Manchester United join chase for Chelsea star Callum Hudson-Odoi

Manchester United have entered the race for Callum Hudson-Odoi. Currently, other clubs like Liverpool, Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich have also expressed interest.

The 18-year-old is no closer to signing a deal with Chelsea and his current contract runs out in the summer of 2020, with no further substantial talks having taken place since January.

But his situation has been complicated by Chelsea’s transfer ban, against which they are appealing. Hudson-Odoi beat Duncan Edwards’ 62-year-old record of being the youngest player to make his England debut in a competitive game on Friday.

Bayern are set to come back with a bid of about £30m in the summer, reflecting the diminishing value of the player to Chelsea as his contract runs down.

Yet with Eden Hazard likely to be the subject of a bid from Real Madrid this summer and with Chelsea unsure whether they can make any additional signings to add to Christian Pulisic, who signed in January from Borussia Dortmund, Hudson-Odoi’s future is now a more complex situation.Chelsea want to him to stay but it has been made clear to them that, although their £85,000-a-week offer is a generous one, money is not the issue and the player’s development opportunities at a crucial time of his career are more important.

Hudson-Odoi has yet to start any Premier League games under Maurizio Sarri and before Christmas he received just 274 minutes of competitive game time.

He is now starting in the Europa League but Bayern Munich want him as an integral part of their team rebuild and have offered him Arjen Robben’s No 10 shirt, with the Dutchman leaving in the summer.

Chelsea would be unlikely to sell in the summer, especially to a Premier League rival, though they risk losing Hudson-Odoi, now one of the best-rated teenagers in world football and the leading light of their academy, for a nominal fee in 2020. But England manager Southgate has said that Chelsea’s transfer ban might afford Hudson-Odoi the opportunities he desires and that his development can progress.

Southgate said: ‘If you look at number of appearances, he has actually been on the field quite a lot and I know how much faith Maurizio has in him.

‘He’s maturing well. His progress is good and, given that Chelsea could have a restriction on signing people, then his opportunities will come.’

Daily Mail

Fatuma Zarika beats Zambian challenger, Catherine Phiri

Fatuma Zarika made Kenyans proud last night after she dominated her boxing match with Zambian challenger, Catherine Phiri. The WBC super bantamweight champion won after a 3-0 unanimous decision following the fight that was hosted at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi.

Fatuma Zarika fight
Zarika after the fight

The judges, Michael Neequaye, Fillemon Mweya and Irene Semakula gave their scores as 98-92 99-91 97-93 sending KICC into a frenzy.

Zarika said that Phiri has had the last chance to snatch the title from her.

The match was a repeat of the December 2, 2017 title contest at the Carnivore Grounds, Nairobi where she carried the day in an explosive fight.

Fatuma Zarika fight
Zarika after the fight with Conjestina

Since then, Zarika went on to deliver a successful defence beating visiting Mexican Yamileth “Yeimi” Mercado in a split points decision on September 8 last year.

Fatuma Zarika fight
Zarika after the fight

Phiri has had three fights, winning all since then. Phiri once held the WBC World bantamweight title where she defended it once before losing it.

Fatuma Zarika fight
Zarika after the fight

Earlier, Olympian and former AIBA continental welterweight champion, Rayton ‘Boom!Boom’ Okwiri beat seasoned Tanzanian Pascal ‘Prince Kilimanjaro’ Bruno with a third round technical knockout.

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Sterling shines as England hammer Czech Republic in European qualifiers

Raheem Sterling replicated the devastating form that he has shown at Manchester City, when he scored a hat-trick for England against opponents Czech Republic.

England thrashed the Czech Republic 5-0 at Wembley on Friday night in their first Euro 2020 qualifying match.

The Czech Republic are a shadow of the force they once were but that should not diminish this England performance. The injury to Eric Dier aside, it was an excellent night.

Jadon Sancho delighted the crowd and anyone who loves football, Jordan Henderson was superb in the heart of midfield and Declan Rice got his first 27 minutes in an England shirt to a very positive reaction, given the controversies of the last 48 hours.

As for Sterling, he took his season’s tally to 24 goals for club and country and recorded his first international hat-trick. He is scoring regularly these days — this was his second treble this month following Manchester City’s 3-1 victory against Watford at the Etihad Stadium.

