Schweinsteiger banished to train with under-23 squad

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Two years ago, Bastian Schweinsteiger was an integral part of the Germany team that won the World Cup. Now he has been banished to train with Manchester United’s under-23 squad and told by new coach Jose Mourinho he has no future at the club.

Mourinho recently said that those who are not in his first-team plans would not be given a “single minute” of action in preseason, and Schweinsteiger fits into that bill — although he only reported back for preseason training last Thursday after helping Germany to the semifinals of Euro 2016. But that training has been with the U23s, and both the Daily Mail and the Manchester Evening News report that AC Milan and Inter Milan are interested in taking him to Serie A.

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Sevilla announce the signing of Ben Yedder

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Sevilla have signed forward Wissam Ben Yedder from Toulouse on a five-year contract, the Europa League champions confirmed on Monday.

The 25-year-old scored 17 goals in 35 Ligue 1 outings as he helped Toulouse avoid relegation by one point last season but has been linked with a move away from the club all summer.

Sevilla confirmed the deal on their official website (www.sevillafc.es), saying the attacker has signed a contract at the club until 2021 for an undisclosed fee, having passed his medical on Monday morning.

The former France U21 international joined Toulouse from UJA Alfortville in 2010 and featured 156 times for the side in Ligue 1, scoring 63 goals. Naijabet.com

Bruno Genesio: Lacazette could leave

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Lyon remain open to the possibility of selling Alexandre Lacazette this summer, according to the French club’s manager Bruno Genesio.

Lacazette, who only recently signed a new four-year deal at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais, has attracted interest from a number of clubs across Europe after scoring 92 goals in 230 appearances for the Ligue 1 outfit.

Arsenal saw a bid in the region of £30m rejected last week but are expected to return with an improved offer for the 25-year-old Continue reading “Bruno Genesio: Lacazette could leave”

Godwin requests to leave Nigeria Olympic squad

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Saviour Godwin has requested to leave the training camp of Nigeria’s Under-23 side as the side shape up for the men’s football event of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Godwin has asked to leave as he wants to join his Belgian club, KV Oostende, for their pre-season exertions.

If the 19-year-old attacker is given permission to leave, the Nigeria squad will be reduced to 20 players.

Meanwhile, Timi Ebikagboro, spokesman of the team, has revealed that two members of the squad, William Troost-Ekong and Aminu Umar, will join the rest of the team in Manaus, Brazil.

“The two players will be joining us very soon.

“We will be leaving Atlanta (United States) by 12:30pm local time on Tuesday for Brazil.

“The Olympics is very serious business and we know Nigerians have very big expectations as far as this team is concerned.

“We will do all we can to make the country proud,” he said. Naija and Bet

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Finally Goezte returns to Dortmund

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Germany’s World Cup winner Mario Goetze relished his return to Borussia Dortmund’s pre-season training on Monday for the first time after three barren years at Bayern Munich.

Alongside fellow new signings Andre Schuerrle and Raphael Guerreiro, Goetze was put through his paces with a series of fitness tests at Bochum University by Borussia’s backroom staff.

The trio joined a group of six players returning from their holidays after international duty including Poland’s Lukasz Piszczek, Julian Weigl and South Korean Park Joo-Ho.

“Finally, let’s go,” wrote Goezte on his Twitter account under a picture of the Germany star on a treadmill. Naijabet.com

His first training session with the full Dortmund squad takes place on Wednesday with Borussia to host his former club Bayern for the German Super Cup on August 14.

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Arsenal to improve Lacazette bid

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Arsenal remain interested in signing Alexandre Lacazette and will make an improved offer for the Lyon forward, according to Sky sources.

Manager Arsene Wenger is keen to strengthen his squad ahead of the new season, but saw a bid in the region of £30m for Lacazette rejected by the French Ligue 1 club last week.

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas claimed he did not expect Arsenal to return with an improved offer for the 25-year-old, who previously attracted interest from West Ham earlier in the summer. naijabet.om

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Moyes is happy to make EPL return

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Sunderland boss David Moyes insists he has been revitalised by his spell out of management as he looks to bring stability to the Stadium of Light.

