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Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford is to undergo shoulder surgery, the Premier League giants announced Friday, and could now miss the opening months of the new season.

The 23-year-old has long had shoulder trouble, nursing the injury for much of last season and during his involvement in Euro 2020, where Rashford was one of several England players who missed a penalty in a shootout loss to Italy in the final.

But he could now be out of action until October at the earliest, with a United statement saying: “Following consultation between Marcus, the manager, club medical staff and specialists, Marcus will undergo surgery imminently to resolve his shoulder injury.

“He will now focus on his rehabilitation in order to return as soon as possible.”

United begin their Premier League season at home to Leeds on August 14, and it could be that Rashford also misses up to five World Cup qualifiers with England.

Rashford, speaking about his fitness during the Euros last month, accepted he had not been in peak form during the second half of a 2020/21 season where United finished as runners-up to Premier League champions and local rivals Manchester City.

“Obviously I am not performing at my best and what I know I can perform to,” Rashford said at the time.

“Whatever that is down to, it doesn’t really matter because it has been going on since early on in the season. I managed to get through the season with United.

“I think I had 36 goal involvements, so I can’t look back at the year and say ‘mmm, I should have taken time off to do this and do that’. That’s just not the way I look at things. I just want to be available for every game.”

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Gary Lineker has joined La Liga TV as part of their coverage for the upcoming Spanish football season.

Lineker revealed in May that he was leaving his position as host of BT Sport’s Champions League coverage, finishing up after the final between Chelsea and Man City.

He is now taking on a new role in presenting ‘key fixtures’ in La Liga and will also be involved in their studio programme, which is broadcast live from Barcelona.

“I’m thrilled to become a part of LaLigaTV, a channel I’ve watched every weekend for the last two seasons” said Lineker, who featured for FC Barcelona from 1986 to 1989, scoring 42 goals in 103 league appearances.

“I have fond memories of my time playing in Spain and very much look forward to sharing the excitement of LaLiga with viewers in the UK and elsewhere.”

Lineker is to continue presenting BBC’s Match of the Day programme. La Liga TV was launched in the UK and Ireland in January 2020, as a result of a partnership with Premier Sports.

The new season begins on Friday 13 August. Champions Atletico Madrid take on Celta Vigo on the opening weekend, Real Madrid face Deportivo Alaves while Barcelona are at home to Real Sociedad.

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Aston Villa have received a £100 million bid from Man City for Jack Grealish, reports say
Villa were contacted by City’s transfer chiefs on Thursday with a Premier League-record bid having since been tabled to test the club’s resolve.

Villa, meanwhile, remain hopeful of tying their star player down to a lucrative new contract – believed to be around £200,000-a-week – with Grealish expected back in at Bodymoor Heath for talks from Monday.

The 25-year-old remains Pep Guardiola’s priority signing alongside Spurs forward Harry Kane, with City seeing their £100 million move rejected by Tottenham last month.

City’s attention has since shifted to Villa’s captain with BirminghamLive being informed that the Grealish camp remains split on what to do next; stay with Villa or push through a move to City.

Villa’s owners, Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens, are confident of keeping Grealish in B6 as they look to progress once more next season with European qualification the club’s aim.

As for City, Guardiola has spoken of his admiration of Villa’s captain before with the City chief also confident of persuading the England playmaker to join in search of instant success, both domestically and in Europe.

BirminghamLive has been informed by Manchester Evening News that City are prepared to go above £100 million for Grealish.

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Wayne Rooney has apologised to his family and Derby Football Club after images emerged on Sunday appearing to show the former England striker asleep in a hotel room surrounded by a group of young women.

“I made a mistake,” Derby manager Rooney told Sky Sports after the Championship club’s friendly against Real Betis on Wednesday.

“I went to a private party with two of my friends and from me, I’d like to apologise to my family and the club for the images which were going round and I want to move forward on this.

“I’m grateful to Derby County for giving me this opportunity to get this club back to where it belongs, and I’ll do everything in my power to make sure I do that.”

The images were circulated on Sunday, gaining attention on social media and appeared to show Rooney asleep with women beside him.

Cheshire Police had confirmed on Tuesday that they had dropped a complaint of blackmail made concerning the images.

Rooney continued: “It’s dealt with. I’m looking forward to moving forward and preparing for another game on Sunday.”

The Rams host Notts County in a friendly on Sunday ahead of their opening match of the Championship season on Saturday, August 7 against Huddersfield.

