Keane silent over incident

first_img Martin O’Neill’s assistant declined to discuss the furore which engulfed the camp on Wednesday last week after Gardai were called to the team hotel in Portmarnock following an alleged altercation with another man. Speaking to the media at the same venue for the first time since the incident, Keane’s response when asked if he was prepared to discuss what happened, was: “No, I’m not.” Press Association Roy Keane drew a veil of silence over the incident which threatened to distract the Republic of Ireland ahead of their Euro 2016 qualifier in Scotland as he met the media on Sunday.center_img Wearing the same frown he adopted when confronted on the sideline at Celtic Park by match referee Milorad Mazic during Friday night’s feisty 1-0 Group D defeat in Glasgow, he was similarly taciturn when asked if the publicity had proved a distraction. He said: “No.” Although Gardai attended – the Football Association of Ireland later insisted at Keane’s request – no arrest was made nor complaint received. The 43-year-old, who was the centre of attention in the build-up to last month’s qualifiers against Gibraltar and Germany because of the release of his updated autobiography, remains big news in Ireland, where his partnership with O’Neill captured the imagination when it was announced a little more than a year ago. However, he insisted the pair’s position in the limelight does not dictate where they can and cannot go. He said: “No. We go into Malahide and have a coffee, it’s fine. We were out last night for a meal, it was fine,” before adding with a flicker of a smile: “We’re not One Direction.” last_img read more

Gardner hails galvanising goal

first_img “We knew if we won the local derby it would catapult us up the league, get everyone back on side, get the fans back on side, because we need the fans, we need everyone at the club,” said Gardner, who started his career at Villa. “We got the whole team, the whole club back together. “This win can have a really galvanising effect, definitely. The fans, seeing the work rate we are putting in, seeing we are not hiding “It is a platform to build on. It’s four points from two games and we can really push on now.” Gardner celebrated his goal with Irvine and also handed his shirt to young fan Rui Roper at the end of the game. He said: “It was nice to give a little bit back, I’m a fan myself. I’ve been in that position that little lad has been in. It’s nice, he’ll remember that for the rest of his life. He’s going to go home, probably sleep with the shirt on, tell his friends and family. “I do know the kid, he was in my eye line. It was going to go to a kid and lucky enough I knew him. I know his dad.” Defeat ended Villa’s five-game unbeaten run and they will have to deal with suspensions for Kieran Richardson – after he was sent off – and Alan Hutton and Tom Cleverley after they received their fifth bookings of the season. The midfielder scored his first goal for Albion in the 1-0 victory at the Hawthorns on Saturday, just their second win in 10 Barclays Premier League games. It eased the pressure on head coach Alan Irvine after fans had started calling for the axe and lifted the Baggies to 14th in the table. Craig Gardner believes West Brom’s derby win over Aston Villa has reunited the club and he challenged the Baggies to pull away from danger. Fabian Delph and Ron Vlaar returned from injury but boss Paul Lambert knows they need more depth. He said: “I don’t think we have the strongest (squad depth), but we’ve got Fabian back and (Philippe) Senderos is close but I think you are always trying to improve the quality and squad size.” Vlaar returned as a late substitute after a thigh problem but Lambert insisted his skipper is not guaranteed a place after the form of Jores Okore and Ciaran Clark. He said: “The really pleasing thing is that Okore had 14 months out and is coming in like this, and Ciaran looks outstanding. “I think he has always been up and down but playing the way he is is the best I’ve seen him. They look good as a pair, they have a good understanding. Sometimes you stumble on things and these two lads have been absolutely fantastic. Ron will see himself the two lads have been great, but it is good to have Ron back and pushing again.” Press Associationlast_img read more

