Agent: Lucas Perez Only Has Arsenal On His Mind

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Reports saying Lucas Perez has held talks with his former club, Deportivo La Coruna has been rubbished by his agent.

The Spanish footballer scored 17 goals in the season preceding his move to Arsenal for Deportivo, but has only managed seven and five assists for the gunners.

Perez would love to play for Spain, but feels his limited playing time at Arsenal is a hinderance. And reports suggest he has held talks with his former club on a possible return.

“It’s not true and we haven’t been talking with anyone,” said Rodrigo Fernandez Lovelle.

“Lucas has three years left on his contract with Arsenal.

“In the summer when the season is finished we can talk but right now we are only thinking about Arsenal.”

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Conte: FA Cup Win Over Tottenham, Does Not Help Chelsea In PL

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Chelsea gaffer, Antonio Conte does not think their 4-2 FA Cup win over Tottenham will do them any good in the premier league.

Tottenham has been in impeccable form in the domestic league, cutting the lead at the top from ten points to four.

Conte does not think Tottenham’s morale has been dampened by the FA Cup loss, as he believes there is a huge difference between both competitions.

“Honestly I don’t know. I think, for us, it was important this win, because you reach the final in the FA Cup, a great competition, and for us it’s great to know that a week after we finish the championship, we have to play a final in the FA Cup,” Conte said at a news conference.

“It’s a great achievement for us but if you ask me if this win over Spurs means more – I don’t think so.

“These are two different competitions and we have six games to go and it’s important to start this rush very well to try to keep this four points [lead].”

Chelsea will be looking to take another step towards the title when they take on Southampton on Tuesday and Conte predicts another tough test.

“It’s important to win for us and to look at ourselves,” he added. “This is the most important thing.

“We all know that it won’t be easy because Southampton is a really good team, with a good coach and good players. We know this.

“I have in my mind the starting 11 but Tuesday I want to check the physical condition of every player because our game [against Tottenham] was an intense game and we’re still [low on] energy.

“But I think we train very well this season and we have a lot of energy to face the type of situation.”

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Ramsey: Every Game Is A Cup Final For Arsenal

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Aaron Ramsey has urged his teammates to end the season on a high note, and believes their remaining seven league matches are all cup finals.

Arsenal are seventh on the table and seven points behind fourth placed Manchester City. Ramsey wants to fight for a spot in the top four.

The welshman doesn’t think their FA Cup final in May, should hinder them from hunting down Tottenham, City and Liverpool.

“We are in the final now so have something to look forward to,” Ramsey told Arsenal’s official website.

“Now we have seven finals in the Premier League to try and get into that fourth position.

“It is going to be an exciting end but one that we are more than up for.”

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

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LONDON EVENING STANDARD

  • Kyle Walker has held talks with Mauricio Pochettino to discuss his future at Tottenham amid interest from Manchester City.
  • City are desperate to sign a new right-back and also have Serge Aurier, of Paris St Germain, and Monaco’s Djibril Sidibe on their list.
  • Aaron Ramsey believes Arsenal answered their critics by coming from behind to beat Manchester City and set up an FA Cup final against Chelsea.

MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS

  • Sergio Aguero and David Silva are doubts for Thursday’s derby against Manchester United – but Pep Guardiola could unleash Gabriel Jesus in the pivotal clash.

LIVERPOOL ECHO

  • Everton are having to explore alternatives to Michael Keane after Manchester United entered the race to sign him. The Blues had long been seen as favourites to land the Burnley centre-half this summer but Keane’s old club United are ready to mount a challenge.
  • Ronald Koeman believes that if Romelu Lukaku wants Champions League football, he would be better served staying at Everton than moving to Manchester United.

