Archive | August 2015

Real Madrid and Man United agree deal for De Gea….

David De Gea

An agreement for David De Gea to join Real Madrid from Manchester United is believed to have been reached, with Keylor Navas moving the other way. The deal is yet to be completed but it will also involve a cash payment from the Spanish giants, taking the overall value to 40m euros. De Gea, 24, has been linked with a move to Real throughout the summer. United manager Louis van Gaal opted not to pick him until the uncertainty over his future had been resolved. De Gea’s contract is due to expire in 2016 and United had previously indicated they wanted a world-record fee for a goalkeeper, or defender Sergio Ramos in exchange for De Gea. Instead they will get 28-year-old Navas, who was Costa Rica’s goalkeeper at last year’s World Cup.

Sunderland sign Borini….

Fabio Borini

Sunderland have signed Liverpool forward Fabio Borini for a fee that could rise to £10m. Italy international Borini had a loan spell with the Black Cats during the 2013-14 season, scoring seven goals in 32 matches, but then rejected a permanent move to the Stadium of Light. The 24-year-old was also a target for Inter Milan, Fiorentina and Watford, but their bids were turned down. Liverpool may also sell defender Jose Enrique, a target for West Brom. Watford, newly promoted to the Premier League, had offered £7m for Borini, while Inter’s bid was worth £6m. Fellow Serie A side Fiorentina were also keen on the striker but Borini decided to join Sunderland. The Black Cats, who have allowed Italy winger Emanuele Giaccherini to join Serie A side Bologna on a season-long loan. will pay £8m up front, but the deal could eventually be worth £10m to Liverpool with add-ons. Borini was the first signing of Reds boss Brendan Rodgers in July 2012, when Liverpool paid Roma £11m. Rodgers had worked with Borini at previous clubs Chelsea and Swansea. He has scored three goals in 38 appearances for Liverpool.

Nigeria’s D’Tigers win AfroBasket Championship….

Nigeria's Senior Basketball Team Celebrate Their Victory at the 2015 Afrobasket Tournament. Image: FIBA.

Nigeria beat Angola 74-65 in the Final of AfroBasket 2015 in Rades, Tunisia on Sunday to claim their first-ever continental championship. In being crowned African champions, the Nigerians also qualified for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. Meanwhile, second-place Angola joined third- and fourth-place Tunisia and Senegal in booking their places for the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments (OQTs). Angola went into the Final looking to win a 12th African title and led early on, before Nigeria’s rotation made the difference as they turned the score around in the second quarter and once they took the lead, they held on to it, going up by as many as 19 points. Chamberlain Oguchi hit a trifecta of three-pointers on his way to a game-high 19 points for Nigeria, with Olaseni Lawal finished with a dozen. Carlos Morais led the Angolans with 15 points while Yanick Moreira added 13. Click here for the full game report. Oguchi was rewarded for his impressive tournament and huge individual performance in the Final by receiving the Most Valuable Player award, presented by Tissot. The 29-year-old headlined the All-Star Five which also included his Nigeria team-mate Al-Farouq Aminu, Morais of Angola, Tunisia’s Makram Ben Romdhane and Gorgui Dieng of Senegal. “It’s the best moment of my life, to be able to come here after missing the last AfroBasket, to be able to come here and do this with my brothers, it feels amazing,” Oguchi said afterwards.

Awoniyi joins Liverpool….

Liverpool Football Club have confirmed the signing of Nigeria’s Taiwo Awoniyi. The 18-year-old joins the Reds having previously represented Imperial Academy in Nigeria. Awoniyi has immediately joined 2 Bundesliga side FSV Frankfurt on loan. He told “This is the biggest club in the world and I’m privileged to be here.“I’ll try to develop myself very well so that when I come back to Liverpool I’ll be able to add value to the team.“When I’m in the red shirt, I will always give my very best to make the fans happy.”The striker is a regular for Nigeria’s youth teams and currently represents their U23 side, who are aiming to qualify for next year’s Olympic Games.He has also played for the Super Eagles at the U17 and U20 World Cups and earned a call-up for the senior Nigeria squad in 2013.

