Sturridge leaves training with ankle injury; Liverpool expecting bad news

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Liverpool won’t know the extent of the damage until over the weekend, but after Daniel Sturridge was forced from training on Friday with suspected ligament damage in his ankle, the club is braced to lose their co-leading scorer. Though there’s been no official word from the club, the England international is almost certainly out of Sunday’s trip to Hull.

Early Friday, manager Brendan Rodgers had predicted Sturridge could return to the team’s starting XI, the 24-year-old having been dropped for last weekend’s Merseyside Derby. But coming off the bench, Sturridge scored the goal that earned Liverpool a draw at Everton, and after a strong week of training, the Liverpool boss was foreshadowing a return to the starting lineup.

On Friday, however, Sturridge left practice and was immediately taken for a scan on his ankle. According to the Guardian, “the club [is] braced for bad news,” with ominous “lengthy spell” speculation making it unlikely the team’s second scoring option will be in uniform at the KC Stadium.

After 12 league appearances this season, Sturridge has already scored nine goals, his strongest start to a Premier League season. Combined with Luis Suárez, Liverpool’s top two scorers have registered 18 of the team’s 24 Premier League goals, with only one other player (Steven Gerrard, 2) having scored multiple goals.

Without him, Liverpool may continue using the setup they deployed at Goodison Park, where Jordan Henderson’s ability to play wide occupied one flank while Philippe Coutinho cut in under Suárez from the other. With no other established forward options in the team, the Uruguayan will likely have to go it along up top, should Sturridge’s absence be a prolonged one.

Football leaks: French police raid PSG HQ, 3 players’ homes

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PARIS (AP) A French official says police investigating suspected tax fraud linked to the soccer industry have raided the headquarters of Paris Saint-Germain and the homes of three Argentine players in France.

The official said anti-corruption police units searched the homes of PSG players Angel Di Maria and Javier Pastore, and that of Nantes forward Emiliano Sala on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Real Madrid signs $50m teen ]

Police also raided the head offices of PSG at Parc des Princes and other offices in Boulogne-Billancourt, outside the French capital, the official said.

The official, familiar with the case, declined to be identified because the investigation is ongoing.

The national financial prosecutor’s office opened an investigation in December after so-called “football leaks” reports allegedly detailed tax arrangements by top players, coaches and clubs.

Real Madrid signs most expensive Brazilian since Neymar

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Real Madrid didn’t wait long after learning Vinicius Junior was healthy.

The 16-year-old Flamengo star is committed to the Bernabeu after passing a physical, and Real Madrid announced Tuesday that they’ll have their new player no later than July 2019.

The reported fee is $50 million, which would be the most money spent on a Brazilian player since Barcelona landed Neymar for about $64 million in 2013.

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The forward has made two appearances for Flamengo, and turns 17 on July 12. He has 19 goals in 22 appearances for Brazil’s U-17 side.

Here’s Real’s announcement:

Real Madrid C. F. and Clube de Regatas do Flamengo have reached an agreement regarding the transfer of the federative rights of the player Vinicius Junior from July 2018. The player will remain at his current club until July 2019, although he will be able to play for Real Madrid before then if both clubs agree to it.

VOTE: 2016-17 Premier League Goal of the Season

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Okay, so you have 1064 to choose from, so choose wisely…

[ MORE: Full 2016-17 PL season reviews

The 2016-17 Premier League season is over but you can vote for your favorite goal of the campaign up until June 1.

Simply click on the video above to watch the contenders compiled by Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe, and then you can vote by clicking here.

Enjoy!

Ex-Barcelona president Rosell held in money laundering probe

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MADRID (AP) Spanish authorities say former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell and his wife have been detained in a probe over his businesses in Brazil.

[ MORE: Full 2016-17 season reviews

The detentions early Tuesday are part of a money laundering investigation related to buying television rights for past matches of Brazil’s national team.

Three other people have been detained, but their identities were not immediately released by authorities.

Police raided offices, homes, and businesses in Barcelona and other locations in Spain as part of “Operation Rimet,” in reference to former FIFA President Jules Rimet.

Authorities said the operation used information from the FBI following the U.S. case against high-level FIFA officials in 2015.

Rosell is already standing trial for fraud and corruption charges involving the 2013 transfer of Brazilian striker Neymar.