Wayne Rooney: Man Utd Captain’s Agent In China To Discuss Potential Move

There are no guarantees of success and it is thought a deal remains highly unlikely before the Chinese transfer window closes on 28 February.

But the fact Stretford has travelled to China is a clear indication United boss Jose Mourinho would let Rooney, 31, go.

Rooney has fallen down the pecking order at United under Mourinho.
The England captain has been made aware of interest in him from the Chinese Super League for some time, although it is not known which clubs Stretford has spoken to.

However, two of the three clubs who looked the most likely options for Rooney have ruled themselves out.

Beijing Guoan, believed to be the favourite team of Chinese President Xi, had been seen as one of the favourites to sign Rooney but sources close to the club have told BBC Sport they are not interested in signing him.

The England captain’s representatives have already spoken to Tianjin Quanjian and their coach, Fabio Cannavaro, said talks did not progress, while sources close to Jiangsu Suning also dismissed speculation over a transfer.

On Tuesday, Mourinho said he did not know whether Rooney, who has only just returned to training after a hamstring injury, would still be at Old Trafford in a week’s time.

It is not known whether this latest development will affect Rooney’s chances of being involved in Sunday’s EFL Cup final against Southampton.

They had appeared to have increased after Henrikh Mkhitaryan limped out of Wednesday’s 1-0 Europa League win against Saint-Etienne.

If Rooney follows former team-mate Carlos Tevez to the Chinese Super League, it would almost certainly cost him any chance of making the seven appearances he needs to become England’s most capped player.

Rooney’s preference is understood to be to remain with United for the rest of his contract, which expires in 2019, but a lack of time on the pitch is forcing him to consider alternatives.

Rooney is United’s record goalscorer and has won five Premier League titles and a Champions League trophy since joining them as an 18-year-old for £27m from Everton in 2004.

The forward, who has started only three games since 17 December, has said he would not play for an English club other than United or Everton

The big difference between Chinese Super League clubs’ transfer process and their Premier League counterparts is the preparation.

English top-flight clubs have extensive scouting departments with links around the world. They identify players months in advance, watch many live games and base their decision on an extensive process.
Oscar moved to Shanghai SIPG from Chelsea in a £60m deal in December and scored on his debut for his new club
In CSL, the process is more agent-led. Most of the clubs are approached with recommendations for a position they are recruiting in, rather than seeking out players themselves.

Foreign players coming in on large fees are commanding three-, four-, five-year deals, even at the end of their career. They have the upper hand in negotiations and wouldn’t leave European football without long-term financial guarantees.

However, the Chinese government is concerned about capital leaving the country and it is difficult for these big transactions to exist while they are trying to crack down in other areas.

I think we will see a levelling out in fees. The £15m-£20m transfers will continue to happen for the next few years, but maybe we won’t see the likes of the £60m deal that brought Oscar to China.


Credit: BBC NEWS

“Why Messi Is Not Celebrating His Goals At Barcelona Anymore”- Coach

Head coach of the Argentina national team, Edgardo Bauza, has said Lionel Messi is not celebrating his goals at Barcelona because he is very angry with criticisms that came after their 4-0 loss to Paris Saint-Germain.

Messi scored twice including a 90th-minute winner from the penalty spot, as Barca narrowly defeated Leganes 2-1 in La Liga on Sunday.

But he refused to celebrate the goal with the team, as the team had been jeered during the game.

“I think he reacted to the criticism he may have received after PSG,” Bauza told radio show, Joga Bonito.

“I noticed he was very angry when he scored the goals.”

Barca coach Luis Enrique, has already said he is not interested in if the 29-year-old celebrated or not.

Their win saw them move within a point of league leaders, Real Madrid, who have two games in hand.

Rooney Returns To Man United Training

Manchester United’s record goalscorer Wayne Rooney returned to training on Tuesday having missed the last four matches with a muscular injury.

The 31-year-old forward — who became United’s all-time goalscorer passing Bobby Charlton’s tally of 249 when he scored against Stoke on January 21 — took part in the squad’s last session before they fly to France for Wednesday’s Europa League last 32 second leg clash with St Etienne.