Jonny Evans joins West Brom….

Jonny Evans

Jonny Evans has completed his move to West Brom from Manchester United. The Northern Ireland defender, 27, has joined the Baggies for an undisclosed fee, with reports suggesting it is £6m plus £2m in add-ons. “This is a great signing for the club,” said Albion boss Tony Pulis, whose side won 1-0 at Stoke on Saturday. “Jonny brings a lot of experience and will be a big player for us – he’s a player I’ve been watching for some time and we are delighted to have him.” Evans made 198 appearances for United and won three Premier League titles at Old Trafford but had fallen out of favour under manager Louis van Gaal. The centre-back, who had two loan spells at Sunderland, has not featured for United at all this season and had also been linked with Everton.  Evans will link up with former Red Devils team-mate Darren Fletcher, who left United in January and has since been appointed West Brom’s captain. In March, Evans was involved in a controversial spitting incident with Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse. He was given a six-match ban by the Football Association and has featured just once for United since.

Leandro Rodriguez joins Everton….

Leandro Rodriguez

Everton have signed striker Leandro Rodriguez from River Plate Montevideo for a reported fee of £500,000.  The 22-year-old Uruguayan has agreed a four-year contract which will keep him at Goodison Park until June 2019. Rodriguez, who has an Italian passport, scored 19 goals in 71 games for his hometown club and is an exciting talent says Toffees boss Roberto Martinez. “Leandro is one of those elite, talented youngsters who we like to bring in,” Martinez said. “I am not saying that to put pressure on the boy, but he is a player we can be very much excited about in the future.” Martinez thinks Rodriguez can make an immediate impact in Everton’s first team. “He probably won’t need time with the Under-21s because he has played enough games with his first team in Uruguay in a really competitive league,” said the Spaniard. “Hopefully we can provide a path where he can develop and enjoy his football. If he can do that, clearly that’s going to bring goals.”

Europa League draw….

Group A: Ajax, Celtic , Fenerbahce, Molde

Group B: Rubin Kazan, Liverpool, Bordeaux, FC Sion

Group C: Borussia Dortmund, Paok Thessaloniki, Krasnodar, Gabala

Group D; Napoli, Club Brugge, Legia Warsaw, Midtjyllland

Group E: Villarreal, Viktoria Plzen, Rapid Vienna, Dinamo Minsk

Group F: Marseille, Braga, Slovan Liberec, Groningen

Group G: Dnipropetrovsk, Lazio, St-Etienne, Rosenborg

Group H: Sporting Lisbon, Besiktas, Lokomotiv Moscow, Skenderbeu

Group I: Basel, Fiorentina, Lech Poznan, Belenenses

Group J: Tottenham, Anderlecht, Monaco, Qarabag

Group K: Schalke, Apoel Nicosia, Sparta Prague, Asteras Tripolis

Group L: Athletic Bilbao, AZ Alkmaar, Augsburg, Partizan Belgrade

Mikel wanted by Besiktas….

Nigerian and Chelsea midfielder John  Mikel Obi is wanted by Besiktas. The Turkish giants have turned to the Nigerian after seeing a deal they had pursued for Liverpool’s Lucas Leiva fall through. Mikel joined Chelsea nine years ago from Norwegian side Lyn and is one of their longest-serving players. He could be given the green light to go with the Premier League champions still keen on an ambitious move for Juventus superstar Paul Pogba. Even if he stays he is very much a squad player at Stamford Bridge with the likes of Nemanja Matic and Ramires ahead of him. Besiktas are looking for reinforcements after being hit by injuries. They are understood to have had an agreement in place to sign Lucas before Liverpool pulled the plug. Speaking earlier this week, Besiktas president Fikret Orman said: “Liverpool do not want him to go. The transfer can only go ahead with their say, so there is nothing we can do right now.” Nigeria’s ex-international Daniel “The Bull” Amokachi once played for Besiktas.

Sunderland sign Toivonen….

