Bailey on the verge of completing move to Aston Villa

By Sports Desk August 01, 2021

Jamaica international Leon Bailey seems set for a move to the English Premier League (EPL) after reports of reaching an agreement with Aston Villa.

According to the club’s official website, an agreement has been reached between the EPL club and German Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen where the player has spent the last four seasons.  The move is subject to a medical and agreeing to personal terms.

Bailey is coming off a strong campaign for Leverkusen, in total, scoring 9 goals and eight assists in the Bundesliga last season.  The player had been linked with a move away from the German club for several seasons, but Aston Villa had not been on the list of clubs that had the player on radar.

However, after a rumoured £100m move for star player Jack Grealish to Manchester City, the club is in the market to strengthen the team.

Bailey would become Villa's third signing of the summer after the arrival of Emiliano Buendia from Norwich City and Ashley Young from Inter Milan.

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  • Mourinho and Roma deserve bans for Taylor treatment, says Ref Support chief Mourinho and Roma deserve bans for Taylor treatment, says Ref Support chief

    Jose Mourinho should be suspended from coaching and Roma barred from European competitions following the "disgraceful" harassment of Anthony Taylor after Wednesday's Europa League final.

    That is the view of Martin Cassidy, chief executive of Ref Support UK – a charity committed to supporting officials – after Taylor was abused following Roma's penalty shoot-out defeat to Sevilla.

    Roma boss Mourinho was fiercely critical of Taylor's performance as Sevilla won a record-extending seventh Europa League title via spot-kicks following an ill-tempered 1-1 draw in Budapest.

    Thirteen players were booked during the match, while Gonzalo Montiel scored his winning penalty at the second attempt after Rui Patricio was punished for encroachment after initially saving his kick.  

    Mourinho was seen shouting expletives at Taylor after the game, and the English official was harassed by Giallorossi supporters when at Budapest Airport with his family.

    Speaking to Stats Perform, Cassidy outlined the strong punishments he would like to see issued to coaches who abuse officials. 

    "I'd be interested to speak to the legal people in UEFA and FIFA, to see if they could take their coaching badges away from them," Cassidy said.

    "Take it away from them. Say, 'I'm sorry, we are going to suspend your badge, you can't coach at that level'. Let's see what that does.

    "Obviously, big legal challenges will come that way. But let's have things in place to say, 'Look, a stadium ban is not working on you and one or two fines when you are a multimillionaire are not going to bother you'. 

    "Let's really hurt you, let's take you away from being able to coach, let's suspend your coaching badge. Job done."

    Cassidy believes Mourinho's behaviour is being replicated by grassroots coaches, and says his club should be barred from Europe or handed a points deduction for next season. 

    "It's just disgraceful," he added. "How many chances does this man [Mourinho] want before some national governing body or UEFA or FIFA take appropriate action against him? 

    "This behaviour he shows manifests itself at grassroots level when there's a youth referee in the middle, and little mini-Mourinhos are on the sidelines repeating and replicating those antics. 

    "It's not good at all. And I just think, the managers – it's not just Jose Mourinho – other people do it and have been doing for a long time… they throw in a small fine, it might be £100 or £1,000. 

    "That's a small fine for some of these people, for some of them it is not even a week's wages. They throw in a ban, well, Jose Mourinho has been banned before from stadiums and still found a way of doing his coaching.

    "What are UEFA going to do? I think don't allow them to play in Europe next year. 

    "If they do allow them to play in Europe, let's have them on a minus points deficit of say three or four points, let's just have a message that is different to what we've been doing previously."

  • Barcelona come from two goals down to beat Wolfsburg and win Champions League Barcelona come from two goals down to beat Wolfsburg and win Champions League

    Fridolina Rolfo’s strike completed a stunning second-half comeback to secure Barcelona the Champions League trophy with a 3-2 victory over Wolfsburg at Eindhoven’s sold-out Philips Stadion.

    The Spanish side were favourites to win a second title in three years but were stunned by Ewa Pajor’s opener after just three minutes, while skipper Alexandra Popp extended Wolfsburg’s advantage to two before the break.

    Two goals inside two second-half minutes for Patricia Guijarro brought Barcelona back into the contest immediately following the restart before they  benefited from a Wolfsburg error to seal the win.

