Hazard Denies Talk Of Rift With Mourinho

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Eden Hazard has denied reports saying he had a falling out with former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.

Mourinho was sacked last season as Chelsea manager as his side dipped in form and flirted with relegation. Poor performances from Hazard last season led to suggestions his relationship with the Portuguese had gone sour.

The Belgium star has, however, moved to dismissed such suggestions.

“With Jose I had a super rapport,” he explained to TF1’s ‘Telefoot’. “The year before, I was the Player of the Season and maybe he expected more from me. I was not so good and it was complicated.

“I was always close with him and with Antonio Conte it’s the same.”

Asked to describe how the Italian manager differs from his predecessor, the 26-year-old stated: “They have different methods. Conte works a great deal on tactics but Mourinho let it be.

“For me, I had great moments with Mourinho for two years and this year with Conte everything is going very well. I always take the positive from coaches.

“The two are different managers. They have always won, here and in the past. Many people said I didn’t listen to Mourinho, but that’s not the case. It’s not at all the case, I’ve always had a lot of respect for him.”

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Daily Roundup: Latest Football News Content Across Europe

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France

Blaise Matuidi will be allowed to leave PSG in the summer for €10-15m (£8.3-£12m). He has offers from England and Spain, with Manchester United at the front of the queue for his signature. (Le Parisien)

PSG striker Edinson Cavani will sign a contract extension until 2020. (L’Equipe)

Spain

Tottenham want Valencia youngster Rafa Mir. Spurs scouts think the 19-year-old forward could be perfect for the Premier League and want to bring him in this summer before sending him out on loan. (Super Deporte)

Joao Cancelo will leave Valencia in the summer. The right back has been subject of Barcelona transfer rumours and Los Che are worried he could leave on the cheap due to his recent poor performances. (Super Deporte)

Diego Lopez admits Chelsea made a bid for him last year. But the Espanyol goalkeeper, who is on loan from AC Milan, doesn’t know if they’ll come back in for him this summer. (Marca)

Barcelona hope Atletico Madrid defender Theo Hernandez, who’s currently on loan at Alaves, will choose them over Real Madrid. They believe he may opt for the Catalan club to follow fellow Frenchman Eric Abidal. (Mundo Deportivo)

Italy

Roma sporting director Monchi will make Manchester City winger Jesus Navas his first signing. (Corriere dello Sport)

Inter sporting director Piero Ausilio met super-agent Jorge Mendes last night to discuss a move for Monaco’s Fabinho and Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez. (Corriere dello Sport)

More than 100 children from across Italy have sent Chelsea and Arsenal transfer target Andrea Belotti video messages, photographs and letters begging him not to leave Torino. (Tuttosport)

Germany

Bayern Munich are likely to overhaul their squad after their Champions League defeat to Real Madrid. Marco Verratti is likely to be a top target with Carlo Ancelotti a fan from his days at Paris Saint-Germain. (Bild)

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Football Headlines: All The Latest Football News And Transfer Rumors This Evening

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LONDON EVENING STANDARD

  • Chelsea are losing patience with striker Diego Costa and will ponder offloading the Spain international at the end of the season, with Everton striker Romelu Lukaku expected to replace him.
  • Arsene Wenger has revealed he will begin talks with Jack Wilshere regarding a new deal at the Emirates when the midfielder’s loan spell at Bournemouth finishes.

MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS

  • Manchester City and Manchester United will go head-to-head this summer for the signature of Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez.
  • City have joined the race to sign £38m-rated Lyon midfielder Corentin Tolisso, say reports.
  • Pep Guardiola has made Juventus centre-back Leonardo Bonucci City’s number one transfer target for the summer, according to reports.
  • Meanwhile, Roma are lining up an end-of-season swoop for City wide man Jesus Navas.
  • United face a battle to land Inter Milan winger Ivan Perisic next season with both Arsenal and Chelsea also interested in the Croat.

LIVERPOOL ECHO

  • Everton are the latest club to be linked with a move for Schalke midfielder Leon Goretzka, according to reports in Italy.
  • Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has ruled out making a move for out-of-favour City ‘keeper Joe Hart this summer.
  • Emre Can, who only has just over 12 months left to run on his current deal at Anfield, will stay at Liverpool next season even if the German midfielder does not agree a new contract this summer.

NEWCASTLE CHRONICLE

  • Despite his deal expiring at the end of June, Victor Anichebe says he has not given any thought yet about whether he will extend his stay on Wearside.
  • Newcastle are interested in signing versatile Arsenal defender Carl Jenkinson this summer, according to reports in the British media.

HULL DAILY MAIL

  • Andrea Ranocchia has refused to rule out turning his six-month loan deal at Hull into a permanent move to the KCOM this summer.

BOURNEMOUTH ECHO

  • Bournemouth midfielder Max Gradel has revealed his frustration at his lack of playing time at the Vitality Stadium this season, saying: “I’m at an age where I can’t sit on the bench.”

GET WEST LONDON

  • Jake Bidwell has admitted he swapped Brentford for QPR in order to face some much-needed competition for his starting place.