Moyes had been out of work for eight months after being sacked by Real Sociedad last November, but the former Manchester United and Everton manager feels reinvigorated after returning to the Premier League. Naija and Bet

The 53-year-old Scot was hired last month to replace Sam Allardyce, who left Sunderland to take the England job, and on Monday he held his first press conference in his new role.

Moyes’ reputation was tarnished by his nightmare spell at Old Trafford, which ended with his sacking after less than a season in charge of United, and his underwhelming spell in Spain.

But he is adamant his sabbatical has helped give him a fresh outlook and more insight into the keys to success at a club who have narrowly avoided relegation for the last two seasons.

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Origi aims to become key player for Liverpool

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Divock Origi is committed to working hard and building on his previous season with Liverpool and wants to play a key part for the Merseyside club in the Premier League, the Belgian striker has said.

The 21-year-old struggled to break into the first team under former boss Brendan Rodgers but scored 10 goals under manager Jurgen Klopp since the German took over in October.

Origi, who scored the opening goal in Liverpool’s friendly win over AC Milan on Sunday, will face competition from Daniel Sturridge, Christian Benteke and Danny Ings for a spot in the first team. Naijabet.com

“It can be a big season for me. I still have to work a lot and there’s a lot of room for improvement, but I try to learn new things everyday and to learn as a team also,” Origi told the club’s website (www.liverpoolfc.com).

“The most important thing is to make steps and last year I had some good moments, so I want to learn and become more consistent to help the team even more and become an important player in the team.”

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Enyimba will not blow title chance away – Ike

Champions, Enyimba, will not throw in the towel in their quest to retain the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) title this season.

The Peoples Elephant were held to a 1-1 draw at home by the leaders, Enugu Rangers, on Sunday, a result that set the cat among the pigeons as regards their title push. Naijabet

The club’s centre half, Ike ThankGod, says the players have put the underwhelming result in Port Harcourt behind them and have instead decided to focus on future matches.

“We  will win the league title. I know there are teams like Wikki Tourists, Enugu Rangers, Rivers United and even Kano Pillars who are in the running for the title also, but I am confident.

“There is nothing stopping us from picking up wins away from home so there is no point in feeling bad because we dropped points at home against Rangers,” Ike said.

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Conte is uncertain of Costa’s future at Chelsea

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is uncertain about the future of Diego Costa, as Spanish media reports have linked the striker with a possible return to Atletico Madrid.

The 27-year-old, who joined the London club from Atletico in 2014, did not feature in Chelsea’s 3-2 defeat by Real Madrid in a pre-season friendly on Saturday due to a back injury. Naijabet

The Spain international scored 12 times last season as the club finished 10th in the Premier League, with British media reports also linking Everton striker Romelu Lukaku with a potential move back to Stamford Bridge.

“Today Costa is Chelsea’s player. Tomorrow if you ask me if Costa will remain with us, I don’t know,” Conte told reporters.

“I can say that today Costa is a Chelsea player. He didn’t play in these games because of injury and if he solves the injury and I see in training he’s in good shape, it can be possible to see him in the next game against AC Milan.”

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Mahrez ‘distracted’ by transfer speculation

Speculation about a possible transfer to Premier League rivals Arsenal has unsettled Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez, manager Claudio Ranieri has said.

The 25-year-old Algeria international, who signed from Ligue 2 side Le Havre in 2014, has become a hot property after scoring 17 league goals and winning the PFA Player of the Year during Leicester’s remarkable title-winning campaign.

Leicester have already had to fight off advances from Arsenal to keep striker Jamie Vardy, but lost midfielder N’Golo Kante to Chelsea for a reported fee of 32 million pounds ($42.38 million).

“Maybe Riyad is distracted a bit by all of these rumours and speculation,” Ranieri said. “But that is also an experience for my players. It is important that he understands that he should stay with us. Naijabet.com

“He has to improve his fitness and play for the team as well as last season.”

