Saturday briefing: Thiago joins Liverpool as Gareth Bale closes in on Spurs deal
Thiago Alcantara has joined Liverpool | (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

The Premier League returns this weekend with the two Manchester clubs returning to football after their extended break due to involvement in European competitions. I'm Adam Millington, and I'm here to run you through the top sports stories this morning:

Bale set for Tottenham reunion

After golf bookings with Daniel Levy and a plane journey tracked live on Sky Sports, Gareth Bale looks set to make a return to Tottenham Hotspur on a one-year loan deal after leaving the club seven years ago to join Real Madrid.

The Wales captain has clearly been unsettled during his time with Los Blancos and now looks to enter a new chapter in his career where he can focus on domestic football once again in an environment where the 31-year-old can prosper with the backing of the Spurs faithful.

Bale was photographed at Tottenham Hotspur's training ground on Friday evening and a move to North London now looks like it will only be a matter of time.

Thiago joins Klopp’s Liverpool

Whether through renewed financial certainty or a fresh Klopp push, Liverpool have pulled off a brilliant deal by signing Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich on a £20m transfer. The Spanish midfielder has signed a contract which will see him spend four years at Anfield.

With nine league titles, two Champions Leagues and two FIFA Club World Cups already under his belt, Thiago is looking for success with the Reds, telling the club’s website: “When the years are passing, you are trying to win as much as you can – and when you win, you want to win more. I think this club describes what I am as well; I want to achieve all of the goals, win as many trophies as possible.

Liverpool and Wolves transfer rumours

There’s been activity between Merseyside and the Black Country, with two proposed transfers between Liverpool and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

According to The Athletic, the Reds have signed Diogo Jota on a five-year deal for a £41m fee rising to £45m while Ki-Jana Hoever is going in the opposite direction in a £13.5m deal of which £4.5m comprises of add-ons.

Aguero could be out for two months

After Sergio Aguero sustained a knee injury while playing against Burnley on the 22nd June, Pep Guardiola has confirmed that the Argentinian could be unavailable for the next two months:

"We knew the injury was difficult," said Guardiola.

"He still hasn't had one training session with us and Sergio is not a guy who regains his physical condition quickly. He has been out for a long time, so maybe in one or two months he will be ready."

Bundesliga returns

The German top flight got underway on Friday evening as FC Bayern hosted Schalke in the league’s opening game. The current rate of COVID-19 in Bavaria meant that no spectators were allowed unlike in other German states, but Hansi Flick’s side still managed to find their way to an emphatic 8-0 victory. Read more

Although they have brought in Goncalo Paciencia to hopefully help to provide goals, it is a worrying time for Schalke fans with David Wagner's position at the helm looking tenuous after woeful performances over lockdown and a disastrous season opener on Friday evening.

Flick's Bayern were back to their usual selves after being crowned champions of Europe. Serge Gnabry netted four and Leroy Sane two while Robert Lewandowski provided frankly rediculous rabona assist for 17-year-old Jamal Musiala to score his first Bundesliga goal in only his second top-flight game.

England 3-0 victors against England

Yes, that title is right. In an international break where Women's Euro 2022 hosts England are one of the few sides who do not have to play qualifiers, the Lionesses played out a match between Phil Neville's squad. After a lengthy absence due to pericarditis, Fran Kirby looked as if she was back to her usual self and provided a sublime performance in the match. After the game, Phil Nevlle said that 'it is still a massive ambition' of his to lead Team GB at the Olympic Games.

Elsewhere, Jill Roord carried on her goalscoring form when she netted the only goal for the Netherlands against Russia while there were also victories for Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Slovenia, France, Belgium and Ukraine.

Vera Pauw's Republic of Ireland side travel to Essen to face Germany with the Girls in Green looking to qualifying for their first-ever European Championships.

Manchester clubs join Premier League

After they missed the first round of this year's Premier League due to extended absences required after their campaigns in Europe, Manchester United and Manchester City return to domestic football this weekend.

Today's early kickoff takes place at Goodison Park at 12:30 with Everton hosting West Brom before promoted sides Leeds United and Fulham face each other at 3:00.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's United then host Crystal Palace at 17:30 with Arsenal vs West Ham at 20:00.

You can find VAVEL's predictions for gameweek two of the Premier League here.

Sky blues seal late victory over QPR

Coventry City earned themselves three points in the EFL Championship with a 3-2 win over Queens Park Rangers on Friday night. Read more

QPR came from behind to level the scoring, but Kyle McFadzean put the final nail in the coffin with his goal in the 84th minute after a Gustavo Hamer assist.

Matt Godden and Callum O'Hare were also on the scoresheet for the Sky Blues while Lyndon Dykes and Yoann Barbet scored for the R's.

Matildas fans left disappointed after kit news

There has been much outrage after it was announced that the lastest away kit for the Australian women's national team would not be available to purchase in women's sizes.

Australia international Elise Kellond-Knight spoke out against the decision, tweeting 'Ummmmm, this is a fairly significant problem' when the news came out.

A Football Federation Australia spokesperson told ABC News that the "organisation would not comment further" at the moment.

The papers

The key focal point across Saturday's back pages is of Gareth Bale's proposed move back to Spurs. The Daily Mirror run with 'Home sweet home', the Times opt for 'Now show you've still got it', the Daily Star 'back home', the Guardian 'Hello again' and the Express use 'Hero's welcome'.

The Independent buck the trend with Thiago's Liverpool move taking up most of the back page, with 'There is this family feeling' the headline.

With a Spaniard joining the Premier League and another player swapping Spain for England, the run with 'Bienvenidos a inglaterra (welcome to England)'.

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