Aston Villa have announced the signing of Kieran Richardson to a two-year contract. The left-sided player, who can player either in defense or midfield, joins from relegated club Fulham.
The signing of Richardson is Villa’s third of the season. He joins Joe Cole, who joined from West Ham, and Philippe Senderos, most recently at Spanish side Valencia, as the newest players to wear the claret-and-blue shirt this season.
The Villa, who battled against relegation last season but ultimately finished 15th in the Premier League, are struggling to reinforce their squad ahead of the upcoming season. While other clubs target flashy signings, Villa are constrained by a transfer budget that permits spending only if current players are sold. Owner Randy Lerner put the club up for sale early this summer, and unless it is sold prior to the start of the season, it is unlikely much will be spent.
Villa’s recent signings also show a marked change in strategy. For the past two seasons under Paul Lambert, the club has often spent little, but its targets were young players from outside the British Isles, primarily Northern Europe. All three of this summer’s signings have significant Premier League experience. They also are much older than the 21- and 22-year-olds brought in recently: both Senderos and Richardson are 29, while Cole is 32.
Lerner’s inability to sell Aston Villa leaves the club in a bit of a limbo. At this point, most fans are simply hoping that the added experience will reinforce the squad, and enable them to avoid yet another relegation battle.
NBC News is reporting that at least 19 people have been killed and another 50 are injured following a possible suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.
Multiple senior U.S. intelligence officials who are monitoring British authorities told NBC News that preliminary reports indicate that a single explosion took place outside the arena on the southwest side opposite the train station. The explosion occurred as the concert ended, catching people as they exited.
Soccer personalities around the world are reacting to the horrible event.
If you didn’t realize Juan Cuadrado still belonged to Chelsea, you’re forgiven.
The Colombian attacker will complete his second season at Juventus after the UEFA Champions League Final against Real Madrid, and won’t be headed back to Chelsea afterwards.
Juve has purchased Cuadrado, and the fee is $22 million, and Juve will pay it over three seasons. Cuadrado, 28, is now signed through 2020 with The Old Lady.
Cuadrado first went on loan to Juve in Aug. 2015, and has eight goals and 18 assists in 83 career appearances with the club.
Chelsea bought Cuadrado from Fiorentina for around $32 million in the January 2015 transfer window, but made just 14 appearances with the club.
Sky Sports is reporting that Jermain Defoe may head back to the south of England following Sunderland’s relegation.
Defoe, 34, spent two seasons with Portsmouth between 2008-09, scoring 15 goals in 31 appearances.
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The 56-times capped England striker had a clause in his Sunderland contract allowing him to leave the Stadium of Light were the Black Cats to be relegated, as they were this season. He’d have little interest in dropping into the Championship given his desire to stay a part of the England squad ahead of the 2018 World Cup.
Bournemouth’s strike corps includes Joshua King, who scored the most goals of any player not on a Top Seven side this season. King’s 16 goals were one more than Defoe’s 15, though the latter scored just one goal following a brace against Crystal Palace on Feb. 4.
Antonio Conte took league and national honors from the League Managers Association on Monday night.
The Chelsea boss was named Premier League Manager of the Year and Manager of the Year after leading the Blues to the PL title and an FA Cup Final in his first year on the job.
Brighton and Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton nabbed another Championship boss of the year award after leading the Gulls to the Premier League. He also won the honor with Newcastle United in 2010.
The League One winner is Chris Wilder of Sheffield United. Wilder won the honor with Northampton Town last season.
In League Two, Paul Cook of Portsmouth was named the winner.