Mourinho fires back ‘boring’ jibe

first_img The Blues need five more points to be crowned Premier League champions for the first time in five years, but were jeered in the goalless draw at the Emirates Stadium for a stubborn performance which frustrated Arsenal, who last won the title in 2003-04. “You know, I think boring is 10 years without a title. That’s very boring,” said Mourinho, who criticised Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger for not doing more to win the game. “You support the club and you’re waiting, waiting, waiting for so many years without a Premier League title, so that’s very boring. “But maybe they were not singing to us. Maybe, when you want to win a game and you’re at home and you take your number nine (Olivier Giroud) off, maybe the home fans want more. “Maybe they want to play Giroud and (Danny) Welbeck together up front to try to win the game.” Told Chelsea will not be loved by neutrals for the way they have sacrificed their artistic approach for a more methodical one, as Mourinho revealed on Friday, the Blues boss scarcely cared. “I have lots of love,” Mourinho said. “No problem. If you (the media) tell the truth, people will fall in love with us. “But you have to tell the truth. If you say the truth, you will walk in the street and people will blow kisses at us.” The draw felt like a win for Mourinho, whose side could be champions within a week by winning at Leicester on Wednesday and beating Crystal Palace at home next Sunday. Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho laughed off the Arsenal crowd’s “boring” jibes by reminding the Gunners of their wait for the Premier League title as his side closed in on the trophy. “It’s one point. It leaves five,” added Mourinho, who declined the opportunity to expand on Chelsea being denied two penalties in the first half. “If we’d won today we’d need three. If we’d lost today we’d need eight. “This point is like almost three points, because you don’t need eight, you need five. “It’s a positive result… a fair result, if you forget the penalties. And I want to forget the penalties because I think the referee (Michael Oliver) had a very good performance.” Asked how he would like Chelsea to be remembered as champions, Mourinho said: “First of all, we need to be champions. We need to win the five points to be champions. “If we do that – and I think we are going to do that – we will be champions being top of the league since day one. “Being top of the league since day one, only top teams can do that.” Oscar, who began the match as Chelsea’s most advanced player as Mourinho opted against fielding a recognised striker, was clattered by Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina in the first half and might have had a penalty. The Brazil playmaker left for hospital at half-time and was replaced by Didier Drogba for the second half, but Mourinho did not know if Oscar has concussion. “He went to hospital at half-time. I don’t know (if it is concussion), we are waiting,” the Portuguese said. Chelsea’s players, led by captain John Terry, were jubilant at the final whistle as the Blues neared a fourth Premier League title, following wins in 2005, 2006 and 2010. Terry was singled out for praise by his manager. “The team was phenomenal, but John was one step ahead of every other player,” Mourinho said. Wenger is still without a victory in 13 attempts against Mourinho’s Chelsea. The Frenchman felt Arsenal did enough to win the game, but their eight-match winning sequence came to an end. Wenger said: “In the first half we had the right intensity. We dropped that in the second half and came back into the right level for the last 20 minutes. “We could have finished the game off. (Mesut) Ozil had a great chance in the final minute of the game. “But they came to defend well, and they did that well, and everybody knows that.” Wenger felt fortunate Ospina did not concede a penalty, but also felt Arsenal might have had a spot kick of their own when Gary Cahill blocked a Santi Cazorla shot with his arm. “Yes. I think we could have one or two (penalties) as well,” said Wenger, when asked about the Ospina challenge. “The referee gave the advantage to Oscar. He was first on the ball and gave him the advantage. After, Hector Bellerin managed to save the goal so it was difficult to come back (to the Ospina foul).” Wenger is focused on finishing this term well before contemplating a title challenge next term. “(Chelsea) are not champions yet, but they will be,” Wenger added. “We want to finish the season well. We need to keep the focus until the end of the season. Then we’ll see what we can do next season. “Let’s finish well. We go to Hull now, then we want to secure the top four before the (FA) Cup final. Then the top three or the top two. That’s all to do now.” Press Associationlast_img read more