BREAKING NEWS: Sunderland sign Ola Toivonen -…

Sunderland sign Sweden attacking midfielder Ola Toivonen on a season-long loan from Rennes. The 29-year-old began his career in his hometown with Degerfos IF before spells in Gothenburg and Malmo. A move to Dutch side PSV followed where he won the KNVB Cup and the Dutch Super Cup. He joined French side Rennes in January 2014 scoring 14 goals in 46 league appearances, and he also won over 40 caps for Sweden.

Son joins Tottenham….

CONFIRMED: Heung-Min Son signs from Leverkusen subject to work permit & international clearance. #HereComesTheSon

Tottenham have signed Bayer Leverkusen’s South Korea forward Son Heung-Min till 2020 subject to work permit & international clearance. The South Korea international will wear the number 7 shirt with ‘Son’ on his back. A consistent goal scorer during his time in Germany, Son made 78 apps & scored 20 times for Hamburg before joining Leverkusen in June 2013.  He made a total of 87 appearances & scored 29 times during his time at Leverkusen.

Memories: That Usan Bolt’s 2011 disqualification….

Usain Bolt

On this day in 2011Usain Bolt (pictured leaving and holding his head) was disqualified after false-starting in the final of the 100m at the World Championships in Daegu. His fellow Jamaican Yohan Blake (pictured here in lane 6) won the title. Bolt have since recovered from that major disappointment to win many gold medals including the 100m and 200m events at the ongoing world championship in Beijing, China.

Lopsided appointments in Nigeria continues….

President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointment of some of his administration’s most key officials Thursday set off a firestorm of condemnation, with critics characterising the nominations as overwhelmingly lopsided, lacking in gender balance and regional equity. Mr. Buhari named Babachir David Lawal, from Adamawa State, as Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Abba Kyari, from Borno, as his Chief of Staff. He appointed Hameed Ali, a retired colonel, as the Comptroller-General of Nigerian Customs Service, curiously finding no career customs official suitable for the post. He also named Kure Martin Abeshi as the Comptroller-General of Nigerian Immigration Service. Messrs. Ali and Abeshi are from Bauchi and Nasarawa states respectively. A former Senator, Ita Enang, from Akwa Ibom, was appointed senior special assistant to the president on Senate affairs, while Suleiman Kawu of Kano, who is a former House of Representatives member, was named the president’s senior special assistant on House of Representatives.

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Everton reject transfer request from Stones….

John Stones

Everton have rejected a transfer request from defender and Chelsea target John Stones. The 21-year-old England international asked to leave on Tuesday after the Toffees refused three bids from Chelsea, the last for £30m. “John is not for sale,” said Everton chairman Bill Kenwright.  Chelsea feel they have gone as far as they can go and do not currently intend to make another offer for the central defender. Stones played the full 120 minutes of Everton’s 5-3 extra-time victory over Barnsley in the League Cup second round on Wednesday. After the game, manager Roberto Martinez said Everton would turn down any bids for the player. “Sometimes money can’t buy everything and that is going to be a very strong statement at Everton,” said Martinez. Stones, who arrived from Barnsley for £3m in February 2013, has four years left on his contract after signing an extension in August 2014.

Messi named UEFA Best Player in Europe….

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi has received the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award for the second time after finishing ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suárez in a live poll of 54 journalists. Lionel Messi’s role in Barcelona’s treble-winning 2014/15 campaign has been acknowledged with the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award – the second time the forward has been honoured in the accolade’s five-year history. The Argentinian international accepted the trophy from UEFA President Michel Platini at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco. Messi, recipient of the inaugural prize in 2011, finished ahead of Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and club-mate Luis Suárez in a live poll of 54 journalists who selected, via an electronic system, their favourite from the three-man shortlist announced on 12 August. Messi, speaking after the UEFA Champions League group stage draw, said: “We’re a unified squad who worked very hard to achieve the goals we did. I’m very happy and I would like to thank my team-mates – without them I wouldn’t have achieved this.”

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UEFA Champions League groups….