NEWCASTLE CHRONICLE

  • Isaac Hayden turned down Premier League offers to move to Newcastle United – but is determined to play top-flight football with the Magpies next season.
  • Stephane Sessegnon says that he made a ‘bad choice’ when he decided to join Sunderland from PSG.
  • Sunderland are preparing for life in the Championship by reportedly targeting two of the division’s most prolific young forwards in Sam Gallagher and Tammy Abraham.
  • Bundesliga high-flyers Red Bull Leipzig are the latest club to throw their hat in the ring for Sunderland’s highly sought after goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, according to reports.

SUNDERLAND ECHO

  • Meanwhile, Everton are willing to offer in-demand Sunderland ace Pickford a bumper contract this summer in a bid to tempt him to Merseyside, according to reports.

EVENING GAZETTE

  • Reports claim Middlesbrough are interested in making a summer move for Abraham.

BIRMINGHAM MAIL

  • However, Aston Villa are also being tipped to land Abraham next season.
  • West Bromwich Albion have been installed as favourites to snatch Helder Costa from fierce rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers this summer.
  • Tony Pulis used Albion’s week without a fixture to take a scouting trip to Portugal to watch transfer target William Carvalho in action.

EXPRESS AND STAR

  • Steve Bruce has challenged Gabriel Agbonlahor to earn a new contract at Aston Villa after the striker’s derby heroics against Birmingham.

STOKE SENTINEL

  • Any designs Stoke might have had for trying to sign Luke Shaw on loan next season may be dead before they have even started. Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham are all interested in signing the Manchester United left-back, according to reports.

THE DAILY ECHO

  • Claude Puel believes Southampton midfielder Oriol Romeu is of a similar standard to Chelsea’s newly crowned PFA Players’ Player of the Year N’Golo Kante.

BOURNEMOUTH ECHO

  • Eddie Howe described his working relationship with Jack Wilshere as a “match made in heaven” and insisted the injured star’s plight would motivate Cherries to finish their season “on a high”.
  • Benik Afobe has revealed a desire to pay tribute to Ugo Ehiogu was behind his goal celebration during Cherries’ victory over Middlesbrough on Saturday.

LEICESTER MERCURY

  • Demarai Gray says he is willing to play the waiting game to become established as a regular starter for Leicester City.
  • Leonardo Ulloa hopes to rekindle his Leicester City career under Craig Shakespeare but admits he will still consider his future at the end of the season.
  • Wilfred Ndidi insists there is “something special” about Leicester City and believes the club will keep hold of their star players.

NOTTINGHAM POST

  • Mark Warburton believes Frank McParland is one of the best signings he has ever made – and wants his Nottingham Forest future secured beyond the summer.

DERBY TELEGRAPH

  • Newcastle will reportedly make a move for £10m-rated Fulham midfielder Tom Cairney, once they’ve secured promotion.

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Antonio Conte Doesn’t Want Eden Hazard To Be More Selfish

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has rejected the suggestion that Eden Hazard could reach Lionel Messi’s level if he became more selfish on the pitch, and said that he would rather lose than have a selfish player in his Chelsea team.

“No, no, no, absolutely not,” Conte said when asked if Hazard should be more selfish. “I don’t think that a player like Messi is a selfish player. The first target for every great champion is to play for the team and to put your talent into the team. If you do this, the team [increases] your talent.

“The best players in the world don’t exist without a team. For me, it’s sad to listen to this, that a player must ‘be more selfish’ to reach the top level. That’s very sad. It’s not my idea of football and I will never understand this. Never, never. In my team, I don’t want selfish players.

“I prefer to lose a game than to have a selfish player. For me, I don’t want this and I can’t accept this. I don’t want my club to buy me a selfish player one day. Never. No.”

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Mamadou Sakho Explains Celebratory Handshake With Christian Benteke

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Mamadou Sakho has insisted that he did not mean to disrespect Liverpool when celebrating with Christian Benteke during his side’s 2-1 win at Anfield on Sunday.

Mamadou Sakho  came in for criticism after engaging in a celebratory handshake on the touchline as Benteke came back to haunt his former club with a match-winning brace.

