Sports News


Crystal Palace have confirmed the signing of defender Chris Richards from Bayern Munich on a five-year deal.

The 22-year-old American centre-back joined Bayern from FC Dallas in 2018 and had been on loan at Hoffenheim since February 2021.

Richards told the Palace website: ‘I grew up watching the Premier League and grew up of course watching (Wilfried) Zaha, so it’ll be cool to spend some time on the field with them (the players) and be a part of this historic club.

It’s a lot of young players but also young players who have a lot of fight.

‘Palace is a club that seems like they’re always fighting.’

Eagles chairman Steve Parish said: ‘Chris is a hugely talented young player, and he brings a lot of experience at a high level for his age, as well being an established international for the USA national side.

‘I had the great pleasure of spending some time with him and his family yesterday and I know he will be a great fit for the club and I’m sure will become a firm fans’ favourite.

‘Competition can only drive him and our squad on.’



Former Liverpool striker and Uruguay’s all-time leading goalscorer Luis Suarez has returned to the club he made his debut with 17 years ago.

The 35-year-old striker announced the news on Twitter, a day after he told fans he had reached a pre-agreement with Nacional in Montevideo.

On Wednesday, Suarez said the deal was official and he changed his social media profile to one of himself wearing the white, blue and red of Nacional.

“I am proud to wear my shirt again at @Nacional!” Suarez wrote on Twitter. “Thank you all for the support! SEE YOU SOON.”

Nacional also confirmed Suarez’s return to the club where he began his professional career in 2005 but did not disclose the financial details or the length of the contract.

“Happy to have you home!” the team wrote in response to Suarez’s post.

The 35-year-old became a free agent after his two-season contract expired with Atletico Madrid in Spain and had been considering a variety of teams to sign with.

He had been competing in LaLiga since 2014, with a long spell at Barcelona followed by two seasons with Atletico Madrid.

The striker is the Uruguayan national team’s all-time leading scorer, with 68 goals in 132 games.

When Suarez signed a five-and-a-half-year deal with Liverpool in 2011, he was the club’s most expensive signing at £22.8million. He went on to win the League Cup in his first full season.

In 2014, he equalled the goalscoring record for a 38-game Premier League season and won his first European Golden Shoe.

That summer he moved to Barcelona in a transfer worth £64.98 million.



Napoli have signed defender Leo Ostigard from Brighton on a permanent deal for an undisclosed fee, subject to international clearance.

The 22-year-old Norway international joined Albion in 2018 and spent the first half of last season on loan with Stoke before making a temporary move to Genoa in the January transfer window.

Brighton technical director David Weir told the club website: “This transfer is a direct result of dedication and professionalism on the training pitch, day to day and in matches.

“On behalf of the club I would like to wish him well in his future career and for the season ahead.”



Sadio Mane was crowned African Player of the Year in Rabat on Thursday for the second time.

The Senegal forward first won the honour in 2019 while he was at Liverpool.

The 30-year-old left the Premier League club last month after signing a three-year deal with Bayern Munich.

“I am really honoured and highly delighted to receive this award again,” Mane said.

“Thanks to my coaches, my club and national team colleagues and those friends who stood by me during difficult times.”

Mane was in the Moroccan capital to receive the award after a dash across the Atlantic having converted a penalty for his new club in a 6-2 pre-season friendly win over DC United in Washington on Wednesday.

It was the second successive continental player of the year award for Mane after the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of the last two editions.

He won ahead of former Liverpool teammate Mohamed Salah from Egypt and fellow Senegal international and Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.

Mane and Salah played pivotal roles last season with Liverpool, who lifted the FA Cup and English League Cup and finished runners-up in the Premier League and Champions League.

Salah has since signed a new contract at Anfield while Mane opted for a move, with Bayern reportedly paying an initial 32 million euros ($32.5 million) that could rise to 41 million euros.

The transfer fee was a far cry from the four million euros Red Bull Salzburg paid Metz in 2012 when Mane made his first move in Europe.



Sebastien Haller says he has completed the first step of his treatment after being diagnosed with a testicular tumour.

Borussia Dortmund’s former West Ham forward complained about feeling unwell following training on Monday and immediate medical examinations detected the tumour.

Posting a picture from his hospital bed on Thursday, a smiling Haller tweeted: “Hello everyone, I wanted to let you know that Step 1 has been completed!

