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NEWSMAN – Barcelona are offering three players to Juventus in order to sign Cristiano Ronaldo this summer.

Ronaldo, who has one year remaining on his contract in Turin, has been strongly linked with a move to Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid.

Diario AS reports that Barcelona president Joan Laporta is formulating an audacious plan to lure Ronaldo to Barcelona where he will unite with Lionel Messi.

The prospect of Ronaldo and Messi playing for the same team is something improbable which has fascinated football fans over the last decade.

Messi and Ronaldo are entering the last years of their careers and it becomes more possible they will pen short-term deals with the highest bidder.

The reports say that in the eyes of Barcelona president, Laporta there is no proposal more enticing for Ronaldo than the prospect of playing alongside Messi.

And, according to the report, the Barcelona supremo is working hard to pull off a sensational swoop for Ronaldo from Juventus, Daily Post reported.

It reports that Laporta will offer Antoine Griezmann, Philippe Coutinho and Sergi Roberto to Juventus In order to realise the deal.

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NEWSMAN – Senegal and Liverpool superstar Sadio Mane has donated about N285 million (around 500,000 pounds or 694,000 dollars) to help in building a hospital in the town of Bambali, his hometown in Senegal.

The small village of Bambali, where Mane was born, did not have a hospital before, and the Senegalese forward decided to pay tribute to his small town by helping in that charitable project.

The 29-year-old Mane previously donated about N143 million (around 250,000 pounds or almost 350,000 dollars) to build a school in the town.

The new hospital will include among others departments for maternity care, dental facilities and consulting rooms.

Mane met last week with Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal, to discuss the hospital project funded by Mane.

“Mane has presented the Head of State with an ambitious plan to build a hospital in Bambali and is counting on state support for medical personnel,” said a statement from Senegal Presidency on Twitter.

Mane who was born in Bambali is playing now with Liverppol FC, having won the English Premier League, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup titles with his side, Guardian reported.

He was named CAF Player of the Year 2019.

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NEWSMAN – Manchester United are close to signing Borussia Dortmund winger, Jadon Sancho, this summer.

This claim was made by respected football expert, Dean Jones.

According to Jones, Man United is very “confident” that Sancho, 21, is arriving sooner rather than later with a deal set at around £80 million maximum.

“The [Jadon] Sancho vibe is still good from [Manchester] United’s angle,” Jones told The Football Terrace Podcast.

“It is hard to get a proper grasp of where we are at in terms of a fee. But I am still told £80 million is really the ceiling for United, they are very keen not to be seen to be going over that.

“And however this settles, they would like it to be reported as an £80 million transfer and no more than that”.

He said that is what I have been told and that is what the club has been saying for some time now, Daily Post reported.

“I was speaking to someone [from Manchester United] yesterday who said the next storyline would be, does he get the No.7 shirt? People are getting so confident and there’s more of a willingness on both sides to get it done now”.

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NEWSMAN – Former Nigeria coach Samson Siasia’s life-ban from football for bribery has been reduced to five years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, CAS.

The 53-year-old was initially sanctioned in 2019 by Fifa for agreeing to “receive bribes in relation to the manipulation of matches”.

Siasia appealed against the ban with football’s governing body and Cas as he denied the charges against him.

CAS “determined the imposition of a life ban to be disproportionate for a first offence which was committed passively and which had not had an adverse or immediate effect on football stakeholders, and that a five-year ban would still achieve the envisaged aim of punishing the infringement committed by Siasia”.

The ban has been backdated to start on August 16, 2019 as the court explained the background to the case.

In 2010, a match fixer tried to involve Siasia as a coach of a club under his strict instructions, CAS revealed.

“With the promise of employment benefits, Siasia would have had to always field several players under the control of the match-fixer.

“The negotiations between the match fixer and Siasia in relation to the conditions of employment were conducted by email over a period of two months.

“Eventually, the club did not accept or could not afford Siasia’s requests and the negotiations ended”.

The court also cancelled a fine of CHF 50,000 (US$50,000) that had also been part of the sanctions imposed by Fifa.

“(Cas) acknowledged the need for sanctions to be sufficiently high enough to eradicate bribery and especially match-fixing in football.

