EPL

Fit-again Antonio in contention for spot in West Ham line-up against Burnley

By Sports Desk May 01, 2021

West forward and potential Jamaica target Michail Antonio has reportedly recovered from injury ahead of schedule and could take part in the team's match against Burnley on Monday.

The 31-year-old has not played for the Hammers since sustaining a hamstring injury in a match against Wolverhampton Wanderers in early April.  The knock was a huge blow for West Ham who have seen their hopes of a top-four Premier League finish go off the boil in recent weeks.

At current, the Hammers sit four points behind Chelsea in a race for the fourth and final Champions League spot.

“He is working with the physios and on the grass,” Moyes said of Antonio.

“I wouldn’t rule him out yet, but I don’t want to rule him in either. Let’s hope that he’s got a chance.

The news will also be welcomed by the Jamaica national team, who will be hoping the forward joins its ranks at the end of the Premier League campaign.  Antonio is one of several players England-born players who have opted to change international allegiance from England to Jamaica in recent months.  The players are expected to join up with the squad ahead of the CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament in July.

  

Related items

  • Fabianski 'honoured and proud' as goalkeeper agrees new West Ham deal Fabianski 'honoured and proud' as goalkeeper agrees new West Ham deal

    Lukasz Fabianski says he feels "honoured and proud" to continue representing West Ham after signing a one-year contract extension with the Premier League side.

    The Poland international has been a regular during his four seasons at the London Stadium, making 139 appearances in all competitions.

    His previous contract expired on July 1, but West Ham confirmed on Wednesday that a new deal – which contains an option for a further 12 months – has been agreed.

    "I'm obviously pleased and very happy that I can stay for one more year," said Fabianski, who has also played for Swansea City and Arsenal in the Premier League.

    "The way the club has developed and started to reach its potential, it's been really nice to be part of it.

    "I can see how much attention this club draws when it comes to interacting with the fans or the way it's being presented in the media.

    "I think there's a lot of interest into the club, so it feels like this is one of the bigger ones in the country, so I'm just honoured and proud to be part of this club for a few years now."

    Fabianski will again face competition from Alphonse Areola for a starting spot next season, with the latter turning his loan move from Paris Saint-Germain into a permanent deal last month. 

  • Real Betis legend Joaquin signs on for 'one more year' with records in sight Real Betis legend Joaquin signs on for 'one more year' with records in sight

    Real Betis legend Joaquin will play on until the age of 41 after agreeing a one-year contract extension with the Copa del Rey winners but said next season will be the last of his career.   Joaquin, a lifelong Betis fan, has played 451 competitive games for the club, more than any other player in the club's history, and is just 22 appearances short of matching Andoni Zubizarreta's LaLiga record of 622 outings.   The Betis captain, who turns 41 later this month, will have that record in his sights after agreeing to stay with the club until June 2023, and could also become one of the oldest players to appear in LaLiga.    He will have the opportunity to surpass former Osasuna goalkeeper Ricardo, who faced Real Madrid at the age of 41 years, five months and two days in 2013, although the record is disputed given then-Real Sociedad coach Harry Lowe briefly stepped in to play as a 48-year-old in 1935.   In a video posted to Betis' social media channels, Joaquin said: "I had second thoughts until yesterday, but today I had to come.   "One more year and I'm out. This year and I'm out. [It's] the last year."   Joaquin made 37 appearances in all competitions last season, leading Betis to a fifth-placed league finish and the Copa del Rey title, having also won Spain's domestic cup with the club in 2005.

  • Laporta reiterates Barcelona's De Jong stance, labels Ronaldo situation 'interesting' Laporta reiterates Barcelona's De Jong stance, labels Ronaldo situation 'interesting'

    Barcelona have no intention of selling Frenkie de Jong to Manchester United, according to club president Joan Laporta, although he admitted the club's perilous financial situation could create the "need" for a sale.

    Meanwhile, Laporta labelled Cristiano Ronaldo's apparent desire to leave United "interesting" but would not be drawn on whether the Blaugrana would target the Portuguese legend.

    De Jong, who starred in Erik ten Hag's Ajax side before moving to Barcelona in 2019, has been touted as United's top transfer target since the Dutchman was announced as the club's new boss in April.

    While the midfielder expressed his desire to stay at Barcelona in May, the club's need to reduce their wage bill has led to suggestions a sale could still be possible.

    Laporta said last week he would do "what is in my power" to keep De Jong but acknowledged the Netherlands international would need to agree to a salary adjustment to remain at Camp Nou.

    The Blaugrana president repeated that stance at Wednesday's unveiling of new signing Franck Kessie, saying of De Jong: "He's a Barca player and if we don't have the need, we won't sell him. We don't want to sell him. 

    "We know he has offers, but right now we're not selling this player."

     

    While Ten Hag appears to see De Jong as the ideal candidate to be the fulcrum of his new United side, it remains to be seen whether Ronaldo will remain at Old Trafford after widespread reports of his desire to leave for a Champions League club emerged last week. 

    Ronaldo scored 24 goals in all competitions for United last season, but the club ended the season in sixth place with their lowest-ever Premier League points tally (58).

    But Laporta refused to be drawn on whether Barcelona could make a remarkable move for the 37-year-old, who starred in four Champions League triumphs with their historic rivals Real Madrid.

    "I had dinner on Monday with [Ronaldo's agent] Jorge Mendes and we talked about the market in general," he added.

    "Cristiano? I'm not going to talk about the players who came out of the meeting, but it's always interesting to know how some names are on the market.

    "I'm not going to talk about players in one way or another, it could be misunderstood. It doesn't contribute anything to the interests of Barca. We have to respect the players who have contracts with other teams."

     

    Meanwhile, Barcelona's need to adjust their finances in order to strengthen Xavi's squad has led to uncertainty over the future of winger Ousmane Dembele, whose contract with the club expired last month.

    Dembele made more assists (13) in all competitions than any other Barca player last season, and while Laporta is keen to keep the 2018 World Cup winner, says the 25-year-old is yet to respond to the club's offer.

    "We are in a situation of uncertainty. Right now, we still can't sign [him]," he said.

    "We are talking to players we are interested in so they can wait for us. Ousmane is not a Barca player, but we have made him an offer.

    "He has not accepted our proposal, but he wants to continue talking. We will continue talking, at least for now. 

    "Salary balance is necessary for the team to be competitive. All discussions are framed in this context. We're not in a hurry, although we're aware that we can't delay. Let no one expect us not to act with the utmost prudence".

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.