Higuain: Returning To Napoli Was Special

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Higuain returned to former club Napoli for the first time last week, and he says it was a special moment for him.

The forward left for Juventus in July 2016 for a fee worth €90 million and endured a difficult game in the 1-1 draw.

Higuain did not get a single touch in the box against Napoli, but scored twice in the Coppa Italia 3-2 win over the Stadio San Paolo club.

Reflecting on making his first appearances at the San Paolo since leaving, Higuain told Mediaset Premium: “It was a special return for me.

“I am happy for the Juve fans, as they are behind me and leave me in peace. I am happy here.

“It was a difficult game and we knew it was going to be – as Chievo are tough – but we won and that’s what we wanted.”

“Now we can focus on Barcelona and rest so we can reach that game in top condition,” added Higuain, who has hit 21 Serie A goals this season.

“We must be calm, as it’s a very hard match against a great team, but we respect them just as they respect us.”

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BREAKING: #BBNAIJA: Efe Emerges Winner Of The 2017 Big Brother Nigeria Reality TV Show

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Fans favorite Efe Ejeba has emerged winner of the Big Brother Nigeria 2017 reality TV show.

Efe was crowned the winner “based on logistics” at the grand finale of the reality TV show, which was held on Sunday night.

He remained the last man standing after winning the hearts of majority of the reality TV fans ahead of 13 other housemates.

The young man – from Warri Delta State – who was born in Jos will go home with N25m cash and a brand new Sport Utility Vehicle.

Details later…

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Mourinho: We Needed Ibrahimovic To Beat Sunderland

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José Mourinho has praised Zlatan Ibrahimovic for inspiring Manchester United in their win over Sunderland.

Ibrahimovic opened the scoring, with his 28th goal in all competitions and assisted Rashford’s goal in the 3-0 win.

The match against Sunderland is the Swede’s first match back since his ban and Mourinho felt he provided the magic needed for the win.

“It was open at 0-0,” Mourinho told Sky Sports. “We were in control without danger.

“We were playing quite compact and solid. You need these players to break it. Every team has a couple of them. Zlatan did that.

“We felt the game was in our pocket. In this beautiful weather the game was played at a more slow intensity.”

“The result was good,” Mourinho said. “We resisted the results of yesterday when Manchester City and Liverpool won, they left us in a position of ‘yes’ or ‘no’. It was ‘yes’.

“We got three points and it was a solid display. It was against a team that is sad, it’s normal. Against a team that is sad, if you score before then it’s difficult for them to react.

“You could feel the negative feeling around the team. That is felt with a team close to relegation.”

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Ancelotti: Bayern Can’t Worry About Madrid

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Bayern Munich manager Ancelotti has told his men not to worry too much about Madrid, saying they will lose sleep over it.

Bayern Munich welcome Real Madrid to the Allianz Arena for the first leg of the champions league quarterfinal on Wednesday.

Ancelotti wants his side to focus on themselves rather than the opposition they’ll face on Wednesday.

“We have to be focused on our play, on our intensity, on our strategy and not think a lot about Real Madrid,” the Italian said.

“Because if we think too much about Real Madrid then maybe we’re not going to sleep.

“And the next days we need to sleep.”

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Ancelotti: Bayern Can’t Worry About Madrid

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Bayern Munich manager Ancelotti has told his men not to worry too much about Madrid, saying they will lose sleep over it.

Bayern Munich welcome Real Madrid to the Allianz Arena for the first leg of the champions league quarterfinal on Wednesday.

Ancelotti wants his side to focus on themselves rather than the opposition they’ll face on Wednesday.

“We have to be focused on our play, on our intensity, on our strategy and not think a lot about Real Madrid,” the Italian said.

“Because if we think too much about Real Madrid then maybe we’re not going to sleep.

“And the next days we need to sleep.”

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Yari, Meningitis and God: Addressing Nigeria’s Unique Hypocrisy

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Yari, Meningitis and God: Addressing Nigeria’s Unique Hypocrisy, By ‘Tope Fasua

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I choose to view Governor Yari’s statement that God is punishing his people for their sins – especially of fornication – by killing hordes of them (including children), with cerebrospinal meningitis, a little differently. I actually support him. Fifty percent of the way. I support his admonition against fornication – and perhaps adultery and total moral decadence. But I know for a fact that many hot parts of Nigeria usually suffer a series of cerebrospinal meningitis outbreaks at the tail end of the dry season, especially when the rains delay. I believe the disease is enhanced by heat, so imagine the millions of poor homes with no electricity, no fan and definitely no air-conditioning in his Zamfara State. This is largely a poverty-related disease. It is also not a new phenomenon. Pfizer’s illegal experiments in Kano in 1996 was premised on finding a vaccine for this ailment.

