Archive | July 4, 2016

Torres signs new Atletico deal….

Fernando Torres

Atletico Madrid have announced that striker Fernando Torres has signed a new one-year contract at the Liga club. Torres, 32, was a free agent after his contract expired in the summer, but it had been suggested he would prolong his stay at his boyhood club. The Spain international returned to Atletico on a two-year loan deal from AC Milan in 2014 and last season he helped the club finish third in La Liga and reach the final of the Champions League, which they lost on penalties to Real Madrid. Last season, Torres scored 11 league goals in 30 appearances and netted once in Europe. He said on the club’s official website: “I am happy to be here. I never had any doubts about where I wanted to be during the course of this process — even though we didn’t know what was going to happen. In the end, the important thing is that I got what I had hoped for.”

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Schweinsteiger injury blow….

Bastian Schweinsteiger

Manchester United’s Bastian Schweinsteiger is a major doubt for Germany’s Euro 2016 semi-final against France on Thursday after sustaining a knee injury. Schweinsteiger replaced Sami Khedira during the first half of the quarter-final victory over Italy and played on despite taking a heavy knock. “It’s a really bitter blow when important players are sidelined at the crucial stage of the tournament,” said Germany boss Joachim Low. “It was clear we would need Bastian over the course of the tournament. He did well, he worked hard and it was important to have his experience on the pitch. You need different players in such a tournament.”

Leicester agree Musa deal….

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Premier League champions Leicester City have agreed a deal with CSKA Moscow to sign Nigeria forward Ahmed Musa, according to the player’s agent. The 23-year-old, who joined CSKA in 2012 and scored 54 goals in 168 games, is set to sign for what could be a Foxes club-record fee. “Everything has been finalised and Musa will be in England for his medical on Wednesday,” Tony Harris said. Musa is believed to have turned down Southampton, Everton and West Ham. CSKA Moscow coach Leonid Slutsky admitted the Nigerian, who can play as winger or striker, is on his way out of the club. “He’ll be leaving on Tuesday,” Slutsky told the Russian media. “And if you look at the way things are done over there you’ll see he is a player just made for English football.” Musa, Nigeria’s Vice Captain, made his international debut against Madagascar in September 2010 and has scored 11 times in 58 appearances for the Super Eagles. He scored twice in Nigeria’s 3-2 loss to Argentina at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. In doing so he became the first Nigerian to score twice at a finals match and his first goal was his country’s fastest goal at the tournament, coming after only four minutes.

Mourinho starts first official day at Man U….

Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho has started his first official day as Manchester United boss. According to the Manchester Evening News, the former Chelsea manager arrived at Manchester Piccadilly on Sunday and stayed in a city centre hotel before setting off for United’s Carrington training base this morning. Mourinho posted a picture of him arriving in Manchester on his Instagram account.

Mikel Arteta to join Guardiola at Manchester City….

Mikel Arteta is to join Manchester City in a coaching role and confirmed he had retiring from playing. “Following recent media speculation surrounding my future I can confirm that I will be leaving Arsenal and retiring from playing to take up a coaching position at Manchester City,” the 34-year-old wrote on Twitter. “I’ve enjoyed an amazing five years at Arsenal and it’s been an honour and a privilege to captain such a great club. “I am now looking forward to the challenge ahead at Manchester City. The opportunity to join Pep Guardiola and his team was an amazing opportunity for me and I am incredibly excited for the future.” The former Rangers and Everton midfielder was at Barcelona when the City manager, Guardiola, was in the first team and the two have reunited at the Etihad Stadium.

Takuma Asano joins Arsenal….

Takuma Asano

Arsenal are to sign the Japan striker Takuma Asano from the J-League club Sanfrecce Hiroshima. The 21-year-old made his international debut in August last year and has made five appearances. The forward is expected to be named in Japan’s squad for the Olympic Games in Rio. “Takuma is a talented young striker and very much one for the future,” Arsène Wenger, the Arsenal manager, said. “He has had an impressive start to his career in Japan and we look forward to him developing over the next couple of years.” The forward boosts Arsenal’s attacking options after their pursuit of Jamie Vardy ended in failure. “Vardy has decided to stay at Leicester and good luck to him,” Wenger said. “He came late to the game and in fairness Leicester bought him from Fleetwood and he has been successful. He is 29 and he has chosen to stay at Leicester. You have to respect that.” Asano, whose transfer is subject to a medical, is expected to train with the first‑team squad. He becomes the third Japanese player to play under Wenger at Arsenal, following the midfielders Junichi Inamoto and Ryo Miyaichi. He joins Granit Xhaka in signing for Arsenal this summer.

