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    Crystal Palace terminate Max Meyer’s contract to get huge £170,000-a-week deal off the wage bill

    CRYSTAL PALACE have terminated Max Meyer’s contract after a frustrating two-and-a-half-year spell at Selhurst Park.
    Meyer joined the Eagles on a free transfer from Schalke in 2018, which was regarded as a major coup thanks to his exploits in the Bundesliga.

    Max Meyer increasingly found appearances hard to come by at Crystal PalaceCredit: Reuters

    But the attacking midfielder was increasingly marginalised by Roy Hodgson and leaves after 56 appearances in all competitions.
    A statement read: “Max Meyer has left the club by mutual consent.
    “Everyone at Crystal Palace Football Club thanks Max for his efforts and wishes him the very best for the future.”
    Meyer had six months left to run on his contract, which the Daily Mail claim was worth £170,000-a-week plus bonuses.

    The 25-year-old had been limited to a solitary appearance in the Carabao Cup this season.
    Bundesliga strugglers Cologne are reportedly interested in acquiring his services.
    Hodgson admitted before Meyer’s departure that a mutual termination was likely.
    Speaking last week, the 73-year-old said: “Max has been the perfect professional, done all his work and hardly missed a day of training.

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    Liverpool boast the most-valuable squad in the Premier League

    “He wants to play and needs to play. It is pretty obvious at the moment with the competition for places we have got here and the players I have been using, he has been marginalised.
    “I wouldn’t be surprised if Max is knocking on the door to move on and if that is the case, I might have to reluctantly agree he has not been given the chances here to show what he could do, so if there is someone else that would give him that it would have to be considered.”
    Meyer has won four caps for Germany but his last appearance for his country came back in 2016.

    Take a look back at Arsenal’s draw with Crystal Palace in the Premier League More

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    Arsenal ‘still hopeful’ teen Folarin Balogun will stay despite transfer interest from RB Leipzig and two other clubs

    ARSENAL reportedly remain hopeful Folarin Balogun will stay at the club – despite interest from RB Leipzig.
    The 19-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season and will be able to leave the Emirates on a free transfer.

    Balogun has been linked with a move away from Arsenal with his contract set to expire in the summerCredit: Getty Images – Getty

     According to the Guardian, there is a three-way battle for his signature.
    It is believed more than 15 clubs have offered him a deal.
    German side RB Leipzig, who reached last season’s Champions League semi-final, are believed to be one of those interested.
    Julian Nagelsmann’s side sit second in the Bundesliga, two points behind champions Bayern Munich.

    They will face Liverpool in the last 16 of the Champions League.
    The Gunners were reported to have restarted contract negotiations with the teenager in November, but talks have stalled.
    They are understood to remain hopeful the highly-rated striker will sign a new contract.
    Balogun is yet to make his Premier League debut but has played four times in the Europa League, scoring twice.

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    It is claimed Balogun is one of 11 players that have been made ‘dispensable’ by Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta, although he does want him to stay.
    Arteta said: “The club wants to make a deal, the manager wants to make a deal, the player wants to stay and I’m not sure about the agent.”
    Balogun is represented by the same agency as his team-mate Eddie Nketiah.
    He is not the only academy product at risk of leaving the club, with winger Kido Taylor-Hart also yet to sign a professional deal amid interest from overseas.

    Take a look back at Arsenal’s draw with Crystal Palace in the Premier League More

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    Liverpool suffer Sven Botman transfer blow with Lille ‘desperate to keep’ £40m-rated defender until at least the summer

    LILLE defender Sven Botman is reportedly unlikely to join Liverpool this month.
    The Reds are interested in signing a centre-back after Virgil van Dijk suffered a serious knee injury in October.

    Lille are unlikely to sell Sven Botman in this month’s transfer window amid links to LiverpoolCredit: AP:Associated Press

    Netherlands Under-20 international Botman has been linked with a move to Anfield.
    But Liverpool have not made contact with Lille, according to ESPN.
    The French club are reportedly eager to retain his services until the end of the season.
    It is claimed only an offer in the region of £40million would tempt Lille into selling.

