Brendan Rodgers anticipates Leicester City will rebuff any offers tabled for James Maddison in the January transfer window.

The England international has been a standout performer for the Foxes this term, and has been their brightest light amid a poor 2022-23 campaign to date.

Maddison was crucial to the pre-break revival enjoyed by Leicester, earning a recall to the Three Lions fold and a spot in Gareth Southgate's World Cup squad too.

His rising stock, therefore, is likely to attract bids during the new year, but Rodgers expects the club to keep hold of their man and knock back any approaches.

"I've been given no indication that we have to do anything with James in January," he stated. "He's someone I want to keep here.

"When you have good players, it's a good sign. They'll always be coveted by other teams. That's OK, I'm confident those players will be here. My focus is on improving the squad. That's what I want to do."

Maddison himself is only just returning to action with Leicester following a post-Qatar 2022 breather, after England were edged by ultimate finalists France in the last eight.

Speaking at the World Darts Championship as a guest of Sky Sports, the 26-year-old acknowledged Southgate's men felt they could go the distance, while hailing the squad the latter has put together.

"The World Cup came to a disappointing end, in the end," he added. "There was a real feel we were going to go all the way and win it, to be honest. It wasn't to be - we lost to a very good France side.

"The group's so good. I've had a few years out of the squad, so there's a few faces I didn't know. It's quite a young group, so it was easy to transition back in.

"It's such an easy group to go into and be yourself, express yourself. That's why, even though I didn't get any minutes, when we went out, I was devastated. You build up such a bond."

Emiliano Martinez's "stupid" celebrations "took away" from Argentina's World Cup success, according to France and Arsenal great Patrick Vieira.

Martinez saved Kingsley Coman's attempt and watched Aurelien Tchouameni roll wide as La Albiceleste overcame France 4-2 on penalties following an entertaining 3-3 draw in Sunday's Lusail Stadium final.

The Aston Villa goalkeeper was criticised for his gamesmanship during the shoot-out before his subsequent celebrations were thought to cross the line after appearing to repeatedly taunt Kylian Mbappe.

Martinez called for a "moment of silence" for Mbappe after his hat-trick proved in vain, while he was seen holding a bizarre puppet with the France forward's face on during homecoming celebrations.

Former Gunners captain Vieira, who won the 1998 World Cup with Les Bleus, labelled ex-Arsenal goalkeeper Martinez's action as unnecessary.

"When you talk about the abuse and the comments that [Mbappe] received after the World Cup, I think that is damaging the game and himself," the Crystal Palace manager said on Friday.

"Some of the pictures that I saw from the Argentina goalkeeper took away a little bit from what Argentina achieved at the World Cup.

"I don't think they really needed that. Sometimes, you can't control people's emotions or decisions, but that was a stupid decision from Martinez to do that. I was really disappointed. 

"I want to have a picture of the Argentina fans with the passion and the love they showed during those games. Of course, they won the World Cup, but in the stands, they were the best as well.

"I want to keep that in my mind and not think about those stupid fans who put some darkness on top of what Argentina achieved on and off the field. This is the dark side of the Argentina World Cup win."

Emiliano Martinez's "stupid" celebrations "took away" from Argentina's World Cup success, according to France and Arsenal great Patrick Vieira.

Martinez saved Kingsley Coman's attempt and watched Aurelien Tchouameni roll wide as La Albiceleste overcame France 4-2 on penalties following an entertaining 3-3 draw in Sunday's Lusail Stadium final.

The Aston Villa goalkeeper was criticised for his gamesmanship during the shoot-out before his subsequent celebrations were thought to cross the line after appearing to repeatedly taunt Kylian Mbappe.

Martinez called for a "moment of silence" for Mbappe after his hat-trick proved in vain, while he was seen holding a bizarre puppet with the France forward's face on during homecoming celebrations.

Former Gunners captain Vieira, who won the 1998 World Cup with Les Bleus, labelled ex-Arsenal goalkeeper Martinez's action as unnecessary.

