'Careful when I talk about it' – Richarlison unsure about Everton future

Brazil forward Richarlison admits he does not know what the future holds for him at Everton.

Richarlison played a key role for the Brazil national team in their run to the Copa America final and as part of a gold-winning side at the Tokyo Olympics over the summer, and he was linked to moves to Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain in the last transfer window.

Barcelona made an £85m bid for the 24-year-old back in January last year which was rejected by the Merseyside club.

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Richarlison, who had one season at Watford in 2017-18 before moving to the Toffees, says he does not want to come across as ungrateful if he moved on from Everton.

“I’m always very careful when I talk about it,” he told Argentine newspaper Ole.

“I have great affection for the people of Everton and for the club, who received me so well from the first day I arrived.

“I don’t know what the future holds. If one day I have to go, it must be good for me, but also for the club.

“But if I stay, I will continue giving my life for this shirt and for the fans, who have always supported me and were with me at all times.

“I have enormous gratitude and feel at home when I am at Finch Farm training ground or Goodison Park stadium.”

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Round-up: Leeds fall into bottom three after Antonio strikes late, Everton go fifth

Michail Antonio scored a 90th-minute winner as West Ham climbed up to seventh in the Premier League table with a 2-1 triumph over Leeds, who drop into the bottom three.

A stunning first-half opener from Raphinha had looked to give Marcelo Bielsa’s side a first league win of the season, but the Hammers rallied with two goals in just over 20 minutes. Jarrod Bowen’s shot was deflected into his own net by Junior Firpo and in stoppage-time, Antonio snatched all three points for David Moyes’ men with his first ever goal against the Yorkshire club.

Meanwhile, Leicester are without a win in three league games as they came from behind twice to earn a share of the spoils in a 2-2 draw with Burnley at the King Power Stadium.

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A Jamie Vardy own goal handed the Clarets the initiative in the 12th minute, before the former England striker put the ball in the right end to level. However, a scorcher from new boy Maxwell Cornet restored Burnley’s lead before the break, before Vardy struck a leveller with just minutes remaining.

There was late drama as Chris Wood scored what looked like would be a late winner, but VAR ruled the goal out.

Leicester are 12th, while Burnley are in 19th.

Everton are up to fifth with a comfortable 2-0 win over Norwich, who remain bottom without a point.

Andros Townsend netted from the penalty spot in the 29th-minute to give Everton the breakthrough and after the restart Abdoulaye Doucoure made sure of the points, as the Toffees inflicted a sixth straight defeat on the Canaries.

Newcastle remain winless but just out of the drop zone in 17th after they played out a 1-1 draw with Watford at Vicarage Road.

Sean Longstaff’s 23rd-minute opener was cancelled out by Ismail Sarr, as the Hornets moved into 11th.

Earlier in the day, Gabriel Jesus scored the decisive goal as Manchester City edged Chelsea 1-0, while Kortney Hause grabbed an 88th-minute winner as Aston Villa beat Manchester United for the first time since December 2009.

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Transfers

James Rodriguez completes Qatar move to end time at Everton

22/09/2021 AT 16:19

James Rodriguez completes Qatar move to end time at Everton

James Rodriguez has completed a transfer from Everton to Qatari side Al-Rayyan for an undisclosed fee to bring an end to his time in Europe.

The Colombia international was reunited with former boss Carlo Ancelotti at Everton in September 2020 after signing a two-year contract with the option of a third season.

But after one campaign in England where he scored six goals in 26 appearances, he has traded Premier League football for the Qatar Stars League after Everton boss Rafael Benitez said he could leave the club.

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James was Everton’s highest earner and came close to departing earlier in the summer as talks with Porto, AC Milan and Basaksehir all fell through.

Rodriguez started his professional career at Colombian side Envigado before spending two years at Club Atletico Banfield.

From there he moved to Primiera Liga club Porto, where he scored 25 goals in 63 appearances across three seasons.

The Colombia international was one of the stars of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and sealed a move from Monaco to Real Madrid off the back of it.