    Botman has cut an impressive figure for Lille following last summer’s transfer from Ajax.
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    How Liverpool have fared with and without Van Dijk since his debut in 2018 up to his injury against Everton
    The 20-year-old has been a regular at the back for the Ligue 1 title hopefuls, making 25 appearances in all competitions.
    Liverpool’s season has been disrupted by injuries to defenders.

    Van Dijk has been out of action since suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury against Everton in the Merseyside derby.
    Joe Gomez is expected to miss the bulk of the campaign after undergoing surgery on a tendon in his left knee in November.

    Liverpool’s other senior defender, Joel Matip, picked up a groin injury in last month’s 1-1 draw with West Brom.
    But there was some good news for Jurgen Klopp before Manchester United’s visit to Anfield as Matip returned to training.
    Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Klopp said: “To bring him [in], I don’t know. We have to see, we have to decide, we have to look at him and how he will train, how he looks in training and these kind of things, but we have still different solutions.”

    Liverpool vs Man Utd combined XI: Salah and Bruno Fernandes make joint side but Pogba misses out ahead of Prem clash More

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    Anthony Joshua’s left hook mocked by UFC and MMA cult hero Chael Sonnen as Tyson Fury fight talks rumble on

    ANTHONY JOSHUA has been brutally trolled by former UFC star Chael Sonnen – who mocked the Brit’s left hook after seeing his latest training video. On Friday, the unified heavyweight champion of the world shared footage of himself unleashing hellacious hooks on the heavy bag at his Finchley gym. But the concussive punches were criticised […] More

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    Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury hope to sign blockbuster fight deal NEXT MONTH even if venue is not confirmed

    ANTHONY JOSHUA and Tyson Fury hope to sign their £200million fight deal in the next month without a confirmed venue in a bid to beat Covid-19.
    The English heavyweights are desperate to start what boxing fans hope will be a two-fight rivalry ASAP and over half-a-dozen nations are ready to stump up mega money to host.

    AJ and Tyson Fury are close to agreeing their £200m super fight

    Eddie Hearn says the location could be the final thing to be agreedCredit: PA:Press Association

    But the ever-changing coronavirus rules and regulations mean AJ promoter Eddie Hearn predicts the location could be the last thing that gets agreed upon, to stay ahead of the pandemic.
    The Matchroom boss saud: “We will say, hopefully in the next three or four weeks, ‘deal done’.
    “When everybody’s on board and signed we’ll collectively go out and speak to these sites we’ve had approaches from and look to do the best deal for the fighters – not just from a financial perspective but from a logistical point of view as well.  
    “And everything is changing. One country is all of a sudden coming out of the pandemic, they’re really aggressive, they’ve got a lot of money for tourism, they want to say, ‘we’re back’. And then two weeks later they go into a lockdown.

    “So it’s very very difficult at the moment to move with that much confidence or certainty and it’s not a great time to be discussing international sporting events.
    “But we’re at that period – end of May, early June – where people are a lot more confident that they will be in a better place to stage it.”
    The March 6 rematch between Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin could be headed abroad with tiny Gibraltar a shock candidate host.
    The tiny British territory in the deepest south of Spain has a popularity of just 32,000 but could offer up a venue for fans to watch the heavyweight grudge rerun.

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    Hearn, who has just announced five shows to run from February 13 into April, said: “We’re looking to stage all of those fights in one location, with perhaps only the Dillian Whyte fight going international.
    “At the moment that’s an option but we haven’t made any decisions yet.
    “We’ve spoken to some quite interesting ones, a couple in the Middle East and we’ve also spoken to Gibraltar and also to Monaco. 
    “The feeling from Dillian is he would like crowds for that fight.
    “It’s a big fight for him and he would prefer that fight in front of some kind of crowds but even in the territories I mentioned there’s no guarantee that would be the case either. There could be crowds in Gibraltar.”

