Arsenal star involved in motor accident after his £105,000 car overturns on motorway

Arsenal star Ainsley Maitland-Niles was filmed surveying the wreck of his £105,000 car after flipping it on the M25.

The 23-year-old had a lucky escape after his Mercedes G-Wagon tipped onto its side following a smash with another car on the busy motorway on Wednesday morning.

An Arsenal spokesperson said: “We’re aware of a car accident involving Ainsley Maitland-Niles. Ainsley is unhurt and at home.”

The Gunners starlet was spotted sat on his phone at the side of the road in the moments after the shocking crash which led to rush hour tailbacks between junctions 23 and 25.

Footage from a passing car showed Maitland-Niles looking glum – adding to the misery of missing out on Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions squad after his England first-team call-up last year.

A source said: “It was a shocking accident and looked like complete carnage at the scene.

“As we were passing by we were amazed to seen Maitland-Niles at the side of the road. It looked like he was OK – he was sat there on his phone but his car was a mess.

“I think he’s had a lucky escape that’s for sure. I’d imagine he was petrified thinking about what it could have meant for his career.”

Police, paramedics and firefighters all attended the smash at about 7.30am.

The elderly driver of the other car was also seen out of her vehicle and being supported by firefighters in the moments after the smash.

Rumours that the England international had been at the wheel had been circulating on WhatsApp and social media all day.

Arsenal’s club doctor is reported to have called Maitland-Niles after the incident to check on his welfare, with the Londoner unhurt.

Maitland-Niles has been hailed for his versatility and is able to play left and right back and in a central midfield position.

Liverpool “defeat” Egypt over Mohamed Salah row

Mohamed Salah is set to skip the Tokyo Olympics after Liverpool won the Club v Country row.

Egypt wanted their star striker to take part in the Games and play in the opening group match against Spain on July 22 in Sapporo.

However SunSport understands Salah will remain with his club for pre-season rather than travel to Japan for the three-week event.

Pharaohs’ chiefs are understandably unhappy with the decision by the Anfield club.

But given the Africa Cup of Nations is scheduled for next January and February in Cameroon this is at least a compromise on his international playing availability as Jurgen Klopp’s men look to mount a title challenge.

Salah, 29, scored 22 Premier League last season as Liverpool qualified for next season’s Champions League on the last day of the Covid-hit campaign.

Antonio Conte tells Italy how to overcome Romelu Lukaku’s Belgium at Euro 2020

Antonio Conte explains how Italy can beat Belgium and insists the Red Devils’ performance against Portugal was ‘not convincing.’

Conte was in charge of the Azzurri five years ago, when Italy beat Belgium in their debut game of Euro 2016.

“Italy are on par with Belgium, we can create trouble for them, win and qualify for the next stage,” Conte wrote in a letter published on La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“The victories in the group stage games showed a quality that gave us many expectations. The match against solid Austria was challenging,” the former Inter coach continued.

The Azzurri needed extra time to beat Austria in the last 16 stage last week and will meet Belgium in the quarter-finals at Munich’s Allianz Arena on Friday.

“Sometimes narrow wins can be even more useful than easy victories because they make you understand what the group already knows: there is no room for mistakes,” said Conte.

“Every movement, every pass, every tackle is decisive, and the same goes for the psychological aspect of the game. Details are often crucial in these games, and every player must offer his qualities to the group.”

Conte is an admirer of Romerlu Lukaku and pushed Inter to sign him three years ago, when he completed an €84m switch from Manchester United.

The Italian tactician warns the Belgian star could be decisive, although he won’t be the only factor that will shift the balance.

“Our national team has proved to have an identity that some teams still don’t have. Belgium are a strong team, singularly and collectively. Lukaku is a force of nature, but I do not reinvent the wheel when I say that the presence or absence of [Kevin] De Bruyne and [Eden] Hazard could make the difference.

“I respect Roberto Martinez for what he’s done during the last few years, but Belgium’s performance against Portugal was not convincing, both defensively and in terms of aggression.

“We can create trouble for them on the wings and Jorginho’s tempo will be crucial in the middle of the park.

“Mancini needs no advice, Italian tacticians are very prepared tactically and Roberto will pick a team that will be able to manage every situation.”

What Antonio Rudiger is demanding from Chelsea to sign new contract at Stamford Bridge

Antonio Rudiger is reportedly looking to take advantage of his uncertain Chelsea position by asking for an upgrade on his weekly wages.

According to Eurosport, Rudiger and his representatives think they can add another £60,000 onto his current £140,000-per-week package.

This idea comes from the fact Chelsea have yet to offer the defender a new contract, which runs out next June.

Talks had started to get under way in March, where the 28-year-old was asking for a £20,000 weekly pay rise.

However, with negotiations now delayed, Rudiger’s contingent want more money as a way of making him feel appreciated.

Rudiger became a key figure within Thomas Tuchel’s team after being frozen out by Frank Lampard and was vital to their Champions League triumph.

The German international has reportedly already told Chelsea’s manager he is committed to the cause.

But only if the feeling is reciprocated from the powers that be, who have yet to take appropriate action.

Marina Granovskaia has plenty on her plate already in terms of signing off extensions.

Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta’s agreements end at the same time as Rudiger’s.

Chelsea set to ruin Barcelona transfer programme

Barcelona are reportedly facing the prospect of a shortage at left-back due to developments at Stamford Bridge.

According to reports, Barca are about to sell deputy left-back Junior Firpo to Leeds United for €15million with the former Real Betis defender seeking regular football.

But reports have also claimed that Barcelona were planning to turn to out of favour Chelsea star Marcos Alonso to fill the void, the Spaniard seeing limited action at Stamford Bridge this season.