This piece was written by Tope Fasua. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of 360Nobs.com.

Now let’s unpack the Yari statement. First, I was surprised. Yari is not an ordinary governor. He is the chairman of the Governors’ Forum. One may assume that the governors elevated to lead other governors must be somehow outstanding but maybe not. But his intelligence or lack of it is not my issue. I was more surprised that a problem such as ‘fornication’ is coming out of Nigeria’s shariah capital; Zamfara State. Now Zamfara is one state many people I know dread to go. Those who travel to the North of Nigeria would however tell you that there is nothing to be afraid of there. Northern Nigerians are some of the warmest people you could ever meet. Living among them could be a delight and most of the crisis there happen in the poorest places but for those who are affected, they have terrible stories to tell. Again, religious and ethnic crises in Nigeria are almost entirely poverty fuelled or induced.

Reactions Trail Gov Yari’s Claim That “God Sent Meningitis To Punish Nigerians For Their Sins”

There came a certain Governor Yerima in the Obasanjo days. The bearded fellow (I saw that he had cut the beard and is looking ‘modern’ these days, just when I started to grow some) saw a vision that all that was required to solve his people’s problems was for them to ‘move closer to God’. And so he declared that the state would be governed by Islamic Law. People panicked. Obasanjo felt affronted, but quickly decoded that it was ‘political shariah’. The world press went into a frenzy. They would later tie that event with the commencement of our worst nightmare; Boko Haram, because somehow it is easy to link choosing to be strictly governed by Islamic laws and refusing to attend the oyibo man’s school or acquiring his ‘soul-contaminating’ knowledge. This is despite the fact that almost everyone on planet earth today relies on this knowledge, or more importantly, that the Islamic civilisation which succeeded the Ottoman Empire around the 16th Century, was very instrumental to the intellectual renaissance of mankind, which has transmuted today to what is called “the white man’s science”. In other words, there is nothing ‘haram’ about most of today’s science, and certainly very little, if anything, is anti-shariah or Islamic law about it, because Muslims were right at the base of it’s development.

To get the story right, the Ottoman Empire succeeded the Byzantine Empire (otherwise called the Eastern Roman Empire), and headquartered in Constantinople (today’s Istanbul). The Byzantine era was one of waste and decadence, drawing the attention of the Crusaders who were Christians and who believed that man should be solely guided by the Holy Books (their own version), and the need to cleanse the earth by force, by fire. They captured the Byzantines and proceeded to install their own Empire which also fell under the same vices of wine, fornication (oops that word again), and the desire for gold, thereby completing another cycle of boom and bust. The Crusaders had however banished science and outlawed the intellectual achievements of the Greeks and Romans (remember Torquemada), which were only later restored in the Islamic Era, translated into Arabic and preserved in a way that the British Empire were able to build upon these bodies of knowledge. Before then, as early as the 8th Century in today’s Baghdad, Iraq, a khalifa, Abu Ja’far Al-Ma’mun, had taken great interest in science and studied the great works of the ancient kingdoms, causing a great scientific revolution. The international language of science was Arabic for more than 700 years, it could be argued. When the USA attacked Baghdad in search of non-existent weapons of mass destruction, I had a feeling they were after the history.

Furthermore, Muhammad Ibn Musa Al Khawarizmi (corrupted or anglicised as ‘Algorithm’) lived between 780AD and 850AD. He worked in what was called ‘The House of Wisdom’ (Bayt at Hikma), as a mathematician, geographer and astrologer. He is sometimes known as the father of mathematics. His greatest work – which he put together with Al-Kindi, another polymath, is known as “Kitab Al Jebr” (which Europeans now call Algebra). There was Ibn Sina (known in the West as Avicenna, one of the greatest writers and thinkers of the Islamic Golden Age). Other great influencers included Al Razi (known in the west as Rhazes), Jamshid Al-Kashi (credited in trigonometry with the Law of Cosines), Nasir Al-Din Al-Tusi (the first to treat trigonometry as a separate discipline), Ibn Haytahm (who fused Algebra and Geometry and is reputed for what is today known as the Alhazen Problem), Ibn Batuta (a great explorer and geographer), Ibn Rushd (a great mediaval polymath who wrote on jurisprudence and logic, and whose name was latinised to become ‘Averroes’), Ibn Khaldun (acknowledged father of social sciences and economic theory), who was – together with Copernicus – influenced by the work of Al Biruni, a Muslim Persian polymath regarded as the ‘Da Vinci of Islam’. There was Muhammad Al Karaji, another Persian mathematician and polymath, who took Algebra further by using mathematical induction to prove the binomial theorem. In fact, Columbus in his voyage to the New World is said to have had Muslim navigators and astrologers on hand.

