British-Nigerian Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli has signed a new contract that will keep him at the club until 2021. The 19-year-old, who joined Spurs last February from MK Dons, has impressed in his first full season and has scored six goals in 30 appearances so far. “When I signed I knew wanted to play for Spurs,” he told the club website. “I’ve played a few games and showed people what I can do. I’m 19, have a lot to learn and can’t think of a better place to do that.” Alli played at youth levels for England before receiving his first senior call-up for the Euro 2016 qualifiers against Estonia and Lithuania last October. He made his debut as a substitute against Estonia and a month later scored his first international goal, a long-range effort against France.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s statue on his home island of Madeira has been vandalised with Lionel Messi’s name and shirt number painted on it. The graffiti appeared on the statue in the island’s capital Funchal on Tuesday night shortly after Barcelona’s Messi claimed a fifth Ballon d’Or ahead of the Real Madrid star. Messi’s name and the number 10, both scrawled in red, had been removed on Wednesday after officials were alerted to the damage.
Aston Villa won in the league for first time since August by beating Crystal Palace 1-0 yesterday. An Aston Villa fan named Aston tweeted on 26 September 2015 that he will be taking time out from Twitter:
He returned to action on 12 January 2016 after his side beat Crystal Palace:
Chelsea coach Guus Hiddink suggested for the first time yesterday that he wants to sign a striker during this month’s transfer window. Chelsea are considering making bids for Jamie Vardy, of Leicester City, Saido Berahino, the West Bromwich Albion forward, and Jackson Martínez, of Atlético Madrid, while Emmanuel Adebayor’s availability has been noted and the former Tottenham Hotspur striker could be offered a short-term deal if the club fail to secure an alternative by the end of the month.
Arsenal are closing in on the signings of Nigeria U17 players Kelechi Nwakali and Samuel Chukwueze. A host of Europe’s top clubs have been tracking Nwakali and Chukwueze after they impressed in helping Nigeria win last year’s FIFA U17 World Cup in Chile. The Gunners look to have won the race to sign them, despite Nwakali’s brother Chidiebere playing for Manchester City. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger remains optimistic he will complete the signing of Basel midfielder Mohamed Elneny this week but a double deal for Nwakali and Chukwueze would offer a possible further boost.
Police in Guatemala have arrested a former head of the country’s football federation as part of a major US corruption investigation into the sport’s world governing body, FIFA. The suspect, Brayan Jimenez, had been on the run since last month, when the US issued an arrest warrant for 16 Latin American football officials. He was detained at a block of flats in the capital, Guatemala City. His lawyer said he would not fight the extradition request. “He will prove his innocence in the courts of the United States,” said his lawyer, Francisco Garcia Gudiel. Mr Jimenez was head of the Guatemalan Football Federation (FEDEFUT) from 2010 until last year. US prosecutors say he and former Fedefut Secretary-General Hector Trujillo took a “six-digit bribe” to sell the television rights to qualifying matches for the 2018 World Cup. Mr Trujillo was arrested in the US last month.
Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang says he is happy in Germany and will not be leaving the club for Arsenal or Barcelona. The Gabon international and African Footballer of the Year has scored 18 goals in 17 league games this season. Speaking to Sport Bild, the 26-year-old said: “I still want to achieve lots with Dortmund. “I am here and nowhere else – not at Arsenal, not at Barcelona, not on the moon – you can see that.” Aubameyang has a contract at Dortmund until 2020 and is yet to win any significant silverware since his move from Saint-Etienne in 2013. It had been reported that Arsenal were willing to pay a sizeable transfer fee to sign the striker, but such a move now appears unlikely.
Roma have sacked manager Rudi Garcia after a poor run of results in Serie A. Former Lille manager Garcia had seen his side win just once since the beginning of November, a 2-0 home victory against struggling Genoa. The Italians have been drawn against Real Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League having qualified with the lowest number of points. Alberto de Rossi, who is the father of vice-captain Daniele, will take Wednesday’s training session. Rafa Benitez who Garcia replaced as Roma’s manager had also been sacked by Real Madrid.
World football’s governing body FIFA has dismissed secretary general Jerome Valcke. The Frenchman, 55, was provisionally suspended from football for his alleged involvement in a scheme to profit from the sale of World Cup tickets. He was released from his duties on 17 September after being accused of a series of FIFA ethics code breaches. Appointed in 2007, the former right-hand man of FIFA president Sepp Blatter has denied any wrongdoing. “The duties of the secretary general will continue to be assumed by the acting secretary general, Dr Markus Kattner,” read a FIFA statement. FIFA’s ethics committee said on 7 January that it had decided to open “formal adjudicatory proceedings” against Valcke after studying a report submitted by its investigatory chamber.