"When you talk about the abuse and the comments that [Mbappe] received after the World Cup, I think that is damaging the game and himself," the Crystal Palace manager said on Friday.

"Some of the pictures that I saw from the Argentina goalkeeper took away a little bit from what Argentina achieved at the World Cup.

"I don't think they really needed that. Sometimes, you can't control people's emotions or decisions, but that was a stupid decision from Martinez to do that. I was really disappointed. 

"I want to have a picture of the Argentina fans with the passion and the love they showed during those games. Of course, they won the World Cup, but in the stands, they were the best as well.

"I want to keep that in my mind and not think about those stupid fans who put some darkness on top of what Argentina achieved on and off the field. This is the dark side of the Argentina World Cup win."

Kalvin Phillips returned from World Cup duty with England "overweight" and not ready to feature against Liverpool, according to Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.

The midfielder has endured a frustrating season hampered by injury issues after moving to the Etihad Stadium from boyhood club Leeds United in the last transfer window.

Phillips was still selected by Gareth Southgate for Qatar 2022 but played just 40 minutes across the tournament before England suffered quarter-final heartbreak against France.

The 27-year-old, who has been restricted to just one substitute appearance in the Premier League for City, missed the EFL Cup fourth-round win over Liverpool on Thursday.

While England team-mates Jack Grealish, John Stones and Phil Foden all featured in the first game after the World Cup, Guardiola suggested Phillips' fitness was far below the standards expected.

"He's not injured. He arrived overweight. I don't know [why]," Guardiola said when asked about Phillips' omission.

"He didn't arrive in the condition to do training sessions and to play."

Guardiola is not giving up on Phillips yet, though, adding: "When he will be ready, he will play, because we need him, we need him a lot."

As for Guardiola's disappointment with him, he said: "It's a private conversation with Kalvin."

Guardiola confirmed Ruben Dias joined Phillips on the sidelines after sustaining a hamstring injury in Portugal's World Cup quarter-final defeat to Morocco.

City visit Phillips' former side Leeds on Wednesday as Guardiola's men aim to cut Arsenal's five-point lead at the top of the table.

Angel Di Maria has commemorated Argentina's World Cup triumph by unveiling a giant tattoo of the trophy on his leg.

The winger played a starring role as La Albiceleste claimed their third world crown on Sunday, beating France on penalties in an epic final.

Di Maria was fouled for the penalty from which Lionel Messi opened the scoring, before doubling Argentina's lead himself following a stunning counter-attack.

The Juventus man was substituted with his side in control, although they ultimately required a shoot-out to defeat France 4-2 after a 3-3 draw.

Argentina's celebrations still have not ceased, and Di Maria now has a permanent reminder of the biggest win of his career.

The 34-year-old shared with his 22.9 million Instagram followers footage from his visit to tattoo artist Ezequiel Viapiano, who produced a huge sketch of the World Cup on his right thigh.

It is not the first time Di Maria has celebrated success by adding to his vast display of personalised ink.

Indeed, a tattoo of the Copa America trophy occupies his left thigh after Argentina's 1-0 victory over Brazil in last year's final, in which his goal ended his nation's 28-year wait for major silverware.

Richarlison will spend three to four weeks on the sidelines as a result of the hamstring injury he sustained at the World Cup, Tottenham boss Antonio Conte has confirmed.

The Brazil forward scored three goals during an impressive campaign in Qatar, including a brilliant acrobatic volley in the Selecao's 2-0 group-stage win over Serbia.

However, Richarlison's World Cup ended in disappointing fashion as he was forced off early in Brazil's quarter-final defeat by Croatia on penalties.

The former Everton man underwent an MRI scan earlier this week, with Conte subsequently confirming he will sit out the festive period.

"I spoke with the medical department, they told me we need three to four weeks," the Tottenham boss said. "His injury was a serious injury.

"I followed all my players at the World Cup with my fingers crossed, because you know very well you can lose important players. It happened with Richarlison, who had a problem, [Rodrigo] Bentancur and Ben Davies."