The very concept called zero (cipher, originally from the Arabic word ‘sifr’) is another gift from the mathematicians of that era, just as what we know as numerals today in English is entirely Arabic, from figures 1 to 9. They are written almost exactly the same way. In the days that the religion barred people from reproducing the human form in drawings, the Arabs mastered the art of symmetric drawings. When next you are in an Arabic-themed place, try and notice the sheer genius of their art, which is fused with mathematics. And note that most of it was perfected thousands of years ago, when no one had the benefit of present-day computers. It is called ‘Geometric Arts’, fusing polygons and circles, and tessellations.

All this is just to say that contrary to the belief among many non-Muslims in Nigeria and of course the western world, Islam is certainly not anti-science, absolutely not anti-intellectual or even anti-modernity. Instead, Islam is at the roots of science, and the Qur’an, just like the Bible, promotes the search for knowledge, not the abhorrence of it. It is however debatable whether, sometimes like Christianity, we got the right version of Islam in Nigeria, or perhaps we should find out why in Nigeria and much of black Africa, we manage to emphasise aspects of both religions that encourages stasis and the embrace of all ideas that are retrogressive.

It could be further argued that since logicians and mathematicians are seekers of knowledge, there existed less resistance to new ideas and less combativeness as a result of differing opinions in the time these great men lived, compared to what exists today. An example is the kind of resistance that was put up when Nigerians expressed wariness over the idea of full blown sharia. Rather than explain on one hand, and rather than understand, on the other, Nigerians divided right down the middle. We have continued to divide ever since; almost now becoming strange bedfellows forced to remain in an inconvenient marriage. And we seem shorn of thinkers and logicians, polymaths and leaders of thought, who can help us find a way out of the deepening darkness.

Maybe Yari, the governor, merely appealed to this base understanding of our people with the statement he allegedly made. Perhaps in his mind he has figured that that is what our people want to hear. Or that they cannot process anything more complicated. Perhaps he was in a rare moment of righteous indignation, being a ‘good’ muslim himself and felt like a little preaching. Perhaps, there is indeed an epidemic of illicit sex amongst his people. He is on ground there and would know better. For me, what I see is that we haven’t gotten off the ground intellectually as a people. Coming from such a rich scientific heritage, our Muslims – especially the ‘elites’ amongst them – have been too timid, or reluctant, to advance the value of thought, especially in sociological matters. We therefore chose wrongly, to align with the distant past rather than embrace and create the future. Most of our Christians haven’t done much better; rather than use their religion to create a better society, many have twisted the gospel to emphasise selfishness, promote greed and avarice, and to make the poor even poorer. They have turned a great religion into no more than some lottery machine.

The argument we should be having therefore is the one around hypocrisy; the hypocrisy that we have used to sew Babbariga, Agbada and Isi Agu, Etiboh and the rest in Nigeria, in that while we are religious, and openly show piety, we are compromised inside. Every corrupt politician and government official who stole Nigeria back into the Dark Ages pay their tithes and offerings, they do ‘zakat’, they build churches and mosques for the Lord and to His Glory. But that is where it ends. What they have proven tragically incapable of, is advancing humanity like their forebears and the progenitors of the religions did. That is why, rather than gaining humanity, Nigerians have only conceded grounds in civilisation, and on a daily basis, we regress. That is why hundreds of Nigerians die in needless incidences every day and it doesn’t even make the news. Nobody cares.

The significance of Yari’s statement, though we lost the moment, is the opportunity for us to press reset; that now that we’ve agreed that from Nigeria’s Christianity belt to its Sharia frontiers, we are all the same, made of God, and sinners aplenty. I imagine if the young people of Zamfara are engaged in fornication, what will the big men – especially the politicians with too much free money – will be engaged in? So, we are just Nigerians, human beings passing through this world for the first time and not knowing what will come in the hereafter. Nobody knows it all. No one is holy. And for me, all we are required to do is try hard. If we are all sinners, we should not kill, maim or harm anyone on behalf of God, should we? Doing so would be hypocrisy, and wickedness.

Can we then agree to work together for a better nation? Can we stop competing in the destruction of our country? Can we stop stealing public funds in the name of tribe and religion (as in “ah, let us steal our own oh, the man here before was a muslim/christian or yoruba/hausa/igbo and ‘they’ ate to their fill”)? Can we even stop competing on the basis of religion? I have heard Christian preachings where the pastor talks of how Christians are meant to be richer than Muslims! I believe there are similar versions among Muslims (the type El-Rufai was trying to ban). Can we stop the situation where a few are pushing for progress but a majority are hell-bent on holding the country down and pushing it into oblivion? Perhaps we should support Yari, and while we go for the scientific solution in curbing the meningitis outbreak, urge Zamfarans to depart from the path of Sodom and Gomorrah just as the rest of us are striving daily to do, because indeed God may become very angry – or is presently extremely angry – with us.