United — who will be without suspended midfielder Ander Herrera and the injured defender Phil Jones — won the first leg 3-0 part of a four match winning streak coinciding with Rooney’s absence.
Rooney — whom United manager Jose Mourinho said would not be sold despite reported interest from China as the club chases three Cups — trained in front of the media in a group also comprising Anthony Martial and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Source: Today.ng

Neymar: Barcelona Forward To Stand Trial On Corruption Charges

The case relates to a complaint from Brazilian investment group DIS, which owned 40% of Neymar’s transfer rights.

It claims it received less money than it was entitled to when Neymar joined Barca from Santos for £49m in 2013.

Santos, Neymar’s mother and a company run by the 25-year-old footballer’s parents will also face charges.

“Santos FC, Barcelona FC, Neymar, his mother Nadine Goncalves and N&N, the family company, have lost their appeals to have charges of fraud and corruption dropped,” the Spanish High Court said in a statement.

They cannot appeal against the court’s decision.

Prosecutors are seeking a two-year prison sentence and a fine of nearly £8m for Neymar.

However, even if the Brazil international were found guilty he would be unlikely to go to jail. Under the Spanish legal system, prison terms of under two years are typically suspended.

Prosecutors are also seeking a fine of about £7.2m for Barcelona and £5.6m for Santos.

Barca thought they had brought the affair to a close when a judge archived the case in June, but Spain’s public prosecutor successfully overturned the ruling in September, allowing the case to proceed.

Neymar’s Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi was sentenced to 21 months in prison for tax fraud in July of last year. He has appealed against the sentence.

Mikel Speaks On Iheanacho’s Future At Manchester City

After spending close to 11 year at the giant premier league Chelsea, Nigerian international Mikel Obi advised his national team mate Kelechi Iheanacho of his future at Manchester city.

Iheanacho has been left out of the first team by City’s boss Pep Guardiola who prefer the duo of Sergio Aguero and injured Brazilian star Gabriel Jesus upfront.

Mikel speaks on Iheanacho’s future at Manchester City
Manchester City star Kelechi Iheanacho

Mikel who was in the same shoes at Chelsea under new Chelsea coach Antonio Conte believes Kelechi Iheanacho will become a better player at the Etihad stadium.

”Iheanacho will become a better player after this phase, he is a strong lad, a very positive minded being and level headed.

”I believe he will fight for his place at Manchester City and become a great player at the club,” Mikel explained.

Meanwhile, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola might be considering giving the 20-year-old Nigerian youngster another chance to prove his ability after the injury sustained by Brazilian star Gabriel Jesus.

Angel Di Maria Scores Twice As PSG Trashes Bercelona

Two goals from Angel Di Maria and one apiece from Julian Draxler and Edinson Cavani gave Paris Saint-Germain an unexpected and potentially unassailable 4-0 lead against Barcelona in their Champions League round of 16 first leg tie.

Former Sevilla coach Unai Emery, a three-time Europa League winner, was appointed to improve upon PSG’s record in the Champions League and the Spaniard has them on course for the quarterfinals courtesy of two goals in each half from a side playing without the influence and experience of Thiago Silva and Thiago Motta.

PSG had the better of the early exchanges with Blaise Matuidi and Adrien Rabiot forcing Marc-Andre ter Stegen into saves, before Di Maria scored an 18th-minute free kick to break the deadlock.

On the counter-attack Barcelona came close to an equaliser when Neymar picked out Andre Gomes’ excellent run down the right wing, but his shot was comfortably saved by Kevin Trapp in the PSG goal.

But it was PSG who struck next, in the 40th minute when Lionel Messi was robbed of possession in midfield. Draxler played the ball inside to Marco Verratti who drove forward before picking out his German teammate to finish coolly past Ter Stegen from the right-hand side of the penalty area.

Ten minutes into the second half Di Maria added a third as PSG hit Barca on the break with great effect, the former Real Madrid man curling a left-footed shot into the top corner to leave Barcelona in real trouble ahead of the second leg.

And then, with Di Maria and Verratti both substituted, Cavani took advantage of more sloppy defending from Barca to add a fourth in the 71st-minute from close range after excellent work from Thomas Meunier.


