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Dillian Whyte claims chance Marbella meeting between rivals Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua was STAGED

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dillian whyte claims chance marbella meeting between rivals tyson fury and anthony joshua was staged

Dillian Whyte has claimed Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua‘s chance meeting in Marbella was staged and branded the pair ‘jokers’.   

WBA, WBO and IBF title holder Joshua revealed he had bumped into WBC champion Fury while holidaying in the Spanish resort in July and the pair were pictured having a chat by the side of the road.

The two heavyweights are set for a showdown fight in the summer of 2021 but Whyte could disrupt those plans because he is set to receive a WBC mandatory title shot early next year.

Dillian Whyte has claimed the meeting between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua was staged

Dillian Whyte has claimed the meeting between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua was staged

Anthony Joshua (right) and Tyson Fury (left) bumped into each other while holiday in Marbella

Anthony Joshua (right) and Tyson Fury (left) bumped into each other while holiday in Marbella

And the 32-year-old mocked the casual encounter between the two rivals, claiming he would have given them a more hostile reception.

‘That looked so staged,’ he told Sky Sports.

‘Those two just met at the right time and the right place, and they were just having a casual chat?

Whyte is set to receive a mandatory WBC title fight with Fury in the early part of next year

Whyte is set to receive a mandatory WBC title fight with Fury in the early part of next year

‘The way they speak on social media – they want to do this to each other. It looks like it was just staged.

‘I was just laughing. I was thinking to myself, ‘look at these two jokers’. If I see someone and they’re talking smack about me and saying they are going to do this and do that, then when I see you, have the same energy.

‘I’m not going to be standing outside your car window, standing on the sidewalk speaking to you. Come on man.’ 

Whyte will defend his WBC interim title against Alexander Povetkin on August 22.

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Liverpool make emphatic statement of intent to retain Premier League title after £65m spend

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liverpool make emphatic statement of intent to retain premier league title after 65m spend

Liverpool have made an emphatic statement of their intent to retain the Premier League title by spending £65million to land Thiago Alcantara and Diogo Jota.

Thiago was unveiled on Friday as he completed his £25m switch from Bayern Munich, passing a medical after arriving on an early private flight into Manchester.

Jurgen Klopp is thrilled to have signed one of the world’s best midfielders and could hand him a debut at Chelsea on Sunday.

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 Liverpool have made an emphatic statement of intent in their signing of ‘exceptional’ Thiago

The Reds' succesful day in the tranfer market was added to with news of Diogo Jota

The Reds’ succesful day in the tranfer market was added to with news of Diogo Jota 

There was an unexpected twist, however, as Liverpool also concluded a £41m deal for Jota, the Portugal forward, who had grown frustrated at Wolves.

The 23-year-old has been recruited to provide back-up for Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane.

Jota has signed a five-year contract after Liverpool switched their attentions to him, having initially spoken to Watford about signing Ismaila Sarr. Relegated Watford, however, were looking for a fee in excess of £50m for the Senegal forward.

Liverpool will potentially recoup £13m after agreeing to sell Ki-Jana Hoever to Wolves, who beat off interest from Juventus and Atletico Madrid for the 18-year-old Dutch defender. Liverpool have also negotiated a 15 per cent future sell-on clause.

But it is the double signings that show Liverpool mean business and Klopp is in no doubt that Thiago, in particular, will make a significant difference.

Officials at Bayern are distraught to have lost the 29-year-old Spain midfielder and the Liverpool manager could understand why.

‘Thiago is — and nobody would see it in a different way — an absolutely exceptional player,’ said Klopp.

Jurgen Klopp has been chasing the Champions League winner and hailed him as 'exceptional'

Jurgen Klopp has been chasing the Champions League winner and hailed him as ‘exceptional’

‘It is difficult, and we said it last year and this year again, to improve a team like ours at the moment in a normal way.

‘That is (no criticism) about other teams but if we could spend £300-£400m then maybe we could find some players but even then it is not easy to bring them in.

‘But in this case he is a player who brings a different dimension to our game.

‘He has some skills which in general are pretty rare but they suit us. That doesn’t mean anything about the other players — it is only different. And that is what I was interested in.

‘He was excited about the opportunity. So there was not a lot of convincing needed and that helps. All the things came together — a win-win.’

There will be departures before the window closes, with Liverpool open to offers for Xherdan Shaqiri, Marko Grujic, Harry Wilson and Rhian Brewster, but Klopp was eager to stress that he will not be looking to offload first-choice names, such as Barcelona target Gini Wijnaldum.

