Starlets at risk of missing out on loan moves as EFL clubs cut budgets

Premier League starlets at risk of missing out on loan moves as lower league clubs cut budgets – meaning youngsters may be denied pathway that launched careers of Harry Kane , Jordan Pickford and Danny Rose

  • Rising stars may miss out on lower league chances as clubs tighten budgets
  • Coronavirus crisis has caused clubs to turn away from looking for loan deals 
  • Starlets may be denied chances offered to likes of Harry Kane and Danny Rose
  • There are fears that financial issues could change the pathway to senior football
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Premier League rising stars could find game time even harder to come by from next season as coronavirus threatens to disrupt the well-established pathway from lower league loans to top-flight action.

Tighter budgets and a flood of free agents should see academy players slip down the pecking order as smaller clubs look to strengthen this summer following the COVID-19 crisis.

Harry Kane, Jordan Pickford and Danny Rose are among those to ‘cut their teeth’ in the EFL’s rich ‘breeding ground’, where players gain first-team experience and smaller teams can sign well-schooled recruits for only a portion of their wages and/or a small fee. 

Before establishing himself at Tottenham, Harry Kane spent time on loan at Leyton Orient

Jordan Pickford went on loan to Preston but chances like that may be rarer next season

More recently, Mason Mount’s loan at Derby paved the way to a first-team role at Chelsea

Financial issues may stop lower league clubs making moves like Danny Rose to Bristol City

But with many clubs below the top flight battling to survive the ongoing shutdown, one source said coronavirus ‘could change the progression and path of football over the next 10 years’, while a coach at a League Two club – where a current England international first tasted senior football – said the priority for all sides would be looking after existing staff and players. 

A knock-on effect, they said, could be that top clubs find it harder to place youngsters lower down the pyramid.

The issue is compounded by the 1,400 EFL players out of contract this summer, who will be scrambling to secure their own futures.

‘There will be plenty of players to go at before loans are considered,’ one club said. ‘You can’t sell a loan (player).’

Another lower league manager told Sportsmail: ‘The Premier League clubs are terrible to deal with. They’re always putting fines in (contracts) – if he doesn’t play you have to give us this or that.’

The standard of Under-23 football has been criticised compared to playing at senior level

He insisted that if his summer budget meant he could only afford the wages of a seasoned free agent or an academy loanee, he would opt for the established pro. ‘There is no guarantee the kid is ready,’ he said.

Premier League prospects can enjoy Under-23 football, but it doesn’t offer the same ‘competitive edge’ and one coach said youngsters with senior experience can be more attractive to buying clubs.

One League Two side previously took a kid from a top-flight academy and only had to pay £500 towards his £3,500-a-week wages.

Their manager insists this was because the parent club wanted to put the player in the shop window. If they were looking to keep him, he says, they would not have been as generous.

Manchester United have waived loan fees for players including Joel Pereira at Hearts

As reported by Sportsmail, however, Manchester United have already waived outstanding loan fees for goalkeeper Joel Pereira (Hearts), midfielder Ethan Hamilton (Bolton), and keeper Kieran O’Hara (Burton) — saving the trio of cash-strapped clubs a combined £130,000.

But Kane is a fine example of how the traditional system can be mutually beneficial.

Following a successful spell at Leyton Orient in 2011, the England captain this month announced he would sponsor the club’s shirts next season to raise money for charity and support Orient during the crisis.

‘It was a chance to help obviously three amazing causes and a chance to help Leyton Orient as well, who gave me my first start and were a huge part in my success story,’ Kane said.

England captain Kane has stepped in to sponsor Leyton Orient’s kit and raise money for charity

The third and fourth tiers could introduce a salary cap from the 2020-21 season. Though it’s understood players under 21 will be exempt from any regulations, the measures reflect the financial strife caused by COVID-19.

For the cream of the crop among Premier League academies, the road may be less rocky.

