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Today, 02:06 AM

Liverpool sign Robertson in £8m deal



Liverpool have completed the £8 million signing of Hull City full-back Andrew Robertson.

The Scotland international has signed a long-term deal at Anfield having completed a medical on Thursday, with his fee set to rise to as much as £10m should he meet certain criteria during his time on Merseyside.

Robertson's arrival could allow James Milner to move back to a more familiar role in midfield after he filled in admirably at left-back for much of last season, while Alberto Moreno and Jon Flanagan remain in Jurgen Klopp's squad.

The 23-year-old has played 57 Premier League matches for Hull, scoring one goal and laying on four assists, and was one of the Tigers's most consistent performers as they were relegated in 2016-17.

“It feels a wee bit surreal just now. Obviously I’m delighted," he told Liverpool's website upon his signing. "There’s been a lot of speculation over the last couple of weeks but I’m glad that the deal’s finally been done and I’m a Liverpool player.

“My family are proud of what I’ve achieved so far and they’re all over the moon with the move, as well as me of course. We’re all just looking forward to being part of the Liverpool family now.

“There’s not many, if any, more special clubs than Liverpool. When you grow up as a kid you dream of playing with big clubs such as Liverpool and to make that a reality is a dream come true for me.“I just want to prove to people that I can do it at this level, and hopefully I manage to do that this season and go on to do good things for this club.”

The Glasgow-born defender started his professional career at Queen's Park after being released form Celtic's youth system. After one season in Scottish football's bottom tier, he joined Dundee United in the Premiership and moved to Hull City a year later.

He becomes Jurgen Klopp's third signing of the summer following the arrival of Dominic Solanke and Mohamed Salah earlier in pre-season.After confirming Robertson's signing, Liverpool announced that midfielder Kevin Stewart has gone the other way for an undisclosed fee.

The 23-year-old signed a three-year deal with Hull after spending three years at Anfield, making 11 Premier League appearances, 20 in all competitions, over the last two seasons.
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Today, 02:07 AM

Van Dijk has asked to leave Southampton - Pellegrino



Virgil van Dijk has been sent to train alone by manager Mauricio Pellegrino after telling Southampton he wants to leave.

Liverpool were leading the race to sign the defender, who also attracted attention from Manchester City and Chelsea, but the Reds publicly backed out of the deal after reports that Southampton were threatening action.

The Netherlands international is said to have set his sights on a move to Anfield, though, and is looking to force a way out, prompting his new boss to leave him out of their pre-season preparations.“The boy said that he is not available to play because he wants to leave. This is the decision," Pellegrino said of the 26-year-old.

“I had to say 'if you don’t want to be involved because you don’t feel OK then you have to train alone until this period of time happens'.“My relationship with Virgil is excellent. I was clear with the boy, and I was talking from the first day with him."

Southampton executive director Les Reed said in June that Van Dijk is not for sale at any price, and Pellegrino insists it is the centre-back who must change his stance.

“The club was clear. The club told me they will not sell Virgil.“I translated the idea of the club to the player and for me it was easy because I had to manage the dynamic of the team.

“Now he is not involved with the team because psychologically he is not 100 per cent. If you are not 100 per cent with the team I need to work with the players who are 1000 per cent to defend Southampton. It’s easy for me.

“I hope that Virgil can review his feelings because you know that today a player is big business. Not just the player but behind them is a lot of interests.“I don’t want to say too much but we need the player, but 100 per cent. This is the question.”

Van Dijk has made 55 Premier League appearances for Southampton since joining from Celtic in 2015. He is contracted to the club until 2022.
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Today, 02:09 AM

Chelsea complete £70m Morata signing from Real Madrid



Alvaro Morata’s move to Chelsea from Real Madrid has been completed, the Premier League champions have confirmed.

The 24-year-old striker has moved to Stamford Bridge for a reported fee of £70 million and has agreed a five-year contract, having played 43 times for the European champions last season, netting on 20 occasions.However, he found himself surplus to requirements at the Bernabeu and has elected to join up with Antonio Conte’s side.