“When Christian scored, I stayed seated as I didn’t want to celebrate (out of) respect for the club to which I belong and the fans. But when he came over to me, I stood up and did what we always do as friends … our hand check,” he told reporters.

“There was nothing behind it, nothing else to imply by it. Just two friends who are playing for the same team and who have the same goal, which is to get the three points at each game to make sure the team stays in the Premier League. We were very happy, obviously. We need all the points we can get to be sure to stay in the Premier League – that is our mission.

“That is why I accepted the challenge with Palace, and we need to be the best we can as a team to succeed. If we were losing 2-0 and Christian reduced the score, we would have also done it if he came to me. I still hope Liverpool qualify for the Champions League at the end of the season, and wish them luck.”

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Craig Shakespeare Insists Leicester City Aren’t Safe From Relegation Yet

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 Craig Shakespeare has warned his Leicester city side that they are not safe from the threat of relegation ahead of Wednesday’s match against Arsenal.

Leicester city slipped into the relegation zone when Shakespeare took over, but wins in their first five league outings saw them climb away from danger.

However, having seen his side fail to win any of their last four games in all competitions, Shakespeare is wary of allowing complacency to creep into their game.

“Yesterday [in their game] I saw the Arsenal players were fighting to win and they thoroughly deserved their victory,” he told reporters.

“I’m not sure what they’ll do on Wednesday as they have good depth, but we have to focus on ourselves. I’m not sure how many points survival will take. All teams are capable of wins. We don’t know what’s around the corner.

“We aren’t safe. Even if we get there we’ve to keep trying to win. Competitiveness is vital in football. We need it to the end.”

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Antonio Conte Plays Down ‘Psychological’ Advantage Over Tottenham

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Antonio Conte has played down suggestions that his side’s FA Cup semi-final victory over Tottenham Hotspur will give them the psychological edge in the Premier League title race.

Chelsea booked their place in the final with a 4-2 triumph over their London rivals at Wembley, ending Tottenham’s eight-match winning streak in the process.

Both clubs will now turn their attentions back to the Premier League title race, where Chelsea currently lead Spurs by four points, and Conte insists that his side will continue to focus solely on their own fortunes.

“Honestly, I don’t know [whether the FA Cup win will have an impact]. I think for us it was important this win. You reach the final in the FA Cup, a great competition. And for us it’s great,” he told reporters.

“It’s great to know when after a week we finish the championship we have to play a final in the FA Cup. These are two different competitions and we have six games to go.

“It’s important to start this rush (of fixtures) very well, to  try to keep these four points (the lead). First of all it’s important to win for us and to look at ourselves.”

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Inter Milan Back Manager Stefano Pioli After ‘Unacceptable’ Defeat

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Inter Milan have given head coach Stefano Pioli their full backing following Saturday’s “unacceptable” defeat at Fiorentina.

The 51-year-old, who succeeded Frank de Boer in November, reportedly offered to resign after Fiorentina dished out a 5-4 punishment to the under-performing Nerazzurri, for whom a Mauro Icardi hat-trick proved insufficient as Matias Vecino, Khouma Babacar and Davide Astori ran riot.

It was a third defeat in four Serie A games for Inter, who are struggling to reach the Europa League qualifying places despite receiving heavy investment from the club’s new Chinese owners.

Pioli is expected to remain in charge at San Siro until the summer and the club confirmed he will not make way sooner, also announcing the squad would retreat to a training camp until Sunday.

A statement on their official website said: “The manner of the defeat at Fiorentina was unacceptable for our supporters, both in Italy and abroad, and we are determined to put this right.

“Everyone at the club, from the players to all staff, is now focused on working as hard as possible to achieve the maximum result and finish the season strongly.

“In order to achieve this, the club confirms its full backing and that of the ownership for Stefano Pioli and his entire technical team.

“Pioli joined Inter at a difficult time, and the work he has carried out together with his staff over the six months since he joined has been exceptional and deserves our full respect.”