Given smaller teams are always likely to want to ‘top-up’ their squads with added quality, some agents believe the main difference will be Premier League clubs footing more of the bill than before.

Several lower league sides don’t have the academy setup to rely on their own production line and one League Two coach suggested there should be a collective effort, even a scheme, to protect the existing academy loan system. 

Another manager suggested local clubs should be given first-dibs or nearby giants’ kids, and that the FA and PFA would not look kindly on clubs filling up with kids when there are hundreds of established pros without a club.

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Odds for NASCAR race at Charlotte: Expert picks & favorites to win Wednesday’s Alsco Uniforms 500

The bad news when it comes to Vegas odds for Wednesday night’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is its relatively short distance (312 miles, 208 laps) creates an unpredictability factor that makes picking a winner even more difficult than usual. Teams’ strategies will be much different than those used for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600.

The good news is this is the second NASCAR Cup Series night race at Charlotte in the span of four days. So we at least have a decent idea of which drivers might thrive in another race at NASCAR’s home track, and whose struggles might continue.

Brad Keselowski stole the victory in Sunday’s race after a late caution ruined what would have been an easy win for Chase Elliott. Which is part of the reason Elliott is at the top of the odds board for Wednesday night’s race.

Below are the Vegas odds to win Wednesday night’s NASCAR Cup Series at Charlotte, plus our top three picks of drivers who could end up taking the checkered flag.

NASCAR race odds to win at Charlotte

Elliott led 38 laps in Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte, including what was supposed to the final one on Lap 400. But he pitted during a late-race caution and lost the lead (and the win). But that speed is why Elliott has joined Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. atop the odds board for Wednesday night’s race.

Courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook, below are the complete odds to win Wednesday night’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Charlotte.

Of the drivers in the field, Jimmie Johnson has the best career driver rating (108.9) at Charlotte, but he will start last because of his disqualification from the Coca-Cola 600 results. Johnson’s car failed post-race inspection with illegal rear alignment.

Below are the top 10 career driver ratings at Charlotte (not including Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600):

History says the first and second starting positions are the most proficient in the field, producing more winners (17 each) than any other starting position at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Which is good news for Hendrick Motorsports teammates William Byron and Alex Bowman, who will start first and second, respectively, on Wednesday night since the top 20 starters are an inversion of the top 20 finishers from Sunday’s race.

NASCAR at Charlotte expert picks

1. Alex Bowman

Bowman’s spot on the front row to start the race helps, as the driver who started second has won roughly 14 percent of all NASCAR Cup Series races at Charlotte. But this pick is more about the speed HMS cars have shown this year.

Elliott should have won Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600, and Johnson finished second before failing post-race tech and being given last-place points. Only Kevin Harvick (328 laps) has led more than the 318 laps Bowman has led through seven races in 2020.

All Hendrick drivers will be threats to win Wednesday night’s race, even Johnson from the back of the field. But we’ll go with the one who already has a win on the season.

2. Martin Truex Jr.

Among active drivers, only Johnson and Kyle Busch have led more career laps at Charlotte than Truex’s 972. His 91.3 driver rating at the track is the third best behind Busch’s 107.4 and Hamlin’s 97.0 among drivers currently in the top 10 in points.

Two crashes in the first four races this season set Truex back in points, but last year’s Coca-Cola 600 winner proved with his pair of top-10 finishes last week at Darlington followed by a strong run in Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 that his team still has the speed to win.

3. Erik Jones

Speaking of speed from Joe Gibbs Racing, Jones had a hot rod for parts of Sunday’s race. He will start Wednesday’s event on the outside of Row 5, the best starting position of the four JGR teams in the field, which is notable for a race that’s roughly half the distance of the Coca-Cola 600.

Jones is a relative long shot based on the odds for Wednesday night’s race, but he is every bit as capable as his powerhouse teammates of winning. While his driver rating at Charlotte (68.6) is not great, it comes from a small sample size. Wednesday night’s race will be Jones’ sixth at Charlotte in a Cup car.