Pellegrini: Aguero not for sale

first_img Aguero has been at his blistering best for most of the season, scoring 31 goals in 40 appearances for City. Were it not for a seven-game absence with a knee injury in December and January – and then a wait of another six matches to get back on the scoresheet – his return might have been even greater. Press Association In such form the 26-year-old can stand comparison with the best players in the world and that could attract envious glances from other clubs. But Pellegrini is not worried that a bid might come in from any of them. He insists Aguero, a £38million signing from Atletico Madrid in 2011, is happy and any approach would be rejected out of hand. Asked if he was concerned about interest in Aguero, the Chilean said: “I don’t think so because we are not a selling team and I think that Sergio is very happy here, so he doesn’t have any intention to go.” What does surprise Pellegrini is that Aguero was not recognised by his peers with a place in the Professional Footballers’ Association team of the year. The explanation for that probably lies in the fact the voting period overlapped with Aguero’s lull after injury – a spell in which Tottenham’s Harry Kane was capturing the headlines – but Pellegrini thinks it was an error. He said: “I don’t know the way they choose the PFA team for this year so I cannot talk about that, but I always think Kun must be in every best team.” Pellegrini said last week, after Aguero’s superb hat-trick in the 6-0 demolition of QPR, that the striker was getting better and better but still had much improvement to make. Aguero has said he expects even more of himself, attributing his form this season to superior fitness after radically altering his diet and training regime. But Pellegrini does not deny that Aguero – who still scored 28 goals last season despite a series of muscle injuries – is enjoying his best season to date. He said: “I think it is important for Kun. It is the season he has scored most goals in his career. “But it is important for our team to be a scoring team also, not just for Sergio. I am happy because we continue being the team that scores the most goals and for me that is important. “It is not so important as winning but you can win and be a scoring team.” Aguero’s goals have provided some bright spots in a largely frustrating campaign for City, who failed to mount a strong defence of the Barclays Premier League title they won last season. They will end the season trophyless and, at best, a distant second to Chelsea. Pellegrini acknowledges signings will be made but insists they will not be rushed and that an overhaul is not necessary. He said: “I think it is important to try and work as soon as you can but to try to work in the correct way. You can make a lot of mistakes so it is important to finish the season, to analyse what we did, what we need. “I repeat it is not a disaster, we did not do all bad. “Next year, we must make some changes but I don’t think we are very far from Chelsea or from other teams. In the games we played against Chelsea we didn’t see a better team than our team, but they were more consistent during the whole year. That is why they won the title.” City are at least hoping to finish the season strongly and travel to Swansea on Sunday looking for a fifth successive win. Pellegrini said: “It is never too late to win. For our team always the most important thing is to win titles, but if you cannot win the title it doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter if you win or lose games.” Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has warned rivals there is no chance of the club even considering selling Sergio Aguero.last_img read more

Qatar speaks out over arrests

first_img The BBC’s Middle East business correspondent Mark Lobel was arrested in Doha for reporting on the migrant workers, having been invited into Qatar by the prime minister’s office. Lobel says he and his accompanying crew were detained for a lengthy period and subject to “hostile” questioning after being the subjects of two days of surveillance prior to their arrests. Press Association “FIFA has blood on its hands, as do these sponsors, for as long as they turn a blind eye to what’s going on there. “It’s time we raise our voices. People should demand more action is taken.” Collins was speaking in London as international workers’ unions joined forces with FIFA pressure groups to demand that FIFA sponsors accept their corporate responsibility and challenge human rights abuses at construction sites in Qatar. Evidence of squalid living conditions for poorly paid migrant workers employed under the notorious kafala system was presented by Jaimie Fuller, chairman of sports compression wear company SKINS. International Trade Union Confederation general secretary Sharan Burrow said: “If FIFA is serious about this, they can turn it around. They can turn it around, but they choose not to. “Could we fix everything in seven years? Who knows? But can we turn it around and change the lives and the possibilities for the workers in Qatar? Absolutely. Overnight.” Burrow says FIFA president Sepp Blatter “has the power” and that his likely re-election next week is about “money, simple as that”. “If (Dutch football chief Michael) van Praag was elected, we would see change,” Burrow added. “We know the FIFA executive is split. There are people with decency, with a moral code that will try to change the way in which the game is facilitated.” Fuller wrote to the heads of eight of FIFA’s sponsors – adidas, Gazprom, Hyundai, Kia, McDonalds, Budweiser, Coca-Cola and Visa – in January and again last week accusing them individually of effectively contravening their own values and principles. He is yet to receive a single reply. Burrow said: “What it says is that their moral code is lacking any kind of compass we can endorse. They won’t escape scrutiny. “The reputational risk for these companies is extraordinary. “There’s no doubt that these companies themselves could help to change FIFA. They’ve got a choice. We hope they make it.” Stephen Russell from Playfair Qatar added: “FIFA can change laws to sell beers, but not to save lives.” Collins said: “If McDonalds beef cattle lived in those conditions, you wouldn’t buy their burgers. “Why should they expect the men who are building the facilities that will host a tournament they sponsor to be living in those conditions as well. The same applies for the rest of the sponsors as well.” The Qatar government has claimed BBC journalists were trespassing on private property after arresting them as they sought to report on the condition of migrants involved in World Cup 2022 construction work. In response, the Qatar government said the detentions were made for trespass and breaking Qatari laws. “By trespassing on private property and running afoul of Qatari laws, the BBC reporter made himself the story,” the Qatar government said. “We sincerely hope that this was not his intention. Moreover, we deeply regret that he was unable to report the real story, which is that the government and the private sector are making significant progress in efforts to improve the lives and the labour conditions of guest workers in Qatar.” In a further statement, the BBC said its team was “engaged in a perfectly proper piece of journalism” and requested a full explanation and return of equipment which was confiscated. The statement added: “The Qatari authorities have made a series of conflicting allegations to justify the detention, all of which the team rejects.” On the day the arrest was reported, a group campaigning for reform of workers’ rights surrounding the 2022 World Cup addressed the media in London, where a Conservative MP accused FIFA and its sponsors of having blood on their hands. Yet critics from New FIFA Now, who call Qatar 2022 ‘The Hypocrisy World Cup’, believe change can be made “overnight” if FIFA, the world governing body’s sponsors and the Qatari government choose. Damian Collins MP said: “It’s not acceptable for people to turn a blind eye. last_img read more

