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Rediff.com  » Sports » Football Briefs: Manchester City's Walker backs decision to cut holidays short

Football Briefs: Manchester City's Walker backs decision to cut holidays short

Last updated on: August 07, 2018 16:07 IST

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Manchester City's Kyle Walker (left)

IMAGE: Manchester City's Kyle Walker (left). Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images via Reuters

Manchester City defender Kyle Walker has said he would have been "stupid" not to cut his post-World Cup break short and return to the club's pre-season training camp.

Walker and fellow City defender John Stones were part of the England squad that finished fourth at the World Cup and returned to full training last week. Both players started City's 2-0 win over Chelsea in the Community Shield on Sunday.

 

"To not be a part of this would have been stupid, for me to not want to come back," Walker told reporters.

"Come Christmas I might be saying to you that I'm absolutely knackered, but that is just football.

"The gaffer gave me the option, he said you can either come back on Aug. 6 after this, or you can come back and to play," Walker added.

Kroenke wins $2.3 billion battle for Arsenal after Usmanov agrees to sell

American billionaire Stan Kroenke has struck a deal to take Arsenal private by buying out Russian rival and minority investor Alisher Usmanov in a move that values the English Premier League soccer club at around $2.3 billion.

The deal comes at a crucial time for the north London club as it embarks on life without long-time manager Arsene Wenger who stood down in April after 22 years in charge.

It also brings an end to the standoff between the two tycoons, who had both battled for control, and enables Kroenke to squeeze out the independent shareholders who had used the annual meeting to lambast the board for not spending more on a team that last won the Premier League in 2004.

The Arsenal Supporters' Trust and one independent shareholder condemned the move, saying it would allow Kroenke to run the business with no oversight and to add debt to the balance sheet.

The bid will be part funded by a 557 million pound loan from Deutsche Bank.

Kroenke, a 67-percent shareholder in Arsenal who also owns the U.S. Denver Nuggets basketball team and the Los Angeles Rams American Football team, said in a statement to the London stock exchange that a single owner would be able to pursue its strategy more quickly.

"We appreciate Mr Usmanov's dedication to the Arsenal Football Club and the storied ethos and history the club represents," he said.

Rondon moves to Newcastle from West Brom in loan swap with Gayle

Newcastle United completed the season-long loan signing of Venezuela striker Salomon Rondon from West Bromwich Albion on Monday, with forward Dwight Gayle moving in the opposite direction in the same deal.

Rondon, Newcastle's sixth signing of the close season, scored 10 goals in 40 games in all competitions for West Brom last season as they were relegated from the Premier League.

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez, who has been vocal about the club's need to add fresh faces in the transfer window, was delighted by the capture of Rondon.

"When we were looking for options up front, we knew how important experience would be. Salomon has been in the Premier League for a while and he knows how demanding it is," he said.

Gayle, who is 27, played a key part of Newcastle's return to the top flight in 2017, scoring 23 goals in 32 appearances as the north-east club won promotion.

Bowyer leaves Blackpool after first game of the season

Blackpool manager Gary Bowyer has stepped down after one game of the new season, the League One (third-tier) side said on Monday.

Blackpool began their campaign with a 0-0 draw at Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday.

Bowyer, 47, took charge of Blackpool in 2016 after the club were relegated to League Two and secured immediate promotion back to League One in his first season in charge.

"It has been a pleasure to manage Blackpool Football Club over the past two years," he said after becoming the first manager in England's top four divisions to depart this season.

His assistant Terry McPhillips will take charge of the club on an interim basis. Blackpool's next match is a league fixture at home against Portsmouth on Saturday.

Australia defender Sainsbury joins PSV Eindhoven

Australia defender Trent Sainsbury has joined PSV Eindhoven on a three-year deal after being released by Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning, the Dutch champions said on Tuesday.

The move reunites the 26-year-old Sainsbury with Mark van Bommel, who took charge of the Dutch club after completing his role as assistant to Australia coach Bert van Marwijk at the World Cup in Russia.

"Trent is a defender who we found interesting when he was still playing at PEC Zwolle," PSV interim technical manager John de Jong told the club's website.

"He is now a player with a lot of international experience. Among other things at the World Cup, he showed that he has developed excellently."

Sainsbury has won 38 caps for Australia since making his debut four years ago.

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