However, according to a fresh report from Mundo Deportivo, as cited by Football Espana, Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is desperate to keep Alonso as part of his squad ahead of next season.

Alonso is under contract at Chelsea until 2023, meaning the Blues are in a comfortable position over their wing-back, but it could ultimately come down to whether Alonso wants to leave having had to settle for limited minutes last season.

The problem Barcelona have is that they can’t offer him regular football, either, with Jordi Alba very likely to remain the starter at left-back.

Tension as Thomas Tuchel blocks Marina Granovskaia plan to sell key player

Reports in London claim tension is brewing at Stamford Bridge over Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia’s move to sell Marcos Alonso to Barcelona.

Granovskaia was open to selling left-back Marcos Alonso to Barcelona, but Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has stepped in to block the move.

According to the Express, the Chelsea manager and transfer chief aren’t seeing eye to eye this summer.

Barcelona are on the hunt for a left-back this summer as they look to build strength-in-depth, and had reportedly earmarked Alonso as a top target for the position.

The Spaniard saw limited Premier League opportunities last season, with new manager Thomas Tuchel preferring Ben Chilwell at left-back.

Alonso made just 17 appearances in all competitions across the campaign, comfortably the fewest of any of his five seasons at Chelsea.

But despite the 30-year-old’s lack of playing time, Tuchel is keen to keep Alonso at the club due to his tactical flexibility, with the player able to play as a full-back, wing-back or on the left of a back three.

And, when Barcelona came calling, Tuchel stepped in to override Granovskaia and insist that he wants to keep Alonso “at all costs”, according to Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo.

Barcelona, who are expected to complete a sale of Junior Firpo to Leeds, will have to turn their left-back focus elsewhere. While Chelsea’s transfer tsar will also be looking to rediscover her midas touch.

Granovskaia’s ruthless spending last year saw the club bring in Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech before many of Chelsea’s Premier League rivals had even got the ball rolling on their transfer window business.

But the 2021 transfer operations aren’t progressing so quickly for Roman Abramovich’s right-hand woman, with the hunt for a striker also stuttering.

Switzerland stun France, bundle reigning world champions out of Euro 2020

Switzerland shocked the world by eliminating reigning world champions France from Euro 2020 at the National Arena.

The Swiss opened the scoring on 15 minutes with Haris Seferovic’s header after Steven Zuber’s wonderful cross from the left.

Vladimir Petkovic’s men almost doubled their lead after 55 minutes but Ricardo Rodriguez’s penalty shot was saved by Hugo Lloris down his bottom right corner.

After a horrible first half, France turned things around in just two minutes with Karim Benzema.

Benzema equalised with a fine strike, following a brilliant touch, on 57 minutes and then turned things around with a header.

Paul Pogba appeared to have sealed qualification with a screamer in the 75th minute but Seferovic put his country back in the game six minutes later.

Mario Gavranovic then did the unthinkable in the 90th minute as he equalised with a beautiful shot from the edge of the box.

Nothing major happened on extra-time and so the game went on penalties.

All Swiss players hit the target, France’s stars were also on target except for Kylian Mbappe who was beaten by Yann Sommer.

Photo Credit: Sky Sports

Premier League club make shock move for Diego Costa

Premier League side Wolves have reportedly been linked with a surprise summer move for former Chelsea striker Diego Costa.

Costa is a free agent after requesting to terminate his contract with Atletico Madrid at the start of 2021 amid rumours of a possible return to Brazil.

However, the 32-year-old has failed to secure a new club, with talks over deals with teams in Brazil, Portugal, Turkey and Saudi Arabia all reportedly breaking down.

According to reports from Portuguese outlet UOL, new Wolves boss Bruno Lage has asked the club to make a financial assessment over a possible deal.

Lage is set to be handed a reduced transfer budget at Molineux, after he replaced Nuno Santo at the club last month, and Costa would represent a salary-only deal.

Wolves are unlikely to offer more than a one-year deal to secure a return to the Premier League, after netting 52 goals in 89 league games during an iconic spell at Chelsea between 2014 and 2018.

Everton fans blast Rafa Benitez amid club’s move to sign him as manager

Everton fans hung anti-Rafael Benitez banners at Goodison Park after the Spaniard appeared to be lined up for the hotseat.

The ex-Liverpool manager, who won the Champions League in 2005 during his six years in charge, is worshipped at Anfield.

His connection to the Reds means Toffees supporters have been left fuming at the prospect of the coach, 61, taking charge.

On Thursday night, banners were seen outside Goodison amid the bitter fan backlash.

One read: “F* off Benitez you fat Kopite c*”, while another stated: “Benitez not welcome.”

Benitez has held talks with Everton owner Farhad Moshiri and is set to inherit the mega £1million-a-month salary given to predecessor and Real Madrid-bound Carlo Ancelotti.

The Spaniard remains a favourite to take over but is joined by seven other candidates.

Nuno Espirito Santo, who has left Wolves, is also among the front runners for the job.

UEFA warns football stars not to repeat Cristiano Ronaldo’s action at press conferences, threatens penalty

Euros stars have been told to STOP moving sponsors’ drinks in press conferences – or risk their team getting fined.

Cristiano Ronaldo started the trend when he put a pair of Coca-Cola bottles out of the way on Monday.

But Euro 2020 tournament director Martin Kallen revealed Uefa has ‘communicated with the teams regarding this matter’ and disciplinary action may be taken.

He said: “It is important because the revenues of the sponsors are important for the tournament and for European football.

“We are never fining players directly from the Uefa side, we will do this always through the participating national association and then they could look if they will go further to the player, but we are not going directly for the moment to the player.”