Absent from their Boxing Day trip to Brentford, Richarlison is now a doubt for Spurs' Premier League fixtures against Arsenal and Manchester City.

Conte's side face their north London rivals on January 15, before taking on the reigning champions four days later.

Antonio Conte revealed Hugo Lloris will start Tottenham's Boxing Day fixture at Brentford on the bench after losing the World Cup final, while the Spurs coach backed Harry Kane to respond to his spot-kick woe.

Despite enjoying a strong campaign in Qatar, Lloris was unable to help Les Bleus to a successful defence of the trophy as they lost a dramatic final against Argentina after a penalty shoot-out.

The goalkeeper was one of three Tottenham players whose countries went the distance at the tournament, along with Argentina's Cristian Romero and Croatia's bronze medallist Ivan Perisic. 

While Perisic will be available to make an immediate return to Premier League action on Monday, Conte is aware of the need to hand the others a period of rest.

"About the players that played the final and third-fourth-place game, Perisic, Hugo and Cuti [Romero]... only Ivan, who came back today and had a training session with us, is available for the game against Brentford," Conte said on Friday.

"About Lloris, we want him to stay with us, and we also want him to stay on the bench against Brentford.

"As you know, it is important after the World Cup to give a bit of rest to these players. About Cuti, he will be available for the next game against Aston Villa [on January 1], I hope."

Lloris was not the only Tottenham player to see his World Cup campaign end with penalty heartache, with England striker Kane firing a spot-kick over the crossbar as the Three Lions were beaten by France in the last eight. Lloris was again the man in goal for France.

However, Conte has no concerns over how Kane will react to that disappointment, backing the striker to move on swiftly,

"We're talking about a world-class striker, and you know football is like this," Conte said. "When I was a player, I never missed a penalty because I didn't kick. Never! I was a real disaster at it. 

"But with a penalty I lost a World Cup final against Brazil [in 1994], and I think you live these moments, and you are really disappointed.

"For sure, for the first period you are sad, but then you know that you have to move on. Football gives you the opportunity to have other chances to enjoy.

"Football gives us the possibility to play the sport we have a lot of passion for. Honestly, I am not worried about him. I saw him very well in these two days with us."

Unai Emery will address Emiliano Martinez's controversial celebrations following Argentina's World Cup victory when the goalkeeper returns to Aston Villa.

Martinez was the penalty shoot-out hero for La Albiceleste at Qatar 2022, helping them to victory over France in the final.

But it has been suggested the keeper's subsequent celebrations have crossed the line. Martinez, whose gamesmanship in the shoot-out had already drawn criticism, has appeared to repeatedly taunt beaten France hat-trick hero Kylian Mbappe.

Martinez called for a "moment of silence" for Mbappe in the dressing room after Argentina's win and was seen holding a bizarre puppet with the France forward's face on during homecoming celebrations.

French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet revealed this week he had written to his Argentina counterparts to complain about abuse aimed at Mbappe.

Asked about the subject ahead of Villa's return to Premier League action against Liverpool on Boxing Day, Emery stopped short of criticising his player but acknowledged there would be discussions about his conduct.

"When you have big emotions, sometimes it's difficult to control [them]," he stated. "I will speak with him next week about some celebrations.

"But for now, I respect that he is with his national team. When he is going to be with us and under our responsibility, we can speak about it then."

Martinez is to miss the match against Liverpool as he remains in Argentina.

Former France international and World Cup winner Blaise Matuidi has announced his retirement at the age of 35.

The midfielder, who has not played this year after he was omitted from Inter Miami's 2022 roster, has officially called time on his career.

An 84-cap veteran for Les Bleus, Matuidi was a member of Didier Deschamps' Russia 2018-winning squad, starting four of their matches including the 4-2 final success against Croatia.

In a statement to social media, the former Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus man spoke of realising his ambitions, and thanked fans for their support over the years.

"Football, I loved you so much," he wrote. "Football, you gave me so much, but the time has come to say stop.