Inter said their target “remains to finish as high as possible in Serie A and qualify for European competition by giving the maximum in every match.”

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Ramsey: Arsenal Must Win FA Cup For Wenger

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Aaron Ramsey has challenged his Arsenal teammates to win the FA Cup for Wenger , repaying the faith he has shown in them.

The gunners came from behind to win 2-1 against City and set up a final against Chelsea. And the FA Cup could be Arsenal’s last chance of getting a trophy.

Wenger is yet to announce his intentions for his future , but Ramsey is hoping to make up for an underwhelming season with the FA Cup.

“We’ve let him down at times this season,” Ramsey said.

“But he’s kept believing in us and the quality we have and we wanted to get to the final and now hopefully we can go on and win it for him and for ourselves.

“I absolutely love this competition. We’ve been quite successful in recent years and you can see the passion that the players play with.”

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231 Suspects Arrested As NDLEA Recovers 122.229 Kgs Of Illicit Drugs In Jigawa

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The Jigawa Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), has revealed that it had arrested 231 suspected drug dealers and recovered 122.229 kilograms of assorted illicit drugs in the state.

Nigerians Using New Passport Must Now Seek NDLEA Approval To Obtain Visa To Indonesia

Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Dutse, the state capital, on Monday, the state NDLEA Commandant, Mr Abdullahi Abdul, stated that the achievement was recorded between January and March 2017.

He added that the recovered drugs included 88.103 kilograms of Cannabis and 34.126 kilograms of Psychotropic Substances.

The state NDLEA Commandant who estimated the recovered illicit drugs at over N2 million said among the 231 suspects arrested, two were females.

The commandant urged members of the public to support the Agency with credible information that would assist in tackling rampant abuse of illicit drugs in the state.

He added: “The abuse of psychotropic substance and cough syrup is a worrisome development which the command is grappling with.

“Hence, the need for all, including the traditional rulers, religious groups and community based organizations to join hands with the agency in fighting the menace throughout the state.”

In January, the NDLEA had seized a consignment of cocaine worth £3.8 million (N1.9 billion) at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

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JUST IN: CBN Extends BVN To Microfinance Banks, Shifts Deadline To July 31

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has succumbed to several calls by the Federal Government, Nigerians and experts in the financial institutions in the country, as it has extended the Bank Verification Number (BVN) exercise to microfinance banks.

In a circular issued and dated April 21 with reference number OFI/DIR/CIR/GEN/17/139, the apex bank gave July 31, 2017 as deadline for the exercise, warning that any account not linked with the BVN “shall not be allowed to make withdrawals.”

Nigeria Hunts More ‘Ghost Workers’, Seeks Extension Of BVN To Microfinance Banks

The circular was signed by the CBN Director in charge of Other Financial Institutions Supervision Department, Mrs Tokunbo Martins, Business Post reports.

CBN Suspends Cashless Policy, Directs Banks To Refund Customers

In the circular titled ‘Letter to all Other Financial Institution (OFIs): Bank Verification Number (BVN) enrolment for customers,’ the CBN explained that the move became necessary because of the “absence of a unique identifier in the Nigerian banking industry,” describing this as a “major challenge inhibiting the effectiveness of the Know Your Customer (KYC) principle.”

“To address this challenge and complement the existing means of identification of customers, which include: the Driver’s License; the International Passport; the National Identity Card; and the Permanent Voter’s Card; the CBN, in collaboration with the Bankers’ Committee, launched the Bank Verification Number (BVN) Project in February 2014.

“The BVN is expected to also minimize the incidence of fraud and money laundering in the financial system, as well as enhance financial inclusion.

“The implementation of the BVN initiative, which started with the customers of Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), has been very successful.

“However, to avoid a broken identification link in the banking system, it has become necessary to extend the BVN enrolment to the customers of Other Financial Institutions (OFIs) especially as some OFIs are located in the rural areas of the country, and have customers that may not have enrolled with the DMBs.”