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Valeya set to thrive at Prix des Sardiniers in step up to 12 furlongs

Valeya set to thrive at Prix des Sardiniers with patient approach by Alain de Royer-Dupre paying off

  • Prix des Sardiniers meeting is set to be held at Dieppe, France, on Tuesday
  • Alain de Royer-Dupre trained filly Valeya is relishing step up to 12 furlongs 
  •  Cut in the ground at Dieppe should benefit her and jockey Nicolas Larenaudie

Valeya (12.10) appears to be thriving from a typically patient approach by connections who have found a good stepping stone for their progressive filly in the Prix des Sardiniers at Dieppe on Tuesday.

Septuagenarian trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre, who has trained more than 1,000 winners in a stellar career stretching back five decades, perhaps isn’t the force he once was but the likes of grand stayer Vazirabad and 2019 Prix Saint-Alary winner have kept his name in lights in recent campaigns.

In Valeya, the Chantilly-based trainer saddles a filly that looked to relish the combination of a step up to 12 furlongs and a switch to aggressive tactics at Compiegne back in March.

Valeya, trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre (L) will be a favourite to watch at Prix des Sardiniers

The grey daughter of Mastercraftsman was sent to the head of affairs early in proceedings by Christophe Soumillon from which point the duo set a steady gallop before seeing off their rivals, one by one, in the straight with the Belgian rider keen to utilise the favourable stands’ side rail.

The cut in the ground at Dieppe should play to the strengths of the selection who is reunited with jockey Nicolas Larenaudie for the first time since they combined to finish third at Chantilly in mid February.

Larenaudie, who has ridden four winners for the de Royer-Dupre operation in an embryonic career, may well find himself aboard a filly which has improved significantly since that initial outing and the duo are fancied to see off Pretorio and the Soumillon-ridden veteran Golden Wood.

The last-named makes the 41st start of a career that has seen him win narrowly twice in Meydan under Soumillon which may explain the reason the Belgian is keen to retain the association.

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NASCAR at Charlotte live race updates, results, highlights from the Coca-Cola 600

The Coca-Cola 600 is the third NASCAR Cup Series race in seven days, thanks to the sport’s new compact schedule. After two races in Darlington, the Cup Series has moved to Charlotte. 

Drivers had a qualifying session, the last of the season, at Charlotte Motor Speedway to set the starting lineup for the Coca-Cola 600. Kurt Busch earned the pole position, barely edging out Jimmie Johnson. 

Chase Elliot, who was spun out by Kyle Busch in Wednesday’s race at Darlington, is in starting in third place. Matt Kenseth and Tyler Riddick round out the top five. NASCAR officials will be watching the weather closely as thunderstorms are possible in Charlotte Sunday night. 

Sporting News is tracking live race updates and lap-by-lap highlights from the Coca-Cola 600. Follow along below for complete results from Charlotte.

NASCAR at Charlotte live updates, highlights from Coca-Cola 600

Updates will begin with the green flag at 6:28 p.m. ET

What time does the NASCAR race start today?

A 6 p.m. ET start time has become the customary protocol for the Coca-Cola 600, NASCAR’s longest race. It’s the only event in the sport that features four stages rather than three, and each Coca-Cola 600 stage will be 100 laps.

The Coca-Cola 600 begins in the heat of the daylight, but it gradually turns into a night race over the span of roughly 4 1/2 hours. That leads to cooling track temperatures and puts the onus on adjustments as teams attempt to navigate the race.

Fox’s coverage of pre-race ceremonies from Charlotte Motor Speedway — which are special on Memorial Day weekend — will begin at 6 p.m. ET, and the Coca-Cola 600 is scheduled to take the green flag 28 minutes later.

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NASCAR at Darlington live race updates, results, highlights from the Real Heroes 400

Two long, dreary months without live, real-life NASCAR racing have passed, but the action will finally start back up on Sunday with the Real Heroes 400 at Darlington Raceway.

