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    Rodgers feels ‘let down’ by four Leicester Covidiots after breaching lockdown measures to party ahead of West Ham defeat

    BRENDAN RODGERS says he feels let down by four Leicester stars who broke Covid rules.James Maddison, Ayoze Perez and Hamza Choudhury flouted restrictions by going to a party last Saturday, along with injured Harvey Barnes.
    James Maddison was one of four Leicester players to break lockdown rulesCredit: Reuters
    Boss Rodgers punished the first three by leaving them out of yesterday’s 3-2 defeat at West Ham. The loss left the gap to fifth-placed Chelsea at two points, threatening their Champions League bid.
    Rodgers said: “From a personal perspective, I was bitterly disappointed, I’ve got to say. It was a breach. My objective coming into Leicester City was to create a standard on and off the pitch.
    “Particularly at this time when we’re challenging and fighting to finish off a really exciting season — that standard and the values we have as a club, they fell well below that.
    “The guys who weren’t involved in the squad at West Ham would have been. However, as a consequence of their behaviour, they weren’t.
    “It’s a mistake they’ve made. I won’t hold it against them. It’s not what their identity is as young guys.
    “They’ve made a mistake and been punished for it. It’s in the past now.
    “It wasn’t ideal (timing). But that’s how strongly I felt on it.
    “We were coming into a game that was a very important game for us. But some things are bigger than football.
    Boss Brendan Rodgers felt let down by his Leicester CovidiotsCredit: AFP
    Ayoze Perez was left out of the squad to take on West HamCredit: PA
    “You have to respect what the nation is going through. And we have to respect what our values are within our club.”
    Rodgers confirmed the players were not fined because being omitted from the matchday squad was deemed to be punishment enough.
    The trio are expected to come back into the fold for Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final at Wembley against Southampton.
    Leicester missed Maddison’s creativity in particularly at the London Stadium, where Jesse Lingard’s double and a Jarrod Bowen strike sent West Ham into the top four.
    Kelechi Iheanacho struck twice late on for the Foxes but it was not enough for Rodgers’ men.
    Harvey Barnes, another to break lockdown rules, is currently injuredCredit: AFP
    Hamza Choudhury was the fourth member to attend the partyCredit: Getty

    The former Celtic chief added: “We were nowhere near the level for the first 55-60 minutes. We were too passive and not aggressive when we didn’t have the ball. We made it too easy for West Ham.
    “We were 3-0 down and then it’s easy to play. We nearly nicked something from the game but overall we didn’t deserve it.
    “We’ll get back on track again. We’ve got a really exciting week ahead of us.”
    ⚽ Read our Football live blog for the very latest news from around the grounds
    West Ham v Leicester as it happened More

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    FA Cup semi-final between Chelsea and Manchester City ‘will still go ahead’ on same day as Prince Philip’s funeral

    THIS Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final between Chelsea and Manchester City will still go ahead, The Sun understands.Ministers and sports chiefs will meet today and agree to allow the event to go ahead.
    🔵 Read our live blog for the very latest news on Prince Philip’s death…
    This Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final between Manchester City and Chelsea will still go ahead, The Sun understandsCredit: EPA
    The match’s 5.30pm kick-off may change if it clashes with Prince Philip’s funeral serviceCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
    It will likely open with a minute’s silence and black armbands for the players.
    The Government has told The FA the decision is up to them — but the 5.30pm kick-off may change if it clashes with Prince Philip’s service.
    The Football League has already told its clubs that 3pm games may be moved “to avoid a clash”.
    An EFL spokesperson said: “As a mark of respect, EFL matches scheduled for 3pm on Saturday 17 April will be moved to avoid a clash with the funeral of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
    “The EFL will now work with its clubs to determine at what time the matches will be played, giving consideration to the timing of the service.
    The match will likely open with a minute’s silence and black armbands worn by players (pictured: Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic)Credit: AP

    “An announcement will follow in due course.”
    A Government spokesman said: “The decision as to whether sporting fixtures continue is at the discretion of organisers.
    “They may wish to consider using black armbands and observing a silence before matches.”