DERBY TELEGRAPH

  • Hearts right-back Callum Paterson, who has been linked with the likes of Derby, Cardiff, Birmingham and Wigan, may put pen to paper on a pre-contract with the Bluebirds, say reports.

NOTTINGHAM POST

  • Spurs have been keeping an eye out on highly-rated Nottingham Forest youngster Ben Brereton, according to reports in the British media.

THE ARGUS

  • Brighton striker Tomer Hemed, who has scored 11 times this year for the newly promoted Premier League club, says he is determined to keep his place up front next season regardless of who boss Chris Hughton buys this summer.

THE STAR

  • Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder has already chosen which players will be leaving Bramall Lane this summer.
  • Marley Watkins could quit Barnsley this summer, with the midfielder having recently been linked with a number of Premier League and Championship clubs.

HUDDERSFIELD EXAMINER

  • Huddersfield midfielder Aaron Mooy has had no contact with Middlesbrough, the Australian’s agent has revealed.

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Nigerian Army Declares War Against Bandits Terrorising Southern Kaduna

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The Nigerian Army on Wednesday declared war against armed bandits in the southern part of Kaduna State as it launched an operation tagged: ‘Operation Harbin Kunama II’ to tackle the menace of herdsmen in that part of the State.

13 Killed As Suspected Herdsmen Attack Community In Southern Kaduna

Speaking at the event which held in Kafanchan, the headquarters of Jama’a Local Government Area, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS)  Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, said there would no longer be any hiding place for armed bandits in the state.

The COAS stated that the aim of the exercise is to ensure that southern Kaduna area is kept safe.

“I know it has been in the press and it has generated a lot of interest. But we are determined to shoulder the major responsibility of keeping the peace always and it is better to do this job than to leave it until it goes out of hand. God forbid,” he said.

Buratai further said that the exercise is a remarkable experience to the one that took place last year, adding that “I have seen confidence in all the officials that have briefed us and I have seen improvements in their understanding of the environment.”

He said the army would continue to coordinate its activities to ensure that communities understand each other so as to provide the needed security and the right atmosphere for economic and social activities to thrive.

Scores of Nigerians have been killed in the past five years by herdsmen while property estimated at billions of naira were destroyed.

The federal government, had in December last year, deployed troops and the police to the area to stop the mayhem, but the killings have continued with the recent one that claimed 12 lives in Asso village last Saturday.

Also speaking, the Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, said he was delighted by the effort of the Chief of Army Staff to launch the operation.

“This operation is very important because this problem in Southern Kaduna has attracted high levels of attention not just because of the gravity of the situation here, I think there are more serious crisis in other parts of the country, but this one has been given religious and ethnic coloration,” he said.

El-Rufai expressed confidence that with the operation, the bandits that have been attacking farmers will finally be neutralised so that farming activities will resume as the rains approaches.

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The EFCC Mess Gets Messier

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The EFCC Mess Gets Messier, By Zainab Suleiman Okino

CLICK here to read more opinion articles

If the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) under the leadership of acting chairman Ibrahim Magu thought it was going to receive accolades over its latest exploits, it must have been jolted by the negative reactions that followed them. After the initial kudos of finding the money, it has been knocks all the way for EFCC owing to the lousy job the agency has made of its operations lately.

This article was written by Zainab Suleiman Okino. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of 360Nobs.com.

The EFCC discovered a huge amount of money in three denominations of $43.4 million, N23 million and £27,000 in an apartment at Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos, last week. Ordinarily this should be celebrated as part of the successes of the whistle-blowing policy of the government. Sadly, EFCC in its wisdom has bungled their best effort so far. Indeed, locating money without its source or owner is to make nonsense of a very serious business of nipping corruption in the bud. Shrouding the sordid details in secrecy is a national disgrace, an embarrassment to this government, and a way to ridicule Nigeria in the eyes of the international community.

This alone has rubbished all the gains of the anti-graft war in the recent past. Handling this issue shoddily and with levity is tantamount to trivialising the main crux of this government’s policy and casts doubts on the sincerity of the EFCC or the very government it works for. At best, EFCC did a haphazard and incomplete job and dished out half truths to Nigerians.

How can an agency of government with the instrument of investigations and covert operations to gather evidence, just swoop on a house to recover money without knowing the identity of the owner? Who is the EFCC going to arrest and prosecute? Who are the occupants of the house? Can the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) keep money for covert projects in a private home? Could the owner be an individual claiming association with the NIA? Here is a prestigious and respectable organisation; why is it being dragged in the mud this way? What are TSA and BVN for? NIA’s acceptance of responsibility may be a gimmick after all. Who knows? This is a classical case of underrating the intelligence of Nigerians with the aim to pull the wool over our eyes. Come on, Nigerians are not dumb.

The pretention on the part of government and the lack of transparency by EFCC have pushed the issue to the realm of speculation and the raising of more questions than answers. Who owns the house? If EFCC is not forthcoming, the Lagos State government can help with information on this. Why did EFCC suddenly develop cold feet after the discovery? Was there an instruction from above to shield the owner who may either be a chieftain of the party in government, a top functionary or an associate of people in government? Conversely, if the government is serious, getting to the root of the matter will not be the rocket science that it has become. And Nigerians are inclined to think that the owner of the money must be an influential fellow known to the high echelons of government, someone too important to be exposed to public ridicule. These are needless speculations if a thorough job had been done.