It won’t be quite the same as your typical NASCAR race. There won’t be any cheering fans drunk out of their mind — at least not in the grandstands. Teams will also have a limited amount of personnel and must adhere to NASCAR’s new safety guidelines, which includes wearing masks. But still, racing is back.

Sporting News is tracking live updates and lap-by-lap highlights from NASCAR’s race in Darlington, S.C., to resume the 2020 season. Follow below for complete results from the Real Heroes 400. 

NASCAR at Darlington live updates, highlights from Real Heroes 400

5:45 p.m. — Caution comes out at 154 as debris from one of the banners is caught on Tyler Reddick. It was originally caught on Denny Hamlin, but he was able to get it off with help from Clint Bowyer, though it unfortunately flew off and landed on Reddick’s car. Wild stuff.

5:41 p.m. — We’re through 148 laps, past the halfway point, so if any rain comes the race will be official. Harvick, Bowman and Kurt Busch make up the top three.

5:33 p.m. — After 130 laps, Kevin Harvick leads. Alex Bowman in second, Denny Hamlin in third. There’s 163 laps left, 45 left in Stage 2.

5:25 p.m. — Yellow flag is up on lap 125 after Daniel Suarez spins out. No contact as he loses a tire, so he should be able to continue.

5:20 p.m. — Kevin Harvick is at the front of the restart to start lap 117. Alex Bowman in second, Kurt Busch in third and Denny Hamlin in fourth.

5:13 p.m. — Another caution out as William Byron loses control and bumps the outside wall.

5:07 p.m. — Kevin Harvick takes the lead off the restart, Alex Bowman in second and William Byron in third.

4:56 p.m. — Oh no. Jimmie Johnson spins out on the last lap in Stage 1. William Byron wins Stage 1.

4:54 p.m. — Five laps left in Stage 1, Johnson still leads. Byron up to second, Hamlin up to third.

4:51 p.m. — Finally some action at the front: Jimmie Johnson passes Alex Bowman to take the lead with nine laps to go in Stage 1. William Byron is in third, Denny Hamlin in fourth.

4:32 p.m. — After 45 laps we’re half way through Stage 1: Alex Bowman has taken the lead, Jimmie Johnson in second, Brad Keselowski down in third.

4:28 p.m. — Competition yellow is complete and the green flag is back up as teams have had a chance to make adjustments to their cars.

4:15 p.m. — After 30 laps, Brad Keselowski still leads with Kevin Harvick right behind him. Denny Hamlin up to third, Jimmie Johnson in fourth. Competition yellow is up now.

4:08 p.m. — Kyle Busch has already moved up 15 spots from 40th up to 25th after 15 laps. Impressive start following the setback.

4:06 p.m. — Brad Keselowski leads after 10 laps, Kevin Harvick in second and Jimmie Johnson in third.

4:03 p.m. — We’ll try this again, green flag comes back up for lap No. 7.

3:56 p.m. — It took about 15 seconds for the first wreck of the afternoon. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. loses control around turn two and crashes into the inside wall. He’s definitely done for the day.

3:56 p.m. — Green flag is finally waving and NASCAR is back!

3:52 p.m. — Kyle Busch’s car failed pre-race inspection twice, meaning he’ll lose his fourth-place spot and start at the rear.

3:44 p.m. — “Drivers, start your engines.” A nice tribute to the healthcare workers putting themselves on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19. As they say in racing, let’s do that racing.

3:37 p.m. — Clint Bowyer provides fans with a little pre-race laugh during an interview with Jeff Gordon. “Patience, grasshopper.”

3:20 p.m. — All drivers have passed screening and will start the race, per FOX’s Bob Pockrass.

What time does the NASCAR race start today?

The NASCAR race at Darlington on May 17 is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Of the seven NASCAR races currently scheduled across all three national series in the span of 11 days, Sunday’s event at Darlington is the only “day” race. Although, with a race distance of 400 miles, chances are Sunday’s event will end under the lights.