    Anthony Joshua shows off brutal left hook in gym workout More

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    Watch Anthony Joshua show off brutal left hook as he calls himself ‘disciple of destruction’ ahead of Tyson Fury fight

    ANTHONY JOSHUA spent his morning preparing for what could be the biggest battle in Britain.
    And the champ used his social media platform to warn Tyson Fury what he could be up against.

    Anthony Joshua gives the punchbag a pounding in the gym

    The heavyweight champion put his back into it

    Anthony Joshua celebrating with all his belts

    Joshua, 31, described himself as ‘disciple of destruction’ after repeatedly hitting the punching bag with his ferocious left hook.
    His fans in the comments seemed to agree on this new nickname discovered for AJ.
    One fan even went as far as to say: “A rib shot like that can shatter all the bones in ya body” with a crying laughing face emoji.
    The date for the showdown is edging closer because, according to promoter Bob Arum, a location has now been confirmed.

    Speaking to Barbershop conversations, Arum said: “We have a location, that’s true.
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    Tyson Fury acknowledging his fans.

    “We have a location and as far as the date is confirmed, we haven’t zeroed in on a date.
    “It could be as late as June because it would give more time to solve the coronavirus problem.

    “By June most people will be vaccinated so it is possible.”
    Arum then revealed that both fighters are set to take home around $100million (£73million) each for the fight.
    He backed this up by mentioning: “It is the biggest fight in history in the UK, not even close.”
    However both fighters will have to cough up £1.5m each to put all belts on the line.

    Negotiations over two fights to officially crown either Joshua or Fury as the undisputed No.1 this year have began.
    However two of the main stumbling blocks are the status of Oleksandr Usyk and Deontay Wilder’s claim for another chance at the WBC title.
    According to promoter Eddie Hearn Wilder’s dispute “is not an issue” but Usyk is causing a problem.
    Hearn spoke to Sky Sports and said: “I spoke to [WBO president Paco Valcarcel] and said: ‘You are in a tough spot because probably, in a couple of weeks time I will write to you and say that we’ve made on of the biggest fights in boxing history.
    “‘Paco are you on board’
    “He will say: ‘Have you spoken to Usyk?’
    “I will say: ‘Not yet. I am asking you – do you want to sanction this fight or not?’
    “He will either say: ‘yes, on you go’ or ‘I can’t until you talk to Usyk’. More

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    Conor McGregor says Pacquiao fight ‘looks like it’ll take place this year’ as UFC star vows to win boxing world title

    UFC star Conor McGregor has declared he WILL step back inside the squared circle this year to face WBA welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao.
    The 32-year-old – who is preparing for his rematch against Dustin Poirier on January 23 – has stated he is desperate to win a boxing world title before he retires.

    Conor McGregor has spoken of his desire to face Manny Pacquiao in 2021

    McGregor last competed in boxing in August 2017 when he was stopped by Floyd Mayweather in the tenth round.
    The Notorious’ boxing coach Phil Sutcliffe revealed earlier this week that there is an ’85-90 per cent chance’ he will fight Pac Man after his bout against Poirier.
    And now McGregor has further fuelled speculation that the pair will pit their wits against each other in 2021.
    The match-up could be easy to make as both McGregor and Pacquiao, the current WBA welterweight champ, represented by Paradigm Sports Management.

    Speaking to his personal website, The Mac Life, about the possibility of facing the 42-year-old, he said: “I know that talks are intensifying for [a fight] this year.
    “I am excited for a Manny Pacquiao bout and it looks like it will happen this year.
    “What time this year? I am not sure.
    “We’ll have to have some good discussions with Dana White and the UFC and see where it goes.

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    McGregor could face Pacquiao after his rematch against Manny Pacquiao on January 23Credit: Getty Images – Getty

    “I am open to it all, ready for it all.
    “I will certainly attain a boxing world title before I call it a day.
    “And I would be excited to do that against Emmanuel Pacquiao.”
    Earlier this week, Pacman also fanned the flames by claiming he’d rather fight the Crumlin superstar over Errol Spence.
    Reported by Business Mirror, he said: “He is too slow (Spence). Spence is slower than Thurman.
    “They [Spence/McGregor] are my options, but right now I want to experience fighting an MMA [fighter].”