The Champions Leagues group draws were made today and they are:

  • Group A: Paris St-Germain, Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Malmo
  • Group B: PSV Eindhoven, Manchester United, CSKA Moscow, VfL Wolfsburg
  • Group C: Benfica, Atletico Madrid, Galatasaray, Astana
  • Group D: Juventus, Manchester City, Sevilla, Borussia Monchengladbach
  • Group E: Barcelona, Bayer Leverkusen, AS Roma, BATE Borisov
  • Group F: Bayern Munich, Arsenal, Olympiakos, Dinamo Zagreb
  • Group G: Chelsea, Porto, Dynamo Kiev, Maccabi Tel-Aviv
  • Group H: Zenit St Petersburg, Valencia, Olympique Lyon, Gent

Yaya Toure asks for Ivory Coast rest….

Yaya Toure

Manchester City’s Yaya Toure has asked not to be included in Ivory Coast’s squad for their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Sierra Leone. Coach Michel Dussuyer has also left out Newcastle’s Cheick Tiote, plus Siaka Tiene and Lacina Traore for the match on 6 September. Dussuyer says Toure is still thinking about his international future. “At the moment he’s in a period of reflection about his international future,” Dussuyer said. “I met him in London and told him I was counting on him. “He’s a big player and the captain of the team. I hope he’ll continue his adventure with us.” Toure said in March that he was considering whether to continue playing for the 2015 Nations Cup winners. Dussuyer also explained the absence of several other experienced players. “As for Cheick Tiote we tried to get in contact with him through various means but there was no sign of life. “I just wish he had made his position clear. Siaka Tiene still doesn’t have a club, “As for Lacina Traore and Tallo Gadji, I have to make a choice but it doesn’t mean that I won’t call on them in the future. “They will just have to play well for their clubs.” The match will be played in the Nigerian city of Lagos as Sierra Leone are banned from hosting matches at home due to the Ebola crisis. Sierra Leone lost their opening Nations Cup qualifier 1-0 to Group I opponents Sudan in June. The group also includes 2017 Nations Cup hosts Gabon but their matches will not count towards qualification. Only the group winners advance to the finals.

Usain Bolt wins 200m gold….

Usain Bolt celebrates his victory in the 200m which saw him complete the sprint double at the world championships.

Usain Bolt beats Justin Gatlin again to win 200m world championship gold. Bolt won the rematch as he ran a wonderful bend to once again leave rival Justin Gatlin chasing silver and fresh air. On a sweaty, sticky night in the Bird’s Nest, Bolt was out quicker and opened an unassailable lead over the first 100m before coming away down the straight and jabbing his thumbs at his chest as he crossed the line. His 19.55 seconds was the fastest in the world this year, his speed and peerless championship class too good for American Gatlin, whose 19.74 was well outside his season’s best. Jamaican Bolt, who will also compete in the 4x100m relay, added: “It means a lot to me. “I’m happy to be a 10-time World Championships gold medallist, especially when people have been saying I would lose. “I always have uttermost confidence, that is one thing you guys know. With a coach like Glen Mills, there is never a doubt. As long as he says I can do it, then I can do it. He is like my guardian angel. That is the way I look at it. He knows how to get me prepared, how to get me right. As long as my coach is confident, I am super confident.”

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AfroBasket: Nigeria beat Mozambique 83-47….

Nigeria men’s basketball team D’Tigers defeated Mozambique 83-47 to pick a spot in the quarter-finals of the 2015 Africa Nations Championship holding in Tunisia. The match which ended after 8pm on Wednesday, saw the Tigers winning all the quarters as the battle for a place at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics continues. Nigeria won the first quarter 29-11 before both sides slowed down the pace in the following quarter which ended 12-8. The third quarter was won at 20-12 before the Nigerians finally confirmed their dominance with the last quarter result at 22-11.

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Okagbare withdraws from 200m race….

The hopes of Nigeria winning a medal in the individual events suffered a huge blow on Wednesday when Blessing Okagbare did not show up for the women’s 200m of the ongoing IAAF World Athletics Championships in Beijing, China. The situation has left many confused. Gabriel Okon, who is the head coach of Team Nigeria in Beijing, said Okagbare copped a hamstring in her warm-up and had to withdraw from the race but some other sources in China suggest she was not prepared for the race. As of Wednesday morning, Okagbare was still listed in the start list of heat three, but she failed to show up for the race eventually.

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