The Liverpool manager also confirmed they would not be looking to sell Georginio Wijnaldum

The Liverpool manager also confirmed they would not be looking to sell Georginio Wijnaldum

There was, though, a warning from Klopp to his squad. He will have eight players for three midfield places, while Jota and Takumi Minamino will be waiting for chances up front.

It means some players may be restless but Klopp has made it clear that he will not be obsessing about keeping individuals happy.

‘I cannot keep a player happy,’ said Klopp. ‘I’m not worried about that. If we have more than three midfield players for example and we play 4-3-3 then a couple of players will not start. That is how it is.

‘But we have too many games. We have to find ways to make sure the players are fresh. It needs that rotation. We didn’t plan it, now I don’t say we play on Sunday like this, on Thursday like this, Monday after like this. We have to react. If everyone is fit then rotation is absolutely necessary otherwise it doesn’t work.’

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Inside Gareth Bale’s family turmoil from arson to drugs feud and porn ahead of star’s sensational return to Tottenham

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inside gareth bales family turmoil from arson to drugs feud and porn ahead of stars sensational return to tottenham scaled

FEW superstars match footie ace Gareth Bale. The Welsh captain’s left leg is insured for £100million, he earns £650,000 a week and has won four Champions League medals.

After seven years in Spain with Real Madrid, his scintillating pace, match-winning free-kicks and thumping headers are going to thrill British fans once more.

Gareth Bale and his wife, Emma Rhys-Jones, at the London premiere of Bond film Spectre in 2015

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Gareth Bale and his wife, Emma Rhys-Jones, at the London premiere of Bond film Spectre in 2015Credit: Rex Features

But when he landed in London today to sign a loan deal with his old side Tottenham Hotspur, the 31-year-old dad of three young children had to haul a huge amount of personal baggage off the carousel.

For the past few years the quiet family life he craves has been thrown into turmoil by troublesome relatives.

His in-laws have found themselves caught up in everything from a drugs feud, to arson, to soft-porn and international fraud.

It’s not something the multi-millionaire can easily ignore.

The pair with their girls, Alba, seven, and Nava, four

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The pair with their girls, Alba, seven, and Nava, four

Gareth had to employ round-the-clock security due to the very real threat posed by the violent enemies of his extended family.

And when he married his childhood sweetheart Emma Rhys-Jones, 29, just over a year ago, some of the bride’s closest relatives were uninvited.

They included her jailbird dad Martin Rhys-Jones and her elderly grandparents, John and Eva McMurray, who looked after Emma when her father was banged up.

Now, though, The Sun can reveal that painful rift is over.

Emma's jailbird dad Martin Rhys-Jones has dangerous enemies

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Emma’s jailbird dad Martin Rhys-Jones has dangerous enemiesCredit: Wales News Service

Bale isn’t just returning to these shores to be reunited with Spurs, he will be healing the wounds with Emma’s family.

Tonight her grandfather John, whose car was firebombed four years ago, said hostilities were a thing of the past.

He told The Sun: “I think the world of Gareth.

“I love him and Emma, and my three beautiful great grandchildren.

Emma’s cousin Epiphany Dring - pictured - was believed to have got on the wrong side of a Middle Eastern drug cartel

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Emma’s cousin Epiphany Dring – pictured – was believed to have got on the wrong side of a Middle Eastern drug cartel

“Yes, there were some difficulties for us as a family, but that’s all in the past now. We’ve talked things through and we’re all good now.”

It is Gareth’s devotion to his childhood sweetheart, who he met at Whitchurch secondary school, that has led him to make up with her relatives.

John, 83, and Eva, 88 — Emma’s grandparents on her mother’s side — got caught up in a mysterious drugs war in 2016 when a suitcase containing more than £750,000 worth of cocaine and cash went missing from their home.

In apparent revenge, their car was set ablaze, as were two motors belonging to Emma’s aunt, Annabella Williams, 58.

Emma’s grandparents got caught up in a mysterious drugs war and their car was firebombed in 2016

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Emma’s grandparents got caught up in a mysterious drugs war and their car was firebombed in 2016Credit: Collect

Annabella’s son Peter Williams, 26, then poured petrol through the letterbox of Emma’s aunt, Jane Burns, whose topless model daughter Epiphany Dring faced claims that she had taken the suitcase. Williams got a four-month suspended jail sentence. 

Police believed 31-year-old Epiphany had got on the wrong side of a Middle Eastern drug cartel.

Epiphany, who has starred on several soft-porn websites, left Wales for a while, but has now returned.

Also, in trouble with the law was Emma’s uncle Graham McMurray, 53, who was spared jail for theft in 2017 after £65,000 was found hidden up the chimney of his home.

