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Rediff.com  » Sports » Football Briefs: Conte wants more signings; Lallana injured

Football Briefs: Conte wants more signings; Lallana injured

Last updated on: August 04, 2017 20:31 IST

News of all that's transpired on and off the football field

Conte wants more signings

Antonio Conte

IMAGE: Antonio Conte speaks to the media. Photograph: Claudio Villa/Getty Images.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte says he is not satisfied with the depth of his squad, a week ahead of the defence of the Premier League title won in May.

"It's very important to try to improve our squad, we have a small squad," he told a news conference ahead of Sunday's

Community Shield match against FA Cup holders Arsenal at Wembley.

"I think only one player is not enough to improve our team. We need more players, not at top level like Neymar, more players to improve our quality."

Conte, who took the title to Stamford Bridge in his first season, has so far signed four players: defender Antonio Rudiger from Roma, midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko (Monaco) and striker Alvaro Morata (Real Madrid), plus back-up goalkeeper Willy Caballero (Manchester City).

Chelsea have lost former captain John Terry to Championship (second tier) club Aston Villa and Nemanja Matic to Jose Mourinho's Manchester United, as well as a number of squad players.

They have a net spend estimated at only 22 million pounds, compared to Arsenal's £43 million, Manchester City's £182 million and United's £136 million.

The chances of striker Diego Costa staying at the club diminished further this week when reports in Spain quoted Costa's lawyer as saying the player would formally ask for a transfer.

Costa has claimed that the manager only told him by text message in June that he no longer figures in Chelsea's plans, but a Chelsea spokesman described that as "nonsense" on Friday, adding that the player and his agent knew in January that he would be allowed to leave.

Liverpool's Lallana out injured for a couple of months

Adam Lallana

IMAGE: Adam Lallana. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana could be out of action for a couple of months after suffering a thigh injury, manager Juergen Klopp said on Friday.

The 29-year-old England international was hurt during Liverpool's pre-season loss to Atletico Madrid on penalties in Munich on Wednesday.

"This is certainly not news we would have wanted," Klopp told the club website.

"Unfortunately, the damage is such that it will likely mean Adam is out for a couple of months not weeks, so I think we can pretty much rule him out of August and September.

"Beyond that we will monitor and wait and see. He is a boy with a world-class attitude to everything professionally and he has always come back in good time from injury setbacks since I have been here."

Lallana joined Liverpool from Southampton in July 2014 and scored eight league goals last season.

He will now miss the start of Liverpool's next Premier League campaign, which begins at Watford on Aug. 12, three days before the first leg of their Champions League playoff against Hoffenheim.

He will also be a major doubt for England's next two World Cup qualifiers, against Malta and Slovakia in September.

Netherlands to face Denmark in Women's Euro final

Netherlands’ Danielle van de Donk celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates during their Euro semi-final on Thursday

IMAGE: Netherlands’ Danielle van de Donk celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates during their Euro semi-final on Thursday. Photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters

Host nation Netherlands swept England aside 3-0 on Thursday to reach their first Women's European Championship final and set up a showpiece encounter against Denmark.

The Dutch took the lead in the 22nd minute as Vivianne Miedema rose to head home Jackie Groenen's pinpoint cross from the right wing, as England struggled in the absence of influential midfielder Jill Scott due to suspension.

England went close to equalising minutes later but Netherlands captain Sherida Spitse turned Jade Moore's header from a corner onto the post, with the ball eventually bouncing away to safety.

Danielle van de Donk doubled the Dutch advantage in the 62nd minute, pouncing on Fara Williams's headed back pass and deftly lifting the ball over the despairing dive of England goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain.

England peppered the Dutch penalty area with long balls and went close to scoring on several occasions, but they could not find the goal that would get them back in the game in front of the partisan sell-out crowd.

Lieke Martens had the final say, firing home a deflected shot deep into injury time to give the Dutch a measure of revenge for their 2009 semi-final loss to England and set up a mouth-watering tournament decider on Sunday.

Earlier, Denmark reached the final of the women's European championships on Thursday after beating Austria 3-0 on penalties as goalkeeper Stina Lykke made two superb saves and Simone Boye confidently fired the decisive spot kick into the top corner.

The shootout win, after the match finished 0-0 following extra time, put the Danes in the final of the Euros for the first time after they lost their previous five last-four encounters.

Having blown the competition wide open in the quarter-finals by beating reigning champions and eight-times Euro winners Germany 2-1, the Danes looked the better side against an Austria team competing at their first major finals.

Both sides had plenty of chances to score over the 120 minutes, with Austria's Sarah Puntigam missing the best of them as she blasted a penalty high over the bar early in the first half.

Austria had beaten Spain 5-3 on penalties to reach the semis, but this time around they failed to hold their nerve, with Laura Feiersinger missing and Lykke diving to her right to deny both Viktoria Pinther and Verena Aschauer.

Leicester sign striker Iheanacho from Man City

Manchester City Kelechi Iheanacho (foreground)

IMAGE: Manchester City Kelechi Iheanacho (foreground). Photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters

Leicester City have signed striker Kelechi Iheanacho from ManchesterCity on a five-year contract, the Premier League clubs have said.

No financial terms were disclosed, but British media reported that Leicester paid 25 million pounds ($32.84 million) for the 20-year-old Nigerian and that City had inserted a 50 million pound buy-back clause into his contract.

He is Leicester manager Craig Shakespeare's fourth signing since the end of last season, following the arrivals of centre back Harry Maguire, goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic and midfielder Vicente Iborra.

"It's a great signing for us. Kelechi is an enormously talented player that has shown a huge amount of promise at every level in which he's played," Shakespeare told Leicester's website.

Iheanacho, who has scored 21 goals in 64 appearances for ManchesterCity, made his senior debut for Nigeria in 2015 and has scored six times in 10 appearances for his country.

While he struggled for minutes after City signed Brazilian Gabriel Jesus last season, he was also a target for West Ham United and Shakespeare spoke of his delight in beating Leicester's Premier League rivals to his signature.

"We've tracked his progress for some time, so we know how much quality he'll bring to the squad," the manager added.

"He's young, he's hungry, he's ready for the next stage of his development and I'm delighted that will be with LeicesterCity."

Milan brush aside Craiova at packed San Siro

AC Milan brushed aside Univesitatea Craiova in front of a euphoric crowd who packed the San Siro for a Europa League qualifier on Thursday.

Giacomo Bonaventura and Patrick Cutrone scored early in each half to give Milan a 2-0 win as they completed a 3-0 aggregate victory in their third qualifying round tie.

Milan's spending spree since the end of last season has revived interest in the side and generated a feeling of unbridled optimism among their supporters.

Their first home European tie for more than three years pulled in a 65,000 crowd to watch them face opponents who finished fifth in Romania last season, the supporters clearly believing that the years of midtable mediocrity are over.

"It's been a great night and the fans deserved it for the love which they have shown the club," said coach Vincenzo Montella.

"We hope to have many more evenings like this and will work hard to make it happen.”

The seven-time European champions threw themselves onto the attack and went ahead after nine minutes when Bonaventura fired in a loose ball from 12 metres.

The hosts survived a scare when goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma denied Ionit Mitrita, who had a clear run on goal.

Cutrone made the game safe in the 52nd minute when he turned the ball in after Mateo Musacchio flicked on Ricardo Rodriguez's free kick.

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