Following the denial of the first two persons speculated to own the money, supporters of the government started pointing accusing fingers in the direction of former President Goodluck Jonathan. Considering the antecedent of the APC government in attributing all the present ills to the past, rightly or wrongly, and the assumed persecution, investigation, prosecution and trial of the appointees and officials of that government, it should not be hard to hang this on their neck. So why is the government dithering? And why has ex-president Jonathan not spoken out if he was not complicit?

Notwithstanding his latest haul, I’m worried for Magu and the legacy he will leave behind in EFCC. So much mess has been created around him or by him, and so many controversies have arisen from his work. Some are self-inflicted, while some are foisted on him by the government he serves in. The joke these days, is that Magu is looking for stolen money, just to convince the Senate that he is worthy of the job. I hope not, because despite his many slips, errors of judgment and misdemeanours, Magu is not markedly different from others before him or other Nigerians for that matter.

Public scrutiny, good governance and democracy go hand-in-hand and the government cannot achieve its goal of stamping out corruption if transparency and accountability are not embedded in the war.

Besides the discovery of the now infamous ‘orphaned’ money, the EFCC must have been scandalised by the losses it suffered in court recently. The anti-corruption agency and the government are always eager to return a guilty verdict on alleged offenders but in most cases fail to establish prima facie cases against them. No wonder they lost their cases against Justice Ademola and his wife, former first lady Patience Jonathan, former minister Godswill Orubebe and Mr. Mike Ozekhome, because there was no due diligence in the prosecution of the cases.

The EFCC needs to redeem itself. It might never recover if in the end it is unable to prove or unmask all issues agitating the minds of Nigerians over the highest amount of cash so far found, and stashed outside the banking system.

This article was written by Zainab Suleiman Okino. 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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The EFCC Mess Gets Messier

Featured Image

The EFCC Mess Gets Messier, By Zainab Suleiman Okino

CLICK here to read more opinion articles

If the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) under the leadership of acting chairman Ibrahim Magu thought it was going to receive accolades over its latest exploits, it must have been jolted by the negative reactions that followed them. After the initial kudos of finding the money, it has been knocks all the way for EFCC owing to the lousy job the agency has made of its operations lately.

This article was written by Zainab Suleiman Okino. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of 360Nobs.com.

The EFCC discovered a huge amount of money in three denominations of $43.4 million, N23 million and £27,000 in an apartment at Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos, last week. Ordinarily this should be celebrated as part of the successes of the whistle-blowing policy of the government. Sadly, EFCC in its wisdom has bungled their best effort so far. Indeed, locating money without its source or owner is to make nonsense of a very serious business of nipping corruption in the bud. Shrouding the sordid details in secrecy is a national disgrace, an embarrassment to this government, and a way to ridicule Nigeria in the eyes of the international community.

This alone has rubbished all the gains of the anti-graft war in the recent past. Handling this issue shoddily and with levity is tantamount to trivialising the main crux of this government’s policy and casts doubts on the sincerity of the EFCC or the very government it works for. At best, EFCC did a haphazard and incomplete job and dished out half truths to Nigerians.

How can an agency of government with the instrument of investigations and covert operations to gather evidence, just swoop on a house to recover money without knowing the identity of the owner? Who is the EFCC going to arrest and prosecute? Who are the occupants of the house? Can the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) keep money for covert projects in a private home? Could the owner be an individual claiming association with the NIA? Here is a prestigious and respectable organisation; why is it being dragged in the mud this way? What are TSA and BVN for? NIA’s acceptance of responsibility may be a gimmick after all. Who knows? This is a classical case of underrating the intelligence of Nigerians with the aim to pull the wool over our eyes. Come on, Nigerians are not dumb.

The pretention on the part of government and the lack of transparency by EFCC have pushed the issue to the realm of speculation and the raising of more questions than answers. Who owns the house? If EFCC is not forthcoming, the Lagos State government can help with information on this. Why did EFCC suddenly develop cold feet after the discovery? Was there an instruction from above to shield the owner who may either be a chieftain of the party in government, a top functionary or an associate of people in government? Conversely, if the government is serious, getting to the root of the matter will not be the rocket science that it has become. And Nigerians are inclined to think that the owner of the money must be an influential fellow known to the high echelons of government, someone too important to be exposed to public ridicule. These are needless speculations if a thorough job had been done.

Following the denial of the first two persons speculated to own the money, supporters of the government started pointing accusing fingers in the direction of former President Goodluck Jonathan. Considering the antecedent of the APC government in attributing all the present ills to the past, rightly or wrongly, and the assumed persecution, investigation, prosecution and trial of the appointees and officials of that government, it should not be hard to hang this on their neck. So why is the government dithering? And why has ex-president Jonathan not spoken out if he was not complicit?

