Liverpool have made an approach to sign Shakhtar Donetsk’s Brazilian attacker Alex Teixeira as Jurgen Klopp attempts to secure his first major signing since becoming manager at Anfield. The Reds are willing to pay about £24.5m for the 26-year-old. However, the Ukrainian club value Teixeira, who has also been linked with Chelsea, at closer to £39m. Klopp is looking to boost his striking options, with Danny Ings, Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge injured. With £32.5m summer signing Christian Benteke out of sorts, Liverpool have only scored 25 goals in 22 Premier League games this season.
Fenerbahce striker Emmanuel Emenike has attempted something a little cryptic on Instagram, posting a still from movie Green Street. It’s a movie about West Ham hooligans. Presumably he is on his way to Upton Park. It has been reported in the last few days that the Hammers want to take the 28-year-old on loan. Emenike has spent the first part of the season on loan at Dubai side Al Ain.
Chelsea are discussing a £7million transfer fee with Corinthians for Alexandre Pato. The Brazil striker who once played for AC Milan is willing to take a pay cut and has agreed a three-year deal in principle. Pato’s representatives are continuing to talk to Chelsea and Corinthians in a bid to resolve his future, with both clubs yet to reach an agreement as discussions continue. Corinthians had wanted around £12m for the 26-year-old who will still need to gain a work permit. Known as ‘The Duck,’ Pato’s arrival could signal the departure of Loic Remy as Chelsea have interest from Spartak Moscow in the Frenchman.
President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria today hosted and rewarded victorious sports men and women at the state house banquet hall. Buhari rewarded World scrabble champion, Wellington Jighere with N1.5m while his coach got N1.2m & his team security got N450,000 reward. The Golden Eaglets got N1.2m each while their Coach got N900,000 and Assistant coach got N600,000. Other Golden Eaglets team officials got between N200, 000 to N300,000. U-23 AFCON Champions and their coach were rewarded with N500,000 each. Also rewarded was the 1985 Golden Eaglets squad that got N2m each while their coaches got N1.5m. The next of kin of any late player will receive the award on behalf of the deceased. Nigeria’s National basketball team, D’Tigers got N600,000 each while their Coach got N600,000. The U16 female basketball team that won silver at the U16 FIBA AFRICA were rewarded with N600,000 each. Their coaches also got same amount while other officials got N150,000. Also rewarded were the Athletes at the IPC Asian open (powerlifting). The winner of the Gold medal got 600,000, Silver 450,000 and coaches 450,000. Their officials got N250,000 each.
Former Super Eagles striker and coach, Daniel “The Bull” Amokachi, has secured a one-year deal to coach JS Hercules of Finland. The former Besiktas and Everton striker’s appointment is effective immediately. The Finnish second division side stated on their official website as follows: “Oulu-based football club Hercules has signed an agreement with former Nigeria national team player and Coach Daniel Amokachi. The head coach for the previous season Pekka Haaranen will continue as assistant coach. Amokachi’s agreement with Hercules is one year,”. Congrats to the Bull.
It’s the biggest stadium in Europe and, having been built in the 1950s, boasts a retro kind of cool that new stadiums will never match. Home to FC Barcelona plans are afoot for Camp Nou to be enclosed in translucent panels in the colours of the team. Architectural genius Norman Foster (The Gherkin, Wembley) is behind it, but judging by these artist impressions, it would look just like those new stadiums it currently trumps.
Spanish newspaper El Mundo are suggesting that Barcelona defender Javier Mascheranohas been sentenced to a year in prison and an 815,000 euro fine for tax evasion after appearing in court on Thursday. El Mundo also report that, Mascherano admitted defrauding the treasury of 1.5m euros in 2011 and 2012, the Barcelona star has asked the judge if he can pay a further fine of 21,000 euros rather than serve the one-year prison term. A judge will rule if Mascherano can escape a one-year jail term in exchange for paying an increased fine. In a statement, the 31-year-old said: “I don’t have a great understanding of taxes and law. To deal with what are for me technical and complicated matters, I have to rely on other people. “Throughout all my career I have been an honest person, responsible and respectful of the clubs that I have played for and the countries I have lived in.”
West Ham United are confident of completing a loan deal for former Nigerian international Emmanuel Emenike to ease the club’s striker crisis. Hammers manager Slaven Bilic has been hit by injuries to Diafra Sakho and Andy Carroll, leaving him with Nikica Jelavic as his only out-and-out senior striker. Emenike has been on loan at Al Ain from Turkish club Fenerbahce and scored nine goals in 15 games for the Abu Dhabi team before the temporary deal ended this month. Emenike has played 37 times for Nigeria including featuring at the 2014 world cup, scoring nine goals, and has also played for Spartak Moscow. West Ham will initially take 28-year-old Emenike on loan until the end of the season before reassessing their options in the summer, when Manchester City’s Wilfried Bony is likely to be among their top targets.
Tennis legend Lleyton Hewitt bows out of the 2016 Australian Open – and also the professional singles tennis – for the final time as he succumbs in straight sets to David Ferrer. It is all about the vanquished rather than the victor though at the end of the match. “I came out and gave everything I could as always – I can be proud that all throughout my career I have given 100%. It is not hard in front of great spectators like these on the Rod Laver Arena, I am lucky to have done this for 20 years,” says Lleyton Hewitt. “I don’t think it will sink in until later this week. I have had a fantastic last month on tour – playing in nearly every major city in this country. It means so much for me. “Playing for Australia has always been the greatest honour for me and it is great to finish it all here.” Hewitt won the US open in 2001 and also won the Wimbledon in 2002. He was world number one at some point in 2001.
Nigerian football star Perpetua Nkwocha knows what it’s like to find yourself many miles from home, making a new life. Her playing career took her from Nigeria to China and then to Sweden – where she has been based in the northern town of Skelleftea for more than seven years. Now the multiple African champion and African Women’s Footballer of the Year is helping others who have made a very different journey, to the same destination. She is player-coach for a local team, but much of her spare time this winter is being taken up coaching a group of Afghan teenagers, some of the hundreds of young migrants who have arrived in the town in recent months. “I feel that it’s similar – which is why I have to try to make them happy, because I know where they came from,” she told the BBC. “I feel so glad that I connected with them and we started this project together. “We try to make them feel welcome, try to make them feel happy, try to make them get friends and associate with other Swedish people.”