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Lewis Baker says pressure is off England U-21s

Lewis Baker is a critical player in England's under-21 side Credit: PA

England Under-21 midfielder Lewis Baker has vowed they have no fear as they plot Euro 2017 glory.

The Young Lions are in the semi-finals of the tournament for the first time since 2009 after winning Group A in Poland.

They have moved to Krakow from their previous base in Kielce as they prepare for Tuesday's last four game against Germany in Tychy.

And Chelsea man Baker insisted England are not frightened of any team, including favourites Spain - who they can only meet in the final.

Baker started the tournament playing further forward but has dropped deeper after John Swift was introduced in the second game - a 2-1 win over Slovakia.

The 22-year-old, who has spent the last two seasons on loan at Vitesse Arnhem, still scored a penalty in Thursday's 3-0 win over Poland which booked a semi-final spot and is happy with whatever role boss Aidy Boothroyd gives him.

I like to do a bit of both defending and attacking, trying to get from box to box, is what my game is all about. Whatever [system] the manager thinks is best we have to go with that.

I think the pressure has come off us a little bit now because we got through the group stages and into the semi-finals but I know the boys want to go as far as we can and we're all looking to achieve something big.

We've been in big games before like at the Toulon tournament last year when we won that.

As a team and a squad we're used to playing together in important matches so we'll just take it in our stride.

As you start playing more and more games the momentum starts building and the confidence builds and we've started playing like we know we can.

– Lewis Baker


Watford sign England U21 star Hughes from Derby

Will Hughes has joined Derby. Credit: PA

Watford have announced the signing of England Under-21 midfielder Will Hughes.

The 22-year-old, currently in Poland with the Young Lions, will leave Derby for an undisclosed fee and has signed a five-year deal at Vicarage Road.

The move to Marco Silva's side completes a journey that has been long in the making for Hughes.

He has been spoken of as a Premier League prospect ever since making his Derby breakthrough in 2011 as a 16-year-old.

One-hundred-and-eight-seven appearances for the Rams later, Watford have decided now is the time to give Hughes his chance.

Watford say Hughes will complete the move when he returns from Poland, with England Under-21s waiting to find out their semi-final opponents at Euro 2017.


Southampton appoint former Liverpool defender as boss

Pellegrino has been appointed Southampton boss. Credit: PA

Mauricio Pellegrino has been appointed as the new Southampton manager on a three-year deal.

Despite guiding Saints to eighth in the Premier League and the EFL Cup final in his first season, frustrations behind the scenes and in the stands led to Claude Puel's sacking last week.

Southampton have acted quickly to name his successor, with former Alaves boss Pellegrino penning a contract at St Mary's.

Pellegrino said of his new role: “I am really happy to become the new coach of Southampton Football Club. The club has a great reputation for having a strong and stable structure, competing in the Premier League and playing attractive football.

“I think my philosophy and the culture of the club will work well together. We have to be a team on and off the pitch; I want to make the supporters proud of the players and to feel part of the game every week. I want to win matches, be successful and develop a team spirit where everyone gives 100 per cent and supports each other.

“I am excited and passionate about what the future holds for us and look forward to meeting the players and beginning our preparation for the new season.”

Man United youngster Harrop agrees to join Preston

Harrop scored on his Man Utd debut. Credit: PA

Josh Harrop has agreed to join Preston from Manchester United, just 33 days after netting on a dream Old Trafford debut.

The 21-year-old marked his first United appearance with a superb first-half effort in the Premier League finale against Crystal Palace, earning the man-of-the-match award for his display in a 2-0 win.

However, Harrop's first game for United has proved his last after turning down a contract extension in pursuit of regular first-team football.

Preston announced the attacking midfielder will leave United at the end of his contract and become their player, agreeing a four-year deal from July 3 with the Sky Bet Championship club.

Fabinho would be tempted by Man United move

Fabinho would be interested in a move to Old Trafford. Credit: PA

Monaco midfielder Fabinho would be tempted by a move to Manchester United.

The 23-year-old has been linked with a move away from the principality, having helped Leonardo Jardim's men to impressively win Ligue 1 and reach the Champions League semi-finals.

Fabinho, who can also slot in at right-back, has - like many of his team-mates - been attracting admiring glances from some of European football's biggest clubs.

United are among those linked with the Brazil international, who told Esporte Interativo in his homeland that he would be open to an approach.

"If Mourinho invites me (to join United) it would be very tempting, but, first of all, I would have to talk with my agent and with Monaco to make the things right," Fabinho said.

"But Manchester United is a great team and I would think about it, for sure."

Tottenham's Eric Dier and Nemanja Matic at Chelsea are other midfield options said to be under consideration as United look to strengthen this summer. Reports that the latter has already verbally agreed personal terms have been dismissed by the club.

Community Shield proceeds to be donated to Grenfell Tower victims

The Football Association says it is hoped that the match will raise around £1.25million. Credit: PA

Proceeds from this summer's Community Shield match at Wembley will be donated to those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.

The Football Association says it is hoped that the match will raise around £1.25million for the victims of the tragedy and their families. The number of people to have died as a result of the fire, including those classed as missing presumed dead, remains at 79.

The FA will also invite the families of the victims, survivors and emergency service personnel to the game between Arsenal and Chelsea on Sunday, August 6.

FA chairman Greg Clarke said: "Like the rest of the country, we were all deeply saddened by the terrible incident at Grenfell Tower. The suffering and loss for those involved is unimaginable.

"Whilst only a football match, we hope that in some small way through the Community Shield we can help. Two great London clubs will come together to play at the city's most famous stadium just a few miles from Kensington. They will be united in their passion for football, grief at this tragic loss and support for their community.

"Football is for all, and we hope that on August 6 it can in its own way give something back to those who are most in need."

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