Fox will broadcast five of the nine NASCAR Cup Series races currently on the revised schedule. The other four Cup races will broadcast live on FS1.

NASCAR starting lineup at Darlington

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Kyrgios fires shots at Djokovic, Nadal and Thiem in boozy Murray Instagram chat

A booze-fuelled Nick Kyrgios was full of praise for Andy Murray during an Instagram Live between the pair on Saturday afternoon – but was less complimentary towards some of his colleagues on the men’s tennis tour.

The Aussie and the Brit announced they would chat together on the social media platform at 3pm UK time, which fell at midnight in Kyrgios’ Canberra home.

With a glass of red wine in hand, the Aussie bad boy claimed to have already seen off six glasses and Murray, stone-cold sober, was largely forced to sit through his drunken ramblings.

What was clear – and is no secret – is how highly Kyrgios regards Murray.

Of their first meeting, in Toronto six years ago, Kyrgios expressed his amazement at Murray’s ability to return his serve. In Kyrgios’ opinion, Rafael Nadal – who he had beaten at Wimbledon earlier that year – couldn’t handle it.

‘I’d beaten Rafa, he’s a mate of yours,’ said Kyrgios. ‘I beat him pretty convincingly at Wimby.

He regularly signs up for doubles events and Murray, somewhat reluctantly, agreed to team up with the 25-year-old in future – one the condition he ‘behaves’ himself.

At the Laver Cup – the Ryder Cup-style event which pits Europe against the rest of the world – Kyrgios is in his element.

When explaining his enjoyment of the competition, however, he couldn’t resist a swipe at European team members Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem.

‘Because it’s fun, they are my best buds (the world team). They are trying to be some European guys who have no banter, don’t give one ‘F’ about each other. Which pisses me off. Let’s be honest Tsitsipas and Zverev hate each other.’

‘I like to get up and about with the boys. Aussies and people from England, we are the same.

‘Do you think me and Dominic Thiem would vibe? No. I’m more invested in maybe, like, a nice cocktail. But my boy D Thiem would be like “I want to see this paint dry”.’

One suspects they will decline his invitation.

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Fans unlikely to be able to attend England games until 2021

Fans unlikely to be able to attend England games until 2021 due to impact of coronavirus pandemic

  • England may play games behind closed doors until the European Championship 
  • International games are unlikely to be played with fans due to risks to health
  • There is a growing belief that September international fixtures will be scrapped 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

England face the prospect of playing behind closed doors until the rearranged European Championship next summer.

The international fixture calendar has been upended by COVID-19 and on Wednesday, Sportsmail revealed proposals to open up an extended period for games from November into December.

But there is a growing belief that any international fixtures will be played without fans for the next 12 months given the health risks linked to the prospect of thousands of fans travelling between countries.

England may have to play games behind closed doors until 2021 because of coronavirus

And different travel circumstances in certain countries is also an issue.

That means Gareth Southgate’s side may not play in front of supporters until Euro 2020 which has been delayed until the summer of 2021.

The team’s plans for next year’s tournament will likely be hit by various difficulties posed by the coronavirus outbreak.

There is a growing acceptance that the September international fixtures will be scrapped because the start of next season is likely to be delayed. Even if the September games go ahead, it is unlikely clubs would be happy to release their players.

International games are unlikely to be played with fans due to the risks involved with travelling

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Conor McGregor hits out at arch rival Nate Diaz

‘Shut your eyelid and sign the contract’: Conor McGregor hits out at arch rival Nate Diaz as UFC star hints that highly-anticipated trilogy bout could be on the horizon

  • Conor McGregor has hit out at arch rival Nate Diaz ahead of a possible third bout 
  • The Irish star and Diaz have shared the octagon twice in enthralling contests 
  • Diaz, 35, had told McGregor to ‘shut his b**** a** up’ on Instagram
  • McGregor responded in typical fashion, before hinting at a trilogy fight 

Conor McGregor has hit out at arch rival Nate Diaz as the Irish superstar hinted that a third fight between the pair could be on the horizon. 