Rodriguez made 85 appearances for Real, scoring 29 goals, and also had a two-year loan spell at Bayern Munich. In Germany, he scored 14 goals in 43 appearances.

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Premier League to resume on Boxing Day in 2022 after six-week World Cup break

The Premier League will break for six weeks to incorporate the 2022 Qatar World Cup, and will resume on Boxing Day.

FIFA has decided to break from the tradition of a summer tournament on account of the high temperatures in the region during the summer months.

Conditions are more favourable in the winter months, and the 2022 World Cup will get underway on November 21.

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The World Cup will be in the middle of the season for most European competitions, and Sky Sports News say the Premier League will break on November 12 – giving players nine days of preparation time.

Should England make it all the way to the final in Qatar, which is slated to take place on December 18 – players will only have eight days of recovery before the Premier League gets back underway on December 26.

According to Sky Sports “executives of all 20 Premier League clubs were in London on Wednesday for a scheduled meeting, and the programme for 2022/23 was decided in discussions that lasted approximately four hours and also included a number of other issues.”

Aston Villa chief executive Christian Purslow has labelled the winter World Cup “crazy” saying it robs fans of Premier League football for a key period in the calendar.

“Next season when we play in an equally crazy idea, which is a winter World Cup,” Purslow said. “We won’t see any Premier League football at the peak of our season between November and December, which is something that people are going to have to get used to.

“I always have concerns about player welfare but I have more concerns for our fans missing Premier League football in the winter for five weeks, which is our great national tradition and our great national heritage.”

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Exclusive: Barcelona talk just 'rumours', says tight-lipped Martinez

Belgium manager Roberto Martinez has played down reports linking him to the Barcelona job as a potential replacement for under-fire Ronald Koeman.

Pressure continues to mount on the Dutchman following a disappointing start to the season coupled with the persistent rumours about his job security.

A draw in Barca’s most recent league match against Granada following a humiliating 3-0 Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich looks to have pushed Koeman close to the exit door with Martinez among the list of names lined up as his successor.

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However, the Spaniard, who has been in charge of the Belgian national team since 2016, told Eurosport France’s Maxime Dupuis there was nothing behind the speculation.

“Well as you can imagine there is nothing, nothing to comment for me,” he told Eurosport.

Obviously rumours, they are always there, it’s normal in football.

“When you lose three games the rumours are that you are going to lose your job. When things are going well, you are doing good results, the rumours will always be there, but it’s nothing for me to comment on at this point.”

Koeman’s days look numbered at Barcelona

Image credit: Getty Images

Barca currently sit eighth in La Liga with two wins and two draws from their opening four matches and already find themselves six points behind leaders and reigning champions Atletico Madrid – albeit with two games in hand.

The club is also mired in debt and saw Lionel Messi depart for Paris Saint-Germain before the start of the current campaign.

Tension between club president Joan Laporta and Koeman has intensified in recent months following the former’s reported attempts to recruit a new manager in the summer.

Laporta even took to social media to reassure supporters and plead for calm following the setback against Granada, in which a last minute Ronald Araujo header was needed to prevent defeat.

Martinez led Belgium to the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, but only reached the quarter-finals of Euro 2020 after going out to eventual winners Italy.

At club level, Martinez has solely managed in England, taking charge at Swansea, Wigan and Everton, including a shock FA Cup win with the Latics in 2013.

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Carabao Cup: City down Wycombe as Everton and Watford knocked out

Manchester City defeated Wycombe 6-1 in the third round of the EFL Cup despite resting many of their biggest names.

There briefly appeared to be a shock on the cards as Brandon Hanlan scored in the 22nd minute, but Belgium midfielder Kevin De Bruyne equalised seven minutes later.

City manager Pep Guardiola had to do without injured trio John Stones, Aymeric Laporte and Ilkay Gundogan, and both Oleksandr Zinchenko and Rodri were unavailable.

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The Spaniard gave the nod to Zack Steffen, CJ Egan-Riley, Finley Burns, Luke Mbete and Josh Wilson-Esbrand as he fielded an unfamiliar backline. Youngster Romeo Lavia was also given the chance for first team experience.