"I accomplished my dreams as a child, my dreams as a man. It is with a tight throat but with pride that I turn this page today."

Matuidi, who made his senior debut with Troyes in 2004, spent over the first decade of his career in his home country, moving to Saint-Etienne, and then PSG in 2011.

There, he was one of several players who formed the bedrock of their emergence as the dominant force in French domestic football.

A switch to Juventus in 2017 brought three Serie A titles with the Bianconeri, before he joined Miami in 2020.

With seven domestic top-flight titles across his career, Matuidi was also a member of the France squad that came second at Euro 2016, and was made a Knight of the Legion of Honour for his international success.

Graham Potter was delighted to see Hakim Ziyech show his quality at the World Cup, but the Chelsea head coach says there will always be talented players out of favour at Stamford Bridge.

Ziyech was one of the stars of the tournament as Morocco became the first African nation to reach the World Cup semi-finals in Qatar, playing a prominent role in several devastating counter-attacking displays from the Atlas Lions.

However, the tricky winger has enjoyed limited time on the field in the Premier League this season, featuring for a total of just 148 minutes and only starting one game. 

Ziyech's strong performances in Qatar have led to suggestions he could leave Chelsea in search of regular game time, but Potter remains hopeful he will excel at Stamford Bridge.

"Where he was at when we first came in, he was away from the first XI, but he has been involved in the games," Potter said on Friday. 

"We know his qualities, we like him as a player. He plays between the lines and has fantastic quality, and we saw that at the World Cup.

"At Chelsea, there are always good players that aren't in the starting XI, and they have to be patient. 

"I'm delighted for him that he helped his team; I kept in touch with him throughout the World Cup."

Ziyech's Morocco lost out to Mateo Kovacic's Croatia in the third-place play-off, and both players will sit out Chelsea's Premier League meeting with Bournemouth on Tuesday. 

"It's a real mix in terms of when they got knocked out and how much they played. They've dripped back in according to their own circumstances," Potter said of his returning World Cup stars.

"They've come back in a really good way. We're still waiting on Hakim and Mateo. Obviously, they went the distance with the third-place play-off.

"It's a big demand for those two, so it was important to give them a bit of time. They won't be available for the game. Everyone else has been back and had a few days of training."

Rafael Nadal has revealed he had tears in his eyes as Lionel Messi led Argentina to World Cup final glory.

Even for Real Madrid fan Nadal, there was a joy in seeing former Barcelona talisman Messi achieve his greatest feat at an age when some doubted he would ever lift the trophy.

Now 35, Messi was the driving force behind Argentina's success in Qatar. He scored two goals as Sunday's final against France ended in a pulsating 3-3 draw, plus a penalty in the shoot-out that followed, clinching the Golden Ball as the tournament's outstanding player.

For Nadal, who won his 22nd grand slam two days after turning 36 in June, seeing another person achieving late-career success is something to which he can relate.

"Messi lifting the World Cup made me happy. That someone so great culminates with a title that was missing, of this calibre, with all that it means for Argentina, it seemed fair to me," Nadal said.

"I enjoyed it and I was moved. Without siding with Argentina, when Messi scored the third goal tears came to my eyes.

"It was because of the emotion of seeing someone so great achieve what was missing, having suffered so much to achieve it."

Nadal would also have taken a close interest in Kylian Mbappe hitting a hat-trick for France in the Lusail Stadium final, given the Paris Saint-Germain striker is a long-time Madrid target.

Mbappe snubbed Madrid to sign a new PSG contract in May, but it would be no surprise if eventually he ends up at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The matter of Mbappe came up in an interview with AS, who made Nadal their athlete of the year.

Nadal was asked if he would forgive Mbappe if he signed for Madrid.

"I don't have to forgive Mbappe for anything and as a Madrid fan, if he could, come tomorrow," Nadal said.

"In the end, things happen in sports and I suppose that such a young boy was overwhelmed by such tremendous pressure from all angles that in the end... I think he wanted to come to Madrid, but due to many factors, everything was very complicated for him. Hopefully we can see him in Madrid in the future."

