Andros Townsend Wins Premier League Goal of the Season Award for Screamer Against Man City

?Crystal Palace winger Andros Townsend has won the Carling Goal of the Season award for his strike against Manchester City in December.

His stunning 35 yard volley against the Premier League champions was enough to stand out among a ten goal shortlist released by the Premier League last week.

Townsend’s rocket into the top corner helped his Palace side to a huge 3-2 victory at the Etihad in December, which turned out to be City’s only home defeat of the season.

The former England international’s incredible first time strike was considered better than ?Vincent Kompany’s screamer against Leicester on the penultimate match day of the season.

Other strikes on the shortlist included Newcastle’s Fabian Schar’s long range effort against Burnley, Eden Hazard’s spellbinding run against West Ham, and Andre Schurrle’s superbly controlled volley against Burnley for Fulham.

The shortlist was comprised of every goal of the month announced by the Premier League, a list which also contained strikes from Jean Michael Seri, Daniel Sturridge, Aaron Ramsey, Son Heung-min and Anthony Knockaert.

Townsend received the award following a public vote, although it is not yet known how much the margin of victory was.

The official Premier League award should more than make up for coming up short in BBC Match of the Day’s award, as pundits and Premier League legends Alan Shearer and Ian Wright instead plugged for Vincent Kompany’s stormer against Leicester.


Ilkay Gundogan Eager to Open Fresh Contract Talks With Man City After Winning Historic Treble

?Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan says he wants to open fresh contract talks at the Etihad after winning a domestic treble this season.

The Germany international is under contract until next summer, with extension talks having broken down earlier this year in March, and has been linked with a move to Serie A side Inter.

Despite attracting the attention of the Italian giants, the 28-year-old now seems willing to discuss terms with City chiefs and is keen to stay at the club beyond 2020.

Ilkay Gundogan

In an interview with ?Bild, Gundogan stated: “I wanted to focus completely on the games in recent months. I think my form and results of the last week have shown this was the right path.

“Now there’s enough time to reflect on the situation and re-engage with the club.”

Pointing out what the club had achieved, he added: “With the Champions League, it would have been a five-star season.

Ilkay Gundogan

“In England, we cleared all the titles that were possible, including the title in the best league in the world.”

Gundogan spent much of the campaign successfully filling in for Fernandinho. Given the Brazilian’s injury woes, manager Pep Guardiola will likely want to keep hold of his replacement.

While Fernandinho still managed to make 27 appearances this season, his absence has occasionally been City’s downfall and the head coach won’t want to risk being without a capable alternative. 

Ilkay Gundogan

Consequently, Gundogan’s game time grew more frequent throughout the campaign. This, along with the club’s domestic success, will certainly be a motivating factor in the central midfielder’s change of heart. 


Olivier Giroud Officially Signs One-Year Contract Extension at Chelsea

?Chelsea have confirmed that striker Olivier Giroud has signed a one-year contract extension to stay with the club for the 2019/20 season.

After joining the club from Arsenal in January 2018 for £15m on an 18-month deal, Giroud’s contract was set to expire this summer, though there was understood to be a clause in the deal for a further year at the club. 

And, as revealed by the club in an official ?statement, this renewal has now been agreed, with the Blues declaring: “Olivier Giroud’s Chelsea contract has been extended for the 2019/20 season.”

The player himself was delighted with the developments, explaining: “I am very happy to sign a new contract. I really wanted to stay at least one more year – I have felt a part of the team, the family, since the beginning and hopefully there will be more trophies to come.”

And, speaking upon the announcement, club director Marina Granovskaia added: “We are very pleased that ?Olivier will be a Chelsea player for another season. Since joining us 18 months ago, he has at times had to be patient and wait for opportunities, but has still been able to make a positive contribution to the team.

Olivier Giroud,Ruben Loftus-Cheek,N'golo Kante,Eden Hazard,Jorginho

“Whether it is his unselfish link-up play or his 10 Europa League goals this season, he has been a crucial member of the squad and we hope he will be able to pick up a second ?Chelsea winner’s medal in Baku later this month to accompany last season’s FA Cup win.”


Bayern Munich ‘Increasingly Confident’ of Finalising Deal for Manchester City Winger Leroy Sane

?Bundesliga champions ?Bayern Munich are growing increasingly confident that they can complete a deal for ?Manchester City’s Leroy Sane this summer.

The Germans are a looking for reinforcements in the wide areas this summer, and are keen to snap up the former ?Schalke 04 star following the departures of long-term wingers Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery.


Chelsea youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi was ?Bayern’s primary target up until a month ago, but a long-term Achilles tendon injury suffered during the Blues’ Europa League win over Frankfurt has seen Sane, according to the Mirror, take pole position on Die Roten’s summer wishlist.

Despite featuring 47 times for City this season and scoring 16 goals, Sane has spent much of the latter half of the campaign on the substitutes bench. He finds himself fourth in the pecking order currently, with manager Pep Guardiola favouring? Raheem Sterling and ?Bernardo Silva over the German international, as well as Riyad Mahrez.

Add rumours of a potential move to the Etihad for Benfica’s Joao Felix to the mix, and Sane’s playing time at the treble winners could be reduced even further.


Although he still has two years on his contract, Guardiola recently addressed the fact that the club have attempted to get Sane to extend his stay. Unsurprisingly though, Sane is reluctant to commit his future to the club.

Guardiola said: “With Leroy, we are one and a half years trying to sign his new contract. We want him – if you want to extend his contract, it’s because you want him. 

“You’re not going to extend his contract because you don’t want him. It’s like Gundogan, for example – it’s the same case.”

Sane’s club and international teammate Ilkay Gundogan has also been linked with a move away from the club, but it appears he may now open new contract talks instead – though Guardiola conceded that certain players will be leaving this summer.

He added: “Some movements we have to do for next season, yes, because people want to leave and players want to play. They accept not playing for a period but when that period is long, it’s normal that they want to play more.”


Sane certainly looks like one of those players whose time at the Etihad could be coming to a close, unless he can convince Guardiola of his desire to improve and earn his place in the starting XI.


Manchester United Agree £15m Fee With Swansea for Highly-Rated Daniel James

?Manchester United are close to signing Wales international Daniel James after agreeing a fee with Swansea City.

The 21-year-old has enjoyed a breakout season in the Championship, having contributed five goals and ten assists in 38 league appearances for the Swans.

Daniel James

Having been declared frontrunners for the winger last week, an agreement now appears to be in place (via Mail?Online Sport) to bring James to Old Trafford, as manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks to rebuild his Man Utd squad.

James’ most notable asset is his blistering pace, but he can also play on either flank – with Solskjaer lining him up to play on the right wing to cut inside on his stronger left foot, having sent club scouts to specifically check his suitability for the role.

He has also broken through on the international stage this season, with United legend Ryan Giggs handing him two senior appearances for Wales, which included a goal on his competitive home debut in the 1-0 win over Slovakia.

The news will pile further misery on Swansea fans after a difficult week, following the departure of manager Graham Potter, who has taken over from Chris Hughton at Brighton.

Potter’s new side were also linked to James, as were fellow Premier League sides Everton and Newcastle, but the Red Devils offered the most attractive wages and transfer fee.

James came very close to joining promotion challengers Leeds United on deadline day in January after the club’s agreed to a fee much lower than the sum being mentioned now, but the deal fell through at the 11th hour thanks after Swansea’s board pulled the plug.