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Celtic failed in their latest Champions League campaign Wednesday, going down 2-1 after extra-time and 3-2 on aggregate at Denmark’s Midtjylland in the second qualifying round with defiant coach Ange Postecoglou insisting: “I take responsibility.”

Celtic, the first British club ever to be crowned European champions in 1967, getting in a year ahead of Manchester United, had only themselves to blame as they squandered the lead to drop into the far less lucrative Europa League, where they will now take on Czech side Jablonec.

“Catastrophic means the end — it’s far from the end,” newly-arrived Postecoglou said.

“It’s been suggested that the club is falling apart. That’s not the case. I can’t ask more of the players. I take responsibility, I don’t blame people.”

Callum McGregor fired in a scorcher to give them hope, volleying home following a corner to put Celtic ahead three minutes after half-time.

James Forrest should then have all but killed the tie, only to fluff a gilt-edged chance for the visitors just after coming on.

The Glaswegians lived to regret that as Midtjylland drew level just after the hour as Awer Mabil, with 17 Australia caps to his credit, headed beyond keeper Scott Bain.

Celtic promptly fell behind on the night and on aggregate four minutes into the first period of extra-time, Raphael Onyedika firing home from close range amid confusion in the Celtic defence after a freekick routine.

The Danes now go on to face experienced Dutch outfit PSV Eindhoven, who won 2-1 away at Turkey’s Galatasaray for a 7-2 aggregate success, in the third qualifying round.

Celtic must now recover in time for this weekend’s start of the Scottish Premiership season. They face Hearts on Saturday.

In other games, Sparta Prague came from 2-1 down in the away leg to oust Rapid Vienna with a 2-0 home return and 1991 European champions Red Star Belgrade thrashed the Kazakhs of Kairat 5-0 to advance 6-2.

Elsewhere, Greek side Olympiakos won 1-0 at Neftchi Baku of Azerbaijan to complete a 2-0 victory.

Moldova’s Sheriff Tiraspol saw off Armenia’s Alashkert 3-1 to advance 4-1 overall and Romania’s Cluj were too strong for Gibraltar’s Lincoln Red Imps, who succumbed 2-0 on the night and 4-1 on aggregate.

Bulgaria’s Ludogorets put out NS Mura of Slovenia 3-1 on the night and on aggregate while Swiss side Young Boys Berne edged Slovakia’s Slovan Bratislava 3-2 on Wednesday after the first game ended goalless.

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Just one day before the athletics competition begins at the Tokyo Summer Games, the Australian Olympic Committee has forced members of the athletics team to isolate in the village.

A member of the team, pole vaulter Kurtis Marschall, came in contact with a positive case.

Channel 7’s Chris Reason said that after coming into contact with an American pole vaulter, the decision was made to isolate the entire athletics squad.

“We believe this is connected to an outbreak we believe is connected to the U.S. team,” Reason said. “We know that pole vault champion Sam Kendricks, a U.S. star and a real medal chance at these Games, has tested positive.

“It’s believed he was potentially training with the Aussie star Kurtis Marschall, our pole vault champion.

“Kurtis was told to go straight back. Kurtis was working with the rest of the team so the AOC have decided to take the entire track and field team and isolate them until further notice.”

The men’s pole vault begins Saturday.

A statement from the AOC confirmed that the members of the team will undergo PCR tests which should return results with a couple of hours.

“Members of Australia’s track and field team at the Tokyo Olympic Games are isolating in their rooms as a precautionary measure following news of a COVID positive finding with a member of the U.S. track and field team,” the statement read.

“Members of the Australian track and field team are now undergoing testing procedures in line with Australian Olympic Team protocols.”

The entire Australian track and field team is 62 athletes, after race-walker Dane Bird-Smith withdrew from the Games just before flying to Tokyo. It is not yet confirmed how many of the team are in isolation.

A statement from Team USA confirmed that Kendricks has tested positive to COVID-19.

The Australian track and field team has already been through a COVID-19 scare before leaving for Tokyo.

A staff member had an inconclusive test that later came back negative in Cairns at the group’s training camp.

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Crystal Palace have announced the signing of defender Joachim Andersen from Lyon for an undisclosed fee.

The Denmark international spent last season on loan with Fulham in the Premier League and will continue to ply his trade in England after he agreed a five-year deal at Selhurst Park.

Andersen is new boss Patrick Vieira’s fourth signing of the summer, following in the footsteps of Michael Olise, Remi Matthews and Marc Guehi.

He told the official club website: “I’m extremely proud to be joining Crystal Palace and to be playing in the world’s best football league.

