Wenger set to extend Arsenal contract

Arsene Wenger has told Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke he will accept the Premier League club’s offer of a new two-year contract, according to reports on Tuesday.

Wenger met Gunners majority shareholder Kroenke and chief executive Ivan Gazidis on Monday to discuss his future before his contract expires next month.

The 67-year-old has been heavily criticised this season, with Arsenal fans calling for his resignation after their team failed to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in 20 years.

Suggestions that Arsenal may insist on hiring a director of football to work with Wenger had sparked claims the Frenchman was considering ending his 21-year reign. NaijaBet

But after leading Arsenal to an impressive 2-1 FA Cup final victory over Premier League champions Chelsea with Kroenke watching from the stands on Saturday, Wenger had hinted he was willing to stay. Continue reading “Wenger set to extend Arsenal contract”

Carrick delighted with his new One-Year United contract

Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick has said he is delighted to be given a new one-year contract that will take him into a 12th season with the club.

Carrick, 35, signed from Tottenham in June 2006, winning one Champions League and five Premier League titles.

He was part of the squad that won the Europa League last week and the trophy will be shown off at his testimonial match next Sunday.

“I am delighted that my journey with this great club is going to continue,” Carrick told the club’s website.

Valverde hired as new Barcelona new Coach

Spanish coach Ernesto Valverde is the man charged with reviving Barcelona’s fortunes after being confirmed as the Catalan giants’ new boss on a two-year deal on Monday.

“Valverde has the ability, the judgement, the knowledge and the experience. He promotes the youth players and he has a Barça way,” club president Josep Maria Bartomeu said at a press conference.

Valverde, whose contract will include an option for a third season in charge, will be officially unveiled on Thursday.

Valverde, 53, a former Barca player who left Athletic Bilbao after four years in charge last week, replaces Luis Enrique with the task of getting the most out of a star-studded squad containing Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez. Naija and Bet

Luis Enrique signed off his three seasons in charge with a ninth trophy of his reign in Saturday’s Copa del Rey final against Alaves. Continue reading “Valverde hired as new Barcelona new Coach”

Rooney left out of England WC qualifier squad

All-time top-scorer Wayne Rooney was Thursday left out of the England squad for next month’s World Cup qualifier against Scotland and a friendly against France.

The 31-year-old striker has lost his place at Manchester United and was similarly omitted from Gareth Southgate’s England squad announced in March, although he was carrying a knee injury at the time, but is now fit.

Rooney, who made a brief appearance in Manchester United’s Europa League final win over Ajax in Stockholm on Wednesday, had hoped to end his international career by captaining England at next year’s World Cup in Russia. NaijaBet

But this now looks an increasingly forlorn hope for Rooney, England’s record goalscorer with 53 goals and their most capped outfielder with 119 appearances for his country. Continue reading “Rooney left out of England WC qualifier squad”

Messi get Barcelona’full support’

La Liga club Barcelona have expressed their support for Argentine striker Lionel Messi and his father after the Spanish Supreme Court upheld their prison sentences over tax fraud charges, although neither are expected to go to jail.

Five-time World Player of the Year winner Messi, who has been at Barcelona since the age of 13, was handed a 21-month prison sentence and fined 2 million euros ($2.25 million) for three counts of tax fraud between 2007 and 2009.

“The club reiterates, once again, its full support for Leo Messi, his father Jorge Messi, and his family,” a statement on the club’s official website read. Naija and Bet

“FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu contacted the player’s family to communicate this support. Continue reading “Messi get Barcelona’full support’”

Man United are Europa League Champions

Paul Pogba propelled Manchester United towards a 2-0 victory over Ajax on Wednesday in a Europa League final rendered heavy with emotion by this week’s terror attack in Manchester.

A night that began with a moment of silence, then applause, in memory of the 22 people who died at Manchester Arena on Monday ended with United completing their trophy collection through goals from Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Reminders of the attack were everywhere at Stockholm’s Friends Arena, from United’s black armbands to the chants of “Manchester!” from their fans, while Pogba, too, was grieving, following the recent death of his father. NaijaBet.com

Victory enabled United manager Jose Mourinho, who said prior to the game that he and his players were struggling not to think about the tragedy, to bring his maiden Old Trafford season to a successful conclusion.

He had already guided United to glory in the League Cup and despite a sixth-place finish in the Premier League, success in the Europa League means his side will return to the Champions League next season.