Notwithstanding his latest haul, I’m worried for Magu and the legacy he will leave behind in EFCC. So much mess has been created around him or by him, and so many controversies have arisen from his work. Some are self-inflicted, while some are foisted on him by the government he serves in. The joke these days, is that Magu is looking for stolen money, just to convince the Senate that he is worthy of the job. I hope not, because despite his many slips, errors of judgment and misdemeanours, Magu is not markedly different from others before him or other Nigerians for that matter.

Public scrutiny, good governance and democracy go hand-in-hand and the government cannot achieve its goal of stamping out corruption if transparency and accountability are not embedded in the war.

Besides the discovery of the now infamous ‘orphaned’ money, the EFCC must have been scandalised by the losses it suffered in court recently. The anti-corruption agency and the government are always eager to return a guilty verdict on alleged offenders but in most cases fail to establish prima facie cases against them. No wonder they lost their cases against Justice Ademola and his wife, former first lady Patience Jonathan, former minister Godswill Orubebe and Mr. Mike Ozekhome, because there was no due diligence in the prosecution of the cases.

The EFCC needs to redeem itself. It might never recover if in the end it is unable to prove or unmask all issues agitating the minds of Nigerians over the highest amount of cash so far found, and stashed outside the banking system.

This article was written by Zainab Suleiman Okino. 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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IMF Endorses Buhari’s Economic Recovery Growth Plan For Nigeria

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday endorsed the Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017- 2020, recently launched by the President Muhammadu Buhari led government, commending it, saying this is “how fiscal policy should be thought in developing countries.”

Buhari Unveils Nigeria’s Economic Recovery And Growth Plan

The position of the IMF was conveyed by the Fund’s Director, Fiscal Affairs Department, Mr. Vitor Gaspar, while responding to a question from THISDAY, during a media briefing on the IMF Fiscal Monitor press conference at the ongoing IMF/World Bank Spring meetings in Washington DC.

The IMF official also lauded the federal government for embracing the fiscal policies in general and tax policy in particular as part of its strategy for development.

Lending voice on the development, IMF’s Assistant Director/Head, Fiscal Policy and Surveillance, Catherine Pattillo, welcomed the country’s ERGP, saying its focus on diversification and attention to some of the problems facing the economy were steps in the right direction.

His words: “We very much welcome the ERGP. As you are aware, Nigeria went into recession last year, there have been forecasted recovery, but still very fragile this year and the need to address the fiscal situation is urgent. Our recommendation is for the continued fiscal consolidation.

“One striking statistics I think is the fact that over the past years, the ratio of interest payment to tax revenue has doubled to 66 per cent in Nigeria. So, two-thirds of all tax revenue is going into interest payment, illustrating the need to raise tax revenue. That would allow the government to implement the social and growth-friendly policies that are part of the objectives of the ERGP.”

President Buhari had launched the ERGP 2017-2020, a fortnight ago.

The Medium-Term plan has among its broad strategic objectives, the restoration of sustainable, accelerated and inclusive growth and development; investing in the people and building a globally competitive economy.

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IMF Endorses Buhari’s Economic Recovery Growth Plan For Nigeria

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday endorsed the Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017- 2020, recently launched by the President Muhammadu Buhari led government, commending it, saying this is “how fiscal policy should be thought in developing countries.”

Buhari Unveils Nigeria’s Economic Recovery And Growth Plan

The position of the IMF was conveyed by the Fund’s Director, Fiscal Affairs Department, Mr. Vitor Gaspar, while responding to a question from THISDAY, during a media briefing on the IMF Fiscal Monitor press conference at the ongoing IMF/World Bank Spring meetings in Washington DC.

The IMF official also lauded the federal government for embracing the fiscal policies in general and tax policy in particular as part of its strategy for development.

Lending voice on the development, IMF’s Assistant Director/Head, Fiscal Policy and Surveillance, Catherine Pattillo, welcomed the country’s ERGP, saying its focus on diversification and attention to some of the problems facing the economy were steps in the right direction.

His words: “We very much welcome the ERGP. As you are aware, Nigeria went into recession last year, there have been forecasted recovery, but still very fragile this year and the need to address the fiscal situation is urgent. Our recommendation is for the continued fiscal consolidation.

“One striking statistics I think is the fact that over the past years, the ratio of interest payment to tax revenue has doubled to 66 per cent in Nigeria. So, two-thirds of all tax revenue is going into interest payment, illustrating the need to raise tax revenue. That would allow the government to implement the social and growth-friendly policies that are part of the objectives of the ERGP.”

President Buhari had launched the ERGP 2017-2020, a fortnight ago.

The Medium-Term plan has among its broad strategic objectives, the restoration of sustainable, accelerated and inclusive growth and development; investing in the people and building a globally competitive economy.

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MLS Side Los Angeles FC Offer Zlatan Ibrahimovic £5m-a-season

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New MLS franchise Los Angeles FC will attempt to lure Zlatan Ibrahimovic from Man Utd with a £5m-a-year deal, according to reports in the Daily Mail.

However, the Swede could be loaned back to the Red Devils for the first half of the Premier League season.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has remained coy on his future, despite a thrilling first season at Old Trafford, which has seen him score 28 goals in all competitions so far this term.

