Norwich Board to Set £20m Spending Limit Should the Canaries Clinch Premier League Promotion

Norwich manager Daniel Farke will be given a modest £20m transfer budget this summer as the Norfolk based club look to avoid the trend of reckless spending highlighted by Fulham’s £100m spree last year.

The Canaries continue to lead the way in the Sky Bet Championship, and are on the verge of automatic promotion to the Premier League after a remarkable season thus far.

Onel Hernandez,Marco Stiepermann

Despite sanctioning the big-money sale of star midfielder James Maddison to Leicester last summer, Farke has spent very little since taking over the helm at Carrow Road in 2017, notably bringing in Championship Player of the Season Teemu Pukki on a free transfer from Brondby and midfield sensation Emiliano Buendia for just £1.5m.

Fulham, meanwhile, spent over £100m after going through the 2018 Championship play-offs and Wolves have broken their transfer record twice this season with the signings of Adama Traore and Raul Jiminez.

It appears, however, as if the German manager will need to discover further value signings in the summer, with the Daily Mail claiming that the Canaries board will provide a budget of around £20m should they clinch promotion to the Premier League .

Norwich do not wish to risk financial jeopardy by over-reaching and believe that their current talent-pool is sufficient, along with Farke’s tactical prowess, to offer the best chance of survival.

Their current players will share a bonus prize pool of £10m once their place in the top flight is sealed and will have automatic wage rises, with certain stars more than doubling their money.

As it stands, Farke’s side are six points clear of Leeds in third with a superior goal difference, therefore, the Canaries need only a draw from their home tie against Blackburn on Saturday night to confirm promotion.

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The Stat That Shows How Close Southampton Are to Being a Brilliant Team

?Southampton were dealt a cruel blow on Tuesday night as Andre Gray rescued a point for Watford in the 90th minute and left the Saints looking over their shoulders in the Premier League table.

The Saints took the lead after just seven seconds as Shane Long closed down a long ball and raced through to chip over Ben Foster and record the Premier League’s fastest ever goal.

Despite holding out for the next 89 minutes, they couldn’t quite see out the game to earn a much needed three points and left Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men with a familiar feeling.


That feeling being one of a missed opportunity – what could have been. ?Opta stats show that ?Southampton have dropped a league-high 25 points from winning positions this season.

The south coast club currently find themselves in 16th position on 37 points, just six points above the relegation zone. However, if they had held on to every lead they had this season, they would have amassed a whopping 62 points and find themselves seventh, just two points behind ?Manchester United.

Of course, no team will ever hold onto every lead they take, so perhaps this example is extreme. But say for instance, Southampton had held onto just half of the points they had dropped from leading positions this season (13 points), they would still see them in seventh place – level on points with Watford.

It is fair to say Hasenhuttl has performed well as Saints boss since taking over from Mark Hughes, guiding a Championship-bound team to within a whisker of safety with three games to go.

However, the Austrian manager will surely look at his team’s ability to hold onto a lead and seek to fix that this summer.

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Whether it’s a lack of fitness or concentration levels, this Southampton team to continue to fall short in the final stages of games. Be it through a couple of signings or an intense pre-season regime, it would be a huge surprise if Hasenhuttl allows this Saints squad to make the same mistakes next season as they have this.

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David Ospina Set to Snub Arsenal Return in Favour of Permanent Deal at Napoli

Amidst question marks over his future with Arsenal, David Ospina has revealed that he hopes to stay at Napoli after a successful loan spell, with the summer transfer window just around the corner.

The 30-year old has appeared 14 times in the league this season, and seems to be determined to commit his future to the Italian club with Napoli having the option to buy.

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Although he enjoyed a decent four seasons at the Emirates, the Colombian international had been in the shadow of starting keeper ?Petr Cech during his time at the club and was loaned to ?Napoli at the start of the 2018/19 season.

The agreement also included an option for the Italian club to sign him permanently at the end of the season, an outcome which may be in the best interest of all parties.