Riyad Mahrez put City ahead two minutes before the 45 minutes, and Phil Foden added a third.

In the second half, Ferran Torres added a fourth, Mahrez notched his second, and another youngster, Cole Palmer, added a late sixth to send City into the fourth round.

Elsewhere, Liverpool enjoyed a comfortable 3-0 win over Norwich City, courtesy of rare goals for Takumi Minami (twice) and Divock Origi.

Premier League new boys Watford lost 3-1 at home to Stoke City, and Everton also suffered an upset as they lost 8-7 on penalties to QPR after drawing 2-2.

Brentford beat Oldham Athletic 7-0, Burnley were 4-1 winners over Rochdale, Leeds United (6-5) beat Fulham on penalties after a goalless draw.

Preston beat Cheltenham 4-1, and Sunderland continued their good form with a 2-0 win over Wigan.

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Rodriguez in talks over Qatar move – reports

James Rodriguez’s time at Everton could be coming to an end as he is reportedly in talks with a club in Qatar.

The 30-year-old has fallen out of favour following the arrival of manager Rafa Benitez and is yet to feature this season.

He is under contract with Everton until 2022 but could now be set to leave. According to Sky Sports News and the Times he is in talks about a potential move to the Middle East.

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Former Real Madrid midfielder Rodriguez came close to joining Porto earlier in the summer but the transfer was not agreed.

Benitez had said that Rodriguez did not feature against Aston Villa at the weekend as he was unsure about his fitness.

“For this game, he was a little bit concerned about his muscle.

“He was having a little problem and we decided we have to wait, so he was not available. That’s it. We will see if he’s fit for the next game and then we will decide.”

Everton saw their unbeaten start to the season ended with a 3-0 defeat at Villa Park.

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Three-goal flurry sees Aston Villa dismantle Everton

Substitute Leon Bailey scored one and set up another before leaving with an injury as Aston Villa ran out 3-0 victors over Everton.

The game was very even until just past the hour mark when Matty Cash latched onto Douglas Luiz’s through-ball and cut in from the right flank to drive home with his unfavoured left foot.

Moments later Bailey’s inswinging corner was misjudged at the near post by Lucas Digne who flicked the ball over stand-in Toffees keeper Asmir Begovic for the second.

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With Everton’s defence now non-existent, Ings played the ball forward for Bailey to run free through for a third goal in the space of nine minutes driving home on the half-volley into the roof of the net. Moments later he limped off the field clutching his left thigh.

TALKING POINT – HOLTE END HAVE THEIR NEW HERO, IF HE CAN STAY FIT

No Premier League team had a void for a terrace idol like Aston Villa going into the season, after boyhood fan Jack Grealish left for Manchester City.

They look to have this in Leon Bailey. The Jamaican winger who joined in the summer from Bayer Leverkusen may lack the audacious skills of Grealish but is quicker and perhaps a better crosser of the ball.

Bailey came on and dazzled for 21 minutes before limping off the field clutching his thigh. This is especially worrying as he has missed games already this season with a minor hamstring complaint.

With Watkins and Ings Villa have dangerous strikers if they are provided with service but, as the tame first half showed, Villa are not over-stocked with creativity, so Bailey’s availability may be equally felt in terms of points as in excitement for the fans.

MAN OF THE MATCH – MATTY CASH (ASTON VILLA)

The former Nottingham Forest wing-back looked a threat throughout the game driving down the right flank. Naturally a player who likes to get forward, Dean Smith seemed to give him even more freedom than usual, enabling him to expose the defensive weakness of Lucas Digne.

In the first half he threatened to score cutting in from the right flank but could not get a decent contact on his shot, something he corrected with a marvellous strike that opened the scoring and his own personal account for Villa. The corner which led to Villa’s second was also the result of a shot of his being deflected behind.

PLAYER RATINGS

Aston Villa: Martinez 6, Cash 8*, Targett 7, Konsa 6, Tuanzebe 6, Mings 7, Luiz 7, Ramsey 7, McGinn 6, Watkins 6, Ings 7. Subs: Nakamba 6, Bailey 8, Young 6, Traore 6.