OFIs include microfinance banks, Primary Mortgage Institutions (PMI) and others.

“Effective August 1, 2017, all customers without BVN linked to their account shall not be allowed to make withdrawals from those accounts,” Mrs Martins said.

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Ter Stegen: Messi Made The Difference

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Marc-Andre Ter Stegen has praised Lionel Messi as a special player, as he reached his 500th goal for Barcelona in the clasico.

Messi reached the milestone after scoring in the 92nd minute of the 3-2 el clasico win over Madrid.

Barcelona are now level on points with Real Madrid and Ter Stegen believes the Argentine’s contribution has given them a fighting chance.

“We all know Messi and he can make a difference,” the German goalkeeper told Mundo Deportivo.

“He is a very special player. The rest of us made a great effort and together we achieved the victory.

“We wanted to win today, but it was also important to play well and maintain our style.

“The important thing is, we won and maintained our chances of winning the league.

“We don’t know what will happen between now and the end of the season, but we have the chance [to win the league] and we’ll fight until the end.”

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Six Feared Dead, 12 Injured In Kogi Auto Crash

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At least six persons were feared dead on Monday with 12 others injured in an auto crash at Osara village on Lokoja-Okene road in Kogi State.

Speaking to newsmen, eyewitnesses said that the accident, which occurred at about 9a.m, involved three vehicles – a truck, a Toyota Hiace bus and a Nissan Primera car.

20 Feared Dead In Renewed Clash Between Akwa Ibom, Cross River Communities

It is understood that the truck and Toyota bus had a head on collision while the Nissan Primera car rammed into them.

Confirming the report, the Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps, Mr Segun Martins said that the six victims died on the spot.

He said that the 12 persons who were critically injured were evacuated to the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja for further treatment, while the six corpses were deposited in the hospital’s morgue.

Martins said that the truck was registered Kano XF 156 FGE while the Toyota Hiace passenger bus carries Kano XC 581 DGE, and the Nissan, also conveying passengers, was registered Kogi KPF 369 AA.

The sector commander, FRSC, added that the obstruction created on the road by the accident had been cleared for resumption of free flow of traffic.

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Newcastle To Make Bid For £10million-rated Fulham star Tom Cairney Once They Seal EPL Promotion

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Newcastle will move for £10m-rated Fulham star Tom Cairney once they seal promotion, according to the Daily Mirror.

Rafael Benitez’s side can confirm promotion back to the Premier League if they beat Preston tonight.

Rafa Benitez is a big fan of the playmaker and sent scouts once again to watch Tom Cairney star against Huddersfield on Saturday.

And Benitez knows that play-off chasing Fulham will struggle to hold onto the Scot if they miss out on a top-flight return themselves.

Cairney, 26, is keen to prove himself at the highest level after failing to get a look in with old club Hull.

Bournemouth and Burnley, regular visitors to Craven Cottage this season to make checks, are also keen on offering Cairney a Prem chance.

 

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic To Come Back ‘Even Stronger’ From Injury

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s one-year deal at Manchester United expires this summer and manager Jose Mourinho fears the Swede’s recovery from a knee injury will be “really, really hard” given his age.

But the former Barcelona and AC Milan striker says injuries will not decide his future in the game and he has vowed to return.

“First of all, thank you for all the support and love,” he said in a post on his Instagram page. “It’s no news I got injured so I will be out of football for a while. I will go through this like everything else and come back even stronger. So far I played with one leg so it shouldn’t be any problem. One thing is for sure, I decide when it’s time to stop and nothing else. Giving up is not an option. See you soon.”

Speaking before Sunday’s 2-0 win at Burnley, United manager Jose Mourinho said on Sky Sports: “I know (how long he will be out for), but it is for the medical department to be more specific and they prefer to wait a couple more days because the players want to see other specialists and to have an extra opinion and we have to respect that. But they are important injuries.”

