Reports in Germany are claiming Tottenham are close to signing Bayer Leverkusen forward Son Heung-Min in a £21m deal.The 23-year-old attacker scored 11 goals in 30 Bundesliga games last season, while Opta tell us he was also the only midfielder to score a hat-trick in the 2014/15 campaign, though Leverkusen lost 5-4 to Wolfsburg (below).Son, a South Korea international, is said to be heading to England to undergo a medical, meaning it looks like Tottenham have given up on trying to lure Saido Berahino from West Brom.Check out his best five goals last season as well as his hat-trick against Hamburg in 2013.
Eva Carneiro has left Chelsea 1 The Football Medical Association has issued a statement saying it is “extremely disappointed” that Eva Carneiro will not be resuming her full duties as first team doctor at Chelsea.The FMA – the body for medical staff in the game – has also confirmed her lawyers will handle her case after she parted company with the club.Carneiro parted company with Chelsea following the incident on the opening day of the season when she was criticised by manager Jose Mourinho for going on to the pitch to treat Eden Hazard.It is likely she will launch legal action claiming constructive dismissal.Mourinho was unhappy with Carneiro because it meant Hazard had to leave the field and Chelsea were temporarily down to nine men. As a result she was dropped from first-team duties.A statement said: “The FMA is extremely disappointed that Dr Eva Carneiro will not be resuming her full duties as first team doctor at Chelsea Football Club.“As the representative body for medicine and science personnel in the professional game, the FMA aims to protect the rights of its members.“Having recently been contacted by Eva, we have offered our full support in attempting to negotiate a satisfactory outcome.“Unfortunately this has not resulted in our preferred outcome. Chelsea considers this now to be an internal matter and it is for Chelsea and Eva’s appointed lawyers to discuss any further action.”The FMA said it will continue to support Carneiro and stated that priority should be given to protecting players’ safety.It added: “The FMA strongly believe that in matters pertaining to a player’s health and safety, respect for the integrity of the medical professional is paramount.“The FMA will continue to offer support to Eva on a professional level through what is likely to be a difficult time.”Carneiro’s Chelsea exit was also criticised by Football Association board member Heather Rabbatts, who has expressed her “sadness and anger” at the departure, arguing that she was effectively demoted for doing her job properly.
Corinthians striker Alexandre Pato 1 Arsenal and Tottenham have been told they will have to cough up £18.5million if they want to sign Brazil forward Alexandre Pato in January.The Corinthians striker, who previously spent six years with AC Milan, has been linked with a return to European football after impressing in his homeland.The 26-year-old scored 21 goals in 42 appearances for Corinthians last season and caught the eye of visiting scouts.But now any side looking to sign Pato has been told to splash out £18.5m by the Brazilian club’s deputy director of football Eduardo Ferreira.“At the moment there are only enquiries,” Ferreira told Globo Esporte.“But if a club comes in with an offer of €25m (£18.5m), we will let him go, otherwise he will return [in January].”
Radamel Falcao Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev has admitted the Ligue 1 club explored the possibility of cutting short Radamel Falcao’s loan at Chelsea, only for injury to end that prospect.The Colombia striker joined Chelsea last summer after an unsuccessful loan stint at Manchester United.But his spell at Stamford Bridge has been equally underwhelming, with just one goal and no appearances since October due to a thigh injury. A return date for Falcao is not known and Vasilyev revealed the former Porto and Atletico Madrid striker did return to Monaco last week to be assessed with a view to returning to his parent club.Vasilyev told RMC Sport: “It’s true that we’ve talked about Falcao on numerous occasions.“The original idea was that he would return to Monaco to play the second half of the season. He came over and had a medical. Unfortunately, he was injured.“So we took the decision that it would be better for him to stay with Chelsea. Could he return one day? I won’t close the door, that door remains open.” The news strengthens reports that Chelsea are looking for a striker during this month’s transfer window, with Leicester’s Jamie Vardy among those linked. 1
Gary Neville Gary Neville’s disappointing start to management continued as his Valencia side were beaten 7-0 by Barcelona in the Copa del Rey. The cup holders heaped more pressure on the Los Che boss. Luis Suarez scored four and Lionel Messi netted a hat-trick as the ten men were beaten in the FIRST LEG at the Nou Camp. Neville’s side were looking to put their league woes behind them, having failed to register a win in eight La Liga games since he was appointed in December.Many football fans had high hopes for the Manchester United legend, former pundit and England coach, but he has not lived up to expectation just yet. He had a difficult task when he took over at the Mestalla, but he will not have envisaged it to be so difficult. See some of the best reaction below: 1
Mauricio Pochettino has described Tottenham’s defeat at West Ham as a ‘missed opportunity’.The north Londoners could have gone top of the Premier League with victory at Upton Park, but Slaven Bilic’s Hammers were 1-0 winners thanks to Michail Antonio’s first-half strike.Results went in Leicester’s favour as Spurs, Arsenal and Manchester City were all beaten on Wednesday, setting up for a feisty derby match with Arsenal on Saturday.Pochettino said: “A missed opportunity, but in football you need to play first.“The first half wasn’t good for us, we made a lot of mistakes and it was difficult for our players for a lot of different reasons. In the second half we played better and improved in our game and the way we played.“We miss 45 minutes to try and win the game.“I think different reasons [why we were poor], because we made a lot of mistakes.“It is important now to be positive about the game, I think we created some chances in the second half and we played in a good way. We need to forget the defeat and be positive for the next game.“The important thing is not [how our opponent did], it is not important if you don’t get the points.“The situation is that we need to fight in every game and try to get points and today we missed a big opportunity to go top of the table. This is what we need to analyse because the first half was difficult to play and why in the second half did we play better?”“It sometimes happens where it’s impossible to keep the level of play for the whole season. It’s true the first 45 minutes was poor.”Leicester’s draw on Tuesday meant Spurs could have gone top and into the driving seat for the Premier League title race, but Pochettino insisted the defeat was not down to the expectations on his young side.He added: “It’s not the pressure, the conditions were difficult. Our opponent was strong and made it difficult to play and tried to fight.“They are sad, it’s true. They feel disappointed but it’s normal and they know you need to work hard for recovery to arrive on Saturday.”
