Asamoah Gyan, the 29-year-old Captain of the Black Stars of Ghana, is on the brink of signing for Chinese side Shanghai SIPG for a reported salary of £227,000-a-week – making him one of the world’s highest paid footballers. Shanghai SIPG, by the way, are managed by Sven-Goran Eriksson.
A FIFA official who assessed the bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups has been banned from all football-related activity for seven years, BBC reports. Football’s world governing body said Harold Mayne-Nicholls, 54, has been suspended by its ethics committee. It said more information would be given when the “decision becomes effective”. Mayne-Nicholls plans to appeal against the sanction – and has questioned why it was announced before he had been through the appeals process. Former Chilean Football Association president Mayne-Nicholls was one of five senior officials FIFA said last year were being investigated. He had admitted speaking to officials from Qatar’s bid about possible work placements for three relatives at the country’s Aspire youth academy. The ethics committee felt those conversations provided “cause enough to doubt the integrity of the inspection process and your evaluations”, according to leaked emails between a committee member and Mayne-Nicholls.
Manchester City have signed 18-year-old Turkish striker Enes Unal from Bursaspor for an undisclosed fee. Unal, who has played once for Turkey, scored four times in 37 games as Bursa finished sixth in the Super Lig last season. He made his full international debut against Luxembourg in March, having previously scored 24 goals in 25 games for Turkey Under-16s. In 2013, at 16, he became the youngest goalscorer in the Turkish top flight.
Barcelona have signed Turkey midfielder Arda Turan from Atletico Madrid for an initial fee of £24m. The Spanish champions said the deal for the 28-year-old could reach £29m with potential add-ons. Turan will not be able to play for the club until January as Barca are unable to register new players until 2016 under the terms of a FIFA ban. He scored 22 goals and provided 32 assists in four seasons with Atletico after joining from Galatasaray in 2011. Barca were banned from signing players in 2015 after being found guilty of breaching FIFA’s rules on the transfer of players aged under 18. The signing of Turan, who has played 81 times for Turkey, is also complicated by their ongoing presidential election campaign. In the absence of a president, the Catalan club are being administered by a special commission, which had to approve the transfer. The commission included an unusual clause which means whoever wins the July 18 election has an option to sell Turan back to Atletico within two days for 10% less than the initial £24m outlay. Luis Enrique’s side – who won La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Champions League last season – have also signed winger Aleix Vidal for £16m from Sevilla this summer.
Five-weight world champion Floyd Mayweather has been stripped of the WBO welterweight belt won from Manny Pacquiao in May. The 38-year-old failed to pay the WBO a $200,000 sanctioning fee by the 3 July deadline. Mayweather had been expected to relinquish the title by now, saying he planned to do so following his points victory over Pacquiao. Fellow American Timothy Bradley will now become the full belt holder. After Mayweather defeated Pacquiao, he had declared he would vacate all his titles in order to give younger fighters the chance to win belts. “The WBO World Championship Committee is allowed no other alternative but to cease to recognize Mr Floyd Mayweather Jr as the WBO welterweight champion of the world and vacate his title.” said a statement on wboboxing.com.Mayweather, who still holds the WBA and WBC belts at welterweight, has until 20 July to appeal against the decision. He is expected to stage one more fight in Las Vegas on 12 September, although he has yet to name the opponent. The WBO created a vacant interim welterweight belt for the 27 June fight between Bradley and Jessie Vargas.