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.
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.”
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 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.”
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.
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.
Real Madrid defender Fabio Coentrao has joined French side Monaco on a season-long loan deal. The Portugal left-back struggled for first-team football at the Spanish club last season. Former Manchester United manager David Moyes tried to bring him to Old Trafford in September 2013 but a transfer deadline day loan move fell through. The 27-year-old joined Real from Benfica for a reported £25m in 2011.
Egypt has withdrawn its men’s Under-23 team and women’s senior team from the 2015 African Games, which will be held from 6-18 September in Brazzaville. The rules state that the Organising Committee could replace a team with the opponent it eliminated. However, Senegal (Women) and Burundi (Men) decided not to take up a spot because of the short notice period. It means both the men’s and women’s competition will have one group of three teams and one group of four.