    Barca’s victory also made English history, with Lioness Lucy Bronze becoming the first from her country to win the Champions League title with two clubs having previously done so three times with Lyon.

    Both sides had eliminated English opponents to get here, with Wolfsburg seeing off Arsenal and Barcelona reaching their fourth showpiece in five seasons after drawing 1-1 with Chelsea in their second leg to advance 2-1 on aggregate.

    Current England and former Netherlands boss Sarina Wiegman brought out the trophy on a sunny afternoon in her native country, and was no doubt  delighted to see Bronze, recovered from knee surgery, back in the Barcelona starting line-up exactly seven weeks before the Lionesses open their World Cup campaign.

    It was the England defender’s mistake, however, that led to her side conceding after just two minutes and 57 seconds – the fastest Barcelona had ever fallen behind in the competition.

    Barca had a shot stopped by Merle Frohms before Pajor won the ball off Bronze and made her way into the centre before drilling past Sandra Panos into the top right corner.

    That  likely conjured up painful memories for Barcelona, who conceded to eventual 3-1 winners Lyon after six minutes last year in Turin.

    Irene Paredes cringed after wasting a free header, while at the other end Sveindis Jonsdottir had a half-volley saved for the Frauen-Bundesliga runners-up.

    Caroline Graham Hansen found herself in a perfect position to level from Mapi Leon’s excellent delivery but the Norwegian could not connect and seemed thrown off by the bounce the ball took en route to the six-yard box.

    As the Liga F champions struggled to settle into a dominant rhythm, Pajor turned provider and sent a fine delivery in the direction of her skipper to dutifully head home – Popp in the process equalling Ada Hegerberg’s UWCL record as she got herself on the finals scoresheet in a fourth separate season.

    It took an alert Frohms to deny Salma Paralluelo late in the period and send her side into the second half with a two-goal advantage.

    That was erased within five minutes after the restart when Guijarro collected Graham Hansen’s cut-back, then nodded her second past a leaping Frohms two minutes later from Aitana Bonmati’s delivery.

    Barcelona’s comeback was complete after Lynn Wilms’ attempted clearance instead deflected off team-mate Kathrin Hendrich, allowing Mariona Caldentey to tap the ball to Rolfo, who fired in the 70th-minute winner from the edge of the six-yard box.

    Both benches showed nerves during seven minutes of stoppage time, but it was Barca who ultimately survived a late scare to secure the trophy.

  • Hugo Lloris contemplating Tottenham exit as he has ‘desire for other things’ Hugo Lloris contemplating Tottenham exit as he has ‘desire for other things’

    Tottenham captain Hugo Lloris admitted he “desires for other things” and is contemplating what life could look like away from the north London club at “the end of an era.”

    The 36-year-old retired from international duty with France in January, one year after signing a contract extension that would keep him at Spurs through to the end of next season.

    There has been speculation, however, that the goalkeeper might have already played his last game for the side he joined in 2012 following his season-ending thigh injury against Newcastle in April.

    Lloris told French newspaper Nice-Matin: “We are coming to an important moment, whether for the club or for me. It’s the end of an era. I have desires for other things, I will ask myself quietly to study what will be possible.

    “But I don’t forget that I still have a year of contract with Tottenham and that in football it is always difficult to predict what will happen.

    “What is essential at the moment is to recover well from my injury. I’m on vacation but I continue to talk and do my training. My goal is to be on top in July, then we’ll see what the future holds for me.”

    Lloris acknowledged Spurs, who finished eighth this term after securing a Champions League berth last season, had failed to live up to expectations and cited injuries as part of the problem.

    He said: “We failed as a team by not being able to reverse the course of things. It’s disappointing but it’s part of the life of a top-level football club. The most important thing is to prepare as well as possible for next season and to learn from our mistakes.”

    The Frenchman did not rule out a return to Nice, where he started his senior career before moving to Lyon and then north London, though he was adamant he was not forcing his current club into a move.

    He added: “Nice is my city, my club, my roots. There is a season that must end, as best as possible, with the goalkeepers in place. I am not demanding, I have never forced things. We’ll see where fate takes me.”

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