The former lightweight and featherweight champion has shared the octagon with the loud-mouth Stockton Slugger on two occasions, both in 2016, with each emerging with victories of their own.

McGregor, 31, has long insisted that he will face Diaz for a third and final time to settle the trilogy, with fans and pundits eager to see the pair battle it out once again. 

Conor McGregor has hit out at Nate Diaz before hinting that a third bout is on the horizon

McGregor, 31, and Diaz, 35, shared the octagon twice in 2016, each enthralling battles

And McGregor has thrown down the gauntlet to the 35-year-old on Instagram, after the American slammed his rival on a post shared by UFC president Dana White.

White had shared a tweet from McGregor supporting the controversial UFC 249 event, which read: ‘Wishing all my fighting colleagues good health as they put on tonight’s show for us! 

‘#UFC249 on ESPN+ Good luck and God speed men and women. From the competitors to the cleaners. Thank you all. Also Prayers up for Jacare Souza and team in making a full recovery.’

To this, Diaz simply replied: ‘Shut your b**** a** up’. 

Diaz told McGregor to ‘shut up’ before the Irish star fired back at his arch nemesis on Instagram

McGregor’s eye remark was a jibe at Diaz’s last bout, where an eye cut saw him lose to Masvidal

McGregor responded with: ‘Shut your eyelid and sign the contract’, in reference to the swelling around the eye that resulted in Diaz’s last bout with Jorge Masvidal to be called off. 

The 31-year-old also revealed that a contract appears to be on the table for a third fight to eventuate between himself and Diaz. Fans were engrossed in the slugging trades between the pair in the first two bouts, as well as the constant verbal exchanges.

Should the fight take place behind-closed-doors, fans will be able to hear every word said between the pair in the octagon.  

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Sir Alex Ferguson swore at 15-year-old for thinking about rejecting Man Utd

Former Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher has revealed Sir Alex Ferguson launched a foul-mouthed rant at him when he was just 15 years old because he was considering rejecting the club.

The Scot was on United’s radar from an early age and Ferguson made a number of personal checks on the midfielder in order to convince him to join the Red Devils.

United were confident that they had seen off a host competitors for Fletcher’s signature given the midfielder had been visiting the club for over three years but the Scot was in no rush to make his decision and alarm bells started ringing at Old Trafford.

‘I nearly signed for Newcastle,’ Fletcher told The Lockdown Tactics.

‘I had been going to United from the age of 12 and Newcastle at this point were the second-biggest team. Everyone is telling you, ‘look at all of these great Man United midfielders you’ll never get in the team, difficult to break through, Newcastle is closer to home’.

‘I really enjoyed it there, great club, Sir Alex Ferguson at this point [2002] was going to retire.

‘So the word gets back to Sir Alex and he phoned the house one night and my sister picked up the phone. ‘Here, Darren. It’s for you’. It’s just the boss going absolutely mental.

‘I’m 15, just chalk-white and he’s f’ing and giving it to me down the phone.

‘My mum sees me and grabs the phone and listens for a few seconds and goes, ‘don’t speak to my son like that ever again’, and slams the phone down.

‘So the next minute the phone rings up again, it’s Sir Alex: ‘really sorry, Mrs Fletcher but we really like your son, I’m coming up on the next flight to Edinburgh’.

‘My mum’s looking around the house thinking, ‘I’ve not done the housework, I’ve got loads of washing’. She goes, ‘no you’re not, they’ll come down and see you’.

‘To be honest, deep down, I could tell my dad recognised that going to Man United was the best thing for me, Sir Alex doing that. Anyway it got sorted, you go to Manchester United at 15 and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made and the manager, what an influence he was on my career.

Fletcher eventually became a first-team regular but the Scot’s progress took time at Old Trafford.