“I would like to thank the @BVB (Dortmund) and the medical team who were exceptional with me.

“A big thank you also to all the nursing staff of the hospital for their support – benevolence.”

Haller added prayer and flexed biceps showing strength emojis to the tweet.

The 28-year-old Ivory Coast international joined Dortmund from Ajax earlier this month for a reported £27million.

He signed a four-year deal, after scoring 32 goals in 36 appearances in all competitions for the Dutch club last season.

Haller spent one and a half seasons at West Ham, making over 50 appearances, before the Hammers sold him to Ajax for £20.25 million in January 2021.

Dortmund quote tweeted Haller’s message and said: “Always a smile on his face…get well soon Seb!”

West Ham replied to their former player’s tweet: “We’re all with you, Seb!”, adding a heart emoji.



Already wearing Barcelona’s colors, Robert Lewandowski joined the squad in Miami on Sunday ahead of his medical and the signing of his contract with the Catalan club.

“I am very happy to have joined FC Barcelona,” Lewandowski said from Miami in a video released by Barcelona ahead of its U.S. tour.

The striker will sign his contract and be officially introduced by the club after undergoing the medical on Monday.

Barcelona on Saturday reached an agreement with Bayern Munich to acquire the Poland striker in a deal expected to reach nearly 50 million euros ($50.5 million).

Barcelona’s squad, still without Lewandowski, had its first training session in the United States on Sunday. It will play Miami in Florida before facing Real Madrid in Las Vegas, Juventus in Dallas and the New York Red Bull in New Jersey.

The 33-year-old Lewandowski has been one of soccer’s most prolific scorers in the last decade and was voted as FIFA’s best player of the year in 2020 and 2021. He arrives to boost a Barcelona team that did not win any titles last season following the departure of Lionel Messi.



The Borussia Dortmund forward Sébastien Haller has a testicular tumour and has left his new club’s preseason training camp in Switzerland.

In an official statement, Dortmund said that the 28-year-old first complained of feeling unwell at training on Monday. The tumour was found during a medical examination, with Haller returning to Germany to undergo further tests. Tumours can be benign and do not always lead to a diagnosis of cancer.

“This news today came as a shock to Sebastien Haller and everyone else,” the club’s sporting director, Sebastian Kehl, said. “The entire BVB family hopes that Sébastien makes a full recovery as soon as possible and that we can give him a hug again soon. We’ll do everything in our power to ensure that he receives the best possible treatment.”

Haller joined Dortmund earlier this month from Ajax, with Dortmund paying an initial €31m for a player they targeted to replace Erling Haaland. The France-born Ivory Coast international scored 34 goals for the Dutch side last season, including 11 in eight Champions League games.

Following Dortmund’s announcement, Ajax simply tweeted “Seb” with heart and prayer emojis. West Ham, where Haller played from 2019 to 2021, tweeted: “We’re with you, @HallerSeb. Wishing you the best with your recovery.”



Manchester United have moved a step closer to a third signing of the summer after an agreement was reached with Ajax over the transfer of Lisandro Martinez.

New boss Erik ten Hag saw Christian Eriksen complete a switch to Old Trafford on Friday, 10 days after Tyrell Malacia became the first addition of the Dutchman’s era, and another is on the horizon.

United announced on Sunday afternoon that Martinez was on the verge of signing, pending a medical, personal terms and a UK visa requirement.

“Manchester United is delighted to announce the club has reached agreement with Ajax for the transfer of Argentine international defender Lisandro Martinez, subject to medical, to player terms being finalised, and to UK visa requirements,” a statement read.

Martinez flew into England over the weekend to complete his deal, which is expected to be a five-year contract.

Centre-back Martinez will depart Ajax for an initial $57.37 million (€57 million) but it could rise by a further $10 million, the Dutch club confirmed in a statement.

The 24-year-old moved to the Eredivisie outfit three years ago and has made 120 appearances during that time, scoring on six occasions.

Martinez worked with Ten Haag throughout his time at the Johan Cruyff Arena and will link up with him again in Manchester.

United are currently out in Australia for their pre-season tour and have two more friendly fixtures before they conclude their time Down Under.

The Red Devils will face Crystal Palace on Tuesday and another Premier League side next weekend in Aston Villa.

Fellow new addition Eriksen will not be flying out to Australia, the PA news agency understands, and it could also be a similar case for Martinez, who will join fellow Argentinian Alejandro Garnacho at Old Trafford.