Bale gives baby daughter Nava a cuddle at the Champions League final in 2016

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Bale gives baby daughter Nava a cuddle at the Champions League final in 2016Credit: EPA

There were genuine fears that Gareth and his children — daughters Alba, seven, and Nava, four, and two-year-old son Axel — could be targeted by the shadowy gangs involved.

Now that threat has subsided.

John, who had been upset about not attending Emma’s glitzy wedding in Spain, invited The Sun into his Cardiff home and motioned us to­wards his most prized wall-hanging – a framed white No11 Real Madrid shirt worn and signed for him by Gareth.

He said: “I’ve no doubt he’ll be a huge success at Spurs and me and Eva can’t wait to see him and Emma as soon as the Covid rules permit it.

 Gareth Bale arrives at Tottenham training ground this morning

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 Gareth Bale arrives at Tottenham training ground this morningCredit: Louis Wood – The Sun

“They’ve still got their house down the road in the Vale of Glamorgan, so I’m sure they’ll come back to Wales regularly.”

Also absent from Gareth and Emma’s wedding was her dad Martin Rhys-Jones.

She had put off getting hitched until Martin had finished prison for his part in a £2.2million fraud. Having served four years of his six-year sentence, her dad was all set to attend the couple’s big day. 

But Emma was said to have fallen out with Martin, 56, because he wanted to bring along his girlfriend, Russian florist Alina Baranova, 31.

Tottenham Hotspur's Bale scores against Liverpool in 2012

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Tottenham Hotspur’s Bale scores against Liverpool in 2012Credit: AP:Associated Press

The couple were also upset when he tweeted an image of newborn Axel, which they wanted to keep private. So instead of her father by her side, it was her brother Robert by her side last June.

The ceremony was an intimate affair at a 17th century fortress in Majorca, La Fortaleza, which was used during filming of BBC spy drama The Night Manager.

None of Gareth’s Madrid teammates were invited.

Brought up by school caretaker dad Frank, 64, and operations manager mum Debbie, 63, in the Cardiff suburb of Whitchurch, Gareth enjoys riches beyond the imagination.

The footie ace has a collection of supercars including a £165k Mercedes SLS AMG

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The footie ace has a collection of supercars including a £165k Mercedes SLS AMG

He is leaving behind a £6.5million modernist pad with a pool in Madrid and is now on the hunt for a luxury home to rent in London.

Moving back to Britain means he can spend more time at his £4million Welsh country pile, which has a three-hole golf course.

The golf-mad sportsman spent a fortune replicating world-famous tricky holes — Royal Troon’s Postage Stamp in Scotland, the 12th at Augusta and the 17th at Sawgrass, both in the US.

Gareth also invested in his own trendy sports bar in Cardiff called Elevens, named after his shirt number. And his supercars have included a £230k Ferrari GTC4Lusso, £165k Mercedes SLS AMG and £156k Lamborghini Huracán.

Gareth Bale is now hunting for a luxury home to rent in London

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Gareth Bale is now hunting for a luxury home to rent in London

Spending seven years as one of Real’s Galacticos means his image is known across the globe.

His distinctive man-bun haircut and loveheart goal celebration are part of the Bale brand.

That high profile persuades global companies such as Adidas, EA Sports and Lucozade to pay for his endorsements, earning him another £10million annually.

But Gareth is not the type of footballer to be hanging around in nightclubs with celebrities and doesn’t use social media to talk about himself.

Aerial view of the 17th hole at Sawgrass, which is recreated in Bale's back garden at his Welsh country pile

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Aerial view of the 17th hole at Sawgrass, which is recreated in Bale’s back garden at his Welsh country pileCredit: 2014 Chris Condon/PGA TOUR

Teetotal, he is much more likely to spend his free evenings enjoying a meal in a local restaurant with his wife.

What he would like more than anything is to be able to focus on football, Emma and their three children.

There have been reports he struggled to gel on a personal level with other players at Spanish giant Real Madrid. What is in little doubt is that Gareth did not get on well with Real’s manager Zinedine Zidane, who preferred to keep the Wales winger on the bench.

Despite scoring two amazing goals in the 2018 Champions League final to help Zidane’s side beat Liverpool, and 100 goals in total for Real, the player was being frozen out.

Bale by numbers

£10m a year from sponsors

£4m country home in Wales

£650K a week from Real Madrid

17th hole at Sawgrass recreated in his back garden

£750K in drugs and cash went missing from home of wife’s
grandparents

Last year Zidane wanted to sell the star man to a Chinese side, where he would have earned £1million a week, but Real called off the transfer at the last minute.