Nampalys Mendy joins Leicester City….

Nampalys Mendy

Leicester City have signed Nampalys Mendy from Nice on a four-year contract. The 24-year-old becomes the Premier League champions’ third summer signing, following Ron-Robert Zieler and Luis Hernández. Although the fee is undisclosed, Leicester are understood to have paid around £10m for the midfielder, who said: “I am very happy to come to Leicester. The team have just enjoyed a great season and it’s excellent to be here. For me I want to play at this level. I like the Premier League and I follow every match. It’s fast and physical and I want to impose myself on the league. “I know the coach [Claudio Ranieri], I know his mentality and I know his philosophy. When he speaks it’s direct and clear and I like this.” Mendy began his career with Monaco, where he played every game under Ranieri during the 2012-13 season en route to winning the Ligue 2 title. Mendy is regarded as a similar player to N’Golo Kanté, who has a £20m release clause in his contract and has attracted interest from Chelsea and Paris-Saint Germain. The central midfielder, who has been capped by France at under-21 level, helped Nice to fourth in Ligue 1 last season and played in every match for Claude Puel’s side.

Guardiola optimistic as he is unveiled at Etihad Stadium….

New Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says he moved to the Premier League to prove himself in England. Around 7,000 fans turned up at Etihad Stadium to hear the 45-year-old speak for the first time as City manager. “That is why I am here. I proved myself in Barcelona and after I proved myself in Germany I wanted to prove myself in England,” he said. “I cannot do that alone. I need the players, the staff. We need our fans. Without that, it is impossible.” The Spaniard joins City after three years at Bayern Munich where he won a hat-trick of Bundesliga titles but failed to reach a Champions League final. However, the former Spain international midfielder did win that tournament twice during his four years as Barcelona boss. He believes that a strong team spirit will be integral to City’s success. “I like the players who don’t just think for themselves but think about Manchester City,” said Guardiola. “We are all the people who are working here. The reason we are here is thinking ‘what can we do to make this club a better club’. “I don’t want the guys to think about what the club can do for them. We are here to make Manchester City a better club in the next three, four, five years.” He added: “One of the reasons I decided to come to Manchester City is I know from (sporting director) Txiki Begiristain how good they are working with the young players – 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, they grow and grow and imagine they can join us in the first team.”

Michy Batshuayi joins Chelsea….

Chelsea have signed Belgium striker Michy Batshuayi from Marseille on a five-year contract. The 22-year-old is new manager Antonio Conte’s first signing at Stamford Bridge. The fee was not disclosed by Chelsea but is believed to be 40m euros. The forward, who scored 23 goals for Marseille last season, scored in Belgium’s last-16 win over Hungary at Euro 2016 and also came on in their quarter-final exit to Wales. “I am delighted to sign for one of the biggest clubs in Europe,” said Batshuayi. “[My Belgium team-mates] Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois have told me many good things about the club, and with Antonio Conte coming in, it’s an exciting time to become a Chelsea player.” Batshuayi signed for Marseille from Standard Liege in 2014 and made his international debut in March 2015 in a 5-0 Euro 2016 qualifying win against Cyprus. Against Hungary, he scored with his first touch after coming on as a substitute, converting a cross from his new club team-mate Eden Hazard.

Iheanacho talks about Rio Olympics and Guardiola….

Kelechi Iheanacho will not take part in the Rio Olympics with Nigeria, after leaving it up to Manchester City to make the final decision on his participation. Iheanacho, 20, was named in Nigeria’s 35-man provisional squad for the 2016 Games, but, unlike at previous tournaments, clubs are not obliged to release players to take part. The striker has been informed by City that he will join up with the first team for preseason training ahead of this summer’s tour to China instead. Iheanacho told reporters: “It’s up to the club and country to decide. If your country wants you to play, you really want to go and play as well. It’s not my intention to decide. As I said it’s not my opinion.” The decision to miss out on the Olympics means the forward, who scored 12 goals for City last season, will get the chance to impress new boss Pep Guardiola in preseason. Iheanacho is yet to meet Guardiola but admits he is excited by his arrival and will be working hard to make an impression on his new boss.

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