As a matter of fact, there is indeed too much immorality in the land. One hears stories that show that we’ve simply lost our minds. People raping children to death, bestiality and so on; professors sleeping with students for marks, etc. The average Nigerian man seems to think with his groin, and our young and not so young women are also making a career out of separating men from their monies, while thousands – perhaps millions – of them are selling their bodies to the highest bidder, commercially or otherwise. But the biggest bulwark against this problem is that we should reduce poverty amongst our people and manage the nation’s commonwealth responsibly. Nigeria needs good governance now or never. We just aren’t reasonable or responsible the way we’ve been carrying on. We cannot use our commonwealth to make politicians comfortable and then tell the people to pray to God for salvation when mere hospitals and clinics, a better life where basic amenities are available like it is in even poorer countries, would have solved the problem. That is the height of hypocrisy.

‘Tope Fasua, an Economist, author, blogger and entrepreneur, can be reached through topsyfash@yahoo.com.

This piece was written by Tope Fasua. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of 360Nobs.com.

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NNPC Reopens Its “125,000 Barrels Per Day” Warri Refinery After Power Outage

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has resumed production of petrol, diesel and kerosene in its 125,000 barrels per day (bpd) Warri refinery following the repair of an electric fault at the plant.

The Apex oil firm had in February shut the refinery after gas turbine generators that supply power to the plant tripped off.

NNPC’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) in charge of refineries Mr. Anibor Kragha, had said:

“We have shut down to make sure that we address that properly.”

“The only refinery that is having some issues is the one in Warri, because we have a bit of a power challenge and we are working very hard with General Electric, GE, to address that. But in January all of them were working. The whole Port Harcourt refinery has come on stream and they are running well.”

“Meanwhile the Warri refinery had also started running but there is something with the gas turbine generators that tripped, so it was shut down to make sure we address that, but as you know you cannot start up the equipment without having negative things happen.”

The petroleum corporation then mobilised power firm, General Electric (GE), to rectify the problem.

However, a senior official of the corporation told Daily Trust that the fault has been rectified and that the refinery resumed production a week ago.

The official said the plant has been refining up to 2.4m litres of petrol per day, 2.2 million litres of kerosene and 2.6 million litres of diesel per day.

The other refineries in Kaduna and Port Harcourt, the official said, “went down and came back (within the year) but they are all working at the moment.”

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Obasanjo Lambastes Nigerian Pastors, Churches For Celebrating Corruption

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An erstwhile President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, has slammed some churches and their leaders in the country for not only encouraging corruption but also celebrating people with questionable sources of wealth.

Obasanjo made this known on Saturday at the 2017 Convention Lecture of Victory Life Bible Church International in Abeokuta, Ogun State, while speaking on the theme, ‘The role of the church in the fight against corruption in Nigeria.’

The former leader averred that the fight against corruption must start within the church, even as he called for a spiritual approach in tackling corruption, tasking the church to rescue the nation from its grip.

He said, “The church needs to clear its Augean stables. The temple of God must be the cleanest to restore the holiness of the church. Our present-day money changers and merchants must be chased out of the church. The pulpit must be used to teach and preach righteous and honest living. To preach that one can acquire wealth without labour is not only deceitful, but also a call to corruption.

“We must be careful in believing and celebrating every testimony of miraculous blessing, otherwise we end up celebrating corruption. The behaviour of some of our men of God leaves much to be desired. They not only celebrate but venerate those whose sources of wealth are questionable. They accept gifts (offerings) from just anybody without asking questions, giving the impression that anything is acceptable in the house of God.”

Obasanjo further noted that legislations alone were not enough in curbing the menace, pointing out that various administrations had tried in vain to make the country corruption-free through enactment of laws and enforcement of integrity systems.

He said, “Legislations alone are not enough as they are often breached by those who make them and those who should implement them. Our main problems are moral, ethical, attitudinal failure and disorientation. The church is an institution that provides the moral and ethical standards for us as believers. Man alone cannot get rid of corruption from the world; he needs the assistance of God.”

The former president thus called on Christian leaders to sanitise the church for effective anti-graft crusade.

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ISIS Claims Responsibility For Egypt’s Coptic Church bombings That Left 38 Dead

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Islamic State group (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for two church bombings in Egypt today as worshippers gathered to mark Palm Sunday, killing at least 38 people with scores injured in the deadliest attacks on the Coptic Christian minority in recent memory.