Everton: Begovic 7, Godfrey 6, Mina 6, Keane 6, Digne 5, Allan 6, Doucoure 6, Townsend 6, Iwobi 6, Gray 7, Rondon 5. Subs: Gomes 5, Gordon 6, Kenny 6, Davies 6.

KEY MOMENTS

7′ Great save from Begovic! This time Mings meets a corner at the front post and he flicks the ball between the sticks but Begovic athletically dives to claw the ball away.

66′ GOAL FOR VILLA! Cash slams home his first goal for Villa. Digne does not track his run and latching onto Luiz’s through-ball he cuts into the box and then slams the ball into the roof of the net inside the near post with his wrong foot.

69′ GOAL FOR VILLA! Bailey curls a corner to the near post where Digne tries to head behind but only succeeds in flicking the ball over Begovic and in.

75′ GOAL FOR VILLA! Bailey runs through on goal and slams the ball on the half-volley past, or almost through, Begovic and into the roof of the net.

KEY STAT

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Townsend wonder-biff has Everton fans dreaming again – The Warm-Up

TUESDAY’S BIG STORIES

Super Mum

He’s only been in charge 76 days, but it appears Everton fans are already starting to forgive Rafa Benitez for his role in Istanbul 2005.

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You could not blame them if they felt a bit stale ahead of the new season. Not only had Carlo Ancelotti snaked his way back to Real Madrid, but their answer to Cristiano Ronaldo, Jack Grealish, Romelu Lukaku and Ibrahima Konate moving to top four clubs – the group they desperately want to join – was to sign the triple threat of, err, Andros Townsend, Demarai Gray and Solomon Rondon.

Well who’s laughing now? OK, probably still Chelsea, Liverpool and the Manchester clubs – only a whopping and unexpected points penalty can stop them locking out the Champions League spots. But at least Everton have hope and momentum again.

When Townsend picked up the ball inside the Burnley half, five minutes after providing the assist for Michael Keane’s equaliser, the stage was set for his signature trick: beat two players, then cannon the ball into a third. But not this time. The 30-year-old ducked onto his left foot and seriously just watch the video for yourself:

So who do Everton fans owe for this unlikely resurgence? Rafa? Moshiri? James?

“I have to give a shout-out to my mum because during the week she sent me a compilation video of all my goals,” Townsend told Sky Sports.

“She clipped them all together and she told me I need to believe in myself again. I think you saw that with this goal here.

“It was rolling back the years. I’ve got that in the locker, I just need to be able to produce it on a consistent basis. Hopefully with the manager here I’ll keep getting in the right positions and score more goals and get more assists for this historic football club.”

Mama Townsend, we salute you.

8-2: the sequel

There is an unavoidably juicy clash as the Champions League returns tonight with Barcelona playing Bayern Munich for the first time since that match.

Ominously, Barcelona are even weaker than they were that night in Lisbon.

Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Arturo Vidal have all departed while Bayern look as strong as ever and have already racked up a 12-0 win this season.

It’s also worth keeping an eye on events in Switzerland. Young Boys entertain Manchester United in the early kick-off on their annually controversial artificial pitch, so expect at least one “Manchester United sweat on injured [star player]” headline by 8pm tonight.

Ronaldo

Image credit: Getty Images

RETRO CORNER

It’s stretching the definition of retro big time, but there’s only one match we can revisit today:

IN THE CHANNELS

It’s 2040. Paul Pogba’s agent is hyping up a move to Real Madrid, but refusing to rule out a switch to Paris Saint-Germain. The window closes. He’s still a Manchester United player.

COMING UP

Everyone’s favourite theme tune returns. We’ll have live text commentary of Young Boys v Cristiano Ronaldo (17:45) and Barcelona 2-9 Bayern Munich (20:00), plus the less exciting Chelsea v Zenit and Malmo v Juventus (both 20:00).

Marcus Foley will still be a Eurosport player well beyond 2040, so settle in Warm-Up fans, it’ll be a long ride

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