Keane not giving up on Euro 2016

first_img “The goal was a very, very lucky goal but we gave them opportunities to do that. Sometimes you need a bit of luck and they got it. ” Keane was used only as a second-half substitute at the end of a dreadful week for his family, during which his cousins Alan and Stephen Harris died after being overcome by toxic fumes as they worked in a sewer. The striker revealed he would not have been able to start the game after making just three appearances for his club in recent weeks because of a groin injury, but insisted he was ready to play his part. He said: “It’s been a tough week. I don’t want to talk about it too much, but for all the family it’s been difficult. “I was ready for the game. Physically I probably wasn’t ready for it in terms of my fitness and the way I’ve been. I played 90 minutes last week – I was only supposed to play 60 but I ended up playing 90. “I’ve been out for two months. It’s a long time, so I wouldn’t have been able to start the game, and trying to play for 90 minutes would have been difficult after being out for such a long time.” He said: “We’ll keep plugging away. We’re definitely not out of this and that was the message that everyone was saying to each other. There’s no way we’re out of this. “Scotland still have a couple of tough games coming up. There are no easy games in the group, but in our next two games we’ll be looking to get six points.” Given that minnows Gibraltar conceded seven goals for the third time in the campaign – on this occasion at home to world champions Germany – on Saturday, the chances of them denying the Republic maximum points in Faro seem remote, while Martin O’Neill’s men will be confident of repeating their victory over the Georgians in Tbilisi when they head for Dublin. At the same time the Scots, who remains two points better off than the Irish, have to head for Georgia and then host the Germans, and that – on paper at least – looks a significantly harder double-header. However, Poland, who cemented their place at the top of the table with a 4-0 victory over Georgia in Warsaw, are now five points clear of Ireland with Germany just a point worse off, and with only four games each to play the pair are in pole position to claim the two automatic spots and leave the rest scrambling for a play-off berth. It might have been so different for the Republic had they managed to build upon Jon Walters’ first-half strike on a night when they enjoyed the better of the game, but ultimately paid once again for a momentary lapse which handed Shaun Maloney, the man whose goal separated the sides in Glasgow in November, to fire home an equaliser with the help of a sizeable deflection off defender John O’Shea. Asked if he was disappointed with just a point, Keane said: “Yeah, of course. When you dominate the game and everything seems to be going to plan, then we switch off 30 seconds after the start of the second half… “Football is for 90-plus minutes, so you always have to be switched on, knowing that they have clever players that can do something. The Republic were dealt a blow on Saturday evening when Group D rivals Scotland emerged from their trip to Dublin with a point from a 1-1 draw which prevented Keane and his team-mates leap-frogging them. It was a game most onlookers believed Ireland had to win if they were to retain any chance of automatic qualification, although the 34-year-old Los Angeles Galaxy frontman is in no mood to throw in the towel and has already turned his attention to the trip to Gibraltar and the home clash with Georgia when hostilities resume after the summer. Robbie Keane is targeting six points in September after refusing to give up on the Republic of Ireland’s hopes of making it to the Euro 2016 finals. Press Associationlast_img read more