A bomb exploded in a Coptic church north of Cairo, killing at least 27 people and wounding more than 50 others, while the second, carried out just a few hours later by a suicide bomber in Alexandria, hit the historic seat of the Coptic Pope, killing 11, including three police officers, and injuring 35.

ISIS claimed that its “squads” carried out both attacks, in a statement by its self-styled Amaq news agency published on social media accounts.

 “A group that belongs to Islamic State carried out the two attacks on the churches in the cities of Tanta and Alexandria,” said Amaq, the group’s news agency.

Images broadcast by private television stations showed bloodstains smearing the whitewashed walls of the church in Tanta next to shredded wooden benches.

“The explosion took place in the front rows, near the altar, during the mass,” General Tarek Atiya, the deputy to Egypt’s interior minister in charge of relations with the media, told AFP.

“I heard the blast and came running. I found people torn up… some people, only half of their bodies remained,” said Nabil Nader, who lives in front of the Tanta church.

The bombings come as Islamic State’s branch in Egypt appears to be stepping up attacks and threats against Christians.

In February, Christian families and students fled Egypt’s North Sinai province after a spate of targeted killings.

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Real Madrid Reportedly Intrested In Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante

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European champions Real Madrid have entered the race to sign Chelsea midfield sensation N’Golo Kante, reports the Star on Sunday.

The Star quote a report from French news outlet Le10 Sport, who claim Real have been impressed by Kante’s dynamic performances for the Premier League leaders this term.

Real are reportedly unfazed by the fact Kante only moved to Stamford Bridge last summer, and are keen to bring him to the Spanish capital once the transfer window re-opens.

The report goes on to claim Real are plotting a £51m move for the France international, who has joined Chelsea team-mate Eden Hazard on their summer transfer wishlist.

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Juventus CEO Beppe Marotta Insists Massimiliano Allegri Is Staying

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CEO Beppe Marotta has reiterated Juventus’ stance on manager Massimiliano Allegri, insisting the Italian will not be leaving the club this summer.

Allegri has been linked to succeed Arsene Wenger at Arsenal but, speaking to Mediaset Premium, Marotta rubbished such speculation.

“Allegri’s contract renewal? In this moment there isn’t anything to talk about,” he said.

“He has a deal until 2018 with us, but what counts is that he started a process that has not finished yet. From both perspectives, we want to continue together.”

There’s reports there will be an extension for Allegri to June 2020.

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Mesut Ozil Dops Hint Over His Future At Arsenal

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Mesut Ozil has indicated the future of Arsene Wenger remains critical to his own at Arsenal, saying he has a “super understanding” with the Frenchman.

Ozil will have just one year left on his contract come the summer, but has stalled on committing his future to the Gunners as Wenger’s own status remains unresolved.

“It’s not just important for me but for the whole club,” Ozil told theMail on Sunday.

“It’s important to know if he stays or if he goes. We need to think towards next season.

“He’s very important. In my career I’ve always made decisions not just because of clubs but managers, too. As a footballer, it’s important to have the manager’s trust and believe they can develop you.

“When I went from Madrid to Arsenal, I came for him because I told him at the time he’d be my first option. That was the case. We still have a super understanding today.

“I have his trust, he’s a superb coach. He’s been successful for many years, he’s been here for 20 years and has always managed to get Arsenal to reach the Champions League, making Arsenal a big club. He deserves to be shown respect.”

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Wilfried Zaha Linked With Move To Manchester City

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Pep Guardiola wants to bring Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha to Manchester City this summer, according to the Sun on Sunday.

The 24–year-old Ivory Coast international has emerged as a shock target for the City boss, who is planning a mass overhaul at the Etihad Stadium once the season ends.

Wilfried Zaha’s career has recovered from a turbulent 18 months at Old Trafford and he is now playing the best football of his life for Crystal Palace

Zaha failed to make a Premier League start in two disappointing seasons as a United player.

Zaha, who has pledged his international future to Ivory Coast, has scored seven goals this season.

Guardiola will look to sign up to five new players this summer with Borussia Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang a leading target.

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Everton Interested In Signing Tottenham Defender Kieran Trippier

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Everton are plotting a summer move for Tottenham full-back Kieran Trippier, according to the Sunday Mirror.

With Seamus Coleman facing up to a year on the sidelines with a double-leg fracture, the Toffees have reportedly highlighted Trippier as an able deputy.

The 26-year-old has struggled to dislodge Kyle Walker in the Spurs first-team, making just seven Premier League appearances this term.

And Everton are hopeful the offer of regular first-team football could convince Trippier to trade White Hart Lane for Goodison Park. 

Trippier, who began his career at Manchester City before joining Burnley, cost Tottenham £3.5million.

The 26-year-old would cost Everton around £5m or £6m if Spurs are willing to sanction a move.

