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Precious British Pounds
Mason Mount says Raheem Sterling fits perfectly at Chelsea.
The Blues snapped up the star from Manchester City for £47.5m earlier this month after boss Thomas Tuchel identified him as one of their top targets.
And Mount, 23, was impressed with the way his England team-mate got going.
Speaking to Sky Sports News, he said: “He’s a winner, I’ve said that before.
“Every time you train with him, that will to win – whether you play a little five-a-side game or it’s a 10v10 – he’s there and he wants to score. It’s just who he is. He’s fit in so perfectly with the group.
“I know him so well so I knew he would buy straight away and he did. He looked very good and it’s obviously exciting for us to have him here and see what we can accomplish in the future.
“For both parties, I think it’s going to work out wonderfully. It’s straight away on the right foot. We’re very happy he’s here.
“We’re a good mix here, so I think we’re on the right track.”
Pep Guardiola has refused to comment on reports linking Manchester City with Brighton left-back Marc Cucurella.
Spain defender Cucurella, 24, has been the subject of intense speculation throughout the summer and it has now been suggested he has submitted a transfer request.
But Guardiola, speaking at a press conference ahead of Saturday’s Community Shield clash with Liverpool, said: “He’s a Brighton player, I can’t say anything else.”
The City boss has also confirmed that centre-back Aymeric Laporte will miss the start of the season after knee surgery.
He said: “Laporte is injured. He had knee surgery after last season and has played the last two or three games with a significant injury. He has made an incredible effort.
“So far he’s doing great but you have to be careful with one knee. I think August will be out, September I think he might start being with us.”
Change of approach
Swansea players will no longer kneel before games this season.
A statement from the Championship club said: “Following group discussions, we have collectively decided to no longer take the knee until fixtures in the 2022-23 season.
“We have taken the knee before every game since football resumed in June 2020 following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
“This is not a decision that was taken lightly and in no way reflects a diminishment of our belief that discrimination of any kind is abhorrent and has no place in football or society.
“We remain firmly in favor of what the knee grip means and represents.
“Taking the knee has undoubtedly helped to raise awareness and encourage conversations about how to remove racism from the game we all love.
“If an opposing team took a knee before a game this season, we would line up and cheer them on, because we absolutely support the sentiment behind it.
“But we feel we want to take responsibility as a group and find other ways to show our commitment to inclusion and diversity. We want to work to be a force for positive and substantial change.”
Tavern in motion
Chris Wilder has confirmed that Middlesbrough have accepted a deal for Marcus Tavernier from a Premier League club.
The midfielder, 23, has been heavily linked with a move to promoted Bournemouth and appears to have resisted moves to tie him down with an extended stay at Teesside.
Wilder said: “We have to keep going. The club have done everything to try to keep Marcus.
“When you get to the bottom of the move and he wants to move, I think it’s just become a matter of negotiating the transfer fee, which is beyond me.
“But as I said, the club tried everything to keep Tav and now we have to look forward.”
An Academy graduate, Tavernier, whose senior debut for Boro came in a League Cup tie against Scunthorpe in August 2017, has made 155 appearances for the club and scored 18 goals.
The woman with the whistle
Ukraine’s Kateryna Monzul will referee the Women’s Euro 2022 final between England and Germany at Wembley on Sunday.
Monzul, 41, became the first woman to take charge of a men’s game in England in October 2021 for their World Cup qualifier against Andorra.
She will be the first from her country to referee a Women’s Euro final, having already made history as the first woman to oversee matches in the Ukrainian men’s Premier League in 2016.
WSL capitalizes on the feel-good factor
As Euro 2022 draws national attention, Women’s Super League champions Chelsea will kick off their season at Stamford Bridge on September 11.
Emma Hayes’ Blues are set to collide with London rivals West Ham as they begin their run for a record fourth consecutive league title.
Liverpool, meanwhile, will celebrate their promotion to the top flight with a return from the Merseyside derby to Anfield on September 25.
The clash will mark the first time since November 2019 that the Reds have played a WSL contest there after drawing over 23,000 for their last outing, when Lucy Graham scored the winner in Everton’s 1-0 win.
Reds skipper Niamh Fahey, who starred in that game, said: “It’s a special thing to play at Anfield. Not everyone can do that.
“That crowd buzz was amazing, that roar trying to get us over the line. It’s going to be epic!
“I hope I get the chance to lead the team. That’s the pinnacle, isn’t it? Leading your team to Anfield for a Merseyside derby – it doesn’t get better than that!”
Everton striker Ellis Simms has joined Championship side Sunderland on a season-long loan.
Simms, 21, spent the second half of last season in Scotland with Hearts.
Ange Postecoglou has confirmed Carl Starfelt will miss Celtic Scottish Premiership’s opener at home to Aberdeen on Sunday.
The Swedish defender, 27, has returned to training after a recent hamstring problem but lacks fitness.
Bhoys boss Postecoglou said: “He’s gone through all the different phases to integrate fully, but it’s just a matter of giving him some practice time.”