But LAFC want to make Ibrahimovic one of their marquee signings and the loan element of the deal could persuade United to agree, according to the report.

Ibrahimovic has hit back at doubts he is too old for the Premier League by bagging 17 goals this campaign.

And it appears the Swede is eyeing a final swansong is the US when he said in December: “It’s a huge option for me.

“For the football and everything else. I can see myself conquering the US as I have with Europe.”

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MLS Side Los Angeles FC Offer Zlatan Ibrahimovic £5m-a-season

Featured Image

New MLS franchise Los Angeles FC will attempt to lure Zlatan Ibrahimovic from Man Utd with a £5m-a-year deal, according to reports in the Daily Mail.

However, the Swede could be loaned back to the Red Devils for the first half of the Premier League season.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has remained coy on his future, despite a thrilling first season at Old Trafford, which has seen him score 28 goals in all competitions so far this term.

But LAFC want to make Ibrahimovic one of their marquee signings and the loan element of the deal could persuade United to agree, according to the report.

Ibrahimovic has hit back at doubts he is too old for the Premier League by bagging 17 goals this campaign.

And it appears the Swede is eyeing a final swansong is the US when he said in December: “It’s a huge option for me.

“For the football and everything else. I can see myself conquering the US as I have with Europe.”

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I Wasn’t Disappointed With Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Jose Mourinho

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Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has said his criticism of Manchester United’s attack after last week’s 1-1 draw with Anderlecht was not directed at Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

United conceded a late equaliser in their Europa League quarterfinal first leg in Belgium and Mourinho said afterward that “the people who had to kill the game didn’t.”

Jose Mourinho, who had been similarly critical of an attack containing Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial and Henrikh Mkhitaryan after the goalless draw with West Brom this month, named Ibrahimovic on the bench for the 2-0 win over Chelsea on Sunday but he has made clear that his disappointment was not focused on the Swede.

“I was not disappointed with Zlatan, I was disappointed with the team,” Mourinho said at his prematch news conference ahead of Thursday’s second leg against Anderlecht.

“The team had the game in their hands and did not kill the game. We could be speaking now about a friendly game tomorrow if we won 3-0 in Anderlecht.

“[The second leg could have been] a nice game, and the chance to play Axel Tuanzebe and some of the other young ones without any kind of pressure. The game was easy to cure, and we did not.”

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I Wasn’t Disappointed With Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Jose Mourinho

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Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has said his criticism of Manchester United’s attack after last week’s 1-1 draw with Anderlecht was not directed at Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

United conceded a late equaliser in their Europa League quarterfinal first leg in Belgium and Mourinho said afterward that “the people who had to kill the game didn’t.”

Jose Mourinho, who had been similarly critical of an attack containing Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial and Henrikh Mkhitaryan after the goalless draw with West Brom this month, named Ibrahimovic on the bench for the 2-0 win over Chelsea on Sunday but he has made clear that his disappointment was not focused on the Swede.

“I was not disappointed with Zlatan, I was disappointed with the team,” Mourinho said at his prematch news conference ahead of Thursday’s second leg against Anderlecht.

“The team had the game in their hands and did not kill the game. We could be speaking now about a friendly game tomorrow if we won 3-0 in Anderlecht.

“[The second leg could have been] a nice game, and the chance to play Axel Tuanzebe and some of the other young ones without any kind of pressure. The game was easy to cure, and we did not.”

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New Injury To Jack Wilshere Won’t Stop Contract Talks- Arsene Wenger

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Arsene Wenger insists Jack Wilshere’s latest injury setback will not stop Arsenal from opening contract talks with the England international in the summer.

Wilshere suffered a broken leg last weekend to bring to an end a season-long loan spell at Bournemouth, a move that was aimed at giving the 25-year-old more game time.

“That (Wilshere’s contract) is something different. This injury is nothing to do with the extension of Jack’s contract,” Wenger said.

“We haven’t entered into any negotiations yet. I think with all these cases, when there’s only one year to go, (it’s done) during the break.

As well as revealing that the injury is not serious, Wenger confirmed on Thursday the rehab for Wilshere’s leg injury will take place at Arsenal over the summer.

“It’s sad because Jack is a great football player, has a great football brain and his career has been stopped by many injuries,” Wenger said.

“Not recently no [spoken to Wilshere]. I follow the situation closely because he sees a specialist. We think it’s a very simple fracture which doesn’t need any surgery at all, hopefully he’ll be back in July for normal training.

“I think it’s a very simple fracture of the fibula and that we need patience, and let’s hope that all goes well.

“Well until the end of the season he’s a player of Bournemouth but we have a good understanding with the medical staff [at Bournemouth].

“I had a meeting with our medical staff to see how we can liaise and if we have to bring him back but because it’s a fracture so there’s not a lot to do, just wait until when he can move again. His rehab will certainly be here because the season will be over.

“His loan spell ends at the end of the season so during the break all the rehab will be done here.”

 

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Michael Keane Set To Leave Burnley At The End Of The Season

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Michael Keane will leave Burnley at the end of the season

The England international defender was the subject of bids from champions Leicester last summer, but opted to stay at Turf Moor.