Asked whether Ibrahimovic would play again, the Portuguese replied: “I don’t care about it in this moment, I just want the player to recover the best he can.”

Ibrahimovic joined the club on a free transfer from Paris St-Germain last summer but is yet to agree an extension to his one-year United deal.

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Antoine Griezmann Wanted By Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City – Eric Olhats

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Manchester United appear to be leading the chase to sign Antoine Griezmann, according to the Atletico Madrid’s striker’s advisor. Eric Olhats, the scout who helped to discover the Frenchman, claims Chelsea, Manchester City, Barcelona and Real Madrid are also interested in the player.

Griezmann, who has a release clause in his contract of £84m, has been linked with a switch to Old Trafford in recent months but has insisted he wants to stay at the Spanish club.

“We’re at the stage of gathering information from clubs who have a concrete interest,” he told French TV show Telefoot.

“There is an unavoidable 100m clause so that restricts the number of candidates. You have United, City, Chelsea, Barcelona and Real Madrid.

“United were the first to come and see us and the most concrete in their wishes.”

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‘Animal’ Alexis Sanchez Will Stay At Arsenal -Arsene Wenger

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Arsene Wenger says Arsenal’s “animal” Alexis Sanchez will still be at the club next season.

“Alexis Sanchez was like the team,” Wenger said after taking Arsenal to a record 20th FA Cup final. “He had problems to start and became stronger and stronger.

“He is an animal, always ready to kill the opponent. He will never give up. He will be here next year because he has a contract and hopefully we will manage to extend.”

Sanchez scored a second FA Cup semi-final winner in three seasons on Sunday as his extra-time goal saw Arsenal past Manchester City.

The Chile star is approaching the final year of his contract and talks over an extension are on hold until the summer.

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West Ham Keeping Tabs On Fleetwood Goalkeeper Alex Cairns

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West Ham are keeping tabs on Fleetwood goalkeeper Alex Cairns as Slaven Bilic looks to boost his options in goal, reports the Daily Mail.

Alex Cairns was released by Leeds United in 2015 and has broken into Fleetwood’s side this season and played a pivotal role in their rise into League One promotion contention with 15 clean sheets.

The club are two points behind Bolton in the final automatic promotion spot, with one game to go and at least a place in the play-offs secured.

West Ham are keen to sign Joe Hart from Manchester City as their main new No 1 though the England international also has interest from the likes of Chelsea and Everton

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West Ham Keeping Tabs On Fleetwood Goalkeeper Alex Cairns

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West Ham are keeping tabs on Fleetwood goalkeeper Alex Cairns as Slaven Bilic looks to boost his options in goal, reports the Daily Mail.

Alex Cairns was released by Leeds United in 2015 and has broken into Fleetwood’s side this season and played a pivotal role in their rise into League One promotion contention with 15 clean sheets.

The club are two points behind Bolton in the final automatic promotion spot, with one game to go and at least a place in the play-offs secured.

West Ham are keen to sign Joe Hart from Manchester City as their main new No 1 though the England international also has interest from the likes of Chelsea and Everton

