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Rodgers says no timeline on injured Maddison’s return

James Maddison is still recovering from a hip injury which saw him miss the last three games for Leicester. Brendan Rodgers says he will not..

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Brandon Rodgers says no timeline on injured Maddison's return

Brendan Rodgers insists James Maddison will not be rushed back into playing until he has fully recovered.

The playmaker is still recovering from a hip injury which saw him miss the last three games for Leicester.

The England international has provided ten assists and scored 11 goals in all competitions. He had a similar injury last season that saw him miss Leicester’s last six games in the league.

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Madison played in their match against Aston Villa, where they won 2-1, but he was substituted after the hip injury recurred.

“He’s still continuing with the medical team. With James, there’s no timeline, we’re hoping that gradually he will feel better,” said Rodgers before Saturday’s journey to Brighton & Hove Albion.

“He’s had the reassurance of a few scans. It’s just irritable. We’re hopeful over these next few weeks that will get better.”

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The foxes are currently in the third position with 50 points after playing 27 games. They have been greatly affected by injuries. Ayoze Perez, Dennis Praet and Wesley Fofana are among the injured players.

Rodgers said that finishing in the top four largely depends on the fitness of your players.

Brendan Rodgers takes blame for Europa League exit

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“But it’s not to say you can’t do it. Eleven games is a lot to play and you can only focus on the next one,” Rodgers added. “It’s not about being in the top four and top six now, it’s about where you are after the 38th game.

“You’re always looking to galvanise your squad. Fortunately, we have a tremendous spirit here… The players work very hard. Whenever anyone talks about the injuries, we tend not to.

“The game might look different because of the quality of players who are out, but we still want to win games.”

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Leicester drew with Burnely yesterday, losing the chance to move to position two.

Rangers

Rangers fear major exit for ‘key’ player wanted by clubs abroad

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Rangers fear major exit for 'key' player wanted by clubs abroad
Image Credit: Getty Images

Scott Arfield has been a vital part of the Rangers team since joining in 2018, and his current form, especially after van Bronckhorst took charge, is nothing short of exemplary.

The 33-year old Scottish-Canadian’s display is on a high now, and he recently helped his side’s win against Livingston with his “unbelievable” (according to Richard Foster) 75th minute goal.

He is a must-keep, but according to transfermarkt, the reigning Scottish champions risk losing him and other senior team members, including Steven Davis and Allan McGregor, in the summer following contract expiry.

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The Mirror’s print edition reported that the Gers fear letting their No. 37 go in exchange for nothing, given that USA clubs have their sights set on the midfielder, and his contract is only months away from expiry.

Money included or not, Scott’s departure could be a big blow come next season since he now practically determines Rangers’ performance (the one time he didn’t play after Gerrard’s exit is the only time Rangers dropped points.)

Hopefully, Rangers will consider holding talks to fight for the former Huddersfield Town’s contract extension, and he (Scott) is willing to stay in Scotland and at Ibrox, otherwise the double loss in terms of money and talent could hugely affect the Gers next season.

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Formula 1

Hamilton and Mercedes give outgoing Bottas an exciting ‘little’ parting gift

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Hamilton and Mercedes give outgoing Bottas an exciting 'little' parting gift
Image Credit: Getty Images

After replacing retired Nico Rosberg at Mercedes in 2017, Valterri Bottas has had a rather successful five seasons and though he didn’t manage any championship triumph, the Finn has a good number of wins to his name, most of which came in handy for the team.

Before the end of last season though, he was confirmed to race for Alfa Romeo onwards, while 2018 FIA Formula 2 champion, George Russell would leave Williams to form an all-British Mercedes team with seven-time champion, Lewis Hamilton.

Before his departure, his previous family (Mercedes) went all out to give him a parting gift, and their choice isn’t what most of us would have thought.

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While they would have thought of anything else, they went for something that perhaps meant more for both sides, his first Mercedes winning car.

“They had a little surprise when I came to the factory on the last day,” said the 33-year old about the not so ‘little’ surprise. “…my first winning car in 2017,” revealed Bottas on his podcast.

The 2021 championships 2nd runners-up takes a step forward as a leader in his current team from his previous supportive role and Alfa Romeo will be counting on his experience with the current constructors’ champions to improve on their last season’s 9th place.

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Hopefully, having his first win’s car from his former team will push him towards a better performance.

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Liverpool FC

Liverpool win race for £50m Porto star

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Liverpool win race for £50m Porto star
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Liverpool are preparing a late £45 million bid for Porto striker Luis Diaz, who is also being pursued by Tottenham.

The Colombian winger was Jurgen Klopp’s first option for the summer transfer window, but due to Spurs’ significant interest, Liverpool have hastened their preparations.

Liverpool is thought to be proposing an initial £37 million, plus bonuses, which will only be activated if Diaz is a major success at Anfield.

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Tottenham has been in discussions with Porto over Diaz, reportedly willing to spend up to £46 million for the player.

Spurs are reportedly willing to pay £37.6 million upfront for Diaz, with an extra £8.4 million in performance-related add-ons, according to reports in Portugal.

Spurs have already appeared to miss out on Wolves attacker Adama Traore, who appears poised to return to Barca on loan, and missing out on Luiz would be another major blow this month.

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It is unclear whether Diaz will move to Anfield this month or wait till the end of the season. In 18 outings for his current club this season, he has managed to score 14 goals.

Sky Sports reporter Vinny O’Connor:

“Obviously, it’s far from done and could easily come to nothing.

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“However, Liverpool view this as an excellent deal if it gets completed – very much close to a Diogo Jota-type fee. Also, it is far better value than the original €60m asking price.

“Diaz was Jurgen Klopp’s first choice for the summer, but they have brought those plans forward because it was clear if Liverpool didn’t act this window, the player would move on.

“This isn’t done and could yet collapse – the player is in Argentina with his national team, so it will be far from straightforward to complete the deal.

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“However, if it does get done, it’s a big coup for Julian Ward, who is to succeed sporting director Michael Edwards in the summer. It was a deal in which Ward lead for the first time, but it is fair to say he’s been supported strongly by Edwards who put together the strategy to secure the player this month.”

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