Wayne Rooney has made a swift return to management after being named as the new head coach of his former club DC United.

The 36-year-old left Derby last month following a tumultuous spell where his own stock improved despite chaos off the pitch at the Rams.

The former England, Manchester United and Everton striker has wasted no time getting back into the game, although he will have to wait for completion of a visa application to formally take up his new role back in Washington, where he enjoyed a two-year playing spell.

“DC United announced today that Wayne Rooney has been named as the club’s new head coach,” the Major League Soccer club said in a statement.

“Interim head coach Chad Ashton will remain in charge of the team until Wayne Rooney has received his work visa.”

Rooney joined DC United in June 2018 as a designated player and went on to make 48 appearances, scoring 23 goals and getting 15 assists.

“Wayne is a soccer legend and one of the most exciting and dynamic up-and-coming managers in our sport,” DC United co-chairmen Jason Levien and Steve Kaplan said in a statement.

“He’s already proven in his young coaching career that he knows how to lead a group through adversity.

“He has an understanding of our league and what it takes to be successful in Major League Soccer thanks to his two-year stay with us as a player.

“The passion he showed while wearing black and red electrified our city and our club and we are so excited to welcome him back as our head coach.”

DC United confirmed Rooney will join the club and assume the role of head coach pending the receipt of his P-1 Visa, with the rest of the coaching staff to be announced at a later date.



Erik Ten Hag is not getting carried away with Manchester United’s 4-0 friendly victory against rivals Liverpool in his first match in charge.

More than 50,000 were in the cavernous Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok to see the Premier League giants open their respective pre-season campaigns on Tuesday night.

New boss Ten Hag saw promising signs in Thailand, where Jadon Sancho, Fred and Anthony Martial scored in the first half and Facundo Pellistri wrapped up the eye-catching win.

It was a dream start in terms of result but the Dutchman wants much more from his team.

“Of course we are satisfied today because I think that was a team with a great spirit and we know we are just starting and things went wrong, clear,” Ten Hag said.
“We did the press, we made some mistakes in pressing, we conceded some chances, but also we created a lot.

“I think our team played brave, played proactive. We have to work really hard to cut out the mistakes but of course we are happy with the first game. I know we have good players.

“Now we have to construct a team and we started the first game now, so I am happy with the first game.”

Liverpool had numerous chances to score across a match in which they made sweeping changes on three occasions.

United changed their outfield line-up at half-time and were under the cosh in the second half of the Bangkok Century Cup clash.

“Believe me, I have seen a lot of mistakes,” Ten Hag told MUTV. “You would not say (that when you look) at the result but, be honest, Liverpool plays in three teams.

“They were not in their strongest so we have to not overestimate this result. We have to (be careful).

“But, still, I have seen some really good things and I think what you see is we have a lot of creativity and speed up front, so we have potential.”
Ten Hag skipped the press conference as United hotfooted it to the airport to fly to Australia, but Jurgen Klopp faced the media after a night in which his side somehow failed to score.

New boy Fabio Carvalho and Luis Diaz hit the post in the opening period, with Mohamed Salah rattling the woodwork in the second half among a glut of chances.

“The result obviously stands there so we have to accept that always,” Klopp said, admitting it was “pretty freaky” they did not score.

“But of course I think it’s clear that we could have scored our goals as well.

“But then I think it would have been an even more spectacular game because I think the goals we gave away to United…we should get assists for it, to be honest.

“But they used their chances, so that’s how it is. They had really good moments, caused us problems in a few, but I saw a lot of good stuff from a team as well.

“The game obviously came a bit too early for us, for a few of our players. You can see that as well. Mistakes happen in football.

“We could have scored I think three or four in the last five minutes but didn’t and that was our fault.

“The atmosphere great, welcome fantastic, organisation really, really good. The result (not) so that’s what the situation pretty much.”

Among the new faces on display on Tuesday was big-money summer signing Darwin Nunez.

“It was his third session and I think after his third sprint his lung was nearly ready to explode, like we killed him nearly,” Klopp said.

“But he offered the runs and the boys wanted to pass the ball there, so that’s for sure one of his strengths.

“He was dangerous, all these kind of things. Now we will see but I think his profile is a proper number nine so that’s helpful with speed, all these kinds of things, with aggression, use his body.”