Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge still has future at Anfield - Jurgen Klopp
Arsenal have been caught up in a suspected fraud involving one of its Chinese partners, electric carmaker BYD, with the company claiming that the person who signed a sponsorship deal with the club was not authorised to do so.
BYD signed a contract with Arsenal in April to become the club's official car and bus partner, but that deal is among several that involved a person who is now being investigated by police in Shanghai.
BYD claims the person was never an employee of the company and was not authorised to sign contracts with advertising partners on its behalf.
Arsenal issued a statement on their Chinese website saying they are looking into the matter, while pointing out that "senior level BYD representatives" were involved in the deal.
"BYD has informed Arsenal that they believe they have been the victim of a fraud in relation to various advertising agreements. This includes our partnership with BYD which was formally launched by both parties at an event at Emirates Stadium on 8th May," the statement said.
"We are investigating the situation and discussing it with senior level BYD representatives who were involved in the launch of the partnership. We will make no further comments on this matter."
BYD issued a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange last week saying the seal used to stamp the unauthorised contracts must have been forged.
John Stones is ready to cut short his summer break to start work early on Manchester City's title defence.
City's World Cup players have been given at least four weeks off with none of those involved at Russia -- including Ilkay Gundogan, who was knocked out at the group stage, set to be part of the preseason International Champions Cup in the United States.
And with seven of City's squad making it as far as the semifinals, Pep Guardiola faces going into the opening game of the season at Arsenal on Aug. 12 with key players short of match fitness, but Stones, who was the only outfield player to start all of England's games at the World Cup, wants to come back quickly after an impressive tournament.
"I'm going to go back in for the first game against Chelsea in the Community Shield. I just want to keep the momentum going," he said in quotes reported by the Daily Telegraph.
"I will have a break. Two-and-a-bit, maybe three weeks off. I will just make sure I am fighting fit for the new season.
"Now it is about keeping improving. I feel I've improved as a person and a footballer over the last few weeks on the biggest stage in the world."
City youngster Phil Foden will have an opportunity to stake a claim for a place in the opening game against the Gunners after being omitted from England's under-19s squad for the European Championship to join up with the tour to the US.
The Football Association is frustrated by the scheduling of the tournament with other highly rated young players including Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho and Fulham's Ryan Sessegnon also missing from the squad for the tournament in Finland to be with their clubs.
"It's bitterly disappointing that, once again, this tournament is scheduled outside a FIFA window which forces clubs to make such difficult decisions," FA technical director Dan Ashworth said.
"We understand the dilemmas the clubs face around release of players during this particular time of the season and it's our view, and that of several other countries, that UEFA should take this into account when scheduling tournaments of this magnitude."
City's final squad for the U.S. is still to be announced but sources have told ESPN FC that former England goalkeeper Joe Hart is likely to be part of the tour despite looking for a new club.
First-team players Leroy Sane, Aymeric Laporte and Claudio Bravo will all be involved with several youngsters having the opportunity to try to impress Guardiola.
Belgium coach Roberto Martinez believes Eden Hazard is ready to lead a team anywhere in the world -- and Chelsea teammate Thibaut Courtois hopes the two will continue to play together.
Hazard and Courtois have both been linked to moves to Real Madrid for months, with Hazard hinting at his Chelsea exit after Belgium's third-place game on Saturday and Courtois saying he is worth more than his club's most recent contact offer.
"It could be the best time [for Hazard] to try something different," Martinez told Cadena Ser's "El Larguero" radio show when asked if Hazard would be the right fit for Real Madrid. "He is a player who has maturity and a lot of leadership. His play is based on talent. Hazard could carry a new project anywhere in the world. He is at the best moment of his career.
"For me, it's very easy to answer that question. He could fit in any team in the world. Players need new challenges and new projects. Perhaps it's a good time for [Chelsea] and for Eden [to split]. I would be very surprised if Chelsea didn't have big offers for him right now."
Hazard, who joined Chelsea from Lille in 2012, said earlier this month that playing for Madrid "is everyone's dream."
According to Marca, Madrid will have to make a big-money transfer to sign the 27-year-old, who has two years left on his contract with Chelsea.
"Eden is a player you don't really know until you work with him," Martinez said. "I've been pleasantly surprised. He has such maturity and leadership skills. Eden is one of the few players that exists around the world where his play is based on talent one on one."
But when asked if he knew where Hazard would like to play, Martinez said the two have not spoken about that.
"The focus was on the national team, on giving our best and on having success," Martinez said. "Eden has won three Man of the Match awards of the seven games in Russia. He is competitive. He has been incredibly consistent. I don't think he has any type of preference right now."
Courtois, who has played alongside Hazard since he moved to Chelsea from Atletico Madrid in June 2014, is in the last year of his contract and has yet to sign a new deal.
"Wherever I go, Hazard must come along," Courtois told Het Laatste Nieuws. "We will not let each other go. We'll see. First, holiday, and I'll agree things with my entourage in the meantime."
Courtois said in December that he was contemplating a move back to Spain to be closer to his two children, who live in Madrid.
"I'm going to talk to my agent to see what the possibilities are," he said. "All options are open for me. I may also stay at Chelsea. People always complain that players don't comply with their contracts, but maybe I will.
"I don't think they will keep someone with my qualities on the bench, even if I don't sign. But perhaps that is possible, because I like being in London."
Daniel Sturridge could still have a future at Liverpool, despite his struggles with injuries and consistency in recent seasons, Jurgen Klopp has said.
Sturridge has been hindered by several long-term injuries over the past few campaigns, with the England international passing the 10-goal mark only once in four seasons.
The 28-year-old was loaned out to West Brom last January but struggled to make an impact at the Hawthorns, failing to score in six appearances for the relegated club.
"I always said there is a future, it's about what we do in the moment. At the moment it's all good and we don't have to make decisions," Klopp was quoted as saying by the Liverpool Echo.
"I don't think about my players like this -- like, maybe he's in or out. With the young ones we make these decisions but not with the other guys. They show up, and it should be easy for me in the end.
"The window is still open, right? Is it closing tomorrow? No? Good!"
Sturridge, who was left out of Gareth Southgate's England squad for the World Cup, has been linked with a move to Spain's Sevilla and Turkish side Besiktas.
The former Chelsea and Manchester City striker will be hoping to prove himself during Liverpool's preseason fixtures, with the Merseyside outfit winning two of their first three friendlies.
Liverpool will travel to the U.S. later this month for the International Champions Cup, where they will face Borussia Dortmund, City and Manchester United.