Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet has signed a new five-year contract running to the end of the 2020-21 season. Mignolet, 27, joined the Reds from Sunderland in 2013 for £9m and has made 122 appearances for the Anfield club. “I am the sort of character that wants to be a leader, wants to speak in the dressing room and help the defence,” Mignolet told the club’s website.
Swansea City have appointed former Udinese manager Francesco Guidolin as their new head coach. The Italian will have the final say on selection while working alongside Alan Curtis – who had been placed in interim charge – until the end of the season. Swansea, who sacked Garry Monk last month, are 18th in the Premier League. Guidolin, 60, was at the Liberty Stadium for Monday’s game with Watford but a club statement said he would only have a “watching brief”. “At the moment it’s not a good situation for the club, but we have a good team,” Guidolin told the club’s website. “In Italy, I helped my team finish in a good position in the table, and that’s what I hope to achieve here at Swansea. “At the moment everything is new to me, so I need three or four days to talk to the staff and players. After that, I will have a precise idea of things. “Alan Curtis is a legend at Swansea, and this is important for me. He knows everything about the club.”
Nigeria beat Niger 4-1 in the opening Group C games at the 2016 African Nations Championship. There was a hat-trick for Nigeria’s Chisom Chikatara despite only coming on as a substitute in the 57th minute. Nigeria’s coach Sunday Oliseh was a frustrated man at the end of a scrappy and goalless first half against Niger. Oliseh’s mood was lifted moments after the break when Moses Okoro scored after a good team move. Chikatara replaced Tunde Adeniji, who had helped in the build-up to the opening goal, with just over 30 minutes left to play. He scored the first of his three goals 15 minutes later when he fired home from a ball played over the top by Okoro. Niger got back into the game shortly after that when Adje Zakari Adebayor found the net with a long range effort. Their hope was short-lived though as Chikatara scored his second just a minute later, he then spurned chances for his hat-trick before eventually getting his third in injury time. In the other Group C game, Guinea equalised late to earn a 2-2 draw with Tunisia. The next Group C matches in Rwanda are on Friday when Tunisia play Nigeria and Niger take on Guinea.
Central defender Sviatchenkohas signed a four-and-a-half year deal after joining from Danish champions Midtjylland for a fee in the region of £1.5m. The 24-year-old is, according to theDaily Record, “a fashion blogger and the son of a leading conceptual artist”. He seems a right good talker. “It means a lot,” he said after his £1.5m move from Midtjylland. “It means I’m finally away from Denmark. It has been a tough wait for me. When Celtic came in for me, I felt this was a very good decision. This is a winning club. “The fans can expect someone who will give everything, who will connect with them. I walked around Celtic Park and had goosebumps. I could have gone to Italy and the Championship and, last year, to the Premier League but when this opportunity came along I was so happy we could connect the dots.”
The home based Super Eagles of Nigeria will today play their opening game of 2016 CHAN against Niger in far away Rwanda. The match will be played by 5pm Nigerian time. Good luck to the coach Sunday Oliseh boys!
Novak Djokovic says match-fixing is not prevalent at the top level of tennis, as allegations of corruption overshadow the start of the Australian Open. The world number one, who says he rejected £110,000 to lose a match early in his career, says there is “no real proof” of fixing among the elite. “It’s just speculation,” said the Serb 10-time Grand Slam champion. BBC and BuzzFeed News are said to have obtained secret files that contain evidence of suspected match-fixing in tennis. The coming days will tell.
Remember him? Former Chelsea forward Adrian Mutu has joined ASA Tirgu-Mures in a bid to try to win a place in Romania’s Euro 2016 squad. They become the 13th club of the 37-year-old’s career and follows a spell with Pune City in the Indian Super League. Mutu was sacked by Chelsea in 2004 after he tested positive for a banned substance.
Danish club FC Copenhagen have confirmed they have reached agreement with Leicester City over the transfer of Ghana international Daniel Amartey. Amartey won a silver medal with the Black Stars of Ghana at the 2015 African Cup of Nations.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has landed a four-year deal to be the face of a campaign promoting a non-alcoholic German beer in England. The former Borussia Dortmund coach has been chosen by brewers Warsteiner after winning admirers across the country with his charismatic nature. ‘I am particularly pleased about this partnership because I associate the taste of Warsteiner with home,’ said Klopp. ‘My grandparents owned a small brewery and I do enjoy a good beer. ‘I am a German football coach and one of the ambassadors of our national sport, just like Warsteiner beer is one of the best ambassadors for the German beer tradition.’ Although the German company makes alcoholic beers, Klopp will be promoting their alcoholic-free ‘Warsteiner Fresh’ variant, which claims to provide ‘100% premium enjoyment’, and ‘the perfect refreshment for sports, meetings or just to enjoy between meals’.
Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney set a new Premier League record for most goals scored for a single club on Sunday with 176, passing Arsenal legend Thierry Henry’s mark of 175 with a 78th minute late strike against Liverpool at Anfield.
Defending women’s champion Serena Williams reached the second round of the Australian Open with a tense 6-4 7-5 win over Italian Camila Giorgi in her first tour match in four months. The American, 34, had been struggling with a left knee injury in the build-up, but came through unscathed. Men’s champion Novak Djokovic eased through in straight sets, beating South Korea’s Hyeon Chung 6-3 6-2 6-4. Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova are also in action in Melbourne on Monday. Djokovic is bidding to equal Australian Roy Emerson’s record of six Australian Open crowns.
Ashley Cole has reached agreement with Roma for the termination of his contract and is discussing a move to LA Galaxy. Former Chelsea and Arsenal defender Cole made just 11 appearances for the Serie A side, who earlier this week sacked their manager.