Keane, 24, has been linked with a return to his first club Man Utd, though we understand no discussions have taken place between the Red Devils and the player’s representatives.

Everton, Spurs and Liverpool are all believed to be interested in Keane.

The player has just one year left on his contract, which will prompt Burnley to cash in this summer.

Burnley are believed to want at least £30 million for Keane.

United sold Keane to Burnley in January 2015 with the Clarets paying a reported £2 million for the 24-year-old.

Keane will cost significantly more to lure back to Old Trafford, but United paid a world record fee to re-sign Paul Pogba last summer.

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp Rules Out Any Interest In Joe Hart

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is not interested in signing out-of-favour Man City goalkeeper Joe Hart.

“Extra competition? You ask about goalkeepers but even though you don’t say the name is it about Joe Hart?” said Klopp when asked whether he was considering strengthening in the goalkeeping department.

“We don’t usually talk about these sort of things but in this particular case I think we can.

“He is a fantastic goalkeeper, the goalkeeper of the English national team, the highest quality, but we have highest-quality goalkeepers.”

“Danny Ward is at Huddersfield and playing a brilliant season. He is our player so we will bring him back so there is competition. The young ones have made really big steps, Caoimhin Kelleher and Kamil Grabara, and that is really good. I understand the question but I cannot give the answer probably a few people want but we think about it all the time.”

Joe Hart said in March that he is “surplus to requirements” at City and does not see himself playing for the Premier League club again.

He moved to Italian side Torino on a season-long loan in August after being told he was free to leave City by manager Pep Guardiola.

“If you’re not going to win there is no point in fighting, especially someone as powerful as that,” Hart said.

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Diego Lopez Reveals Antonio Conte Wanted Him At Chelsea Last Summer

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Keeper Diego Lopez has revealed that he had the chance to join Chelsea last summer.

The 35-year-old, who is currently on loan at Espanyol from parent club Milan, has revealed that he could have moved to Stamford Bridge, although he is unsure if the Blues are still interested in him.

“There was an opportunity last summer [to join Chelsea],” he is quoted as saying in AS. “I felt very flattered by the interest of the coach (Antonio Conte). I do not know if it will remain this summer.

“Last year, for me, it was a priority option but things have changed, and I do not know what will happen now, but they are a big European team, they will possibly win the Premier League.”

“My idea has not changed at all and my intention is to continue at Espanyol. I hope it happens.”

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2017 MTV Video Music Awards Will Hold In Los Angeles

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The 2017 MTV Video Music Awards – one of the year’s most headline-grabbing pop culture events – is returning to Los Angeles.

The award show will be broadcast from the Forum in Inglewood, California, which is adjacent to Los Angeles on August 27, at 8:00 p.m. (ET/PT), the music and youth lifestyle network announced on Thursday.

Inglewood Mayor James Butts says the city “welcomes the return of the MTV VMAs to the number one concert venue in California, the Forum.”

The VMAs have alternated between New York and Los Angeles, with Miami and Las Vegas also past host cities.

In 2016, the awards took place at New York’s Madison Square Garden which saw the return of Britney Spears to the VMA stage for the first time in almost 10 years.

“MTV, at 35 years old, has been around almost as long as the Forum. Together, we’re 85 and enjoy lifetimes of music history,” managing partner for the Forum Shelli Azoff said in a statement. “This year is sure to be another epic show with many incredible memories for MTV, the award winners, and especially the fans. The entire Forum family is thrilled to welcome back the VMAs.”

Jesse Ignjatovic returns as executive producer for the 2017 “MTV Video Music Awards.” Bruce Gillmer, Garrett English and Lee Lodge are executive producers. Melanie Block serves as executive in charge of production. Amani Duncan is music executive in charge. Wendy Plaut is celebrity talent executive in charge.

The VMAs recognize top music videos but have become more of a made-for-television party with celebrity antics sure to trigger conversations.

Past memorable VMA incidents include Beyonce showing off her baby bump, Lady Gaga appearing in a dress made of meat and Madonna locking lips with Britney Spears.

 

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Crystal Palace Boss Sam Allardyce Not Looking To Sign John Terry

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Crystal Palace boss Sam Allardyce has ruled out making a move for departing Chelsea captain John Terry this summer.

John Terry is to leave Stamford Bridge when his contract expires in the summer, and he intends to play on.

Offers to remain in London may appeal to Terry should he choose against uprooting his family, but even as Palace edge closer to securing their Premier League status their manager insists Terry has no place in his plans

Sam Allardyce said: “I’ve got Scott Dann, James Tomkins, Mamadou Sakho, Damien Delaney and Martin Kelly, so actually in central defence we’re looking pretty secure.

“I’m not sure if that’s going to be a position we’ll look at if and when we’re safe, and hopefully we are safe by the end of the season. But that position looks pretty healthy from the number of the players we have.

“I’m not so sure that John, yes, fantastic player that he is, yes he’d do us a great job, but with those amount of centre-halves at the club I can’t see that happening at the moment.”