Mousa Dembele [left] in action for Tottenham Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has revealed Mousa Dembele is likely to return for Saturday’s north London derby against Arsenal.The Belgian midfielder has missed Spurs’ last three games with a groin injury but has resumed full training this week. However, Pochettino says he will assess Dembele’s fitness on Friday before deciding whether to include him in the squad for the huge clash at White Hart Lane.“It’s possible that he will be available to be selected, we need to make one more check on him tomorrow,” said Pochettino.“All the other players are fit but again we will assess them tomorrow before making a decision.” 1
John Stewart, a Red Cross volunteer, steps over debris and sticks a disaster relief flier with phone numbers for caseworkers and counselors in the only place he can: Between the splinters of a charred piece of wood that might once have been a balcony. He stops for a moment before moving on, looking next door at 17934 – completely untouched – the yellow and red roses still blooming in the front yard. He scans across the street to 17941, where all that remains is a red brick chimney – a sort of grave marker for each of the demolished homes on Aguamiel. A San Diego city councilman and his staff walked this street, counting at least 29 homes destroyed. They compiled a list of house numbers and posted it on a Web site, along with all the other addresses for Rancho Bernardo residences lost to the flames. The list was 11 pages long. Michaela Peters, 16, spotted her house number: 17955 Aguamiel. Still, somehow, she had hoped. “Maybe this is all just a dream,” the high school junior thought as her family made their way to their street Wednesday. When the car pulled up, the tears finally came. By nightfall, she and a 12-year-old neighbor, who also lost his home, were hanging out on the basketball court of a recreation center-turned-refuge. Their moms were inside, figuring out what to do next. A neighborhood pastor offered comfort. “We’ll be praying,” he said. “God bless.” Michaela offered him something, too – sincere congratulations that his home had survived. Others struggled, the outcome still in doubt. Even as ash rained on his orange trees and blanketed his white 1961 Falcon, Javier Ramirez refused to leave his home in the Pauma Valley as a newer blaze – the Poomacha Fire – blew up in the mountains east of Rancho Bernardo. It was a surreal scene that speaks to the random and unpredictable nature of the fires’ fury. Mile after mile of thriving orchards and rural farmland, for now, stand preserved, while homes in suburban neighborhoods dotted with fast-food restaurants are gone. One minute winds swirl; the next, they are perfectly still. At a casino, only miles from where fires burn, patrons sit at blackjack tables and slot machines even as the parking lot serves as a staging ground for row upon row of fire trucks. A sign outside flashes a thank-you to firefighters – and then advertises spa treatments. Over a disaster zone like Rancho Bernardo, the sun shines in a newly clear sky while the mountain beyond sits in smoke. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SAN DIEGO – The camera clicks again and again, until Steve Clamage pauses to take his eye from the viewfinder and gaze at a vista that was never meant to resemble purgatory. Then, he clicks some more. “Wow,” he utters, unable to muster much else. “This is unbelievable. Unbelievable.” He stands in a stranger’s backyard overlooking Aguamiel Road in Rancho Bernardo, next to a house that looks more like a Roman ruin than a Spanish-style ranch home. The view, once, was spectacular: A sloping hill fell beneath the back patio, stretching east toward rolling mountains and the Cleveland National Forest. Now, it’s just more wreckage – the sad, scorched residue of five days of interminable annihilation. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.The sloping hill is blackened earth, the mountains beyond devoid of the palm trees and shrubs that once made them beautiful, wild and lush. One street below, homes lie in piles of ash. Over the mountains, farther east, columns of white smoke billow into the sky from a fire that roars on, threatening to do elsewhere what has already happened here. Wander through stricken Southern California, and you’ll find that the destruction is, simply, all around: some if it final, tragically absolute. Some still in progress, the aftermath unknowable. The devastation transfixes because it is so colossal. Some have likened it to Iraq. Indeed, in this San Diego community and others across the region, home after home – and, at times, entire streets – are flattened as if they were bombed. Aguamiel Road is one of those places. On one side of one block, a row of nine homes has ceased to exist. On the other side, five houses are gone, side by side. At 17938 Aguamiel, blackened timber sits in twisted heaps sprinkled with insulation and ash. About the only thing recognizable is the lid to a Weber grill and the iron patio set – a loveseat and two rocking chairs – that remain virtually unscathed.