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

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  • Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham are ready to battle for out of favour Manchester United defender Luke Shaw this summer.
  • Real Madrid are reportedly ready to offer James Rodriguez and Alvaro Morata in exchange for Juventus star Paulo Dybala.
  • Antonio Conte has demanded a Chelsea spending spree with Virgil van Dijk and Romelu Lukaku the priorities.
  • Newcastle will move for £10m-rated Fulham star Tom Cairney once they seal promotion.
  • Wolves are ready to trigger a £1.5m deal for Derby’s Andreas Weimann.
  • Bournemouth’s new £125 nets are helping their strikers to score more goals at the Vitality Stadium, says Eddie Howe.
  • Rafa Benitez has snubbed the idea of a city-wide celebration if Newcastle win promotion to the Premier League.
  • West Ham are keeping tabs on Fleetwood goalkeeper Alex Cairns as Slaven Bilic looks to boost his options in goal.
  • Liverpool and Southampton watched £6m-rated Henry Onyekuru score his 17th goal of the season for Eupen in the Belgian League.
  • Ronald Koeman believes that Everton have the resources to keep Romelu Lukaku, despite interest from Manchester United and the striker’s dreams of Champions League football.
  • Man United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic says he ‘will come back stronger’ and ‘giving up is not an option’ after suffering suspected knee ligament damage against Anderlecht.
  • Anthony Martial’s left-foot finish against Burnley means Manchester United must pay Monaco £8.5m. It was his 25th goal for United since arriving from Monaco in 2015 in a deal worth an initial £36m.
  • Philippe Coutinho is reportedly a target for Real Madrid as they make plans for Luka Modric’s shock departure to Bayern Munich.
  • Rangers striker Kenny Miller, 37, is determined to keep playing in Scotland’s top flight whether it’s at Ibrox or elsewhere.

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

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  • Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham are ready to battle for out of favour Manchester United defender Luke Shaw this summer.
  • Real Madrid are reportedly ready to offer James Rodriguez and Alvaro Morata in exchange for Juventus star Paulo Dybala.
  • Antonio Conte has demanded a Chelsea spending spree with Virgil van Dijk and Romelu Lukaku the priorities.
  • Newcastle will move for £10m-rated Fulham star Tom Cairney once they seal promotion.
  • Wolves are ready to trigger a £1.5m deal for Derby’s Andreas Weimann.
  • Bournemouth’s new £125 nets are helping their strikers to score more goals at the Vitality Stadium, says Eddie Howe.
  • Rafa Benitez has snubbed the idea of a city-wide celebration if Newcastle win promotion to the Premier League.
  • West Ham are keeping tabs on Fleetwood goalkeeper Alex Cairns as Slaven Bilic looks to boost his options in goal.
  • Liverpool and Southampton watched £6m-rated Henry Onyekuru score his 17th goal of the season for Eupen in the Belgian League.
  • Ronald Koeman believes that Everton have the resources to keep Romelu Lukaku, despite interest from Manchester United and the striker’s dreams of Champions League football.
  • Man United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic says he ‘will come back stronger’ and ‘giving up is not an option’ after suffering suspected knee ligament damage against Anderlecht.
  • Anthony Martial’s left-foot finish against Burnley means Manchester United must pay Monaco £8.5m. It was his 25th goal for United since arriving from Monaco in 2015 in a deal worth an initial £36m.
  • Philippe Coutinho is reportedly a target for Real Madrid as they make plans for Luka Modric’s shock departure to Bayern Munich.
  • Rangers striker Kenny Miller, 37, is determined to keep playing in Scotland’s top flight whether it’s at Ibrox or elsewhere.

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Nigeria To Adopt Whistle-Blowing Approach On Illegal Weapons

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The National Security Adviser, Babagana Munguno, has begun work on a template for the discovery and recovery of illegal weapons through a reward system.

Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, confirmed this development in a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday.

According to the presidential spokesperson, the Office of National Security Adviser, ONSA, is adopting the whistle-blowing approach so as to eradicate mass shooting incidents and remove the harassment of law abiding citizens by holders of illegal weapons.

He said the proposed adoption of the whistle-blowing policy on illegal weapons by the Federal Government followed the success of the policy in the recovery of huge amount of questionable and stolen funds by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Mr. Shehu, therefore, said the presidency had started drawing up the rules of a whistle-blower mechanism to throw a spotlight on the regime of gun ownership and control as a bold move to prevent and eradicate illegal ownership of small arms and light weapons in the country.

He said that this would be a sort of searchlight on weapons ownership in the country, adding that the aim was to disarm communities especially those with proclivity to violence.