It was the forward’s shortage of recent game time that resulted in his move to Spurs.

At the North London side, he will be managed by long-time admirer Jose Mourinho, who had tried to sign him in the past.

Tonight Spurs fans cheered as the striker drove through the gates of their training ground.

This is Gareth’s big chance to lay some ghosts to rest.

Not only can he prove that Real were wrong to let him go, he can also help reset strained relations with his wife’s family.

Gareth Bale arrives at Tottenham training centre for transfer talks

GOT a story? RING The Sun on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAIL exclusive@the-sun.co.uk

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Ian Bell sets out his aim to become part of England’s coaching staff

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ian bell sets out his aim to become part of englands coaching staff

Ian Bell is back in the familiar surroundings of the Edgbaston dressing room in his final week as a professional cricketer.

As he sits and speaks to Sportsmail, his Warwickshire team-mates are setting off for a T20 Blast game in Bristol without him, while he has just finished physio on an injured groin.

If Bell had wondered whether he had done the right thing in announcing his retirement a fortnight ago, days like this dismiss those doubts.

Ian Bell's is set to retire after 22 years playing cricket for both Warwickshire and England

Ian Bell’s is set to retire after 22 years playing cricket for both Warwickshire and England

Bell signed off from the four-day game with his best scores since 2018 last week

Bell signed off from the four-day game with his best scores since 2018 last week

‘Physically, I don’t think I would have got through next season,’ admits the 38-year-old, who only signed a new one-year deal in July. ‘Just to sit on a contract for another season would have been the wrong thing for the club. I wanted to finish on my terms, not just drift out of the game.’

Bell certainly finished on his terms in his final four-day match last week, hitting his best scores since 2018 in a Bob Willis Trophy match in Cardiff; 50 in the first innings and 90 in the second, when Glamorgan gave him a guard of honour to the crease.

Now he hopes he will be fit enough for one final fling at Edgbaston on Sunday, when the Birmingham Bears host Northants in their last T20 Blast fixture of this shortened season.

‘It would be nice to walk off at Edgbaston for one more time,’ says Bell. ‘It has been a good journey there’.

Bell was also given a guard of honour by Glamorgan in the Bob Willis Trophy fixture

Bell was also given a guard of honour by Glamorgan in the Bob Willis Trophy fixture

Bell is the last England or Australia player from the 2005 Ashes series to hang up his spikes

Bell is the last England or Australia player from the 2005 Ashes series to hang up his spikes

It sure has. Bell made his Warwickshire debut as a 17-year-old in 1999 and has been at the county ever since.

But it is his England exploits that have meant his retirement has been met by a feeling of nostalgia, as he is the last England or Australia player from the iconic 2005 Ashes series to hang up his spikes.

‘It is an end of an era,’ admits Bell, who then reflects on that crazy cricketing summer when he was thrust into the spotlight at the age of 23, scoring only 171 runs in a series which England won to claim the Ashes for the first time in 18 years.

‘I’m proud to have been a part of some special cricket that the country will always remember,’ he says. ‘But looking back, I wasn’t quite ready mentally for that challenge at the time.

‘It made me realise that if I wanted to play 100 Tests, I was going to have to improve. That was the biggest education I ever had on a cricket field.’

It is a common misnomer that Bell was sledged out of that series by Shane Warne. In fact, the legendary leggie only branded Bell ‘the Shermanator’ – a reference to the geeky character in American Pie – during the Adelaide Test of Australia’s 2006-07 Ashes whitewash.

Ian Bell was part of five winning Ashes squads and was named man of the series in 2013

Ian Bell was part of five winning Ashes squads and was named man of the series in 2013

‘In 2005 I was probably in and out before he could say anything,’ laughs Bell. ‘In 06-07, I started to play better and maybe that’s what it came from.

‘I don’t think it was as big as many people made out but it gathered momentum and was a great thing for the media.

‘I wouldn’t say it affected me. I never tried to take myself too seriously and if you can’t laugh at yourself sometimes, I don’t think international cricket is the place to be.’

It turned out to be the place to be for Bell. He played 118 Test matches for England and hit 22 Test centuries, a tally only surpassed by Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen.

The Coventry-born batsman is also one of only three Englishman – after Wilfred Rhodes and Sir Ian Botham – to be part of five Ashes-winning squads and was man of the series in 2013.

Bell claims 'the Shermanator' tag he was given by Shane Warne (right) did not affect him

Bell claims ‘the Shermanator’ tag he was given by Shane Warne (right) did not affect him

Such statistics stick Bell right up there on the list of all-time England greats. Yet there are still some who think he underachieved.