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Barcelona’s Loss To Malaga Is Irrelevant’ To Juventus – Massimiliano Allegri

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Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri insists that Barcelona’s shock 2-0 loss to Malaga will not affect how the Italian champions prepare for their upcoming Champions League clash.

Barca will travel to Turin on Tuesday for the quarterfinal first leg on and Allegri believes his side will need to be “on point” to take anything from the match.

“We have to believe we can go through,” Allegri told Mediaset Premium afterSaturday’s 2-0 Serie A win over Cheivo. “[The defeat at Malaga] is irrelevant, because Barcelona are accustomed to playing [big European games].

“We were coming off a couple of tough games and it was only natural we’d be a little tired, so in my view this was one of our toughest games of the season, as we had used up so much energy with [two clashes with] Napoli.

“There’s no point sitting here, thinking we’re playing against Barcelona — we have to play and that is all. From [Sunday], we think about Barcelona, but only because it’s the next game — the next game is always the most important.

“When you have Leo Messi, Neymar, Luis Suarez and Andres Iniesta, not to mention the others, it’s rare you get an off night. We have to be on point, ready to attack at the right time and defend when it’s necessary.”

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Hugo Lloris Attracting Interest From Manchester United And PSG

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Tottenham captain Hugo Lloris is set to be in the middle of a summer tug of war between Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain, reports the Sunday Express.

Lloris, under contract at White Hart Lane until 2022, is United’s first choice if they lose David de Gea to Real Madrid this summer.

PSG, meanwhile, are long-term admirers of the 30-year-old France international goalkeeper and are keen to bring him to the Parc des Princes.

The Ligue 1 giants are hoping to land him as they look to find an upgrade on Kevin Trapp and could bring the 30-year-old back to his home country.


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Football Papers: All The Latest Football News And Transfer Rumors Today

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  • Jose Mourinho is eyeing a Mesut Ozil reunion at Old Trafford as he looks to prise the German international away from Arsenal this summer.
  • Manchester City have joined Arsenal in the hunt for £40m-rated Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette.
  • Everton are ready to make a move for Tottenham full-back Kieran Trippier and are also confident they can land Burnley and England defender Michael Keane for £25m.
  • Tottenham are lining up Burnley striker Andre Gray to replace flop Vincent Janssen.
  • Everton are set to make a £27m bid for Real Sociedad star Willian Jose to replace Romelu Lukaku.
  • James Rodriguez will decide on his Real Madrid future this month, with Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City and Juventus all monitoring the situation.
  • Chelsea are battling with Inter Milan and Juventus for £7m-rated Udinese goalkeeper Alex Mert.
  • Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce has targeted Burnley midfielder George Boyd for next season.
  • Jose Mourinho admits he is powerless to stop Marcus Rashford from playing for England U21s this summer.
  • Wilfried Zaha is a shock target for Manchester City as part of Pep Guardiola’s summer overhaul.
  • Ronaldinho insists he has no regrets over snubbing a move to Manchester United in 2003.
  • Napoli defender Elseid Hysaj could be set to a move to the Premier League with Arsenal and Manchester United credited with an interest.
  • Arsenal have joined the race to sign 17-year-old Nottingham Forest winger Ben Brereton.
  • Leicester are lining up a shock raid for Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham, who has scored 24 goals on loan at Bristol City this season.
  • Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez has made £10m-rated French winger Marcus Coco – currently on the books at Guincamp – his No 1 summer transfer target.
  • Bournemouth are keeping tabs on QPR goalkeeper Alex Smithies.
  • Mike Phelan is in the frame to be the new Wigan manager.
  • Sunderland boss David Moyes has targeted Barnsley centre-back Marc Roberts as he prepares for life in the Championship.
  • Uruguay ace Gustavo Viera, 16, has put Arsenal on Chelsea on red alert after playing at the Maracana.
  • Mark Clattenburg will referee his last Premier League game this month before making his move to Saudi Arabia.
  • Chelsea and Manchester City have joined the race to sign Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann, rated at around £86m.
  • Manchester City have been asked to be kept in touch with developments regarding the future of Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha.
  • Walter Mazzarri’s future at Watford is still uncertain as he struggles to convince players of his methods, with the language barrier causing problems.
  • Mesut Ozil says he is happy at Arsenal and wants Arsene Wenger to stay – but that the club will need to strengthen.
  • Jack Butland could play his first match for over a year when Stoke U23s take on their Brighton counterparts tomorrow.
  • Sheffield United are taking an interest in Fulham midfielder Lasse Christensen, currently on loan at Burton.
  • Blackburn and Wigan are leading the chase for Falkirk’s Canada international Fraser Aird.
  • David Moyes has warned Manchester United will never regain their dominance of English football if they do not give Jose Mourinho time.
  • Luke Shaw says he is determined to win his Manchester United place back, despite some stinging recent criticism from Jose Mourinho.
  • Tottenham keeper Hugo Lloris is set to be in the middle of a summer tug of war between Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain.
  • Jose Mourinho’s hopes of bringing Atletico Madrid start Antoine Griezmann to Old Trafford may be scuppered as he looks set for a cross-city move to rivals Real.
  • Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has still not given up hope that he can bring Lazio midfielder Lucas Biglia to Stamford Bridge this summer.
  • Real Madrid are in the hunt for Chelsea ace N’Golo Kante.
  • Arsenal insiders have been told that Arsene Wenger is staying as manager until 2019.
  • Under-fire Sunderland boss David Moyes says his best years are still ahead of him.
  • Ajax centre-back Matthijs de Ligt, 17, is attracting interest from a host of Premier League clubs, including Everton.
  • Phil Jakielka has urged team-mates Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley to remain with Everton as they look to break into the Premier League top four.
  • Ipswich are lining up Dutch boss Maurice Steijn, manager of VVV-Venlo in the Netherlands, if Mick McCarthy leaves Portman Road this summer.