Despite his wishes to stay with Napoli, Ospina has faced competition for the starting shirt from both Alex Meret and Orestis Karnezis during the campaign.

David Ospina

As quoted by ?Napoli? Gol after their 2-1 defeat to Atalanta in Serie A, the goalkeeper said: “We are always ready, however, when the coach asks us to be. There are two other goalkeepers who can play.

“Future? My hope is to stay in Naples.

“Then we will decide with the company at the end of the season.”

Although he faces healthy rivalry for a starting place in Partenopei’s lineup, it appears that a return to Arsenal will prove a tougher challenge as he will have to battle with Bernd Leno to claim the number one shirt, with the German shot-stopper making 27 appearances this season for the north London club.

Reflecting on ?his side’s Europa league exit to the ?Gunners last week, Ospina added: “The Europa League was an opportunity to bring home an important victory. 

“We want to close the season well now. We have to concentrate on the next five games because we have to secure the second place.”

Napoli currently have a comfortable grasp on second place in ?Serie A as they sit six points above third placed Inter, and will be looking for a strong finish as they prepare for ?Champions League football next season.

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Former Barcelona President Sandro Rosell Acquitted of Money Laundering After 2 Years in Prison

?A Spanish court acquited former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell of money laundering on Wednesday after spending almost two years in pre-trial custody.

The 55-year-old, as well as his wife and four others, were accused of ‘large scale money laundering’ estimated to be €20m in relation to television rights and sponsorship in Brazil.

Rosell had spent 643 days in pre-trial custody, but it was confirmed on Wednesday that the former Barça chief had been cleared of the charges by the Spanish national court.

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Back in July 2018, over a year after he was put in pre-trial custody, Rosell spoke to Spanish media outlet Marca about his experience during that time, adding that he believes he would not have been left in jail if he wasn’t the president of Barcelona.

It is inexplicable and unheard of, I have been on remand in jail for 14 months waiting for a trial,” Rosell said last year. “Not only will I not flee but it is my intention to prove my innocence. Of course, I will not flee.

I am not in prison for being FC Barcelona president but if I hadn’t been then I would not be here. As president, I found myself with enemies due to my commitment with the club but I do not know who I did so much harm to.”

Rosell served as Barcelona president between 2010 and 2014, having previously worked as the club’s vice-president during the mid-2000s.

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The 10 Fastest Goals in Premier League History

?Shane Long etched his name into Premier League history when he netted in less than eight seconds in Southampton’s 1-1 draw with Watford on Tuesday.

It was the fastest goal that the division has ever seen, but there have been plenty of others who have come close to breaking this record before Long.

Here are the ten fastest goals in Premier League history.


10. Asmir Begovic (13.64 Seconds vs Southampton, November 2013)

Asmir Begovic

Yes, you read that right. Asmir Begovic – the goalkeeper – currently has the tenth fastest goal in ?Premier League history.

Begovic’s ?Stoke City quickly gained control of the ball after kick-off and passed the ball all the way back to the towering shot stopper, who smashed the ball forward from just a few steps in front of his six-yard box.

The ball got caught up in the wind, before bouncing high over the onrushing Artur Boruc and into the back of ?Southampton’s net. Not a bad start.


9. James Beattie (13.52 Seconds vs Chelsea, August 2004)

James Beattie

Back in the 2004/05 season, ?Chelsea boasted one of the meanest defences in Europe, but that didn’t scare James Beattie and Southampton.

A poor back pass from? Joe Cole found Beattie just outside the penalty area, and the Saints star unleashed a stunning half-volley which flew past ?Petr Cech from around 25 yards.

Chelsea went on to win the game, and they lifted the Premier League trophy at the end of the season, so they’re probably not too upset about the whole thing.


8. Kevin Nolan (13.48 Seconds vs Blackburn, January 2004)

Kevin Nolan

?Bolton Wanderers picked up a thrilling 4-3 win over ?Blackburn Rovers in January 2004, in a game which had everything you could want as a fan.