    Boris Johnson will not attend Prince Philip’s funeral to allow space for as many Royal family members as possible More

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    Arsenal plotting to beat West Ham to permanent transfer for Jesse Lingard after superb loan from Man Utd

    ARSENAL are planning to gazump West Ham’s bid to turn Jesse Lingard’s loan move into a permanent one.David Moyes would love to make Lingard’s London move permanent after proving to be a smash hit during his short-term stay.
    Arsenal are ready to beat West Ham to Man Utd star Jesse LingardCredit: Rex
    But the Hammers will tell Manchester United to rubbish plans to offer him as makeweight for Declan Rice.
    And that has opened the door for the Gunners to swoop leading Emirates bosses have made tentative inquiries about him.
    Arsenal actually asked about a potential loan deal of their own before Christmas.
    But United didn’t want to ‘lend’ him to a club they expected to be a serious top four rival.
    Lingard has just 12 months left on his current contract, and ideally United would like him to sign another – if only to ensure they get top dollar should they sell.
    Yet the player is now swaying towards leaving Old Trafford for good, after getting regular first team football again at West Ham – something he knows is unlikely if he returned to Manchester.
    Lingard’s form has been so impressive since moving that it earned him an England recall for the recent internationals, and he is right in the frame for a place in the Euros squad.
    Italian side Roma have also been monitoring his situation.
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    But they are big outsiders, as he would far prefer to stay in the Premier League.
    United know the Gunners’ interest means they can keep the asking price high.
    They could meet his wages of almost £110,000 a week and Arteta is planning to make a shock raid for Lingard, who has hit six goals in eight games since joining the Hammers in February.

    Trevor Sinclair says Jesse Lingard should stay at West Ham More

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    Man Utd team-mates desperate for Paul Pogba to stay at Old Trafford and will be devastated if he seals transfer away

    PAUL POGBA is a captain in the Manchester United dressing room and will leave his team-mates devastated if he is sold.The French World Cup-winning midfielder has a difficult relationship with fans after his agent repeatedly linked him with a move away.
    Paul Pogba is a hugely popular figure in the Manchester United dressing roomCredit: Getty
    But a source said Pogba is hugely popular in the dressing room.
    They said: “Paul may be regarded with suspicion by a lot of the fanbase because of his agent courting other clubs, but there is no doubt where the players stand with him.
    “They recognise he is one of the team’s stars and he is as desperate as they are for the club to be successful again.
    “He is well-liked by all his team-mates and no one wants him to leave.
    “But they also understand if a player is unhappy, it usually leads to his departure.
    “They all hope he will start the next season at Old Trafford.”
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    Pogba, 28, returned to United from Juventus in August 2016 for a club-record £89million.
    His contract runs out next year and his agent Mino Raiola has said he was “unhappy” at United.
    But in February manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hinted at a new contract, saying Pogba and the club were in “open dialogue”.
    ⚽ Read our Football live blog for the very latest news from around the grounds
    Dean Henderson reveals what Paul Pogba is like in Man Utd dressing room and how he helped Man Utd goalkeeper improve More

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    Arsenal stars turn on Mikel Arteta with players furious they are being blamed for Gunners nightmare season

    MIKEL ARTETA is facing growing resentment from players upset they are being blamed for Arsenal’s problems instead of him.Senior stars are increasingly frustrated at the way boss Arteta has been able to paint a picture that the fault for the side’s poor season is all down to them.
    Mikel Arteta’s players are starting to turn against himCredit: AFP
    Resentment is growing within the squad – where some members feel they are being blamed for the club’s poor seasonCredit: Getty
    SunSport understands some within the squad believe the Spaniard is all ‘emperor’s new clothes’ by talking a good game but failing to actually deliver.
    It is the first sign of cracks beginning to appear within the Emirates over the way Arteta has gone about his job in the 15 months he has been in charge.
    They are questioning why he happily revelled in leading the club to FA Cup glory last season but is not so keen on taking responsibility for poor games.
    Instead they believe he responds to disappointing results by often leaving out a big name the following week — giving the impression that individual players are culpable.
    Skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was axed for the Europa League draw with Slavia Prague after the dismal 3-0 thrashing by Liverpool — a match when Arsenal’s tactics were found wanting.
    It is believed the treatment of striker Aubameyang has not gone unnoticed among the players, with other top names suffering similar problems.

    All accept they have not been consistently playing well enough but at times have found it hard to know exactly what their coach wants from them.
    There is a feeling midfielder Thomas Partey is not being allowed to flourish because of the manager’s ideas.
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    Lack of team identity, management techniques and tactics in matches have all started to be questioned by some.
    And they think the club have allowed the public perception to become one where they are letting their boss down.
    Arteta defended Aubameyang ahead of the Gunners’ clash with Sheffield United saying he is confident the Gabonese will not become another Mesut Ozil.
    And the Spaniard also urged Partey to prove why the North Londoners paid £45m for him.
    ⚽ Read our Football live blog for the very latest news from around the grounds

    Arsenal boss Arteta looks ahead to Premier League clash against Sheffield Utd More

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    West Ham tell Man Utd they will NOT involve Declan Rice in any permanent transfer for loanee Jesse Lingard