Credit: Todays News

Jankovic wins in wet and windy Qatar

Former world number one Jelena Jankovic was the most notable winner on a day affected by rain and thunderstorms at the Qatar Open on Monday.

The Serb, a former US Open finalist, beat Bulgaria’s Tsevtana Pironkova 6-1, 6-7 (6/8), 6-4 in a first round qualifier lasting two-and-a-half hours.

It is the first time Jankovic has played in qualifiers since 2004.

It was also her seventh straight victory against Pironkova.

There were also victories for Americans Christina McHale and Madison Brengle to progress to the main draw.

And later on in the day, in a rain-affected match Australian Samantha Stosur, the 2011 US Open winner, won through to the second round beating Latvia’s Anastasija Sevastova 7-5, 6-4.

But overall it was a day dominated by the bad weather, with several interruptions halting play.

And with further rain and thunderstorms forecast for the week ahead in Doha, it could prove a headache for tournament organisers.

Already the top seeds, including, Angelique Kerber and Karolina Pliskova, will not play until Wednesday at the earliest, three days into a six-day tournament.

Qatar — infamous for its hot weather which has seen the 2022 football World Cup host push the tournament back to November/December that year — has been suffering relatively poor weather for the past 10 days or so.

Earlier this month the desert state recorded its lowest ever temperature, just 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Credit: Pulse

Duke Udi Named Osun Utd FC New Chief Coach

The Osun Government has unveiled new Chief Coach for the state-owned football club, Osun United FC (formally Prime FC of Osogbo).

The new coach, Duke Udi, was presented to newsmen by Gboyega Oyetola, Chief of Staff to Gov. Rauf Aregbesola, in the company of the club Chairman, Taiwo Ogunjobi, in Osogbo on Tuesday.

Oyetola said that the state government place a high priority on sports development.

“Sports is important to the human life that is why the state government is giving sports development and the Osun Utd the needed support.

“Despite the scarcity of funds in the state, the state government ensured that the club was provided with needed funds to achieve the required results and perform optimally,” he said.

In a remark, Ogunjobi said the new coach was an accomplished footballer during his playing days.

“Udi played a vital role in the victories recorded by the 3SC in the mid-90s.

Ogunjobi said that Udi was selected on merit after screening.

“Though, no one is perfect, the management of the club had made a right choice in his selection,” he said.

Udi expressed gratitude to the state government and the management of the club for giving him the opportunity to coach and lead the team.

He, however, ask for the support of all stakeholders in the club to deliver on the mandate given to him, to qualify the team for the premier league.

“We need everybody’s support to move the club to the premier league, so I need everybody to move with me in the right and same direction.

“I came to this club to make a statement and deliver on my mandate, I am not promising anything.

“But I will give my best and I pray my best will bring the required results,” he said

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the management of the club on Jan. 6, announced Udi as a new coach of the club.

He was selected out of 27 coaches, who applied to handle the club through the 2016/2017 Nigeria National League (NNL) season.

The 41-year-old former Giwa FC and Rangers International coach, would be assisted by Bayo Adesina, Kazeem Oseni and Ajayi Obe, as assistants coaches.

Tunji Baruwa would serve as the goalkeeper trainer.

Oliseh Committee Hearing Moved To Avoid Distraction Over Egypt Games

Former Nigeria coach Sunday Oliseh will no longer appear before the House of Representatives committee on sports this week until after the AFCON double-header against Egypt later this month.

Nigeria welcome Egypt to Kaduna on March 25 with the reverse leg in Alexandria four days later.

“The meeting has been moved so that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) could focus fully on the Egypt matches,” an official informed.

Oliseh was specially invited by the country’s law makers to present his own side of his resignation story after he quit a month to the matches against Egypt.

The NFF have maintained this committee hearing could be a major distraction for them leading up to AFCON qualifiers.

Nigeria are in danger of missing out on two straight AFCONs after they failed to qualify for the 2015 tournament in Equatorial Guinea.

The Super Eagles are two points behind seven-time African champions Egypt after two rounds of matches with only the overall group winners guaranteed automatic passage to the tournament proper in Gabon next January.

Tanzania and Chad are the other teams in this qualifying group.