Under Guardiola – impressively endorsed and nurtured by Southgate – he has made enormous strides as a player and finisher.

His movement, his increasingly clinical nature in front of goal — he has emerged as one of the finest forwards in Europe.

Here Sterling scored three and won the penalty for England’s second goal. He left with the match ball and something more. Trust, faith, certainty. Everyone believes in Sterling now. Not that Southgate ever wavered.

It was his second goal, England’s third on the night, that summed up the change in the player.

Dele Alli had tried to thread a pass through and got lucky when the interception deflected into Sterling’s path.

What he did with it, however, was not fortunate in the least.

His turn took two defenders out of the game and time seemed to stop as he sized up the goal and struck his shot sweetly past goalkeeper Jiri Pavlenka.

Such coolness under pressure, such composure, such precision. So many traits that were rarely associated with Sterling when he first broke into the England team.

The hat-trick goal had an element of luck about it, mind. Sterling hit a tidy shot but the ball flipped off the shoulder of Ondrej Celustka, beyond the despairing Pavlenka.

It was one of those nights. A lot went right for England.

For the fifth, Callum Hudson-Odoi – on for Sterling, who took his ovation after 70 minutes and the man of the match award not long after – had a shot well saved but defender Tomas Kalas slotted it into his own net anyway.

Good and bad news for Chelsea there. Hudson-Odoi is one of the players who might receive more opportunities if FIFA enforce their transfer ban this summer.

But so, too, is Kalas — currently on loan at Bristol City — and he looked about as ready for it as Maurizio Sarri’s tobacconist.

Back to Sterling, though, and the goal that established England’s lead was straight from the Manchester City playbook. It wasn’t just that Sterling was the scorer, but that Sancho played the Leroy Sane wide role and Harry Kane filled in as the scheming David Silva. It is a sign of the fluidity of Southgate’s regime that England now possess forwards effortlessly capable of dropping in and out of wide and deep positions.

They can keep the ball, too — 25 passes leading up to the goal, involving almost all of the team. Who touched it? Who didn’t touch it would be an easier question to answer. Alli.

The other 10, including substitute Ross Barkley and goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, all got a feel of the ball at some time before Sterling put it in the net.

He has come of age as an England player when so often he has been the scapegoat.

Sterling regularly finishes bottom of the fan polls giving marks to each England player – sometimes, during the World Cup, he had a lower mark than any opposition player, too – and it seemed to play on his mind, signing off on social media as ‘the hated one’ not so long ago.

Gary Neville said that Sterling needed pep talks about the negativity even under the regime of Roy Hodgson, but this campaign has been a game-changer.

What an asset Sterling looked as he broke the deadlock. Let’s pick it up 22 passes in, when Kane finds Sancho on the right with a lovely, weighted pass that made full use of the young man’s speed and intelligence. Having got in behind the Czechs he just needed to deliver the end product and Sancho picked out Sterling at the far post – the Czechs now so stretched, he was tapping the ball into an empty net.

The visitors’ plan was to contain, but by half time the strategy was in ruins. Sterling again. Twenty seconds of injury time had elapsed when Alli played a neat, first-touch flick into Sterling’s path as he burst into the area.

A panicking Czech defensive duo of Pavel Kaderabek and Kalas trapped him in an old-fashioned sandwich and referee Artur Dias of Portugal pointed to the spot. Kane struck the ball hard – just as well, as Pavlenka got a hand to it.

Not that it was just about goals. There was plenty of entertainment watching Sancho, in particular, and one nutmeg of Czech left back Filip Novak drew a chorus of complimentary ‘ooos’ from the crowd.

What else did we learn? That England supporters – well, many of them – are reasonable sorts.

Early on, Dier went down after a heavy tackle by Tomas Soucek. Declan ‘Up the RA’ Rice was instructed to warm up. Any signs of resentment? Not in the least. Rice got a warm reception and wisely applauded the fans back.

True, he wasn’t at the end that keep anti-Irish nationalist sentiment alive, but as the first indication of how Rice’s relationship with the fans might develop it was a positive one. Southgate then brought Barkley on instead, but Rice got his chance later.

England overwhelmed by positives right now, it seems.