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    Kell Brook vs Amir Khan tale of the tape: How Brit boxers compare as long-time rivals finally set to fight this year

    KELL BROOK has accepted long-term rival Amir Khan’s challenge to meet him in the ring.
    Khan admitted the time is now for the drawn-out feud to be settled in the ring – and Brook is on board.

    He told talkSPORT: “It’s a fight that everyone’s wanted for a long time, so if it does happen, happy days.
    “I think it’s clear that I want the fight. It just caps the career I’ve had, to be in a fight such as that – the highlight of the career.
    “I believe they [the fans] still want it. If we can get it across the line and it can happen, I think it’ll definitely catch fire again once we start promoting the fight.
    “And what a fight it’ll be.”

    Here SunSport details how the pair compare ahead of the long overdue grudge match.
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    Kell Brook
    Brook grew up under the guidance of Brendan Ingle at his iconic Wincobank gym in Sheffield, where Prince Naseem Hamed trained.
    The welterweight debuted in 2004 and would go on to win the British belt while building his run up to a world title shot.

    After climbing the IBF ranks, in 2014 he travelled to America where he dethroned Shawn Porter in a narrow majority decision verdict.
    Brook made three defences of his titles – without facing a star challenger – before making the shock move up to middleweight.
    Gennady Golovkin would beat the Brit in five rounds, and despite calls to move to super-welter, Brook boiled back down to welterweight to defend his title.
    He made a good start against Errol Spence Jr, but the American would come on strong late to stop the fight in round 11.
    After three wins super-welterweight, Brook went back down to welterweight last year as he challenged Terence Crawford.
    But despite a good start, he was knocked out in round four and left with a decision on whether to retire or fight on.

    Kell Brook was beaten by Terence Crawford in his last fight Credit: Getty Images – Getty
    Amir Khan
    Khan burst onto the scene after winning a silver medal in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.
    Within four years of his 2005 debut, he became lightweight champion before moving up to win light-welterweight titles.
    A controversial split-decision loss to Lamont Peterson – where he was deducted two points – and a KO defeat against Danny Garcia knocked the Brit’s confidence.
    As Khan moved up in weights, so did his level in competition but never again did he reign as world champion.
    He made the shock jump to face middleweight king Canelo Alvarez from welterweight in 2016 and was left brutally knocked out.
    From then, it was a re-building job for Khan, who took a two year layoff and featured on ITV’s ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’.
    After two tune up bouts, Khan – before Brook – fought Crawford but was stopped in five rounds, as he was unable to continue from a low blow.
    He did return to beat Billy Dib in Saudi Arabia, and continues to maintain that he wants to carry on his career with big fights to be had.

    Amir Khan beat Billy Dib in his last fight Credit: Dave Pinegar – The Sun
    Fight breakdown
    Khan has always had the speed advantage, with Brook the more powerful puncher, setting up a classic clash in styles.
    When the rivals, now both 34, were in their prime, this fight was a true 50/50 and one of the best Britain had to offer.
    But now, with both at the tail-end of their equally successful careers, the winner will be down to who has more left in the tank.
    Brook showed good signs early on against Crawford, winning the battle of the jabs and defending well.
    However, another stoppage defeat – following his two prior to Spence and GGG – will be tough on the body.
    And Khan eased past Dib in his last fight, but looked completely outmatched against Crawford, appearing more flat footed and slower to the punch.
    Brook will need to get behind his jab, and break his man down, picking the right spots to let go of his straight right hand or uppercut.
    Whereas Khan has to use the ring to get in a rhythm and fight in bursts, stealing rounds in the process.

    Kell Brook says there’s only one winner and that’s me in response to Amir Khan’s challenge More