United became only the fifth club – after Juventus, Ajax, Bayern Munich and Chelsea – to have won the Champions League, the Europa League and the now defunct European Cup Winners’ Cup. Continue reading “Man United are Europa League Champions”

Messi loses appeal Spain tax fraud trial

Spain’s Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected an appeal by Barcelona soccer star Lionel Messi and stood by a Catalan regional court’s 21-month prison sentence for tax fraud, court documents showed.

The five-times World Player of the Year is unlikely to go to prison, however. Play Bet on tonight’s Europa League Final on NaijaBet.com

Messi and his father Jorge were found guilty by a Catalan court last July on three counts of tax fraud between 2007 and 2009 to the tune of 4.1 million euros on image rights and were also fined 2 million euros ($2.24 million).

The court reduced Jorge Messi’s sentence from 21 months to 15, however, for returning the defrauded amount to Spain’s tax authority.

Neither Messi nor his father are expected to serve time in jail, as under Spanish law sentences under two years can be served under probation.

A court statement said Messi “unequivocally understood his obligation to pay tax on income obtained from exploiting his image rights…therefore it is not logical that he should ignore his duty to pay tax on them”. Continue reading “Messi loses appeal Spain tax fraud trial”

Welbeck hopes FA Cup victory will lift Arsenal

Arsenal are disappointed with their fifth-placed Premier League finish but focused on winning the FA Cup final against Chelsea on Saturday, striker Danny Welbeck has said.

Arsenal’s five-game winning streak at the end of the season was not enough to grab a Champions League spot as the club stuttered in the second half of the season, losing six and drawing one of the previous 11 games before the unbeaten run.

“As a club, with the way the season’s panned out, it’s not a (league) position we want to be in at all,” Welbeck told the club’s official website.

“We know that we’ve got the opportunity of playing in the FA Cup final and it’s something we really want to do our best in.” Naija and Bet

Welbeck missed the FA Cup final in 2015 through injury as Arsenal won the competition for the second time in as many years, but the England international is looking ahead to Saturday’s showdown against the newly crowned Premier League champions. Continue reading “Welbeck hopes FA Cup victory will lift Arsenal”

I am not considering leaving Madrid – Isco

Real Madrid’s magical midfielder Isco has finally found his place in Zinedine Zidane’s side as he tries to drive them towards a La Liga and Champions League double.

Isco set up Cristiano Ronaldo’s second-minute goal against Malaga on Sunday as Madrid won 2-0 to earn the Spanish title.

After months of uncertainty over his future and reports that he was considering leaving after failing to start on a regular basis, the tide has turned at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Gareth Bale’s injury problems prompted Zidane to shuffle his pack and Isco has been the winner of the situation, with the coach shifting to a 4-4-2 formation. Naija and Bet

Isco plays as an attacking midfielder at the tip of a central diamond, his ideal position. The new set-up has helped Madrid win their first title since 2012 and reach the Champions League final against Juventus. Continue reading “I am not considering leaving Madrid – Isco”

Cech – Arsenal must respect UEL

Arsenal must respect the Europa League next season and take the tournament seriously if they fail to qualify for the Champions League, goalkeeper Peter Cech has said.

Arsenal’s 2-0 win over relegated Sunderland on Tuesday moved them within a point of fourth-placed Liverpool and gave the London side an outside chance of qualifying for the Champions League if results go their way on the final day of the season. Naija and Bet

English clubs have become more prominent in the Europa League in recent years with Chelsea winning the competition in 2013, Liverpool finishing runner-up last year and Manchester United set to play the final next week.

“A European trophy is a European trophy,” Cech said.

“I have to say you want to have the Champions League one rather than the Europa League one but you can see more and more, big teams are treating the Europa League with respect because it is a European trophy. Continue reading “Cech – Arsenal must respect UEL”

Chelsea, Spurs Players dominate PL nominations

Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur each have three players among the eight nominations for the Premier League Player of the Season, while the coaches of both teams have also been shortlisted for the Manager of the Year award.

Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante is the favourite for the players’ prize, having already been named the PFA (Professional Footballers’ Association) Player of the Year and the FWA (Football Writers Association) Player of the Year. Naija and Bet

Belgium international Eden Hazard and Spain full back Cesar Azpilicueta are the other Chelsea players on the list, while Tottenham are represented by striker Harry Kane, midfielder Dele Alli and defender Jan Vertonghen.

Arsenal striker Alexis Sanchez has also been included, along with Everton’s Romelu Lukaku, who currently leads the league’s scoring charts with 24 goals. Continue reading “Chelsea, Spurs Players dominate PL nominations”

Klopp urges Liverpool to keep fighting for UCL spot

Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool’s 4-0 rout of West Ham proves they can cope with the pressure of fighting for Champions League qualification, but he warned his stars to guard against complacency.