 

 

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VIDEO: Harambee Stars jet out to Ghana ahead of AFCON qualifier

The high flying Harambee Stars side jetted arrived in Accra Ghana on Wednesday ahead of their final AFCON qualifier match against Ghana’s Black Stars.

The final Group ‘F’ match will be played on Saturday in Accra.

The team which is led by captain Victor Wanyama, comprises of 12 foreign-based and 10 local-based players.

Hotshot Michael Olunga and winger Ayub Timbe are among the key players who missed the trip.

Defender, Aboud Omar’s services will be missed since he is suspended.

Despite having already qualified for the 2019 showpiece, Captain Victor Wanyama said they will approach Ghana’s match with the seriousness it deserves despite having qualified.

Final Squad

Goalkeepers

Patrick Matasi, John Oyemba, Faruk Shikalo

Defenders

Joash Onyango, Musa Mohammed, David Owino, Bernard Ochieng, Brian Mandela, Philemon Otieno, Erick Ouma

Midfielders

Anthony Akumu, Ismael Gonzales, Victor Wanyama, Francis Kahata, Dennis Odhiambo, Johanna Omollo, Erick Johanna, Paul Were, Christopher Mbamba

Forwards

Masud Juma, Pistone Mutamba, Allan Wanga

Watch the video below.

‘You are some f****ts’ : PSG considering legal action against Evra after homophobic rant

Patrice Evra could face legal action from Paris Saint-Germain over a homophobic rant at the French club following their Champions League defeat to Manchester United.

The former United defender appeared in a video filmed in a taxi and posted on social media on Monday in which he taunted PSG over their exit from the last 16.

Responding in French to a fan, the 37-year-old aimed homophobic insults at PSG as he described their players as ‘f****ts’ and ‘p*****s’ for losing to an injury-hit United team a fortnight ago.

Patrice Evra could be in hot water after he launched a foul-mouthed homophobic rant at PSG

In the clip, he calls PSG's players 'f****ts' and p*****s' - and the club are considering legal action

He added: ‘This is Manchester. Stop going off on one and supporting a team that will never win anything.

‘Even my cousin who is in the front (of the car) is p****d off. We played with the D team, the D team! Not even C (and) we sorted you out.

‘Hey, kids were playing (for United), the ones who used to clean my boots. They don’t even have sperm (yet).’ Evra, who won the Champions League and five Premier League titles during an eight-and-a-half year career at United, also reignited a spat with his former France and Monaco teammate Jerome Rothen, threatening to ‘f***ing slap you in the face’.

Rothen had accused Evra of disrespect for celebrating wildly in the directors’ box at Parc des Princes with Paul Pogba – who was suspended for the second leg – after Marcus Rashford’s late penalty put United into the quarter-finals on away goals.

PSG are understood to be taking legal advice over Evra’s outburst and issued a statement on Tuesday condemning it.

It read: ‘Paris Saint-Germain firmly condemns the homophobic slurs uttered by Patrice Evra against the club, its representatives and its former player (Rothen).

‘The words have shocked the heart of this club, which is attached to values of respect and being open with one another.’

PSG have also contacted United over the issue although there was no official comment from Old Trafford because Evra is not employed by the club.

However, Old Trafford sources moved to distance United from his comments, insisting they do not condone his choice of language and stressing that he was not speaking on behalf of the club.

-Dailymail

Real Madrid ‘relaunch’ pursuit of Liverpool star Mane following Zidane’s return as manager

Real Madrid are reported to be ready to reignite their interest in Liverpool forward Sadio Mane following the return of Zinedine Zidane as manager.

The La Liga giants were linked with Senegal international Mane last season, but the No 10 ended up remaining on Merseyside.

Reports in France even went as far as to suggest Mane had agreed a deal in principle to join Madrid, before Zidane ended up walking away from the hotseat and the deal was scrapped.

Sadio Mane is once again attracting the interest of Real Madrid, according to reports

Fresh reports this week in France claim Madrid and Zidane will ‘relaunch’ all attempts to bring the 26-year-old back to the Bernabeu.

Mane has been in blistering form this season for Liverpool, and is a driving force behind their sustained title challenge.

With a goal in the recent 2-1 victory over Fulham, Mane went level with prolific team-mate Mohamed Salah on 17 goals for the season.