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Trojans’ title chances waddle away with a crushing loss at Oregon. By Scott Wolf STAFF WRITER EUGENE, Ore. – USC’s national championship aspirations officially disappeared Saturday with its Pacific-10 Conference title hopes right behind it, but at least the Trojans are adept at explaining away mediocrity. “I lost the game,” Sanchez said. “Two interceptions lose the game.” Winning used to be easy for the Trojans, but now they spend more time discussing how much harder life is for the nation’s former marquee football program. “It’s a difficult job. A lot of people don’t understand it. The game’s hard,” quarterback John David Booty said. “I don’t know what everyone wants Mark or myself to be. We hate to lose. He hates to lose.” This is the type of talk you never heard during the Bush-Leinart era, but as Jackson said, the Trojans sometimes won in spite of themselves. Now they rationalize questionable decisions. There’s nothing wrong with losing to a top-five team, but offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian’s play-calling will be a topic of discussion after such a tight game. After Oregon fumbled the opening kickoff, USC gave the ball to tailback Joe McKnight on fourth-and-1 at the 12-yard line. McKnight leads the running backs in yards lost (36), but got the call and ran outside. He lost a yard. Carroll said USC ran outside because the coaches thought Oregon “would jam the middle.” The play haunted the Trojans, but Carroll dismissed it as a “freebie,” because it was the opening drive and Oregon would be pinned inside its 15-yard line. With less than 20 seconds remaining in the game and the ball at the Oregon 33, Sanchez’s pass was intercepted by Oregon free safety Matthew Harper. “He was just trying too hard,” Carroll said. “You don’t need to take the ball down low, not go downfield yet. He was a little bit late, he made a bad decision.” But Sanchez said all the receivers ran deep routes on the play. “I’ve got to reassess that one,” Sanchez said. USC wasted precious seconds in the final two minutes by failing to call a timeout and left itself (again) with no margin for error prior to Sanchez’s game-ending interception. Carroll defended the play-calling by saying USC’s hands were tied because of Sanchez’s inexperience. “He’s a new player. We have to be (conservative),” Carroll said. “We have to help him at every turn. The last (interception) is one you don’t want to throw the ball. He tried too hard.” Oregon gave up 31 points to lowly Stanford and 34 to Washington, but the Trojans (6-2, 3-2) needed a 14-yard pass from Sanchez to wide receiver David Ausberry with 4:44 left just to muster two touchdowns. “I thought we’d be better against their defense, run better and have more control,” Carroll said. “This is hard. It’s very difficult right now. We had expectations to come up here and win and have a great finish to our season.” Carroll blamed turnovers for USC’s demise. Fullback Stanley Havili fumbled at the 16-yard line to set up a touchdown that gave Oregon a 17-10 lead. But the difference is the Ducks (7-1, 4-1) took advantage of their chance and USC did not. “They did a nice job of not making critical errors. Ours got us,” Carroll said. “It’s so obvious when you give people the ball, so hard to win a game of this nature.” But the defense also shoulders some blame. Oregon went 9-for-16 on third-down conversions, including a third-and-14 on which tailback Jonathan Stewart gained 15 yards on a draw play. “That was a crusher,” Carroll said. USC linebacker Brian Cushing received a face-mask penalty on the drive, which ended with Oregon scoring its final touchdown. “Realistically, teams lose,” Jackson said. “We’ve been on the wrong end a couple times. That’s football.” Oh well. USC has won a record five straight Pac-10 titles, but today, the Trojans are no better than tied for fourth. That may explain why former offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin was in tears last year after clinching the fifth conference title, which likely many saw as an overreaction at the time. Carroll offered no magical words to soothe the bruised egos. “Next week. It’s always been next week,” he said. “We just have to get back on track and look forward to the game next week.” firstname.lastname@example.orgWant local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.“I’m pretty sure in the last five years, we didn’t do things well enough to win but came out with a victory,” defensive end Lawrence Jackson said. “It’s not like that anymore.” The margin for error is smaller than whatever remains of the aura around USC coach Pete Carroll, as the ninth-ranked Trojans’ season fizzled in a 24-17 loss to fifth-ranked Oregon before an Autzen Stadium record-crowd of 59,277. “It may be over, but that’s always a place for a new start,” said linebacker Rey Maualuga with a trembling voice. “We start new on Monday when everybody comes to practice and we get things going with a chance for a new thing . . . I might be wrong, but we’ll see. Things are going to change.” USC quarterback Mark Sanchez blamed himself.