Liverpool’s destiny is in their own hands after a dominant display at the London Stadium and victory over relegated Middlesbrough next Sunday will secure a top-four finish in the Premier League.

If Arsenal drop points against Sunderland on Tuesday, Liverpool will make it back into Europe’s elite club competition before the last weekend of the season. NaijaBet

“Part of our life is to handle pressure, to ignore the bad part of pressure and to use the good part of pressure,” Klopp said.

“We drew in the last game with Southampton, we didn’t score with a penalty and maybe people say then: ‘They can’t deal with pressure.’

Continue reading “Klopp urges Liverpool to keep fighting for UCL spot”

Higuain brace assist Juve to sink Monaco

Gonzalo Higuain scored both goals as an imperious Juventus beat Monaco 2-0 in their Champions League semifinal first leg on Wednesday to take a huge step towards next month’s final in Cardiff.

Both of Higuain’s goals came from Dani Alves assists, with the Argentine hitman rounding off a breathtaking team move to open the scoring just before the half-hour mark and converting the second from close range after the break.

While the second leg in Turin next Tuesday will be no formality, Juventus have never lost a two-legged European tie to French opposition and so impressive were they at the Stade Louis II that it is hard to imagine Monaco recovering.

Higuain, who now has 31 goals this season, received applause from all around the ground as he came off to be replaced by Juan Cuadrado late on after a clinical display that showed just why Juve paid 90 million euros ($98m) to sign him from Napoli last year. NaijaBet.com

In contrast Monaco, having won their previous 13 matches at the Stade Louis II and been so thrilling going forward all campaign, could not find a way through the brilliant away defence.

They will now need something very special next week if they are to make it to a first Champions League final since 2004. Continue reading “Higuain brace assist Juve to sink Monaco”

Liverpool fighting for Champions League spot

Liverpool must maintain their focus and get results in their three remaining Premier League games as they fight for a top four finish to play in the Champions League next season, goalkeeper Simon Mignolet has said.

Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Watford on Monday helped them pull three points clear of fourth-placed Manchester City and four clear of fifth-placed Manchester United, both of whom have a game in hand.

The race for a top four spot will go down to the wire and Mignolet is wary of getting complacent after three wins in their last five league games. NaijaBet.com

“We have to keep going how we are. We are in good shape but things can still change. We have to keep our focus, keep our feet on the floor and keep grinding out results,” Mignolet said. Continue reading “Liverpool fighting for Champions League spot”

UEFA Champions League: Ronaldo Volley Beats Dybala Stunner

The Real Madrid man took the prize for his strike versus Bayern, beating out competition from Paulo Dybala, Marco Asensio, Kylian Mbappe and Falcao

Cristiano Ronaldo’s leaping volley for Real Madrid at the Allianz Arena has been named the UEFA Champions League goal of the quarter-finals, presented by Nissan. NaijaBet.com

The Portugal international’s strike earned the reigning champions a 2-1 victory over Bayern Munich in Germany, before the Blancos booked their semi-final place in the second leg.

Ronaldo beat out competition from the likes of team-mate Marco Asensio, who earned a nomination for his solo run and neat finish that rounded off a 4-2 extra-time win over Bayern in the second leg. Continue reading “UEFA Champions League: Ronaldo Volley Beats Dybala Stunner”

Mourinho Ban Man. United Players From Social Media

Jose Mourinho has enforced a social media ban on his Manchester United players in a bid to limit the extent of information leaking out of the first-team squad. NaijaBet.com

Various United stars have hit the headlines for posts made on their various social media accounts this season, perhaps most notably when Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard came under fire from ex-United defender Rio Ferdinand for performing a dance routine in the dressing room at the club’s Carrington training site and sharing it on Instagram.  Continue reading “Mourinho Ban Man. United Players From Social Media”

Tottenham target win against West Ham

Tottenham Hotspur must beat West Ham United on Friday night to reduce the gap with Chelsea and hope the Premier League leaders falter under pressure, striker Harry Kane has said.

Second-placed Tottenham can keep their title chase alive and cut the lead at the top to one point if they beat West Ham and Chelsea fumble against Middlesbrough three days later.

“We just have to try to finish strong,” Kane said. Predict today’s UEFA Champions League Match on NaijaBet.com

“We’ve got another game Friday night and it’s good to play first. Hopefully, we can drop the gap to one point and then see what happens.”

Kane said that Tottenham knew the pressure of playing later as they often played after champions Leicester City in the closing stages of last season and eventually faltered. Continue reading “Tottenham target win against West Ham”