Tottenham could get windfall as Ipswich line up bid for £25million-rated Championship star

Ipswich are set to make a bid for Sunderland’s Jack Clarke, according to reports. The 23-year-old joined the Black Cats from Tottenham in 2022 for an undisclosed fee and Spurs will pick up a sell-on fee if he signs for Ipswich. Clarke has been a hit for Sunderland – and Premier League clubs have noticedGetty Should the Premier League new boys bring him to Portman Road, Spurs will pick up 25 per cent of the fee, according to the Sunderland Echo’s James Copley. The report also states Sunderland want at least £25million for him. Southampton are also keen on the former Leeds starlet. Ipswich’s summer transfer window spending will edge near a whopping £70million if they sign Clarke. Kieran McKenna’s side – who sealed back-to-back promotions from League One up to the Premier League – have already splashed the cash on a record transfer fee for Chelsea’s Omari Hutchinson, who was on loan with the Suffolk outfit last season. The Tractor Boys have also snapped up Hull centre-back Jason Greaves and Manchester City forward Liam Delap. Goalkeeper Arijanet Muric signed from Burnley for £8million, too. Clarke has been a key player for Sunderland since he arrived on loan from Spurs in January 2022. McKenna is building his squad for the Premier LeagueGetty Sunderland won promotion back to the Championship through the play-offs and later secured Clarke on a permanent four-year deal. He played four games for Spurs but has now racked up 112 appearances for former Premier League side Sunderland. The Leeds academy product has scored 27 goals and bagged 22 assists during his time at the Stadium of Light. He beat Jobe Bellingham’s goal tally to be the club’s top scorer last season, netting 15 times compared to his teammate’s seven. In March, American private equity firm Bright Path Sports Partners invested £105m into Ipswich. This will be their first season back in the Premier League since 2002.

Ivan Toney prepared to run down Brentford contract but identifies move he wants this summer

Ivan Toney is prepared to let his Brentford contract run down if he does not land a big move this summer, talkSPORT understands. Toney will be a free agent at the end of next season and is showing no inclination to sign a new deal. Toney has been a Brentford player for four yearsGetty Arsenal considered a move for the £60million rated England international but look unlikely to follow up their interest with a firm bid. Sources close to Toney are hoping Tottenham come forward with an offer before the end of the transfer window while West Ham are another potential destination. Toney is also on the radar of Saudi Arabian clubs. He goes into the final year of his Bees contract off the back of a fine summer helping England to the Euro 2024 final. Toney was an impact substitute for Gareth Southgate’s men as he supplied the assist for Harry Kane in England’s 2-1 win over Slovakia in the last 16. The 28-year-old also scored an impressive no-look penalty in England’s shootout victory over Switzerland in the quarter-finals. He’s been with Brentford since 2020, helping them to a first-ever appearance in the Premier League in the 2020/21 season. Toney has helped stabilise them in the top flight with Brentford entering their fourth successive season in it. He shone for England at Euro 2024 in Germany earlier this summerGetty Thomas Frank’s side struggled for large parts of last season with Toney serving a ban during the first half of it. Toney started his career with hometown club Northampton Town but earned himself a move to the Premier League with Newcastle in the summer of 2015 aged 19. However, he failed to break into the Magpies first-team having been shipped out on loan on six occasions during his three-year spell at Newcastle. He dropped down to League One Peterborough United in the summer of 2018, where he excelled having scored 49 goals in 94 appearances. Fine form for Posh saw Championship side Brentford come calling, the west London club paid up to £10million for Toney’s services in August 2020. He settled in immediately at Brentford, firing in 31 goals as they earned promotion to the top flight for the first time since the 1946/47 season. Toney has been excellent for Brentford, scoring 72 goals in 141 appearances. He earned a first call-up to the England squad in March 2023 and was selected to represent them at Euro 2024 in Germany earlier this summer. It appears Toney is angling for a move to Spurs but his former chairman at Peterborough Darragh MacAnthony urged West Ham to swoop in for forward. “I think for me, the betting man [in me] would say, knowing what David Sullivan is like at West Ham, he’s always liked Ivan Toney,” MacAnthony told talkSPORT. “He’ll try and basically get him at a dropped-down bargain offer from Brentford. “And I know the Brentford people and they’d be like ‘no chance’. But I know Sullivan will try, and if he had any common sense he would. “It would be the best signing West Ham have made in 12 years, instead of a foreign striker for £70million who couldn’t hit a barn door.”