“The management of the club and Patrick Vieira have given me very strong assurance that they know my qualities, they believe in me and want me to play an important role in the team.

“I have a very positive impression of Patrick from the conversations I have had with him and I have heard nothing but great things about the manager, the club and its plans for the future.”

With centre-backs Gary Cahill, Mamadou Sakho and Scott Dann released at the end of last season, the heart of defence was an area which needed to be bolstered and Andersen fits the bill for the style of play being implemented by Vieira.

Roy Hodgson’s successor is eager for Palace to pass out from the back, with possession-based football a key part of his tactics, and the ex-Fulham loanee gained admirers for his quality on the ball during the previous campaign.

Meanwhile, left-back Patrick Van Aanholt has completed a move to Galatasaray on a free transfer, signing a deal until the summer of 2024.

He wrote on Twitter: “Palace has been a proper home to me, you’ll forever be a part of my life. To the boys, good luck for the up and coming season. Big change, big opportunity, big rewards. Make it count.”

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Norwich’s pre-season friendly against Coventry has been cancelled due to a number of positive Covid-19 tests among the Premier League squad.

The fixture was scheduled to take place at Chesterfield’s Technique Stadium this evening but will now not go ahead following the test results.

“The decision was made as a precautionary measure following a small number of positive COVID-19 test results within City’s first team group,” a Norwich statement read.

“The club’s players and staff will continue to follow Premier League protocols and government guidelines, operating and training in their respective first team bubble at the Lotus Training Centre.”

The Canaries – who are preparing for their return to the Premier League having won the Sky Bet Championship last season – have already played King’s Lynn Town, Lincoln and Huddersfield in pre-season.

Daniel Farke’s side will now face recently-relegated Sheffield United on Saturday before playing Gillingham and Newcastle ahead of their season opener at home to Liverpool.

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Brighton & Hove Albion defender Ben White has completed his move to Arsenal for a fee of around £50 million, reports Fabrizio Romano. The defender joins hoping to become a key part of Mikel Arteta’s ongoing rebuild at the Emirates. He should tick the boxes for age, potential and ball-playing ability to slot straight into the side.

As for Brighton, they’ll consider the deal good business having received the £50 million fee. Without White, the Seagulls still have a solid bunch of defensive options including the more experienced Lewis Dunk, Joel Veltman and Adam Webster.

Arsenal fans will be satisfied with the move, but they’ll still have plenty of questions probably starting with, did they even need another centre-back? The Gunners already have David Luiz, Rob Holding, Gabriel and Pablo Mari. Sure Ben White offers added quality, but surely the budget should have gone on the frontline?

Last season saw Arsenal concede less goals than third place Liverpool yet finish the season five places and eight points away from them. The argue could be made that they didn’t need to target defenders, especially when looking at their offensive numbers.

Whilst conceding less goals than Liverpool, Arteta’s side scored less than Leeds United and Newcastle United. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struggled for the majority of the season, scoring just ten Premier League goals.

At the age of 32, the likelihood is that he only continues his decline in the forthcoming season, too, leaving Arsenal without a goalscoring. White will undoubtedly find success at the Emirates, but is he needed? No.

Instead, Arteta should have thrown sentiment out of the window and targeted a replacement for Aubameyang. Luckily for the Gunners, there is still time to welcome further players before the beginning of the season.

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Simone Biles has decided to withdraw from Thursday’s women’s all-around final, USA Gymnastics has confirmed.

The 24-year-old pulled out after one rotation of the women’s team final on Tuesday in Tokyo, citing mental health concerns.

USA Gymnastics said Biles is yet to decide whether to withdraw from her four individual finals, which are scheduled to take place next week.

In a statement, USA Gymnastics said: “After further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition.

“We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritising her well-being. Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many.”

Biles won four gold medals in Rio in 2016 and was aiming to become the first gymnast to retain a female all-around title at the Games since Vera Caslavska in 1968.

She successfully qualified for the final in first place but a mistake on her opening vault in Tuesday night’s team final prompted her to leave the arena with a US team medic.

Amid injury fears, Biles returned to the arena to support her team to an eventual silver medal behind the team representing the Russian Olympic Committee, and later revealed she had made her decision due to a desire to protect her mental health.

Biles said on Tuesday: “It’s been really stressful these Olympic Games, not having an audience. It’s been a long week, a long Olympic process, a long year. We are just a little bit too stressed out. We should be out here having fun.

“I feel like I’m also not having as much fun and this Olympic Games I wanted it to be for myself and it felt like I was still doing it for other people. It hurts my heart that doing what I love has been taken away from me to please other people.”