Kevin Davies managed to hook a low cross into the box, allowing Nolan to send the ball flying into the roof of the net with a smart finish from close range.

However, they barely had time to celebrate before Vratislav Gresko went down the other end to equalise a minute after. What a game.


7. Chris Sutton (12.94 Seconds vs Everton, April 1995)

Chris Sutton of Blackburn turns to celebrate scoring

Chris Sutton endured mix fortunes throughout his Premier League career, but the 1994/95 season was certainly a highlight for him.

When his Blackburn side met ?Everton, the ball was pumped forward, and Alan Shearer’s flick-on managed to find Sutton in the area, who calmly slotted home to give his side the lead before many fans had even found their seats.

Shearer added a second just five minutes later, and Blackburn stormed to the Premier League title.?


6. Dwight Yorke (12.16 Seconds vs Coventry, September 1995)

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As one of the finest marksmen in the history of the Premier League, it should come as no surprise to see Dwight Yorke’s name on this list.

He gave his ?Aston Villa side the lead over Coventry City in 1995 after just 12 seconds, popping up in the box to net a header after a delightful cross from Ian Taylor to leave the hosts stunned.

Yorke helped the Villains qualify for the UEFA Cup that season, before moving on to ?Manchester United a few years later.


5. Mark Viduka (11.90 Seconds vs Charlton, March 2001)

Man U v Leeds

?Leeds United may have narrowly missed out on ?Champions League qualification in the 2000/01 season, but that was not for lack of trying from Mark Viduka.

His side began against Charlton Athletic by firing a long ball towards the penalty area, and Alan Smith rose highest to nod the ball on to Viduka, who needed just two touches to direct it home to give his side an early lead.

They even netted 44 seconds into the start of the second half, proving the Whites were not there to mess about on the day.


4. Christian Eriksen (10.54 Seconds vs Man Utd, January 2018)

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?Yet again, another speculative punt forwards leads to an early goal. This time it was ?Tottenham Hotspur who profited when they faced Manchester United in early 2018.

?Harry Kane’s flick found ?Dele Alli in the penalty area, who laid the ball backwards into the path of the onrushing ?Christian Eriksen, who showed his composure to slot the ball home and give his side the lead at Wembley Stadium.

However, this isn’t even Spurs’ fastest Premier League goal. Stay tuned.


3. Alan Shearer (10.52 Seconds vs Man City, January 2003)

Alan Shearer

Legendary ?Newcastle United manager Kevin Keegan made his return to St James’ Park in early 2003, but this time leading ?Manchester City.? Alan Shearer quickly made sure it wasn’t a happy occasion for the boss.

City worked the ball back to goalkeeper Carlo Nash, who appeared to slip as he ran to clear the ball. That gave Shearer enough time to put the pressure on, and he managed to deflect Nash’s clearance, before slotting the ball into an open goal.

Nash had finally been given a chance in goal as a result of an injury to Peter Schmeichel, but it’s safe to say that he didn’t do himself any favours with this one.


2. Ledley King (9.82 Seconds vs Bradford City, December 2000)

Ledley King of Tottenham Hotspur

The fist goal in Premier League history to clock in at less than ten seconds, Ledley King profited from a huge deflection to give Spurs the lead over Bradford City in December 2000.

He picked up the ball well outside the area, took a few steps forward, and fired a tame effort towards goal. However, it took a wicked deflection, leaving the goalkeeper completely wrong-footed before nestling into the bottom corner.

It’s Spurs’ fastest ever league goal and, for 19 years, it was the Premier League’s fastest ever, but not any more.


1. Shane Long (7.69 Seconds vs Watford, April 2019)

Shane Long

?Long did not just beat King’s record, he utterly shattered it, knocking off over two seconds from his time.

He managed to block Craig Cathcart’s clearance, before chipping the ball over Ben Foster, in a moment which most fans could hardly believe they had witnessed.

If King’s record stood for 19 years, just how long will this one remain?

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