GUARDIAN – Barcelona pair the benchmarks for studious Jordan Henderson

Self-improvement is a key theme for the Liverpool midfielder as he hooks up with England after a chastening season at AnfieldJordan Henderson will wait until just after the England squad dinner on Saturday night before peeling away from the throng, all bound for one of the big-screened communal rooms at their disposal, and heading instead back to his room. Like most of the players in Roy Hodgson’s party at their Dublin hotel, the Liverpool midfielder will spend his evening entranced by the Champions League final in Berlin although, judging by his pre-match thrill, he may do so with notebook in hand. A collision between Barcelona and Juventus provides lavish entertainment. For Henderson, it will also be an education.A campaign that began with Hodgson handing out homework to those in the national set-up will end with one of the key members of the side soaking up events at the distant Olympic Stadium. Henderson is well versed in the phenomenal work rate put in by Luis Suárez, a former club-mate, amid the most mouth-watering front three in world football. He gawped again at that industry first-hand when watching from the stands at the Etihad Stadium as Barça triumphed over Manchester City in February. Yet drawing his attention in Germany will be the role played by Ivan Rakitic, perhaps an overlooked talent, and the Catalan club’s midfield in granting that attacking trio the licence to run riot. Continue reading…

GUARDIAN – Martin Skrtel says Liverpool contract offer is ‘unacceptable’

• Skrtel says it is a contract for players who are older or have fitness issues• Defender’s rejection of deal leaves his Liverpool future in doubtMartin Skrtel has cast doubt on his Liverpool future by branding their contract offer “unacceptable” and claiming it is the kind of deal given to older players with fitness problems.The Slovakia international will enter the final 12 months of his Liverpool contract this summer having resisted the offer of an extension for several months. In an interview with Slovakian media outlet Aktualne, the 30-year-old confirmed he had been asked to sign a deal that is dependent on playing a high percentage of matches. Related: James Milner agrees to sign for Liverpool on free from Manchester City Continue reading…

ESPN – Man United suffer second straight setback as Everton cruise to 3-0 win

ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE: Kevin Mirallas (74') Everton 3-0 Manchester United ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE: John Stones (35') Everton 2-0 Manchester United ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE: James McCarthy (5') Everton 1-0 Manchester United LIVERPOOL, England — Goals from James McCarthy, John Stones and Kevin Mirallas lifted Everton to a comfortable 3-0 home win over Manchester United. Here are three quick points from Sunday's clash at Goodison Park. 1. Van Gaal suffers heaviest league defeat No one was dressed as the Grim Reaper, ready to stalk Louis van Gaal on Sunday but just like David Moyes 12 months ago, a Manchester United manager suffered defeat at Goodison Park. This one was not as humiliating; there will be no transatlantic…