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West Ham agree €40m deal to sign Alvarez

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West Ham and Ajax have agreed a deal of £32 million for Mexico midfielder Edson Alvarez.

David Moyes’ side is the only Premier League club yet to sign a player this summer, but will seek to complete Alvarez’s transfer in the coming days.

Alvarez, a defensive midfielder, will sign a five-year contract and is considered to be a like-for-like replacement for Rice. The 25-year-old will now fly to London for a medical examination.

West Ham have a new transfer committee this summer, led by Tim Steidten, an ex-Bayer Leverkusen executive hired as technical director. They are still interested in Harry Maguire and Scott McTominay of Manchester United, and further acquisitions are expected before the transfer window closes. Despite Southampton’s staunch stance on their asking price, a new proposal for James Ward-Prowse is likely.

The Hammers will begin their Premier League campaign on August 12 away to Bournemouth at Vitality Stadium.

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European Leagues

Motherwell stuns Rangers at Home

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Impressive Motherwell secured their first victory at Ibrox in nine years to end Scottish Premiership leaders Rangers’ 11-game winning run.

Theo Bair’s early strike – his 11th goal of the season – was cancelled out by James Tavernier’s 60th-minute penalty.

But Dan Casey headed the eighth-placed side’s winner that swings the title race back in the direction of Celtic.

Philippe Clement’s side remain two points clear at the top of the table.

However, reigning champions Celtic can regain the lead they enjoyed for much of the season when they visit Heart of Midlothian on Sunday.

Motherwell manager Stuart Kettlewell told BBC Scotland just before kick-off that he felt he had a formula to frustrate both sides of the Old Firm.

His side had lost by a single goal on their last visit to Ibrox and they rarely looked back after making a composed start that was in stark contrast to their surprisingly nervy hosts.

When centre-half John Souttar made a mess of trying to intercept a through ball to Jack Vale, the striker exploited the space behind and set up strike partner Bair for a 15-yard finish off the far post.

Rangers looked shaken and disjointed, but they gradually grew into the game only to find goalkeeper Liam Kelly and his defence in defiant form.

With winger Ross McCausland forced off after a strong Casey challenge that did not even produce a booking, replacement Fabio Silva ought to have equalised with his first touch only to shoot weakly straight at Kelly.

Rangers thought they had equalised, only for Cyriel Dessers to be ruled offside, but they eventually did after Stephen O’Donnell’s slide into Silva produced the penalty from which Tavernier fired his 21st goal of the season off the underside of the bar.

The hosts piled forward hoping to repeat their midweek comeback win over Kilmarnock.

However, Blair Spittal had already fired a warning off the crossbar before Rangers’ equaliser and the hosts’ defensive frailties were again exposed when the midfielder’s cross found Casey to provide the killer blow in a thrilling finish.

Home defeat is not the ideal preparation for Rangers as they travel to meet Benfica in the Europa League last 16 on Thursday (20:00 GMT) before visiting Hibernian in the Scottish Cup quarter-finals, while Motherwell are not in action again until hosting Aberdeen in the league on 16 March (15:00).

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European Leagues

Tottenham left it late again

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Tottenham left it late again as three goals in the final 13 minutes saw them come from behind to eventually see off Oliver Glasner’s Crystal Palace 3-1.

Ange Postecoglou’s side came from behind to win for the fifth time this season as they once again did it the hard way, having trailed to Eberechi Eze’s wonderful free-kick shortly after the hour.

The hosts should have been ahead by then when Timo Werner wasted a glorious chance when played clean through, but they struggled to create against Glasner’s dogged visitors until they eventually pulled level.

Brennan Johnson’s sheer determination saw him beat Joachim Andersen out wide and allowed him space to tee-up a simple finish for Werner to level with his debut Tottenham goal.

Spurs ended up handing Glasner a harsh welcome to the Premier League when they went in front three minutes later, as Cristian Romero nodded home James Maddison’s brilliant hooked cross.

Heung-Min Son then put the gloss on what had seemed for so long to be a miserable afternoon for Spurs as he raced through late on to seal victory with his first club goal of 2024.

 

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Axel Disasi header rescues point for Blues

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A late header from Axel Disasi rescued a 2-2 draw for Chelsea at Brentford after Yoane Wissa’s stunning overhead kick had given the hosts a second-half lead.

Chelsea looked to put their Carabao Cup final defeat further behind them having beaten Leeds in the FA Cup on Wednesday and they were on course to do so when Nicolas Jackson deservedly headed them in front during the first half.

Brentford had been hanging on for half-time but were transformed after the break, with Mads Roerslev pouncing in the box to equalise within five minutes before Wissa’s brilliant acrobatic volley put them ahead.

Brentford looked to put the game to bed late on as Sergio Reguilon’s header hit a post but it was Disasi who had the final say, nodding home at a corner in the 83rd minute after Bees goalkeeper Mark Flekken had cheaply conceded the set-piece.

 

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