The terms of his loan agreement means Sakho is ineligible for Sunday’s Premier League fixture at parent club Liverpool, but Allardyce has the fit-again James Tomkins available to deputise, as well as Loic Remy and James McArthur in contention.

“Mama can’t play so it’s important that James is back, and Loic gives us another option,” said Allardyce, whose team host Tottenham and Burnley in the space of six days after the trip to Anfield.

“James is back from his back spasm and Patrick van Aanholt’s just got back. That’s four key players there.

“(Jeffrey) Schlupp’s done a job while Patrick’s been injured so there’s a big fight for places there now.

“We’re in Champions League form for picking points up, which should give us a huge amount of confidence on Sunday. Hopefully we can be good enough, big enough and brave enough, and confident enough to try and repeat what we’ve done (in impressing) against Chelsea and Arsenal recently.”

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“Scrap JAMB Now” – ASUU Tells Nigerian Government

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Sequel to the alleged lopsidedness in the on-going registration of candidates, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), University of Ibadan (UI) chapter has called on the Federal Government to scrap the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB).

Speaking on Wednesday in Ibadan, its Chairman, Dr. Deji Omole, called on the Registrar of JAMB, Professor Ishaq Oloyede to voluntarily resign from office.

He said the board has outlived its usefulness and also reduced the standard of offering admission to students, hence, it must be scrapped immediately to allow universities set a new standard of admission.

He noted that the fact that a mock examination was stopped due to logistic reasons underscored the point of alleged incompetence of the Registrar, noting that if candidates could not do mock how sure are they to pass the examination.

He said: “Since Prof Oloyede did not consider it appropriate to resign after failing the whole nation, I think the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, should not hesitate to sack him.

“Why will anybody make life difficult for candidates whose parents are struggling to live under the terrible condition the government has made them to live in?”

“Why would somebody introduce changes that are only known by members of the board? We have made case for the scrapping of this body because in the present instance the introduction of different registration procedures has turned candidates to victims of fraud.”

“While different centres now make business by arranging with private schools who bring all their students in group to come and register while children of the masses look on.”

“This is a failed approach to change and the Registrar admitted this with the cancellation of the mock examination. How can we ensure that the candidates prepare well for the exams when they spend weeks waiting for Personal Identification Number and are at the mercy of registration officers who force them to go to cybercafe where they have arrangements to first create their profile before they can have their PIN.”

“This is where people are duping Nigerian children. This is a total failure. Students must have at least three months for registration, its procedure must be open and their options to public universities must not be limited to serve the agenda of the proprietors of private universities”.

Meanwhile, no fewer than 25 academic programmes run by Bayero University, Kano got full accreditation of the National Universities Commission (NUC).

The NUC approval follows the national accreditation exercise conducted by the commission between November and December 2016 exercise.

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Man Slaughters Okada Rider Over N100 Fare In Katsina

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The Katsina State Police Command has arrested a forty-year-old man, Isiya Inusa, on Thursday, who admitted that he killed an okada rider because of his inability to pay the N100 fare.

Speaking in his local dialect Hausa, upon interrogation, at the headquarters of state police, where he was paraded, Inusa confessed that he attacked the rider along Kankara-Kabuki Road, in Katsina.

He said, “Yes, I slaughtered him with my knife. I asked him to take me to Kabuki village from Kankara. He demanded N100 as fare. I did not tell him I did not have that money on me.

“On the way, I brought out my knife and slaughtered him. The police later arrested me while riding on his (the victim) motorcycle.”

The Punch quoted the police sources as giving the name of the victim as Al -Hasan Usani, aged 43.

It is understood that the suspect actually tricked his victim into taking him to Kabuki village with a view to snatching the motorcycle.

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Juventus Bus Stop: Buffon Didn’t Expect Clean Sheet At Camp Nou

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Juventus veteran goalkeeper, Gianluigi Buffon has hailed the performance of his defenders, as he didn’t expect to keep a clean sheet at Camp Nou.

Juventus played a goalless draw in the second leg at Camp Nou and progressed to the semifinals, after a 3-0 aggregate win.

Barcelona came from a 4-0 away loss to PSG, to win 6-1 at home and progress to the quarterfinals, but the attacking triumvirate was neutralised by Juventus defenders.

“Aside from the result, the belief and character of our approach was excellent and it’s a good confidence booster to qualify comfortably against what remains probably the best team in the world,” Buffon told Mediaset Premium and RSI.

“I did think we had a good chance of qualification after the 3-0 first leg result, but I honestly didn’t believe we would come to Camp Nou and keep a clean sheet. When you face a side like this, with their attacking options, you think that one or two goals are always going to be scored.

“The fact we stopped Barcelona scoring over 180 minutes of football means we really are solid.

“Our growth process started a few years ago and needs to continue. It certainly can’t just stop or plateau after this victory. It’s down to us now, our destiny is in our own hands for whether we can improve. When it comes to the trophy, fate has a hand in that, too.

“Aside from our determination, which is traditionally part of the Juventus identity, we are becoming more ‘European’ by pressing, proving dangerous in attack and controlling the game more than we did in previous years.

“If we build on that even more, and continue to evolve, then we can become a truly great team.”