Leicester, beaten 4-0 by French champions Paris St Germain in a friendly in California on Saturday, kick off their title defence with a trip to newly-promoted Hull City on August 13.

Mancini not bothered about future

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Inter Milan coach Roberto Mancini has said he is relaxed about his future despite reported differences of opinion with the club’s new owners.

Mancini is reported to be unhappy with the lack of investment in new players and has already held talks with the Suning Group, which took control earlier this summer.

The coach, speaking after a 4-1 friendly defeat to Bayern Munich, expressed his hope that the situation might change once the players have returned to Italy. naijabet.com

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Santi Cazorla may miss start of new season Wenger admits

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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says key midfielder Santi Cazorla may not be fully fit at the start of the season.

Cazorla made his first appearance of the preseason by playing the first half of Arsenal’s 3-1 win over Mexican club Guadalajara in Los Angeles on Sunday as Wenger eases him back into action.

The Spaniard missed five months of last season with a serious knee injury before picking up an Achilles problem, but started the last game of the Premier League campaign. naijabet.com

Wenger says the midfielder may not have regained full match fitness by the start of the new season, potentially adding to his shortage of players for the opening game against Liverpool on Aug. 14. Continue reading “Santi Cazorla may miss start of new season Wenger admits”

Morata is staying at Madrid – Zidane

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Real Madrid have no intention of making a quick profit on striker Alvaro Morata after the Champions League winners opted to take him back to the Bernabeu from Juventus last month, the Spanish side’s manager Zinedine Zidane has said.

Real sold Morata to Juventus two seasons ago but included a buy-back clause in his contract, which they exercised in July after the forward scored 27 goals in 93 games in Italy and three for Spain during the European Championship.

Media reports in Spain and Britain suggested that Real would cash in on the 23-year-old by selling him on immediately, with Arsenal and Chelsea said to be vying for his signature, but Zidane insisted Morata was part of his plans.

“Yes, Morata is a Real Madrid player,” he told reporters in Michigan following his team’s 3-2 win over Chelsea in the International Champions Cup at the weekend.

“We’re delighted to have him back, back to his original home. He’s going to remain a Real Madrid player.” Naija and Bet

Mikel to captain the Olympic team in Rio – Siasia

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Nigeria Under-23 team head coach, Samson Siasia, has named Chelsea midfielder, John Obi Mikel, as the captain of the country’s football team for the Olympic Games.

Mikel, who has also been chosen as the Team Leader of the Nigerian contingent to the Rio Olympic Games, will wear the skipper’s arm band instead of Azubuike Okechukwu who is the substantive captain.

The players unanimously accepted Mikel as the team captain and pledged to support the former FC Lyn-Oslo player, who is also captain of the Super Eagles. Naijabet.com

The announcement was made after a meeting between the players and officials on Sunday as the team prepare to depart the Atlanta camp base for Brazil, venue of the games.

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Randolph signs four-year contract deal at West Ham

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Goalkeeper Darren Randolph has signed a new four-year contract with West Ham United, the Premier League club said on Sunday.

The 29-year-old Ireland international, who joined West Ham on a free transfer in 2015, made 15 starts in all competition last season but is usually second choice behind Spaniard Adrian for manager Slaven Bilic.

“I spoke to the manager and I know we both have the opportunity to work towards that No 1 position, which was part of the reason I was happy to sign a new contract,” Randolph said. Naijabet.com

“It is good to know I have the manager’s backing and it certainly helps my confidence to know he believes in what I can do.”

Full back Aaron Cresswell and midfielder Michail Antonio have also recently committed their long-term futures to the London club.

The Hammers, who secured a Europa League spot for the second successive year after finishing seventh last season, open their 2016-17 campaign against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on August 13.

Rejecting Arsenal was easy – Jamie Vardy

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Jamie Vardy has told reporters that he found the decision to reject Arsenal to sign a new contract with Leicester easy and believes the Premier League champions will continue their progress next season.

Vardy, 29, opted to turn down an opportunity to move to Arsenal when they triggered a release clause in his contract this summer, and he said a major factor behind that was the spirit Leicester have fostered.