‘I remember going away with England Under-19s at 16 and Dayle Hadlee (Richard’s brother), who was New Zealand U19s coach at the time, said I was the best 16-year-old he had ever seen,’ he recalls.

‘That puts a slightly different perspective on things and to play 100 Test matches was probably then expected by a lot of people. Some people probably think I should have averaged 50 and maybe there are people who thought that I didn’t live up to what they expected.

‘It’s a strange feeling because all I know is that I gave absolutely everything that I could do to that England cap.’

Another blessing and a curse for Bell was his beautiful batting style. ‘With England players that have looked nice on the eye, like David Gower, there is always that time where people go, ‘They are not trying as hard, that was a lazy way to get out’,’ he says.

Another blessing and a curse for Bell was his beautiful batting style and iconic cover drive

Another blessing and a curse for Bell was his beautiful batting style and iconic cover drive

Only Sir Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen have hit more Test centuries for England than Bell

Only Sir Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen have hit more Test centuries for England than Bell

‘At times in my career, it definitely did frustrate me that people thought that was the case because I was always scrapping away. But now the complement I take more than anything is that a lot of people have said they absolutely loved watching me play.’

England fans have not seen Bell’s classic cover drive since 2015, when he was dropped after a series against Pakistan in the UAE and then never recalled.

If he could change one thing about his career, he says it would be to take up the offer from Andrew Strauss, then England’s director of cricket, to sit out that tour because he was ‘mentally burn out’.

‘If I was to have that again, I’d have taken the six months off,’ says Bell. ‘That’s not to guarantee I would have got back in the side, I might have played the next summer and not scored any runs and been left out anyway. But what I understand now was what being mentally burnt out means.

‘I still averaged in the 30s in the UAE and I was third leading run scorer, so it wasn’t a train smash. But obviously there was a change and maybe they felt, ‘Belly is struggling, we need to freshen this up’.’

Bell also says he struggled to adapt to life after England – and it was not helped with how it was handled.

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‘I never felt the door was shut but as time went by, it felt weird,’ he reveals. ‘Straussy drove and saw me and Trevor Bayliss did as well. I had some good conversations with Cooky at the time.

‘I remember the chairman of the selectors Jimmy Whitaker – that wasn’t an amazing conversation. I like Jimmy a lot but I didn’t really get a full answer of where I was.

‘I was still centrally contracted but the dialogue wasn’t as much as maybe I thought it could have been and, for a little bit of time, I was a bit p***** off. Then going into the following summer the communication had died down a lot and I felt they had probably moved on.

‘The hardest thing I ever felt was not being an England cricketer anymore. You are living the dream, the highs you get from winning and scoring runs are incredible, and when you don’t have that any more it’s a very strange feeling.

‘I actually struggled with it for 12 months because it is the best time of your life and all of a sudden you are not doing it anymore. It was a strange feeling. It felt like as soon as you were done, you were done.

But he regrets not sitting out the Pakistan tour in 2015 because he was mentally burnt out

But he regrets not sitting out the Pakistan tour in 2015 because he was mentally burnt out

‘That would be the first thing in my mind – as soon as someone comes out of that environment, I’d definitely be texting a player to see if they need anything.’

If that last comment sounds like it is coming from a coach, that is because that is Bell’s future. He had a taste of it as a batting coach for the England Under-19s last winter, where he was encouraged by an enthusiasm for the longest form of the game.

‘I expected all of these youngsters to be talking about T20 cricket but I walked away this winter thinking, ‘Wow, this next generation of players still see Test cricket as the pinnacle’. That was really pleasing for me,’ he says.

Despite being a self-confessed ‘purist’ himself, Bell hopes to learn his coaching trade by working with some of the game’s top names in T20 franchise leagues around the world and says he has options for this winter.

But Bell is also keen to shadow coaches outside of cricket. ‘I am very open to learning from different sports,’ he says. ‘I would love to go into England with Eddie Jones and watch what he does.

Bell is now hoping to make great strides in coaching and wants to figure in the England setup

Bell is now hoping to make great strides in coaching and wants to figure in the England setup

‘He has coached in so many different countries and cultures, with so many different players. I like his straight talking. It’d love to see that environment, it really intrigues me.’

Whoever he learns off and whatever his next steps, there is only one place Bell wants to end up – back with that team where he lived that dream.

‘I am pretty ambitious with my coaching and I want to be the best coach that I can be,’ he adds.

‘I’d love to be in the England set-up at some point. That is a goal of mine. I want to be back in there at the right time.’

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