‘If you watched him’ – Jamie O’Hara shocks talkSPORT pundit as he defends Manchester United winger Antony

Dean Saunders was left stunned by Jamie O’Hara’s claim that Antony was ‘quite good’ for Manchester United at the end of last season. Antony netted just three goals and grabbed only two assists in 38 appearances last campaign. O’Hara believes Antony deserved a bit more slackGetty That’s down on his 2022/23 tally of eight goals and five assists in his debut Man United campaign. Saunders told talkSPORT Breakfast part of the Brazilian’s problem is he doesn’t run to the byline enough to cross balls in like Arsenal‘s Bukayo Saka and Liverpool‘s Mohamed Salah do, coming in and shooting too often instead. But much to Saunders’ surprise, his co-host O’Hara replied: “I thought Antony was quite good at the end of the season”. At this point, the Welshman leaned into his microphone and asked if O’Hara was being serious. “If you watched him at the end of the season, he actually had some decent performances,” O’Hara said. When Saunders brought up Antony’s move from Ajax costing £90million, O’Hara answered: “Yeah, I know that and it hasn’t worked out and I’m not saying he’s a good player. “But what I am saying is that if you watched him at the end of the season, he actually did play alright. “He did put in some decent balls.” Saunders wasn’t too sure on his co-host’s taketalkSPORT Antony’s first goal contributions of the season came in the 4-2 FA Cup victory over League Two Newport County, netting one goal and grabbing one assist in the tie in January. O’Hara has already stated he would love to see Antony’s fellow Man United winger Marcus Rashford sign for Tottenham. The Red Devils academy product had a tough season last campaign, also dipping from scoring 30 goals to eight – but the former Spurs star thinks Ange Postecoglou can bring his star quality back out. However, when asked if he felt the same way about Antony, O’Hara wasn’t so sure. “No, I wouldn’t sign Antony,” he said. “I would sign Rashford. Rashford has got everything.” When Saunders suggested Rashford’s ‘attitude was wrong’, O’Hara replied: “You can change his attitude. You can.” O’Hara would take Rashford at Spurs – but he’s not so sure on Antony despite his defenceGetty Rashford, who has been with Man United since the age of seven, is currently contracted to the Red Devils until 2028. Meanwhile, Antony’s deal expires in 2027.

Liverpool could inadvertently help fund Real Madrid’s pursuit of Trent Alexander-Arnold with £55million deal

Liverpool could find themselves aiding a Real Madrid move for Trent Alexander-Arnold amid their interest in Takefusa Kubo. The Reds are yet to make a signing under new boss Arne Slot but Real Sociedad winger Kubo has emerged as a speculated target. Kubo has emerged as a transfer target for Liverpool this summerGetty Japanese outlet Sports Nippon have reported that a transfer fee of €60million [£50million] has been set as the asking price and negotiations are ‘in the final stages’. The Daily Mail’s Lewis Steele has said these reports are ‘premature’ as Liverpool wait to get up and running in the transfer market. However, finalising a deal for Kubo could assist a key departure as talkSPORT understands Madrid are keen on signing Alexander-Arnold. Kubo left Madrid in 2022 for Sociedad, who paid €6million [£5million] for 50 per cent of the Japan international’s rights, as per The Athletic. This means that Madrid are able to re-sign him for half of the sale fee or earn 50 per cent of Sociedad’s sale profit. As a result, Carlo Ancelotti’s side could be offered a financial boost in their hopes of signing Alexander-Arnold. The right-back is entering the final year of his contract at Liverpool and could therefore leave for free next summer. Whether or not Liverpool would entertain a move for their academy graduate remains to be seen, although there has so far been no talk over a new deal. Madrid would get financial aid from Kubo’s move as they eye Alexander-ArnoldGetty Alexander-Arnold has made 310 appearances across all competitions for Liverpool, scoring 19 goals and assisting a further 81. He has won the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup, League Cup, Super Cup, Club World Cup and Community Shield at the club. Should the 25-year-old complete a move to Madrid, he would join a side who look set to dominate European football in the coming years. The Spanish giants completed the sensational free signing of Kylian Mbappe after he left Paris Saint-Germain and recently unveiled him in a sold out Santiago Bernabeu. Madrid already boasted attacking talents including Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo before his arrival but have now become even stronger. Jude Bellingham is also one of their key stars, with he and Alexander-Arnold close friends amid their time with England at Euro 2024.