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‘Anthony Joshua Is The Real Deal’

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Former three-weight world champion Duke McKenzie believes Anthony Joshua will easily overcome Wladimir Klitschko.

The IBF heavyweight belt and vacant WBA ‘super’ title are both on the line when the pair face each other at the Wembley Stadium on April 29.

And McKenzie is confident the undefeated Joshua will comfortably beat Klitschko at Wembley.

“Joshua is the real deal,” McKenzie told Sky Sports.

“I expect him to beat Wladimir Klitschko quite tidily and quite handily inside the distance, but even if it’s on points it makes no difference.

“Joshua is the future of the sport. Klitschko has had his day, he’s past 40 years of age now and boxing is a young man’s sport.

“Joshua is in the right place at the right time and is the face of not just British boxing, but world boxing, for the next decade to come.

“He knows, and believe you me Klitschko knows, who the real champion or who the real winner is going to be in this fight.

“Klitschko is coming to the end of his career and he’s looking for the biggest payday he can get. That wouldn’t be in America. That is right here in England against Anthony Joshua at Wembley Stadium.”

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Janet Jackson Splits From Billionaire Husband 3 Months After Giving Birth To First Child

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Pop Star Janet Jackson and her Qatari billionaire, Wissam Al Mana, have reportedly called it quit barely three months after giving birth to her first child.

The legendary singer and youngest sibling of late pop superstar Michael Jackson, split from her husband, after five years of marriage, Page Six reports.

Jackson and Al Mana, who have kept most of their romance hidden in privacy while splitting their time between Dubai and Qatar, famously met in 2010 at a hotel opening.

The 50-year-old legendary singer, who was previously married to James DeBarge and René Elizondo, Jr., quietly wed the Qatari businessman in 2012.

On January 3, 2017, the couple welcomed son Eissa, now 3 months.

“Sadly, Janet and Wissam have decided that it wasn’t working and to go their separate ways,” a source told Mail on Sunday, who was the first to report the breakup news.

“They’re both busy people but determined to be good parents, even if they’re apart.

“It’s amicable and Eissa will stay with his mother, who is basing herself in London.”

A source had told E! News exclusively at the time of her newborn’s birth that:

“Janet and her baby are doing well. She has hired help at home and her husband been with her through it all. It was a difficult pregnancy but she is very blessed and has a healthy baby. She has great doctors. A select few have seen her baby. She is so excited to be a mom.”

Jackson was previously married to R&B singer James DeBarge between 1984-1985, and again to professional dancer René Elizondo Jr. from 1991-2000.

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Guardiola: Bravo Is The Best Goalkeeper In The World

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Pep Guardiola insists Claudio Bravo is the best goalkeeper in the world in his favoured style of play.

The former Barcelona goalie has been criticised since his arrival in England and Guardiola has also faced criticism for replacing the established Joe Hart.

Nevertheless, Guardiola believes Bravo is the perfect fit for his style of play, despite the Chile international conceding another weak goal against Hull City.

“I decide [to put him in the side],” said Guardiola.

“I had no reason, Willy [Caballero] is training good. I will decide game by game.

“With our build up Claudio is the best goalkeeper in the world with [Marc Andre] Ter Stegen and Manuel Neuer in the build-up, with the feet, and he help us a lot to create good build-up.”

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2 Soldiers, 5 Policemen Die As Militants Raid Ikorodu

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Two soldiers and five policemen have paid the ultimate price after militants raided Isawo, a community in Ikorodu, Lagos State in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The Punch gathered that the security men were killed in an ambush by the hoodlums in the area.