Cathro set for Toon assistant role

first_imgIan Cathro is set to be appointed as Newcastle head coach Steve McClaren’s assistant. Press Association Sport understands the 28-year-old Scot, who left a similar post at Valencia at the end of last season, has accepted the Magpies’ offer to join McClaren’s staff after a lengthy search. Cathro, who started coaching in his teens after injury ended his fledgling playing career, has emerged as a target in recent days and while the club is yet to confirm his appointment, it is understood a deal is now in place. McClaren turned to the former Dundee United coach after struggling in his efforts to bring in a successful former player in the early years of a new phase of his career, with Phil Neville and Bolo Zenden among the men sounded out about the vacancy. The former England manager’s need is pressing with the start of pre-season a little more than a week away and his staff team still to be assembled in the wake of the departures of John Carver and Steve Stone. Fitness guru Steve Black has also been linked with a role at St James’ Park as the club prepares to embark upon a new era after a dreadful 2014-15 campaign. Confirmation of Cathro’s appointment will provide a boost for both McClaren and managing director Lee Charnley with the latter desperately trying to land the players identified as targets for a major summer recruitment drive at the same time as securing additions to the coaching team. The Tyneside-bound coach, who was linked with the manager’s job at Rangers earlier this year, enjoys a blossoming reputation within the game, and his comments in a recent interview may strike a chord with fans left disgruntled by last season’s struggles. Cathro told BBC Sport in March: “You project forward to the types of job you want to do. I want to fill a stadium and make people excited about coming, feeling that as an enjoyable thing to watch and embrace, whilst being able to do something of significance at a club that leaves a structure and a system so that it continues to profit from beyond my period of time. “That’s the types of jobs that are more appealing and more natural to me. You’re paid a lot of money, football gives you a lot of good things, and it’s the club’s position in society that gives you that. It’s important that the club gets its value from you.” center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Young signs new United deal

first_img “The spirit and motivation amongst this team is very high and we are all determined to make this a season to remember. All I have ever wanted to do is play football and to be able to continue to do that at the biggest club in the world means everything to me and my family.” Young has scored 13 goals in 115 appearances since joining United from Aston Villa in 2011, helping them lift the Premier League title in 2013. He played in a number of positions last year, deployed at wing-back when Louis van Gaal used a 3-5-2 formation, and kept his place ahead of the now departed record signing Angel di Maria once a 4-3-3 formation was adopted. Van Gaal said: “We are delighted that Ashley has signed a new contract. Ashley is a very multi-functional player. He took to the wing-back position with great confidence and flourished on the wing throughout last season. Ashley is always very professional and has a great presence in the dressing room. ” Press Association The 30-year-old’s future had been the subject of speculation as his previous deal entered its final season. “I am delighted to have signed a new contract,” Young said. center_img Ashley Young has committed his future to Manchester United by signing a new three-year contract which includes an option for an additional season.last_img read more

Five things we learned

first_imgJACK BUTLAND IS THE REAL DEAL There have been no shortage of false dawns among English goalkeepers, so it made little sense to get excited about Jack Butland’s potential until the chance arose to judge him in the Barclays Premier League. Asmir Begovic’s departure for Chelsea finally gave him a first-team chance at Stoke and, so far, he has demonstrated exceptional ability. In Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Norwich, Butland, 22, was by far the most influential performer on the pitch; without a succession of fine saves Norwich would have been victorious. The timing could be perfect for him, too: Stoke’s summer recruitment suggests they are likely to challenge for European football and, with Ben Foster and Fraser Forster both injured, England need another goalkeeper to provide competition for Joe Hart. VAN GAAL IS RUNNING OUT OF EXCUSES It no doubt takes time for a club and new signings to assimilate a manager’s ideas but, as a team, manager Louis van Gaal has scarcely improved Manchester United and is now into the second season of his expensive reign. Juan Mata, Ander Herrera, Michael Carrick, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Memphis Depay and Wayne Rooney is an attacking unit as impressive as almost any on the planet, so why, as in Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Newcastle, do they so rarely appear to share an understanding? PATIENCE AND STABILITY IS REWARDED Both Eddie Howe, the Bournemouth manager, and Alex Neil, at Norwich, have remained loyal to the players who earned them promotion last season. In doing so, they have also backed their ability to improve those players to the extent needed to survive in the Premier League. It would have been easy to panic when previous results were disappointing but each stuck to their beliefs and has started to be rewarded with the outcomes their previous performances deserved. Contrast that with QPR’s approach to recruitment while in the Premier League, and the outcomes that followed, or Sunderland’s annual overhauls, and there is little doubt which approach makes more sense. Both Bournemouth and Norwich have enough to survive. IT MIGHT BE TIME TO GIVE UP ON ERIK LAMELA There is little doubting that Tottenham’s Lamela is blessed with natural ability. However, the club’s supporters are entitled to expect far more than simply potential for £25.7million. The appointment of his compatriot Mauricio Pochettino as manager, after his disappointing first season in London, looked likely to be the making of him. By then, he had had 12 months to experience Premier League football and a manager to whose 4-2-3-1 system, in the same way Jay Rodriguez was at Southampton, he was suited. Lamela was again disappointing in the 1-1 draw at Leicester, though, and by now he has had more than enough chances. As with the recently-departed, and similarly-talented, Roberto Soldado, Lamela’s malaise at Spurs could be too far gone. The only solution looks a clean break for each party. CHELSEA ARE UP AND RUNNING As important to Chelsea as earning their first win of the season is Pedro’s arrival and the performance he gave on his debut, scoring once and assisting another goal, in the 3-2 victory at West Brom. Jose Mourinho’s use of Oscar and Cesc Fabregas, and his decision to sell Juan Mata in January 2014, had reduced Chelsea’s previously-significant attacking potential. Pedro’s arrival restores much of that, not only in his individual ability, but the intelligence and movement that will also help his team-mates. Fellow new signing Baba Rahman also appears to have lifted the mood at the Premier League champions, who suddenly look far stronger than only a week ago. Assuming Diego Costa stayed fit, Chelsea mounting a strong defence of their title was always a near-formality but now they could challenge for the Champions League. Press Associationlast_img read more

