A newly married 26-year-old woman has been arrested on charges alleging she tried to cash…
CAIRO (Reuters) – Liverpool pair Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, plus Riyad Mahrez from Manchester City, were named as the three candidates for this year’s African Footballer of the Year award, to be decided next month.
Senegal talisman Mane will be the favourite for the award ahead of his Egyptian club mate after Liverpool won the Champions League. However, he faces stiff opposition from Mahrez, who won the Premier League with City and also captained Algeria to the Africa Cup of Nations title in mid-year.
The nominees were named on Sunday after being selected by a panel of technical experts from the Confederation of African Football plus former players and media.
The coaches and captains of the 54 African national teams will now vote for the winner, to be announced on Jan. 7 at a ceremony at Hurgada in Egypt.
Salah has been African Footballer of the Year the last two years while Mahrez was the winner in 2016.
Sane was third in 2016 and runner-up to Salah the last two years.
Man City Eye Dortmund Wonderkid Haaland As Aguero Replacement
Manchester City are considering Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland as a long-term replacement for club legend Sergio Agüero.
The Argentine recently became the highest-scoring foreign player in Premier League history, and City are eager to reward the 31-year-old’s years of loyal service by granting him complete freedom over his future.
Agüero will be allowed to leave City of his own accord when the time is right, and a source has confirmed to 90min that Haaland is one forward the reigning Premier League champions have their eye on. His goalscoring exploits for RB Salzburg and Borussia Dortmund so far this season have propelled the Norwegian into the limelight.
City are in touch with his father and agent, Alf-Inge Haaland, who spent three years on the books at the club between 2000 and 2003, and will hope to use their existing good relationship to their advantage.
Haaland’s recently signed contract with
Dortmund contains a release clause which, per a report from Sport Bild, will kick in at the end of the 2021/22 season and is worth in the region of £63m.
Another option under consideration to City is Mauro Icardi, who has impressed with his attitude during his season-long loan from Inter to Paris Saint-Germain.
PSG have the option to sign Icardi permanently, but Financial Fair Play rules could make signing the player tricky unless they are to sell players first. City are also monitoring the Argentinian’s situation in the event his permanent switch to Paris does not complete.
City had hoped to have already found Agüero’s replacement in 22-year-old
Gabriel Jesus, but club officials are not completely convinced by the young Brazilian.
They do not believe at present that Jesus is the one to take over from Agüero and would even be open to selling him for the right price in the future, so they are eager to start looking for replacements right away.
City do not want to be left unprepared for Agüero’s eventual departure.
Bale Returns To Madrid Squad, Zidane Insists ‘No Problems’
Gareth Bale will return to the Real Madrid squad for the first time in five games on Sunday when Zinedine Zidane’s side take on Osasuna in La Liga.
The club announced on Saturday that Bale has been called up, despite the Welshman being left out of Madrid’s last four matches against Real Valladolid, Real Zaragoza, Atletico Madrid and Real Sociedad.
Bale has only made two appearances so far this year. He played 90 minutes against Getafe on January 4 and then 53 minutes against Unionistas de Salamanca two weeks ago in the Copa del Rey, when he came off with an ankle sprain.
Yet he has been fit for the last three fixtures and not been selected. Zidane said in a press conference on Saturday he has no problems with the way Bale has been training.
“Gareth is here and I am happy with all the players I have,” Zidane said. “I know the answer you’re looking for but I have 25 players and I have to choose. There are no issues or problems. I am sure Gareth is going to keep working as he has been.”
Asked if leaving Bale out of the squad amounted to a lack of respect, Zidane said: “I don’t think so, the most important thing is he is here, working hard and he wants to train.
“There are times when he isn’t named in the squad but I wouldn’t read too much into it. Everyone has a role and Gareth is a player I will need between now and the end of the season.”
After almost leaving Madrid last summer, Bale has endured another stop-start season under Zidane.
A calf injury ruled him out four weeks in October and November, when Bale provoked anger in Spain by playing for Wales and then celebrating victory behind a flag that read: “Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order.”
A thigh strain forced him to sit out for a week in December before a throat infection meant he missed Madrid’s success in the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia.
The ankle problem sustained against Unionistas was minor but he has not played since. “We talk regularly but I am not going to tell you what I tell my players in private,” Zidane said.
“We know what he can bring to the team and he has to be fit and ready so he is in the best shape to play.”
Zidane was asked if he would have a problem with Bale seeing out his Madrid contract, which expires in 2022. “None whatsoever,” he said. “He has a contract and he wants to stay here.”
Real Madrid will be hoping to respond in Pamplona after a 21-match unbeaten run came to an end on Thursday when they were beaten 4-3 by Real Sociedad in the cup.
Zidane’s team sit top of La Liga, three points ahead of Barcelona, who play away at Real Betis, also on Sunday.
Super Eagles Star, Alex Iwobi Welcomes New Year With Beautiful Family Photo
A Nigerian football star, Alex Iwobi has shared with his fans a cute family photo to celebrate the new year.
Nigerian international and Everton star, Alex Iwobi has celebrated the new year by sharing a rare family photo.
The star took to Instagram to share his cute family photo to ring in the Year 2020 writing:
“Happy New Year”.