While residents have earlier raised the alarm over the return of the militants, sources have said that many of them had returned to Isawo and neighbouring communities, robbing and terrorising residents.

“The militants are back to Isawo area. They brandish guns openly during daytime and rob people at night; many residents are now living in fear.”

In August 2016, the militants – mostly kidnappers and pipeline vandals – were chased out of the area due to the bloody clashes in the community.

Details later…

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Conte: Title Not Ours Yet

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Antonio Conte insists he can’t smell the title just yet, despite Chelsea’s commanding win over Bournemouth.

Adam Smith’s own goal opened the scoring for Chelsea, before Hazard and Marcos Alonso scored to give Chelsea a 3-1 away win.

Despite Chelsea holding a seven-point advantage over Tottenham, Conte still feels there is a lot of work to be done before Chelsea can lift the title.

“I don’t smell the victory, because there are seven games to go,” Conte said.

“We don’t have an easy schedule, we know this. It’s important to go game by game.

“In this case, after the defeat against Crystal Palace which we didn’t deserve, we played [Manchester] City when we could have dropped points, and today we could have dropped points, but instead we won both games.

“We have to continue in this way to play game by game and be focused and concentrated, because for sure Tottenham have a great desire to win the title,” Conte added. “We must have the same desire.

“Don’t forget last season Tottenham fought for the title until the end which means they are a really good team. Last season Chelsea played for 10th place. Now we are on top of the table.

“Tottenham reinforced the team this season with two or three good players, and I think they are stronger than last season. It’s important to understand this to compare the teams in the right way.”

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Tuchel: Dortmund Deserved To Lose

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Borussia Dortmund manager, Thomas Tuchel feels his side did not deserve to leave the match against Bayern Munich with anything, as they lost 4-1.

Riber and Lewandowski put the hosts ahead 10 minutes into the game, before Guerreiro pulled one back for Dortmund before the break.

Robben restored Bayern’s two-goal lead after the break, before Lewandowski completed his brace by scoring Bayern’s fourth goal.

“Overall, we did not have a chance of causing Bayern any problems at this level,” Tuchel told reporters.

“We started well, but were nonetheless trailing by two goals after 10 minutes. That made things very hard for us. It was nearly impossible to turn things around.

“We kept on playing well and pulled one back, but the third goal effectively decided the game. It is a very bitter defeat.

“It was already a difficult game to begin with and the way things panned out only further complicated matters. We deservedly lost by this margin. We needed to be on top of our game in order to stand a chance.”

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Conte Defends Costa, As His Goal Drought Continues

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Costa’s goalless run in the premier league has stretched to four games, but Antonio Conte insists the striker still remains a key part of the squad.

Costa’s strike deflected off Adam Smith to open the scoring, but the goal was credited as an own goal, before Hazard and Alonso scored goals of their own in the 3-1 away win.

The Spain international has never gone four games without scoring a goal in the EPL, but Conte still sees the striker as an important part of the team.

“I think that the first goal, Diego provoked it and he played a good game and fought a lot for the team with good commitment,” Conte told BT Sport.

“He fought a lot for the team and he is important – it is important for the team that we won against a strong team. Now it is important to rest and restart and prepare for the game against Manchester United.”

Tottenham won their match 4-0 and cut the gap between them and Chelsea to four points, but Conte was not all that worried about the pressure coming from second placed Tottenham.

“It was a good pressure, I prefer to call it this, but we managed the situation very well,” Conte said. “We started the game very well with great attention and focus.

“Then we conceded and lost a bit of confidence but then we managed the game and scored another with Marcos Alonso.

“I think Marcos is playing a really good season and it is great for him to show his quality with the free-kick. I’m happy for him but above all for the team.”

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Hazard Praises Chelsea’s Will To Fight

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Hazard has praised Chelsea and says they have what it takes to overcome any test that comes their way after a 3-1 away win against Bournemouth.

Tottenham beat Watford earlier in the day 4-0 to reduce the deficit separating them from Chelsea to four points. But the win over Bournemouth restored the seven-point lead.

Costa’s deflected off Adam Smith to open the scoring, before a moment of brilliance from Hazard doubled the lead. Joshua King pulled one back before the break.

But the table toppers were back in the game after Marcos Alonso scored his fifth goal of the season from a free kick.

“We passed the test,” Hazard told BT Sport. “We knew the result of Tottenham before the game, so the only thing [they could do] to stay at seven points was to win. We scored three good goals and we deserved to win.

“It’s easier to control the game when you score first. At the end of the first half, we were a little bit down. They scored one goal, but after half-time we did well and controlled the game. We are happy.

“We have to believe. This is one step closer to the title. We have seven games to play and we are ready for the seven games.”

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