmed in the coming days.

The news will be a boost to manager Brendan Rodgers after the club failed to secure a place in next season’s Champions League following their defeat by Manchester United on the final day.

Maddison’s existing deal was due to expire in 2023.

The 23-year-old was badly missed over the final games of the season after having minor hip surgery.

The £20m signing from Norwich in 2018 has developed into one of the most promising attacking players in the country and made his England debut in the 7-0 win over Montenegro in November.

However, there is uncertainty over the Foxes future of Ben Chilwell, who, like Maddison, missed the end of the season, with a heel injury.

Chilwell, also 23, a Leicester academy product and on a contract that runs to 2024, has been heavily linked with Chelsea.

Rodgers has said Chilwell is not for sale but in the past four summers Leicester have sold a key player – N’Golo Kante, Danny Drinkwater, Riyad Mahrez and Harry Maguire – and the expectation is they will do so again if a suitable bid is received.

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Inter want sanchez Permanently

Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard says he was “lost as a player and person” during the 2019-20 season.

Lingard, who was limited to just nine Premier League starts, says the recent campaign had been “difficult for so many reasons”.

“I never wanted to give up,” Lingard posted on Instagram. “I knew who I really was on and off the pitch.

“I knew having been there before I could get there again. It meant working harder than I’d ever done before.”

The England midfielder, 27, had assumed greater responsibility for his younger siblings after his mother fell ill earlier in the season.

His performances for United waned as a result and, speaking to the Daily Mail in December, he said had been “down and glum”.

Lingard revealed he had been told he was on his “last chance” by Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, following an incident on social media last summer.

“I wasn’t performing and he [Solskjaer] was on me all the time. He wanted more from me,” he added.

The midfielder was also reportedly the victim of verbal abuse, including a racial slur, as he boarded the team coach after the club’s FA Cup win at Derby County’s Pride Park in March.

In his latest social media post, Lingard acknowledges the fans “frustrations” but says his “love for this club and everyone connected to it has never left me”.

“This team, this club is my family and I will continue to keep working harder than ever to help this team achieve its goals,” he added.

Lingard’s only league goal came in the eighth minute of stoppage time in his side’s crucial 2-0 win over Leicester City, which sealed third place and a Champions League qualification spot on the final day.