The midfielder was perhaps a victim of the super-high expectations Roy Keane placed on the club during his early days at Old Trafford and Fletcher took large amounts of criticism from supporters.

However, following Keane’s exit in 2005, Fletcher came into his own and was an important part of Ferguson’s squad until 2011 when he was struck down with ulcerative colitis.

Fletcher battled back in the following years to make a further 28 appearances for the club but he failed to reach the heights that he’d managed earlier in his career.

Nevertheless, Fletcher says he’ll be eternally grateful to Ferguson for guiding him through the most difficult period of his career.

‘He’s another one who was there for me every step of the way. He was the one who gave me my debut in the first team, seen me through injuries as a young kid, and more so than anything, that time when I was out ill, looking after me,’ said Fletcher.

‘I was worried about my contract and he was like, ‘do not worry about that, you’ve got to get yourself right for your family, you’ve got to get yourself right for the rest of your life, don’t worry about football’.

‘He’d sometimes just phone the house and speak to my wife, he wouldn’t even speak to me, because he’d recognise she’s suffering just as much as me, maybe even more so because she’s taking a lot of the burden. Just constantly on the phone to me at random times.

‘An unbelievable guy and an unbelievable person. It’s no surprise Man United is the biggest club in the world and it’s down to one person at this point, and that’s Sir Alex.’

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Holyfield hints at comeback on Twitter as Tyson steps up training

Evander Holyfield hints at boxing comeback with cryptic tweet after Mike Tyson steps up return to ring with fearsome training video sparking rumours pair could be set for trilogy 24 years after infamous ‘Bite Fight’

  • Evander Holyfield posted a picture with the word ‘comeback’ covering his face
  • Holyfield’s Twitter caption read: ‘a setback only paves the way for a comeback’ 
  • The 57-year-old made the post shortly after news of Mike Tyson’s own comeback
  • Tyson is preparing to fight in four-round charity bout to raise money for causes

Evander Holyfield has hinted he could be set for a shock return to the boxing ring after making a cryptic post on Twitter. 

The ‘Real Deal’ hasn’t fought since hanging up his gloves after beating the little known Danish fighter Brian Nelsen by technical knockout back in 2011.

At his peak, Holyfield was the undisputed heavyweight champion after moving up from cruiserweight, where he had also reigned supreme. 

Evander Holyfield has hinted he could be set for a shock return to boxing at the age of 57

Holyfield, 57, posted a cryptic pic on Twitter hinting he could be ready to lace them up again

Fans have speculated he could face former foe Mike Tyson in a trilogy fight for charity

Now 57, Holyfield’s best days are surely behind him but his Twitter post has sparked rumours he could be about to lace up the gloves again. 

He posted a picture on Monday which showed an image of him snarling, along with the word ‘comeback’ in capital letters over the top of it. 

He also wrote a teasing caption, which read: ‘A setback only paves the way for a comeback.’ 

The timing of Holyfield’s post is even more tantalising, just days after former foe Mike Tyson announced he will return for a four-round charity bout.

Holyfield’s post comes just days after Tyson revealed he’s in training ahead of a comeback

Tyson has revealed plans to compete in exhibition bouts to help raise money for charity 

Holyfield and Tyson fought twice in the 1990s, with the ‘Real Deal’ coming out on top

Tyson has posted a series of training videos displaying his fearsome power, and revealed he wants to fight again to raise money for special causes. 

While ‘Iron Mike’ hasn’t yet mentioned any potential opponents, fans are now wondering if Holyfield could be tempted to fight Tyson for a third time. 

The pair met twice in two famous encounters in the 1990s, which saw Holyfield knock out his rival in their first bout before their infamous second fight. 

Dubbed the ‘Bite Fight’, the brawl is best remembered for Tyson biting a chunk out of Holyfield’s ear during the contest.

Tyson was eventually disqualified after biting Holyfield on two separate occasions, to effectively end his career as an elite level heavyweight.

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