‘Hart needs to be dropped’ – Former England captain Butcher calls for Butland over Man City reject

joe-hart-england_du3dxq1m1vwr1bbuh609y9i3d.jpgGareth Southgate has kept faith with a man frozen out by Pep Guardiola, but calls for him to be dropped have grown in intensity after Scotland draw

Manchester City reject Joe Hart should be dropped by England and replaced by Jack Butland, says former captain Terry Butcher.

The 30-year-old has been first-choice for his country for a number of years, with regular game time in the Premier League aiding his cause.

Hart was, however, deemed surplus to requirements at City shortly after Pep Guardiola’s arrival at the Etihad Stadium and spent the 2016-17 campaign on loan at Serie A side Torino.

That move came on the back of a forgettable showing at Euro 2016 and, after conceding two free-kicks to Scotland in England’s latest 2018 World Cup qualifier, Butcher believes Gareth Southgate needs to make a change.

He told the BBC: “There is a case, and a very strong case, to give Jack Butland a chance now because he was in pole position before he got injured.”

Pressed on whether Hart should be dropped, the former defender said: “Yes. I was very disappointed with the goals [against Scotland]. Joe is a big guy, his positioning, neither shot was particularly close to the post and it’s disappointing that he did not even get a glove on it.”

Hart was not the only player to disappoint Butcher against Scotland, though, with there little evidence in an end-of-season encounter that England had been buoyed by a boot camp with the Royal Marines.

Instead, they required a stoppage-time leveller from Tottenham striker Harry Kane to snatch a point in a 2-2 draw.

Butcher added: “I like the idea [of the boot camp], but I didn’t see much evidence of it.

“England deserve full praise for at least coming back. It had a real feel of beach football rather than grass football, didn’t it?”

Despite being held by their arch-rivals at Hampden Park, England remain top of Group F and are well on course to book their place at next summer’s World Cup finals in Russia.



The Real Madrid and Germany midfielder has now lifted the European Cup three times, as well as the World Cup once with Germany, at the age of 27

Former Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes has jokingly told Toni Kroos he might as well retire now after winning the Champions League for the third time in his career.

The Germany international was part of the Bayern team that won the treble under Heynckes in 2012-13, but whereas the Allianz Arena side have since failed to add another European title to their trophy cabinet, Kroos has lifted the trophy on another two occasions with Real Madrid.

Having also won the World Cup with Germany in 2014, Heynckes thinks it will not get much better for his former pupil and has suggested he might as well call it a day now.

“Toni is 27 and has won the Champions League three times, won the treble with Bayern and lifted the World Cup with Germany,” Heynckes was quoted as saying by Sport Bild .

“He should just hang up his boots now…

“Toni is a strategist. He has developed into an even better player at Madrid. He plays like any coach wants his players to play.”

Kroos, however, remains hungry for success and has no intention of waving farewell to the game.

“I cannot retire now just because I have won it all,” he stressed.

“You always have new goals at Real Madrid and with the German national team.

“I want to win it all.”

Barcelona shirts BANNED in Saudi Arabia with possible £120,000 fine and 15-year prison sentence

Wearing a Barcelona shirt in Saudi Arabia could land you with a fine of up to £120,000 and a 15-year prison sentence, due to the club’s continued ties with Qatar Airways.

Tensions in the Gulf region have seen countries such as Saudi Arabia boycott Qatari entities – and their measures could impact football fans who wish to wear Neymar and Lionel Messi replica shirts.

Qatar’s Arab neighbours have blacklisted entities such as Qatar Airways over their alleged extremist connection, with Barca shirts sporting the airline’s logo said to be outlawed. Qatar have rejected the claims.

According to Sky Italy, supporters caught donning shirts with the Qatar Airways logo now face €135,000 fines (around £120,000) and up to 15 years in jail. 

The ban comes amid a diplomatic row as Saudi Arabia blacklisted entities and individuals that they perceive as connecting Qatar to extremist groups, with the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Yemen and Bahrain included.

Chelsea close in £35m deal with Monaco to sign Tiemoue Bakayoko


Chelsea are closing in on the signing of Tiemoue Bakayoko after agreeing a €40 million (£35m) deal with Monaco, according to reports in France.

L’Equipe claim that Chelsea’s board have convinced the Ligue 1 champions with their offer and are hopeful that their first summer transfer can be officially announced next week. The report also claims that Bakayoko is enthusiastic about the prospect of working under Antonio Conte and the midfielder is determined on joining the Premier League champions.

Monaco, meanwhile, have quickly found a replacement for Bakayoko in Soualiho Meite. The 23-year-old midfielder will be arriving from Belgian side Zulte Waregem for a fee in the region of €8m (£7m).