Mane is now only one goal behind current leading Premier League goalscorer Sergio Aguero, and is the only player in the current top five of the scoring stakes who does not take penalties.

Returning manager Zinedine Zidane is understood to be a big fan of the Senegal international

Madrid are also being heavily linked with a move for Chelsea talisman Eden Hazard, though the Stamford Bridge club’s ongoing issues with a transfer ban are placing serious question marks around a future agreement.

In recently helping Liverpool dismantle Bayern Munich on the European stage, Mane’s brace marked a highly impressive 10 goals in 10 games – which he then went on to add to with his strike at Craven Cottage.

In November 2018, Liverpool announced Mane had agreed a new deal on Merseyside, running until the summer of 2023.

-Dailymail

UEL Quarters: Arsenal to face Napoli as Chelsea tie against Slavia Prague

Chelsea and Arsenal have both avoided each other in the Europa League quarter-final draw with the Gunners being handed a tough last eight clash with Napoli.

Maurizio Sarri’s side, who are still unbeaten in this season’s competition, were awarded a favourable tie against Slavia Prague at the ceremony in Nyon.

There will be an all Spanish quarter-final draw against Villarreal and Valencia while Benfica and Frankfurt will go head to head for a place in the semi-finals of the competition.

Arsenal will face Napoli in the Europa League quarter-finals while Chelsea play Slavia Prague

The first legs will be played on April 11, with the second legs on April 18.

Chelsea will play the first leg at home first because both they and Arsenal cannot play in London on the same evening.

Should Unai Emery’s men make it through to the semi-finals of the competition, they will come up against the winner of Valencia and Villarreal while also being afforded a home game in the first leg of the last-four encounter.

Watatoboa? Man United handed Barcelona as Man City face Tottenham in UCL Quarters

The winner of Chelsea and Slavia Prague’s match will face either Frankfurt or Benfica over two legs for a place in the final.

Arsenal have won their only previous home game against Napoli in European competition, where they beat the Serie A side 2-0 in the 2013-14 Champions League campaign, with Mesut Ozil directly involved in both goals.

The German playmaker scored one and assisted the other in that match at the Emirates.

Meanwhile, the Blues, who haven’t lost in this season’s Europa League campaign, are unbeaten in their previous six games against Czech opponents in European competition, having won three and drawn three, while also managing to keep a clean sheet in four of the last five.

EUROPA LEAGUE DRAW

QUARTER-FINAL DRAW

Napoli vs Arsenal

Villarreal vs Valencia

Benfica vs Frankfurt

Slavia Prague vs Chelsea

The first legs will be played on April 11 with the second legs being played on April 18.

SEMI-FINAL DRAW

Napoli/Arsenal vs Villarreal/Valencia

Benfica/Frankfurt vs Slavia Prague/Chelsea

-Dailymail

Watatoboa? Man United handed Barcelona as Man City face Tottenham in UCL Quarters

Manchester City and Tottenham have been paired together in an all-English Champions League quarter-final.

Manchester United have been paired with Barcelona, while Liverpool will take on Porto in the last eight.

Ajax and Juventus meet in the other tie.

The first legs will be played on April 9 and 10, the second legs on April 16 and 17.

United will play the first leg of their tie at Old Trafford because they both them and City cannot play in Manchester on the same evening.

Tottenham and Manchester City have been drawn together in the Champions League quarter-finals, as Manchester United take on Barcelona and Liverpool play Porto

The winner of the all-English quarter-final will take on either Ajax or Juventus in the semi-final, the draw for which was also made at UEFA’s headquarters in Nyon on Friday.

Meanwhile, Manchester United are on a semi-final collision course with bitter rivals Liverpool if they both progress.

With four Premier League sides in the last eight for the first time since 2009, the probability of two of them meeting was high.

League leaders City will have to overcome the stubborn test of Spurs if they are to keep their hopes of winning an unprecedented Quadruple of trophies alive.

City beat Spurs 1-0 at Wembley in the league back in October and the two sides are set to meet again the weekend after the second leg.

-Dailymail

Zidane secures his first Madrid signing since return as they announce Militao 

Real Madrid have signed Porto defender Eder Militao as their second revolution under Zinedine Zidane gathers pace just days after his return.

