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Tuchel: the pound sterling a real asset
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel believes Raheem Sterling will have a huge impact following his £50million move from Manchester City.
The England striker, 27, became the first signing of new owner Todd Boehly’s era at the west London club, ending a trophy-laden seven-year spell with the Citizens by signing a contract for five years at Stamford Bridge.
Tuchel said: “Hopefully he will shape our team by just being who he is. He will be a huge asset to us.
“For me he is a huge player, with a huge influence in recent years in English football and he is at the perfect age to now take responsibility for the young players we have and be an example.
“To get what he has delivered for years given his age, his thirst for responsibility, his style of play and his intensity is exceptional.
“It’s the benchmark in the Premier League and it’s exactly what we need.”
Raphinha seeks to follow the samba greats
Winger Raphinha wants to emulate Brazilian greats Ronaldinho and Neymar at Barcelona as his transfer to the Blaugrana draws closer.
Raphinha, 25, is in Catalonia to undergo a medical after an agreement was reached with Leeds for his £55million transfer.
Should the move go through, the nine-cap Brazil international will follow in the footsteps of a host of samba stars who have graced the Camp Nou.
He told Barca TV: “It’s a dream come true for me, not just for me also for my friends and family. They’ve seen me play since I was a kid. They knew it was one of my dreams of coming here.
“All I can do now is do my best and try to help Barca be what they have always been.
“What I can say about myself is that I’m very excited to win. I like to win, every time I lose it’s very hard to accept.
“So you can expect a player who will always fight, who will always try to win, even in training. I will fight to become a better player.
“For me it’s a huge honour. I’ve seen Ronaldinho come here and achieve so many things and after that Neymar too. For me, as a Brazilian, coming here is an honour. I hope to achieve the same goals that these two players achieved.”
Rashford considering fresh start
Marcus Rashford is relishing the chance for a fresh start under new Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag.
The England striker struggled for form last season, scoring just four goals in 25 Premier League appearances after missing the start of the campaign with a shoulder injury.
But as the Dutch boss looks to turn the Red Devils into a side ready to compete at the top again, the 24-year-old is hoping for a more positive 2022-23 campaign.
He said: “It’s a chance to cool off. I’m ready to go again.
“We can do a lot together. For me it’s a new start, something I’m looking forward to.”
Rashford’s dip in form saw his international career take a hit after losing his place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad.
But not playing for the Three Lions for their Nations League fixtures in June has allowed the 46-cap international to have a full pre-season with his club which he believes will prove beneficial when of the next campaign.
He added: “I’ve had just under four weeks off. It wasn’t natural to have such a long break. It’s the first year I’ve been with the team since the start. [of pre-season].
“I feel much better than usual, when I leave with the national team and come back in the middle of pre-season.”
Dembele signs deal with Barca
French winger Ousmane Dembele has ended speculation over his future at Barcelona by signing a two-year contract extension with the Catalan club.
The saga over the 25-year-old’s long-term plans has dragged on for more than six months as his previous deal neared its expiry this summer.
Briefly becoming a free agent, the uncertainty has led to a host of Premier League sides being linked with a move.
But the 2018 World Cup winner ended exit talks by agreeing to extend his stay at Barca until 2024.
Conte hails versatile Richarlison
Antonio Conte has hailed the versatility of new Tottenham signing Richarlison after the Brazilian made his first appearance in a friendly in South Korea.
Spurs’ £50million arrival from Everton played 77 minutes of their 6-3 pre-season win over the K-League side on Wednesday.
The 25-year-old was the only one of Tottenham’s five summer signings to be knocked out and was deployed in three different positions by the Italian boss.
Conte said: “Today I saw a lot of positive things about Richy.
“In the first half he played as a No9 and in the second half he played on the right and behind the striker. He can play in all three positions.
“I think he is strong physically and he has a good personality, good character, good quality. For Richy, he is working and we are working on the tactical aspects with him because he has to come into our idea.
“At the same time, we have to work on the physical aspects so that he is fit. But for sure he is a player who gives me important positions up front.
“He is a player who is a good player, strong and very good at protecting the ball and attacking space. I am very happy that we signed him.”
Ozil joins Istanbul Basaksehir
Former Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil has joined Istanbul Basaksehir following the termination of his contract with fellow Turkish side Fenerbahce.
The 33-year-old has signed a one-year deal with the Super Lig outfit with the option to extend for a further season.
The move comes after not making an appearance for Fenerbahce’s squad since March following a reported dispute over fitness.
It’s a similar story for the former Germany international, who left the Gunners for Turkey in January 2021 after being frozen out by manager Mikel Arteta.
The playmaker wrote on social media: “One of the things that makes life is that it is full of uncertainties.
“Our plans, desires and wishes may not always go in the direction you want. I wanted to succeed by having more chances to play in the Fenerbahce shirt, which was always my childhood dream.
“I want to thank the community and the fans of Fenerbahce for the great support they have shown me.”