Chelsea have been in negotiations with Monaco over the last month but they have faced competition from Manchester United as Jose Mourinho is also keen to strengthen his options in central midfield.

Bakayoko has been one of Monaco’s key players this season as Leonardo Jardim’s side beat Paris Saint-Germain to the Ligue 1 title and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League.

The 22-year-old’s arrival at Stamford Bridge will also fuel speculation surrounding Nemanja Matic’s future under Conte.

Matic, who was instrumental in Chelsea’s midfield last season, has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United and reports claim that initial discussions over a move to Old Trafford have already taken place.

But with Bakayoko now set to join Chelsea, United will be expected to push on in their move for his Monaco team-mate Fabinho.

Florentino Perez: Zinedine Zidane can stay at Real Madrid for life.


Real Madrid’s President Perez says Zidane can stay at the club for life after trashing the old lady(Juventus) boys 4-1 on saturday night at cardiff to be the win title back to back after its renaming to the UEFA Champions League.

Real produced a ruthless second-half display after an evenly matched first 45 minutes and put more goals past Juventus in 90 minutes than the Italian champions had conceded in their previous 12 Champions League games.


The impressive win crowned a remarkable first full season in charge for former Real midfielder Zidane, who led the team to a first La Liga title in five years and delivered the club’s first European Cup and league double since 1958.

“Zidane can stay at Real Madrid for the rest of his life,” Perez told Spanish radio station Cadena Ser.

“Every Real Madrid fan is so grateful to him, he lifted our level of talent when he arrived in 2001 and was the best player in the world.


“Now he is the best coach in the world. He has been our coach for 17 months but he has done everything possible.”

It was Zidane’s stunning volley against Bayer Leverkusen that won Real the 2002 title in Glasgow and last year, five months after replacing Rafael Benitez as coach, he breathed new life into a demotivated team and took them to the Champions League trophy.

“I can’t say whether I’ll stay for the rest of my life but I’m so grateful for the club for everything it has given me,” Zidane told a news conference.

“I played here for a long time and I feel part of the furniture. I’m also lucky to be part of this club and with this squad. Every player in the squad has played their part, and that’s been the key factor this season.”

Jose Mourinho ‘willing to sell David de Gea for £22m in Alvaro Morata swap with Real Madrid’

Jose Mourinho is willing to sell David de Gea to Real Madrid for just £22m in part exchange for Alvaro Morata, according to Guillem Balague.

Sky Sports’ Spanish football expert says Manchester United are interested in the 24-year-old striker, who wants to leave the Bernabeu this summer, along with Premier League champions Chelsea.

Balague said on Twitter: “Morata said last night his dream is to stay at Madrid… but he’s looking for a way out. Nothing from Milan at this point, MUFC want him.

“Mourinho (strangely) willing to sell De Gea for €25m and Morata. Chelsea divided between Lukaku & Morata. He would like to play in the PL.”

Morata was re-signed by Real Madrid from Juventus last summer when the club exercised their exclusive buy-back option written into the deal when he joined the Bianconeri in July 2014.

But he made only 14 La Liga starts for the champions last season and appeared off the bench in the Champions League final victory over Juventus on Saturday.

Morata has scored 20 goals despite being an irregular starter under Zinedine Zidane and has said his dream has always been to make it at Real Madrid.

Hazard: I would listen to Real Madrid


Chelsea’s Eden Hazard says he would have to listen if Real Madrid make a move to sign him.

Hazard was a key figure as the Stamford Bridge club regained the Premier League title in 2016-17, scoring 16 goals in 36 games as Antonio Conte claimed the trophy in his first season.

The Belgium international has regularly been linked with a move to the Bernabeu, although Chelsea have him tied up for the next three seasons.

He is currently away on national duty ahead of their friendly with the Czech Republic on Monday and a World Cup European Qualifier in Estonia, but the subject of his club future was also among the questions he faced on Sunday.

Asked about the possibility of a move to the repeat Champions League winners, he said: “Of course, I would consider it if Madrid made an offer.

Hazard with the 2017 premier league title

“I am keen to win trophies. It would be great to win the Champions League. But Chelsea’s goal is to win the Champions League as well. Honestly, I do not know what will happen.

“I only know that I still have a contract with Chelsea for three seasons and that we just had an amazing 2016-17 campaign. We want to continue on this path and want to build on this in the Champions League

“I am feeling very well at Chelsea. But you never know what will happen.

“I have not met with the board yet to discuss a new deal. I have two games with Belgium coming up first and I am off on my holiday after that. I want to think about football as little as possible.”