    WEST HAM will tell Manchester United to forget any plans to offer Jesse Lingard as part of a deal to sign Declan Rice.The Hammers are desperate to tie Lingard down to a permanent deal at the London Stadium following the success of his loan spell at the club.
    Man Utd have been told they’ve no chance of landing Declan Rice in a part-exchange for Jesse LingardCredit: Rex
    West Ham want to make Lingard’s loan permanent for a straight cash dealCredit: Getty
    But United want Rice to help provide the base in their midfield to build a team capable of challenging for the Premier League title next season.
    That has led to Old Trafford bosses wondering if they could broker a deal which would see Lingard play a makeweight in an £80million package to take Rice to the North-West.
    Yet West Ham are in no mood to be bullied and want to seal a straight deal for Lingard this summer.
    And they have no intention of their 22-year-old vice-captain being part of any conversations over a transfer.
    Rice’s form over the past year has only increased the Hammers’ resolve to insist it would take a huge cash offer to even consider cashing in on their academy product.
    Meanwhile, SunSport can also reveal West Ham face competition from London rivals Arsenal for Lingard.
    Arsenal actually asked about a potential loan deal of their own before Christmas.
    But United didn’t want to ‘lend’ him to a club they expected to be a serious top four rival.
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    Man Utd’s biggest transfers ever, both in and out, including Ronaldo

    United know the Gunners’ interest means they can keep the asking price high.
    They could meet Lingard’s wages of almost £110,000 a week.
    Italian side Roma have also been monitoring his situation, but they are big outsiders as he would far prefer to stay in the Premier League.
    Awkward moment Declan Rice is left hanging by all his England team-mates More

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    Man Utd team-mates desperate for Paul Pogba to stay at Old Trafford and will be devastated if he seals transfer

    PAUL POGBA is a captain in the Manchester United dressing room and will leave his team-mates devastated if he is sold.The French World Cup-winning midfielder has a difficult relationship with fans after his agent repeatedly linked him with a move away.
    Paul Pogba is a hugely popular figure in the Manchester United dressing roomCredit: Getty
    But a source said Pogba is hugely popular in the dressing room.
    They said: “Paul may be regarded with suspicion by a lot of the fanbase because of his agent courting other clubs, but there is no doubt where the players stand with him.
    “They recognise he is one of the team’s stars and he is as desperate as they are for the club to be successful again.
    “He is well-liked by all his team-mates and no one wants him to leave.
    “But they also understand if a player is unhappy, it usually leads to his departure.
    “They all hope he will start the next season at Old Trafford.”
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    Pogba, 28, returned to United from Juventus in August 2016 for a club-record £89million.
    His contract runs out next year and his agent Mino Raiola has said he was “unhappy” at United.
    But in February manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hinted at a new contract, saying Pogba and the club were in “open dialogue”.
    ⚽ Read our Football live blog for the very latest news from around the grounds
    Dean Henderson reveals what Paul Pogba is like in Man Utd dressing room and how he helped Man Utd goalkeeper improve More

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    Arsenal plotting to beat West Ham to permanent transfer for Jesse Lingard after stunning loan from Man Utd

    ARSENAL are planning to gazump West Ham’s bid to turn Jesse Lingard’s loan move into a permanent one.David Moyes would love to make Lingard’s London move permanent after proving to be a smash hit during his short-term stay.
    Arsenal are ready to beat West Ham to Man Utd star Jesse LingardCredit: Rex
    But the Hammers will tell Manchester United to rubbish plans to offer him as makeweight for Declan Rice.
    And that has opened the door for the Gunners to swoop leading Emirates bosses have made tentative inquiries about him.
    Arsenal actually asked about a potential loan deal of their own before Christmas.
    But United didn’t want to ‘lend’ him to a club they expected to be a serious top four rival.
    Lingard has just 12 months left on his current contract, and ideally United would like him to sign another – if only to ensure they get top dollar should they sell.
    Yet the player is now swaying towards leaving Old Trafford for good, after getting regular first team football again at West Ham – something he knows is unlikely if he returned to Manchester.
    Lingard’s form has been so impressive since moving that it earned him an England recall for the recent internationals, and he is right in the frame for a place in the Euros squad.
    Italian side Roma have also been monitoring his situation.
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    But they are big outsiders, as he would far prefer to stay in the Premier League.
    United know the Gunners’ interest means they can keep the asking price high.
    They could meet his wages of almost £110,000 a week and Arteta is planning to make a shock raid for Lingard, who has hit six goals in eight games since joining the Hammers in February.

    Trevor Sinclair says Jesse Lingard should stay at West Ham More