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Barcelona easily stroll past Celtic

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A blond-haired Lionel Messi failed to get on the scoresheet but it hardly mattered as under-strength Barcelona taught Celtic a footballing lesson in a Dublin friendly on Saturday.

Strikes by Arda Turan and Munir El Haddadi, and an own goal by Efe Ambrose – all before the break – were enough to earn a 3-1 victory for Luis Garcia’s men in what was their first game back after the summer.

Leigh Griffiths had replied to Turan’s opener, but boss Brendan Rodgers will be concerned with how vulnerable his defence looked once again, ahead of Celtic’s crucial Champions League third qualifying round clash with Astana on Wednesday. Naija and Bet

The tie is delicately balanced at 1-1 ahead of the second leg at Parkhead.

Barcelona came to Dublin without Andres Iniesta, Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets, Javier Mascherano, Claudio Bravo and Jordi Alba, who aren’t back in training until tomorrow, while Neymar is preparing for the Olympics in Brazil.

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Rooney slams Hodgson’s tactics

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England captain Wayne Rooney has questioned whether Roy Hodgson’s decisions in the Slovakia game led to the team’s downfall at Euro 2016.

England started the campaign with four points against Russia and Wales, but were held to a goalless draw in the final group game against Slovakia, leaving them finishing second in Group B, behind Wales.

Rooney, along with five more of England’s starters against Wales, were rested in that game, a decision the Manchester United man thinks may have cost the team their tournament momentum as they suffered a round-of-16 exit at the hands of surprise package Iceland,

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Bayern called Ribery to order over Pep attacks

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French forward Franck Ribery has been called to order by Bayern Munich over his criticism of the club’s former coach Pep Guardiola as well as his conduct on the pitch.

Ribery, currently with Bayern on their pre-season tour of the United States, has described Guardiola as inexperienced and repeatedly compared him unfavourably to his successor at Bayern, Carlo Ancelotti.

His comments drew a sharp response from Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

“I think there is no point in having a go at Pep Guardiola now that he has gone. We won a lot with him, we gained a lot from him. Seeking vengeance now serves no purpose,” Rummenigge said. Naijabet

Ancelotti, 57, has replaced Guardiola, now with Manchester City, as Bayern coach for the 2016/17 season and Ribery, who had a tense relationship with the Spaniard, has been quick to praise the Italian.

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City close in on Sane

Sane in Manchester to complete City transfer

The Schalke winger is one of Pep Guardiola’s top targets and is now closing in on a move to the Premier League after arriving in England to finalise terms with the club

Manchester City are on the verge of securing another one of Pep Guardiola’s summer transfer targets in Leroy Sane.

Schalke winger Sane has been a long-term target for City, who have been locked in talks with the Bundesliga club over the past week with the discussions now close to reaching a positive conclusion. naijabet.com

Markus Weinzierl’s side gave City a Monday deadline to get the deal over the line, before the squad travel to Austria to continue their pre-season preparations.

But sources can confirm the transfer is now all but confirmed, with Sane, along with Ilkay Gundogan, posing for pictures with supporters in the Radisson Blu hotel in Manchester ahead of officially being announced as a City player later this week

 

Man Utd can challenge for title – Rooney

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Manchester United have been rejuvenated under new manager Jose Mourinho and are poised to mount a strong challenge for the Premier League title, skipper Wayne Rooney has said.

The 30-year-old forward, who secured his fifth league title with the club the last time they won it in 2013, scored eight top flight goals last season as United finished fifth and failed to qualify for the Champions League.

The 20-times English title winners have already signed striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, midfielder Henrikh Mkhityaran and defender Eric Bailly and, according to local media reports, have been negotiating with Juventus over the transfer of Paul Pogba.

“I think the players feel this is more like the old Manchester United. It’s not just the new signings, we’ve got Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford from last season who made such an impact,” Rooney said in an interview. Naijabet.com

Rooney, who will line up against boyhood club Everton in his testimonial at Old Trafford on Wednesday, also hopes United can secure the annual Community Shield against English champions Leicester City at Wembley on Sunday.

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