Midfielder’s Stamford Bridge return could limit Chelsea’s transfer kitty

Aston Villa going cold on signing Ross Barkley; England confident on beating USA to winger.

SOCCER: Chelsea could miss out on a £35million transfer boost with Aston Villa reportedly weighing up a U-turn on Ross Barkley, according to Football Insider.

Manager Dean Smith reportedly sees the midfielder as a luxury and is struggling to fit him into a team structure.

Barkley, who was dropped for the 1-0 win over Leeds United, has one goal and four assists in 17 appearances for his loan side.

Smith has no qualms about Barkley's work ethic, however, saying in the Birmingham Mail: "In terms of what I've found of his character, he's as professional as I've came across. His work on the training ground and in the gym; he's probably one of the last to leave each day when he's here at Bodymoor Heath and he's got a drive to get better all of the time, which is really pleasing."

With rock-bottom Sheffield United next up for Villa, a recall for Barkley could be in the offing and the midfielder is priced at 4/1 with Bet365 to score any time against the Blades. He is 11/1 to be last goalscorer.

England set to beat USA to Yunus Musah

SOCCER: Just days after missing out on Jamal Musiala, The Football Association feels confident Valencia forward Yunus Musah will opt to play for England.

Bayern Munich's Musiala pledged his international allegiance to Germany despite being eligible for England.

However, the Daily Mail understands it is Musah's preference to pursue an international career with England.

The 18-year-old, who has two senior caps for USA is also eligible to line up for Italy and Ghana.

England's Euro and World Cup squads often throw in a curveball. Could senior elevation for Musah be one of them?

He is not currently quoted in Skybet's striker betting, which closes at 200/1 with Charlie Wyke. However, he has surely got more of a chance of making Gareth Southgate's squad for the summer than Birmingham City's 100/1 shot Dan Crowley, currently on loan at League One Hull City!

Daniel Crowley would represent something of a wildcard choice for Gareth Southgate
Daniel Crowley would represent something of a wildcard choice for Gareth Southgate

Rishi Sunak delivers English cricket a boost

CRICKET: Chancellor Rishi Sunak is set to announce a £300million package to help save summer sport in his Budget, so say the London Evening Standard.

English cricket is set to be among the big winners, with tennis and horse racing set to benefit.

Cricket fan Sunak said: "I know there's nothing that says summer more than watching your favourite team. I can't wait for sports grounds to be filled with fans, with atmosphere again. This £300m cash boost will help make that a reality."

The cash boost will come far too late to affect England's Test prospects in India, however, with Joe Root's side 10/3 with Betfred to win the fourth Test which begins on Thursday.

Longer term, England can be backed at 3/1 for the 2023 World Cup, also in India.

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