“In the last few days, we had discussed the efforts the administration is making to strengthen the whistle-blower mechanism in the Ministry of Finance, which to date has proved to be very effective in bringing the attention of the government to stolen assets and unexplained wealth.

“The ONSA initiative may be an independent line of inquiry or in active collaboration with what the government is doing in Finance. This will be a sort of searchlight on weapons ownership in the country.

“Whatever form or shape it takes, the administration wants to take a tough line to curtail the large number of illegal weapons in circulation used in intra and inter-communal conflicts,’’ he said.

Mr. Shehu disclosed that the ONSA had already inaugurated a committee saddled with the responsibility of the recovery of small arms and light weapons in the country

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that whistle-blowing policy, which has been approved by the Federal Executive Council, is meant to expose fraud and other related crimes in both the public and the private sectors.

The policy was devised by the Ministry of Finance aimed at encouraging anyone with information about a violation, misconduct or improper activity that impacts negatively on Nigerians and government to report it.

“If there is a voluntary return of stolen or concealed public funds or assets on the account of the information provided, the whistle blower may be entitled to anywhere between 2.5 per cent (minimum) and 5.0 per cent (maximum) of the total amount recovered,” Minister of finance Kemi Adeosun said.

The policy has recorded appreciable success as it has led to the discovery of billions of Naira in the last few months since it started.

(NAN)

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Trust Fund To Provide 900,000 Jobs In Lagos

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The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) has disclosed that it will provide 900,000 jobs and support 100,000 medium scale enterprises in the state from now till 2019.

This disclosure was made by the Executive Secretary of the Fund, Akintunde Oyebode, during the Fund’s planned workshop for business owners in the state.

Daily Trust quoted him as saying that the development was necessary in order to create a viable business environment in Lagos.

He further explained that the agency was also mandated to provide training and job placements for the unemployed; mentorship for business owners and improvement of the policy environment to ensure a conducive operational environment for small businesses in the state.

Oyebode noted that the workshop was targeted at the LSETF beneficiaries who qualify for export because of the goods they produce, adding that the agency intended to provide business support, advisory services and access to new markets for all its beneficiaries.

“That is why we have partnered with the Lagos chapter of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) to help achieve this. In addition to the Nigerian Export Promotion Council sessions, we will also have facilitators from the Nigerian Customs Service and NAFDAC,” he said.

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Militants Kill Three Policemen, Four Residents In Ogun Community Raid

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At least three policemen and four residents of waterside local government area of Ogun state have been reportedly killed after suspected militants stormed the area.

The Punch reports that the police officers attached to the Lagos State Special Anti-Robbery Squad, lost their lives over the weekend, while trying to release a Chinese expatriate abducted by the gunmen.

The policemen had engaged the gunmen in a fire exchange when they lost their lives while a resident was also hit by a stray bullet and died on the spot during the gun duel.

The assailants also attacked the home of a businessman, identified as Chief Rafiu Daramola, and carted away N4.7m.

Speaking on the incident, a community leader, said the three policemen and one resident were killed in Odi Omi, a boundary community between Lagos and Ogun states.

He said, “The militants kidnapped a Chinese expatriate. As they were leaving with their victim, the operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad engaged them in a gun battle. The gunmen, however, shot dead three policemen and an indigene. The corpses were later removed and deposited in a morgue by the police.”

It was gathered that three residents were shot dead before they left the area.

The Ogun State police spokesperson, Abimbola Oyeyemi, who confirmed the killing of the three residents, said the slain policemen were not from the state command.

He said, “They invaded the businessman’s house, but our policemen were able to repel them. At the end of the encounter, we arrested one of the suspects, while their operational vehicle was recovered.

“The suspect is helping with investigation. The state Commissioner of Police, Ahmad Iliyasu, has deployed some special units of the police, including men from the Federal SARS, Mobile Police Force, Anti-Kidnapping Unit, and other conventional policemen, in the scene to ensure security of lives and property.”

 

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