Roberto Martinez hails Bill Kenwright over John Stones transfer saga

first_img Martinez, who denied the club had rejected a reported fourth bid worth £37million, believes his club’s attitude to keeping Stones on board epitomises the values those in the corridors of power at Goodison Park hold. “The chairman was really strong yesterday; he’s put things very, very clear,” said the Spaniard, who also revealed he hopes to complete the signings of South American duo Ramiro Funes Mori and Leandro Rodriguez on Friday. “It’s vitally important to show that we have got our own ambitions and our own projects and we don’t rely on big offers coming in. “The chairman was very, very clear yesterday. Many, many football clubs would have tried to get the biggest deal they could do and take the money and allow the sale to happen. “It shows we’ve got an incredible chairman and all he wants is the best for the football club, he’s being doing that for many, many years and hasn’t been given the credit he deserves. “Every single Evertonian can be extremely proud to keep one of our most treasured younger players and make sure we build a winning team. “It seems like money can buy anything these days and clearly what we stand for at Everton is more important values – in football and in life – that they are more important than money.” News of Stones submitting a transfer request emerged before the Toffees’ midweek clash with Barnsley, where the defender was jeered by some away supporters on his return to Oakwell. Everton chairman Bill Kenwright has been hailed by Roberto Martinez for maintaining a strong stance over Chelsea target John Stones. Martinez understood why those emotions had been expressed by certain sections of the fanbase but believes it is important that those of an Everton persuasion now rally around Stones. “Of course the fans at one point thought they were going to lose one of the most-loved assets at our football club and the emotions are going to be high and full of feelings that you’re going to show,” Martinez added. “John knows where he is; the fans, they are going to play an incredible role in helping John to settle in and to get back to being fully focussed on winning football games for Everton.” Martinez is confident Stones has the mental strength to play in the Barclays Premier League clash with Tottenham this weekend, and he could soon have some competition at the back. Argentina international Funes Mori, 24, may complete a switch to Goodison Park on Friday, while Martinez confirmed he is also hopeful of tying up a deal for young Uruguayan forward Rodriguez. “Ramiro was in the building yesterday, we hope that we’re going to complete the deal sometime today,” the Everton boss claimed. “We’re very excited about the possibility of having Ramiro Funes Mori with us later today or in the days to come. We’re very confident that Ramiro could become an Everton player very soon.” On Rodriguez, Martinez added: “Leandro is going to be announced as well later today. Leandro is one of those young players that we have identified to give them a path and allow them to develop in our system. “We’re very excited; he’s someone who can produce a goal out of nothing, is hard working with really strong combination play.” On Thursday Kenwright declared that Stones’ a ttempt to force through a move to Stamford Bridge via a transfer request would not be considered. The Toffees have remained steadfast in their belief that Stones would not be sold and it is understood Jose Mourinho’s side may now be prepared to call time on their pursuit of the 21-year-old ahead of Tuesday’s transfer deadline. Press Associationlast_img read more