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Kelechi Iheanacho might be available for sale in January – Leicester City boss, Puel

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Leicester City manager, Claude Puel, has hinted at the possibility of selling Nigeria star Kelechi Iheanacho four weeks before the winter transfer market opens for business.

The Foxes have six strikers in the first team consisting of Iheanacho, Vardy, Ahmed Musa, Slimani, Okazaki and Ulloa, and the former Man City starlet has found game time hard to come by after making only two starts in the Premier League from a possible fifteen.

Speaking to Leicester Mercury, Puel said: “Kelechi had an injury and for the moment, we have competition.

“I am happy with Jamie for example. Kelechi or other players cannot play on the side.

“It’s difficult for them, but for me also to manage all these players because we have six strikers so there is no place for all the players.”

Iheanacho penned a five-year contract with Leicester City in the summer for a fee in the region of 25 million pounds.

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BREAKING: Nigeria to play Argentina, Iceland, Croatia in 2018 World Cup’s group stage

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The Super Eagles of Nigeria were, on Friday, drawn in Group D to play against Iceland, Croatia and nemesis Argentina in the group stage of the 2018 World Cup scheduled to hold in Russia.

Nigeria once met in 1994 World Cup. They will meet again in Russia next year.

The Nigerians play its first game of the world most prestigious competition against Croatia.

The complete World Cup draw!

Group A Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay
Group B Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran
Group C France, Australia, Peru, Denmark
Group D Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria
Group E Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia
Group F Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea
Group G Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England
Group H Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan

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Wenger speaks on Ozil’s ‘move’ to Barcelona

Manchester United v Arsenal – Premier League

Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, has dismissed speculations that Mesut Ozil is set to sign for La Liga giants, Barcelona.

Ozil is out of contract at the end of the season and Barca have emerged as a possible destination for the Germany playmaker.

However, Wenger is uninterested in speaking about the possibility of a move during the January transfer window, along with the future of Alexis Sanchez.

“What kind of control can I have over that [speculation]? All these people have agents who can talk to anybody,” Wenger said.

“That doesn’t disturb people, that happens all through their career. I have no concerns. I am more concerned about the team performance.

“Ozil and Alexis are praised when the team is doing well because of them, and when the team doesn’t do well they get more criticism. I’m more concerned that the team performances are strong performances.”

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We’re in discussion with Fury’s camp, says Anthony Joshua

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Britain’s Anthony Joshua believes a fight with former world champion Tyson Fury is a possibility, saying promoter Eddie Hearn has begun discussions about it.

Joshua retained his IBF, WBA and IBO world heavyweight titles with a 10th-round stoppage-win over Carlos Takam in Cardiff on Saturday.

The 28-year-old said he was keen on fighting fellow Briton Fury whose license was suspended by the British Boxing Board of Control after he relinquished his two world titles last year to focus on overcoming his mental health problems.

“It’s Anthony Joshua versus the world right now, I have got to fight them all,” he told Sky Sports. “Eddie is right, as a promoter it works well for him, it works well for me and I think it works well for people who want to watch me and Fury get it on.

“I wish him the best of luck with what he’s going through because we need to see him back in the ring. Eddie has been on the phone to Tyson, trying to make things happen and support his cause.”

Fury, who has a 25-0 record, was also charged with a rule violation by UK Anti-Doping after a urine sample from February 2015 showed traces of the banned stimulant nandrolone. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Joshua understands he must also fulfill his obligations with regard to mandatory fights as a champion against opponents, including New Zealand’s Joseph Parker and American Deontay Wilder.

“At the minute, the fighters who are closer on a championship level are the likes of Parker and Wilder,” Joshua added.

NAN

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After 13 years: Fabregas finally admits he threw pizza at Alex Ferguson (Video)

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The hitherto unsolved mystery of who threw a pizza at former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson is over.

The culprit is Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas. The midfielder himself made the revelation.

The event happened in 2004 and had remained an unresolved mystery until Fabregas’ confession on James Corden’s League of their Own episode on Wednesday.

 

“Can we finally put the case of the flying pizza to bed once and for all? Were you the culprit that thew the pizza?” Fabregas was asked.

“Yes,” replied Fabregas. “Martin Keown is a liar because I saw him in front of me just, like, punching people so he didn’t see anything.

“All of a sudden, I heard noises and I thought what’s happening? So I go out with my slice of pizza and I saw Sol Campbell, Rio Ferdinand, Martin Keown… everyone pushing each other.

“I was like I want to get in but I don’t know how to and I threw, just threw it. Once I saw it was hitting, like, who it was hitting, which I didn’t mean.

“I apologise Sir Alex, really didn’t mean to do that.”

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Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo And Neymar Shortlisted For Best FIFA Men’s Player Award

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Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Paris St-Germain’s Neymar comprise the Best Fifa Men’s Player shortlist.

Ronaldo helped Real Madrid to a second consecutive Champions League title and finished as the tournament’s top scorer with 12 goals earlier this year.

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane, Chelsea’s Antonio Conte and Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri were on the shortlist for the Best FIFA Men’s Coach award.