The Frenchman only rejoined Madrid as manager this week following the sacking of Santiago Solari. But already the club are moving to improve their squad as they look to close the gap on rivals Barcelona and Atletico.

On Thursday they announced the signing of 21-year-old Militao, who will join from Porto in a €50million (£43m) deal in the summer.

Real Madrid have confirmed the signing of 21-year-old Eder Militao from Porto for £43million

Militao has signed a six-year deal at the Bernabeu, with Madrid confirming he has committed his future to the club until 2025.

The Spanish giants are looking to rebuild under Zidane, who led them to three consecutive Champions League titles before leaving the club in the summer.

He rejoined with them 12 points off the pace in La Liga and on the back of a  humiliating Champions League defeat by Ajax at the last-16 stage.

But they have moved quickly to add reinforcements, with reports in Spain claiming Madrid were keen to wrap the deal up before Militao’s buy-out clause increased from £43m to £64m in July.

WHO IS EDER MILITAO?

Age: 21

Position: Centre back/right back

Nationality: Brazilian

2018-19 appearances: 34

2018-19 goals/assists: 3/2

Career so far: 

Sao Paulo 2016-18

Porto 2018-19

Real Madrid 2019 –

Militao has signed a six-year deal, committing his future to the Spanish giants until 2025

The defender has made one appearance for Brazil and can play at centre back, full back or defensive midfield.

Still only 21, he began his career with Sao Paulo in his native Brazil before moving to Porto last summer.

He has scored three goals and picked up two assists in 34 appearances for the Portuguese side, with his displays catching the eye of Madrid.

The deal comes amid reports that Tottenham playmaker Christian Eriksen is among Madrid’s summer transfer targets as Zidane eyes a summer overhaul at the Bernabeu.

The likes of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Eden Hazard have all been linked with a move to the Spanish giants and, according to AS, Eriksen is also among their primary targets.

-Dailymail

Champions League: Man City hit seven past Schalke as Ronaldo’s hat-trick helps Juve drown Atleti

Cristiano Ronaldo produced a master class performance to help his side Juventus turn around a two nil deficit and beat Atletico Madrid three nil in the return leg of the champions league round of sixteen.

The forward gave Juventus a one nil lead in the first half before adding the second after the break to level the scores on aggregate. The Portuguese was not done as he added his third of the night from the spot to complete Juve’s incredible comeback in Turin.

Cristiano Ronaldo thumps home from the spot to ensure Juventus' progress to the last-eight of the Champions League

This was Operation Cristiano Ronaldo in all its glory. Without the Champions League trophy since 1996, Juventus turned to the man who caused them so much heartache, a man who is never far away from the trophy having lifted it for the past three seasons consecutively.

Just look at Real Madrid without him. Stunned by Ajax. As for Juventus, they are profiting immensely. Having fallen flat in Madrid in the first leg, there was never a worry their main man would miss the mark again.

Ronaldo swivels in the air and receives the adulation of the home crowd as Emre Can joins in the celebrations

There was VAR drama. Goal-line technology was called into action and the final nail in the coffin came from the penalty spot. Then came the cojones celebration Diego Simeone produced with such enthusiasm come full-time in Madrid. How the tables turned in Turin. For boss Massimiliano Allegri, this was the plan all along from the first whistle of the first leg.

In the other match played yesterday, Manchester City trashed Schake 04 seven nil at Etihad.

Brazil international Gabriel Jesus got in on the action in the closing stages, wrapping up an incredible 7-0 win for his side

The club lying 14th in an 18-team Bundesliga arrived in England having conceded 11 goals in three games since an eventful 3-2 defeat to Manchester City in Gelsenkirchen three weeks ago and were battered by another seven here.

That said, City were absolutely fantastic on the way to the second biggest knockout win in the history of the Champions League. Clinical. Ruthless.

Two goals for Sergio Aguero, a pearler from Raheem Sterling and brilliant performances from Leroy Sane and Ilkay Gundogan to name but two.

Pep Guardiola can say what he wants, the reality is that City are in the quarter-finals of the Champions League and one of the favourites to win it now.

The Portugal playmaker jogged away in celebration while Schalke player's trudged away with their spirits broken

 -Dailymail