Nadal said he would be leaving for Australia on December 26 and cautioned against expecting too much immediately at the start of the new tennis season, pointing to "very difficult" singles matches at the United Cup against Cameron Norrie and Nick Kyrgios.

The Australian Open, where Nadal is the defending men's singles champion, begins on January 16 in Melbourne, with all the focus on getting into prime shape by then.

"Let's see now how the year begins. I'm aware that I'm a little tight here, but I'm confident that I can get to the level I need to be competitive in Australia," Nadal said.

"We'll see what happens. Things change very quickly in sports. But I have the illusion of having a good year again and giving myself options to compete again at the highest level. I am aware that I am the age that I am, and that things happen. I will have to manage it in the best possible way and try to do my best to give myself real options."

Manchester United defender Lisandro Martinez must be ready to make an impact on his return to club football after Argentina's World Cup win, manager Erik ten Hag warned.

Martinez featured in five of Argentina's seven games as they clinched their third World Cup title in Qatar, starting twice.

Argentina's victory – which was sealed via a penalty shoot-out after a pulsating 3-3 draw with France – sparked wild celebrations in the country, with Tuesday's parade in Buenos Aires being cut short as huge crowds held up the team's bus.

While United boss Ten Hag says Martinez must savour his career highlight, he emphasised the need for the Red Devils' squad to switch focus as the Premier League returns.

"I can understand that it's emotional, it's very loaded when you achieve this. When you get the World Cup into your country it's magnificent, it's the highest thing you can achieve," he said.

"But also Licha has to accept that on the 27th, the Premier League will go on.

"We all know that the restart is five or six days after the World Cup final, and we all know that after the World Cup, the Premier League continues quickly. 

"Everyone has to be ready for that and you have to accept it; the manager, the coaching staff, but also the players. 

"We wanted to have a strong team to battle for the trophies. We spoke about the tough competition, so we have to be ready for it and it's not easy."

Having beaten Burnley to reach the last eight of the EFL Cup on Wednesday, United return to Premier League action against Nottingham Forest next Tuesday.

Martinez and fellow defender Raphael Varane will almost certainly be absent after helping their countries to the World Cup final, but Ten Hag has backed the France man to bounce back from the disappointment of seeing Argentina triumph.

"Of course, he's disappointed about losing the final, but I think he can be proud that he was in the final again, and of everything that he achieved already in his career," Ten Hag said of Varane.

"As a team, or as a player like Rapha, when you win so many trophies and now he's second [in the World Cup], I think you can still be proud because getting to the final is already a big achievement.

"I think the level of the nations was so close as they came into the final, then it was even in the final, as you know, they were very close."

United entered the World Cup break three points adrift of a top-four place with a game in hand, and although Ten Hag recognises his side are under pressure to qualify for the Champions League, he believes their rivals are in the same situation.

"As you say, I accept it, how it is, but I think it's also for the manager of Chelsea, for Newcastle United and all those clubs invested a lot in their squads," he said. "That will be for every manager.

"It's a big pressure to get into the Champions League, that's clear. You want to be in the top four and you want to fight for trophies and that's our aim."

England's 1966 World Cup final vice-captain George Cohen has died at the age of 83, his former club Fulham have announced.

The west London outfit described Cohen as "one of our greatest ever players", while England's hat-trick hero against West Germany, Geoff Hurst, recalled "a lovely man".

English Football Association (FA) chair Debbie Hewitt said she was "very sad" to be told of Cohen's death.

Cohen spent his entire club career at Fulham, making 459 appearances, and was described by Manchester United great George Best as "the best full-back I ever played against".

Fulham said in a statement on Friday: "Everyone associated with Fulham Football Club is desperately saddened to learn of the passing of one of our greatest ever players – and gentlemen – George Cohen MBE."

Hurst, who was the only man with a World Cup final hat-trick until Kylian Mbappe's treble for France against Argentina on Sunday, also paid a fond tribute.