Holder Carli Lloyd is again nominated for the women’s player award alongside Venezuelan striker Deyna Castellanos and Lieke Martens, who helped Netherlands to the Euro 2017 title.

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‘Penaltygate’ threatens to halt PSG’s lightning start

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Paris Saint-Germain coach Unai Emery refused to name his first-choice penalty taker on Thursday, after Neymar and Edinson Cavani’s apparent falling out against Lyon last week.

The Ligue 1 leaders travel to Montpellier on Saturday looking to make it seven straights wins to kick off the season, after smashing spending records in the close season to compile the fearsome ‘MCN’ front line of Neymar, Cavani and Kylian Mbappe.

But the South American pair disagreed over who should take a penalty in the 2-0 win over Lyon, before Cavani saw his effort saved by Anthony Lopes, with Neymar appearing to walk away shaking his head in disgust.

“The two players who will be taking the penalties are Cavani and Neymar,” Emery told a press conference on Thursday.

“(That is) because they’re capable of assuming this responsibility, but other players can take them.

“During training we practice penalties because when the decisive moment arrives and we can win a title with penalties, we will need more than two.

“Last year, the penalty taker was Cavani, this year with the arrival of Neymar there are two. Who is number one and who is number two, I will make that decision.”

Despite the furore over the penalty drama, PSG have been in irresistible form and lead reigning champions Monaco by three points at the top of the early table.

However, Spaniard Emery may opt to make some changes for the trip to Montpellier with Wednesday’s Champions League clash against Bayern Munich in mind.

Monaco kick off the weekend action with a trip to Marcelo Bielsa’s struggling Lille on Friday.

Leonardo Jardim’s principality outfit bounced back from a shock 4-0 thrashing at Nice by seeing off Strasbourg 3-0 last week, with Radamel Falcao’s brace taking him to nine league goals for the season already.

Monaco welcome Porto to the Stade Louis II in the Champions League on Tuesday, but Jardim ruled out making wholesale changes.

“My message doesn’t change: the next match is the most important,” he said.

“It’s not possible for a player to save himself for the Champions League. If he does, he could also miss out on that match.”

AFP

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Premier League hardest to win – Mourinho

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Manchester United manager, Jose Mourinho, has said it has never been more difficult to win the Premier League title.

United have made a flying start to the season, scoring 12 goals to collect 10 points from their opening four league games.

Mourinho, whose team host Everton on Sunday, led Chelsea to three Premier League titles, but he feels it is tougher now in England.

“I think it is more difficult now,” he said.

“The economic power belongs to everyone.

“When you speak about economic power, it is not just to buy but to keep players and say, ‘No, we don’t sell’. That power belongs to every club in the Premier League, so the teams are potentially strong.

“But it was always difficult for different reasons. It is difficult because this is the country with more teams that fight for the title.

“And with more teams outside that group of six or seven who have conditions to give you hard matches and to take points off you.

“It is difficult because it is competitive. It is the most difficult country in which to win the title.”

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Liverpool reject Barcelona’s £118m bid for Coutinho

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Liverpool have rejected a third bid from Barcelona for star playmaker Philippe Coutinho, a source from the Premier League club confirmed to AFP on Friday.

British media reports said Barcelona’s latest bid was worth around £114 million ($146.5 million, 124.7 million euros), a significant increase on their previous offer of £90 million.

Liverpool have publicly stated that Coutinho is not for sale at any price and consider the figures being offered by Barcelona irrelevant.

The 25-year-old Brazil playmaker, currently sidelined by a back problem, has submitted a transfer request.

He signed a new five-year contract in January.

Barcelona have targeted Coutinho and Borussia Dortmund winger Ousmane Dembele to plug the gap created by Neymar’s world-record 222 million euro ($260.8 million) move to Paris Saint-Germain.

Speaking on Thursday, Barca general manager Pep Segura said deals for the pair were “close”.

But Liverpool are refusing to budge and Dembele, 20, has been suspended by Dortmund after going on strike in a bid to force through a move.

Coutinho joined Liverpool from Inter Milan in an £8.5 million move in January 2013 and is the key creative figure in Jurgen Klopp’s team, scoring 14 goals in all competitions last season.

AFP

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Conte: Chelsea have a small squad, this season will be difficult.

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Antonio Conte, Chelsea manager, has warned that this would be “the most difficult” season of his entire career, admitting that his squad is “too small”.

Conte, speaking ahead of Sunday’s Community Shield game with Arsenal, made it clear that he is still more than one player short, as he prepares to defence the Blues’ Premier League title.

“For me, it will be the most difficult season of my career,” Conte said.

“I’m sure about this. It will be the most difficult of my career as a coach.”

Pressed on why he felt that way, the former Juventus and Italy manager tellingly refused to expand, adding: “I have this perception and I hope I’ve made a mistake.”

Chelsa have spent big money on Alvaro Morata, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Antonio Rudiger in the off-season..

Having seen Paris St-Germain smash the transfer world record by buying Neymar for around £200 million, Conte said: “We have a small squad. I think only one player is not enough to improve our team.

“We need more players, not top level like Neymar but more players to improve our squad and our quality.”

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