"I am so happy to be here," he told Chelsea's official website. "It’s an incredible emotion to be part of this big club. I am looking to work hard, score as many goals as I can and to win as many trophies as possible."

Chelsea's technical director Michael Emanelo added the club expect a great deal of him: "We believe he can make a great impact for Chelsea and look forward to seeing him in action. Alvaro has proven class at the highest level and his quality will be a huge asset to Antonio and the squad."The striker will meet with his team-mates on their pre-season tour of Asia, as they prepare to face Arsenal in Beijing on Saturday.

Conte insisted on Friday that Morata was his first-choice target for the No.9 role, despite Chelsea's attempts to sign Romelu Lukaku before his move to Manchester United.

"I think for sure this is a good signing for us, he is a young player but has a lot of experience, he went to Juventus and Real Madrid," Conte said of him. "He has a lot of experience and I think this is a good signing for us."

Morata, who came through the Madrid youth ranks, narrowly missed playing under the Italian with Juventus, arriving at the Serie A giants for a two-season stint shortly after Conte departed for the Italy national team job, but revealed the manager’s influence played a great role in him electing to move to Stamford Bridge.“I’m going to the team managed by the coach who has placed the most faith in me,” he said.

Willy Caballero, Antonio Rudiger and Tiemoue Bakayoko have already joined up with the Blues this summer, making Morata their fourth signing.
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Today, 02:10 AM

James: I can replace Messi and Ronaldo



New Bayern Munich signing James Rodriguez has outlined ambitious plans to take over from Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as one of the world's foremost footballers.

The Colombia international joined the Bundesliga champions this month on an initial two-year loan deal, with the option to make the move permanent in 2019.

James joined Real Madrid for a reported €70million from Monaco after lighting up World Cup 2014, but he struggled to convince Carlo Ancelotti, Rafael Benitez and Zinedine Zidane that he was worthy of a regular place in the starting line-up.

However, having rejoined Ancelotti at the Allianz Arena, the 26-year-old is now determined to establish himself as one of the game's greats and even take over from Messi and Ronaldo, who have dominated European football for much of the last decade.

Asked if he could succeed the Barcelona and Madrid stars, James said: "Why not? They are big players. I'll be ready for what happens in the future and improve in world football."

James made only 13 starts in La Liga last season, but he accepts that he is not guaranteed a place in the Bayern line-up given the talent at Ancelotti's disposal."We have big players at Bayern and the competition for the team is very intense," he said.

"I have to win my place through training hard every day. I want more minutes and more success [than last season]."It's a unique club, with the obligation of winning trophies and I hope it continues next season."
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Today, 02:12 AM

Ancelotti working to make Sanches an AC Milan fan



Bayern Munich head coach Carlo Ancelotti is trying to persuade Renato Sanches to support AC Milan, hinting the Portugal midfielder could join the Serie A side.

Sanches is reportedly the latest target for the big-spending Italians, who have signed a raft of players including Italy centre-back Leonardo Bonucci from Juventus and Sanches' international team-mate Andre Silva in a busy transfer window.

Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has claimed Sanches could be out of Milan's price range, although a loan to San Siro has also been suggested.

Speaking ahead of Bayern's International Champions Cup clash with Milan in Shenzhen on Saturday, Ancelotti hinted Sanches could yet move to the the Italian's former club.

"Milan have had a great transfer window so far," Ancelotti told reporters on Friday. "They've bought a lot of players and the impact of the new owners [Li Yonghong's Rossoneri Sport Investment Lux] has been important.

"I hope they have a great season, I have a good relationship with [Milan head coach Vincenzo] Montella and I think he did a good job last season. They have a better team this year and they'll fight for the Scudetto, I wish them the best.Regarding my time, Milan has changed a lot, but I have good memories.

"I'm always happy to face Milan because I'm still a Milan fan and I push my players to become Milan fans."Sanches? Right now he's working for us, but yes I'm working to make him a Milan fan."

But the Bayern boss indicated there will be no immediate announcement regarding a potential move for the 19-year-old midfielder."There's nothing new on his future," Ancelotti added.
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