He wrote on Twitter: "Very sad to hear my friend and @England team-mate George Cohen has died. Everyone, without exception, always said that George was such a lovely man.

"He will be sadly missed, my heartfelt thoughts are with George's wife Daphne and his family."

Gary Lineker, who starred for England at the 1986 and 1990 World Cups, said Cohen earned "footballing immortality" by helping the team to their 1966 triumph.

On behalf of the FA, Hewitt said: "We are very sad to hear the news of George Cohen's death today.

"George won 37 caps for England and was vice-captain of our World Cup-winning team.

"We would like to pass on our deep condolences to George's family and friends at this sad time."

Argentina's World Cup celebrations were "vulgar" and evidence of them being "inelegant winners", according to French sports minister Amelie Oudea-Castera.

It was confirmed on Thursday that French Football Federation (FFF) president Noel Le Graet wrote to his Argentinian counterpart, Claudio Tapia, to complain about the "abnormal" and "shocking" taunts towards Kylian Mbappe.

Argentina beat France 4-2 on penalties following an enthralling 3-3 draw after extra time in Sunday's World Cup final, sparking elaborate celebrations over the coming days in Buenos Aires.

Millions took to the streets of Argentina's capital, with Tuesday's victory parade ultimately cut short due to the huge crowds causing the team's bus to be held up.

During the celebrations, Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez was seen holding a doll bearing Mbappe's face.

The Aston Villa player also landed himself in hot water for comments about his efforts to put off Aurelien Tchouameni – who missed his penalty – in the shoot-out, and for social media footage that showed Martinez calling for a "moment of silence" for Mbappe in the dressing room after the final.

Several France players were also subject to racist messages from members of the public on social media, and the whole ordeal left a sour taste for Oudea-Castera.

Speaking to RTL, she said: "We have to ask the Argentine Football Association [AFA] for an explanation and moreover Noel Le Graet has done, he asked his counterpart Claudio Tapia.

"I find it pitiful. As much as our French team knew how to lose with panache, so much of how this Argentinian team acted following this victory is not worthy of the match we saw.

"There was still inappropriate mockery there against Tchouameni [by Martinez], it's just vulgar and inappropriate.

"They are inelegant winners. There is inappropriate mockery, and unacceptable racist acts [on social media].

"I am glad that Le Graet has filed a complaint and is taking this step with his counterpart. Emiliano Martinez does not distinguish himself, it's quite pathetic.

"I was able to speak with Kylian Mbappe on the plane back and he has a step back from that. The best answer to bring is to return to the field and make the football speak."

Cameroon goalkeeper Andre Onana has retired from international football at the age of 26 after being suspended by team management at the World Cup.

The Inter player was ousted from the Indomitable Lions squad during the tournament in Qatar for undisclosed disciplinary reasons.

At the time, Onana denied acting against the team's interests after reports of a disagreement with coach Rigobert Song, and said his punishment was hard to understand.

Now he has elected to quit Cameroon duty completely.

Onana wrote in a Twitter post that he had fulfilled his "great dream" of playing for his country.

In the message, he spoke of "endless hours of training, endless trips and a lot of perseverance".

"But every story, however beautiful it may be, has its end," he added. "And my story with the Cameroonian national team has come to an end.

"Players come and go, names are fleeting, but Cameroon comes before any person or player. Cameroon remains eternal and so does my love for the national team and for our people who have always supported us no matter how difficult the moment was."

It was November 28 when he was suspended from the national team, and Onana has decided to focus on club matters for now. Given his young age, a future U-turn would be no great surprise.

Onana's message contained no clear dissent towards those he felt did him a disservice at Qatar 2022, and he insisted he remained loyal to his home country.

"My feeling will never change," Onana said. "My Cameroonian heart will continue to beat and wherever I go I will always fight to lift the flag of Cameroon as high as possible. I will continue to support as a fan, just as the more than 27 million Cameroonians do at every match.

"I can only thank all those who trusted me and believed that I could add and contribute to this team."

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