Arsenal defender Jurrien Timber takes inspiration from Kobe Bryant and Max Verstappen as he looks to bounce back from injury hell

Jurrien Timber says he has taken inspiration from ‘big winners’ Kobe Bryant and Max Verstappen in his footballing career. The Dutch defender played just three games for Arsenal following his £34million move from Ajax last summer when he was forced off midway through his Premier League debut due to rupturing his cruciate ligaments. Timber is raring to go for the new seasonHayters He finally made his second league appearance for the Gunners on the final day of last season against Everton – and now, he’s preparing to kick-start his Emirates career next month. As well as crediting Arsenal for helping him through his injury, Timber has revealed he also looked at stars outside out of football for inspiration, with his most recent X posts being quotes from basketball legend Kobe Bryant and Formula 1 star Max Verstappen. When asked if he sees the two big sporting names as role models, Timber smiled as he said: “Yeah, I like to look at winners, In NBA you see them a lot. “For example, Max Verstappen as well, you see his interviews after [races] and he’s just such a big winner. “I just love to see that and see his comments after things that happen after a race, you know?” Verstappen exchanged angry radio messages following his Hungarian Grand Prix defeat after his collision with Lewis Hamilton and then used a two-word expletive to respond to critics of his behaviour. Losing will have been an unusual feeling for the Red Bull driver who has won three Formula One World Drivers’ Championship titles. Meanwhile Bryant, who tragically passed away in 2020, claimed five NBA championships with the LA Lakers. Timber has bounced back from his injuryGetty He’s been inspired by Verstappen’s Formula 1 dominanceGetty As well at the late Bryant, who also won two Olympic gold medalsAFP He won two gold medals with Team USA in basketball in 2008 and 2012 and inspired millions, including tennis superstar Novak Djokovic. This season, Arsenal will be hoping to win their own piece of silverware in their third attempt at winning the Premier League title after missing out to Manchester City for the past two seasons. And after watching from the sidelines last term, Timber is more than ready for the challenge. When asked if Arsenal can adopt Bryant and Verstappen’s winning mentality, he said: “Yeah, definitely. I think we have it a lot already. “We have a lot of leadership and winners in the group already, but it’s always good to add [more] I think.”

Danny Drinkwater hits back at troll that said he’s hit ‘rock bottom’ after revealing new job

Ex-Chelsea and Leicester midfielder Danny Drinkwater hit out at a troll after posting a picture of himself on a building site. Drinkwater retired from football last October after leaving Reading at the end of the 2021/22 season. Danny Drinkwater’s last spell in football was a loan spell at Reading which ended in 2022Getty The 34-year-old has since occupied his time working on other ventures, but his restaurant business went bust in 2022. His luck in the business world suffered further frustration when a 70 per cent share in a Manchester nightclub closed its doors last month. Drinkwater is now working on a building site and shared a picture from his new role on Instagram. Sadly, the former England international fell victim to jibes from online trolls, one in particular who wrote: “F***ing hell Danny you’ve hit rock bottom.” That prompted Drinkwater to hit back, writing: “Some of these messages, behave. “I love being on site grafting! It’s a choice.” Drinkwater previously spoke of his battle with mental health as his career spiralled following a £35m switch to Chelsea in 2017. The midfielder played a key role in Leicester’s miraculous title-winning campaign of 2016 and earned his way into the England set-up. But things took a turn for the worse shortly after arriving in west London, as he struggled to recapture the form he showed at the King Power Stadium. The former England star posted from the building site he now works on Drinkwater snapped back at one fan who claimed he had hit ‘rock bottom’ Drinkwater’s career spiralled after leaving Leicester City in 2017getty Drinkwater made just 23 appearances for Chelsea over his four-year stay at Stamford Bridge. Loan spells at Burnley, Aston Villa, Turkish side Kasimpasa and Reading followed before Drinkwater called time on his career having made just 23 appearances for the Blues over four years. “It was the darkest I’d felt,” Drinkwater said of his mental health struggles. “It was like I was drowning and had forgotten how to swim. Anyone who thinks earning good money will solve all of your problems is not true at all. “Mental health is more important than physical. It was the darkest I’d ever felt.” He explained his decision to retire on the High Performance Podcast, saying: “It’s been a long time coming maybe, especially with the last year, but I think it’s time to officially announce it now. “I think I’ve been in limbo for too long. I’ve been wanting to play but not getting the opportunity to play at a standard or a level where I felt valued. I’m happy not playing football but I’m happy playing football, so do I just shake hands with the sport? “It’s all I’ve known. It’s been my life since I was six, seven years old. It was never going to be an easy thing. If I was playing week in, week out and I had to say I’ve got to stop, maybe through injury or through just age, not being able to get about the pitch like I’d like to, I think it would be trickier.”