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Rakitic: We Must Win Clasico For Neymar

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Ivan Rakitic has called on his team mates to win Sunday’s el clasico for Neymar , who will miss the match due to suspension.

The Brazil international sarcastically applauded the fourth official after he was shown a red card in the 2-0 loss to Malaga. He is serving a three-game ban as a result.

Neymar was in tears on Wednesday, after Barcelona crashed out of the champions league, losing 3-0 on aggregate to Juventus.

And Rakitic is keen to show they can put on a good display without the Brazilian.

“I don’t think it needs repeating that he is an important player,” the Croatia international told Sky Sports. “[The ban] is not good, but it is what it is. We need to understand the situation and push on.

“In the past we have already shown that we can also win when Neymar isn’t playing. Of course, it would be much better to have him with us, because he is one of the two or three best players in the world.

“We have a lot of confidence and we have a very strong team. We want to show Neymar that when he is not with us we can still do it, and hopefully we can take a victory for him.”

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FG, Lagos In Legal Tussle Over N50 Stamp Duty

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The Lagos State Government is before the Supreme Court challenging the collection of N50 stamp duty by the Federal Government on every N1,000 transaction conducted by customers in all commercial banks operating in Lagos State.

In an appeal filed before the apex court by its Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, the state government is contending that it ought to be the one collecting the N50 stamp duty rather than the Federal Government, The Punch reports.

According to Justice Kazeem, quoting Section 4(1) of the Stamp Duties Act, Cap S8 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, the Federal Government had no right or power to collect and keep money paid as stamp duties on behalf of federating units.

He further called on the Apex Court to declare as illegal the instruction given to the Central Bank of Nigeria to deduct and remit to the Federal Government N50 stamp duty collected on every N1,000 bank transaction conducted within the Lagos State territory.

The justice also sought that the Supreme Court make an order compelling the Federal Government to remit to it all such monies it had so far collected as stamp duty on bank transactions conducted within the Lagos State territory.

Kazeem argued that Section 163(b) of the Constitution gave the state an entitlement “to the sum equal to the proportion of the net proceeds of the sum collected as duties on such transaction within the territory of Lagos State.”

While urging the Supreme Court to interprete the provisions of the Stamp Duties Act, 2004, he expressed the belief that Section 4(2) of the Act made the collection of the N50 stamp duty the exclusive preserve of the state.

The State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, further urged the Supreme Court to declare that “the action of the Federal Government in collecting stamp duties within the Lagos territory without remittance is illegal.”

It would be recalled, in January 2016, in the wake of the economic crisis, Nigerian banks were ordered to begin to charge N50 stamp duty on customers.

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Death Toll In Nigeria’s Meningitis Outbreak Rises To 745

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The death toll in the outbreak of the cerebrospinal meningitis has hit 745 with over 8,057 suspected cases recorded, the federal government said.

READ MORE: What You Should Know About Meningitis

The toll was given by the technical assistant, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Lawal Bakare, in a statement.

The statement read: “As of April 17, 2017 (Monday), 8,057 suspected cases of meningitis had been reported across the country; 230 (3 per cent) were laboratory confirmed.”

“A total of 745 deaths (9.2 per cent) have been recorded. Of the 8,057 cases, 7,519 (93 per cent of cases) have occurred in the five states that have reached outbreak levels for CSM serotype C.”

“The worst-hit states are Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Kebbi and Niger.”

“At the national level and in the affected states, activities aimed at driving information in the grassroots, including advocacy meetings with religious leaders, civil society organisations, health professionals, entertainers and media organisations, continue.”

“The National Primary Health Care Development Agency successfully led vaccination in Zamfara and in Katsina states targeting persons between ages two and 29 years in the priority Local Government Areas in both states.”

“Preparations are at advanced stages for the next round of vaccination in priority wards and local government areas in Sokoto State.”

Bakare further stated that the CSM national emergency operations centre at the NCDC had been leading the national coordination and support for the outbreak response in affected states.

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Naira Appreciates Further Against Dollar On Parallel Market

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The naira on Wednesday appreciated further by N12 against the US dollar in the parallel market.

It was gathered that the parallel market exchange rate appreciated from average of N397 per dollar on Tuesday to N385 per dollar at the close of business yesterday.

CBN Injects $280m Forex To SMEs, BDCs As Naira Gains

The development follows the $62 million dollar supplied to the Bureaux de Change segment by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

Nigeria’s apex bank had yesterday sold $20,000 to 3,170 BDCs, amounting to $62 million supply into the segment.

Speaking on the development to newsmen Managing Director/Chief Executive, H.J Trust BDC, Harrison Owoh pointed out that “the appreciation shows the importance of BDCs in the foreign exchange market.

“Everybody is happy about the appreciation, and we expect it to continue.”

Also speaking, President, Association of Bureaux De change Operators of Nigeria, ABCON, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe disclosed that the increased supply of dollars to BDCs is rattling the market.

CBN Launches Form X For SMEs Requiring Basic FX Documentation

He said: “We have already funded our accounts to purchase another $20,000 from CBN before the end of the week. So we expect the rate to further go down.”

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