Carroll out of England squad
Striker Andy Carroll has pulled out of England’s friendly internationals through injury, the Football Association said on its Web site on Tuesday. The 24-year-old has been struggling with a heel injury after he was named in Roy Hodgson’s squad to face the Republic of Ireland at Wembley on Wednesday next week and for the prestigious game in Brazil on June 2 at the newly-refurbished Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. The Liverpool striker spent last season on loan at Premier League rivals West Ham United and British media reports on Tuesday said the clubs had agreed a deal for him to join the London club permanently for ￡15 million (US$22.7 million). Carroll joins Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard and Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere in missing the two matches, which are warmups for September’s World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine. The FA said nobody would be called up as a replacement.
Stoke, Pulis part company
Manager Tony Pulis has left Stoke City after seven years in charge, the Premier League club announced on Tuesday. His departure, by mutual consent, was widely anticipated following his talks earlier in the day with Potters chairman Peter Coates. “Stoke City and Tony Pulis confirm that they have mutually agreed that Tony will leave the club with immediate effect,” the club confirmed in a statement. The 55-year-old was appointed Stoke boss for a second spell in 2006 and under his watch the club gained promotion to the Premier League in 2008 after a 23-year absence. He leaves 48 hours after the end of the season, with Stoke finishing in 13th place.
Beckham’s son trains at QPR
David Beckham’s eldest son, Brooklyn, has trained at the junior academy of London club Queens Park Rangers and bookmakers are already offering short odds that the 14-year-old will emulate his father by playing for England. QPR said on Twitter that he was training with them, but had not officially joined their academy. Beckham senior, who began his career by joining Manchester United’s academy also at the age of 14, retired from the game last week after helping Paris Saint-Germain to the Ligue 1 title, but now has a home in London. Bookmakers are offering odds of 12-1 that Brooklyn will play for England, but only 9-2 to play in the Premier League. QPR were relegated from the Premier league this season. In other celebrity English soccer news on Tuesday, Manchester United announced that their unsettled striker Wayne Rooney had become a father for the second time, with boy Klay joining his brother Kai.
Irons sign Rat on a free
West Ham United have signed Romania captain Razvan Rat on a free transfer, the Premier League club said on Tuesday. The fullback joins on an extendable one-year deal after his contract at Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk came to an end. The 31-year-old has 88 caps for Romania. “I’m hugely happy that we’ve got a player of his experience and his character,” West Ham manager Sam Allardyce said on the club’s Web site. “He’s been playing Champions League football this year and at the highest level for many years. Shakhtar had offered him a very good contract, but his ambition was to come and try his abilities and skills in England. When you hear somebody speak so positively about that, then you know they’ve got the mental character that’s needed to do well in this division.”