“However, the Panel considered in the particular circumstances of this matter that it would be inappropriate and excessive to impose a financial sanction in addition to the five-year ban, since the ban sanction already incorporated a financial punishment in eliminating football as a source of revenue for Siasia.

“And considering that Siasia had not obtained any gain or pecuniary benefit from his unethical behaviour”.

A former international, Siasia won the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations with Nigeria and played in their maiden World Cup appearance later that same year. He played over 50 times for his country while scoring 16 goals.

As a coach he led his country’s under-20 and under-23 sides to continental success in 2005 and 2015 respectively.

He also guided the under-20’s to a runners-up finish at the 2005 World Youth Championships (as it was known at the time) in the Netherlands, Vanguard reported.

Siasia is the most decorated African football coach at the Olympics, winning silver at the Beijing Games in 2008 and bronze at the 2016 Games in Rio.

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NEWSMAN – Barcelona is ready to give Juventus three players in a swap deal for their forward, Cristiano Ronaldo.

According to Diario AS, Barcelona president, Joan Laporta, is eager to sign Ronaldo and he is prepared to use Antoine Griezmann, Philippe Coutinho and Sergi Roberto as a makeweight in a deal for the Portugal captain.

Laporta is formulating an audacious plan to unite Ronaldo with captain Lionel Messi at Camp Nou.

Ronaldo has a year remaining on his contract with Juventus.

The 36-year-old has been strongly linked with a transfer move away from Juventus this summer.

Ronaldo has drawn the interest of Manchester United, PSG, Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Meanwhile, the prospect of uniting Ronaldo with Messi also relies on the Argentina captain agreeing to a new contract with Barcelona, Daily Post reported.

Messi’s current contract with Barcelona will expire on 30 June.

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NEWSMAN – Former Real Madrid captain, Sergio Ramos, is set to join Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).

According to bookmakers Betfair, PSG have now become the favourites to sign Ramos this summer.

The French Ligue 1 giants are ahead of Manchester United, Manchester City, Sevilla and Juventus to sign the veteran Spanish defender. Ramos officially left Real Madrid on Thursday after spending 16 years at the club.

The 35-year-old won 22 trophies during his time at Real Madrid.

The centre-back joined Los Blancos in 2005 in a €27 million move from Sevilla.

Meanwhile, In January this year, Ramos told Real Madrid that PSG are keen to create a super-team by signing him and Barcelona captain, Lionel Messi.

He said, “Someone from PSG has told me that they are going to create a great team with me and [Lionel] Messi.”

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NEWSMAN – Sergio Ramos was understandably in an emotional mood as he bid farewell to Real Madrid during a press conference on Thursday.

The 35-year-old, who has spent the last 16 years at the club and became captain, used words to the effect of Zinedine Zidane when the coach left Los Blancos at the end of his first spell in charge, stating that it is a ‘see you later’ rather than a ‘goodbye’.

“The moment has come, one of the most difficult in my life; the time has come to say goodbye to Real Madrid. I arrived hand in hand with my father…,” is all Ramos could say before bursting into tears.

“It’s impossible not to get emotional. I would have liked to say goodbye in our stadium, at the [Estadio] Santiago Bernabeu.

“Thank you, Real Madrid. I will always carry you in my heart. It’s the end of a wonderful, unique period in my life, and the beginning of a period of hope and future with a great desire to show my best for many years to come and to be able to add another trophy to my list of honours.

“Thank you very much to everyone. This is more than a goodbye; it’s a see you later, because I’ll be back.”

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NEWSMAN – Reigning champions Portugal begin their defence of the trophy against Hungary at Euro 2020 in Budapest on Tuesday as World Cup holders France take on Germany in a hotly-anticipated clash between two of the continent’s heavyweights.

Action on the pitch on day five of the tournament was preceded by a heartwarming “I’m fine” social media post from Christian Eriksen, the Danish midfielder recovering from Saturday’s shocking cardiac arrest.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal are set to have the honour of a full house in the Hungarian capital, with the Puskas Arena the only one of the 11 venues at this European Championship where there are no Covid-19 limits on the number of fans allowed.

“It’s perfect. I wish every single venue could host a full house. It’s great for viewers and players, but sadly it’s not up to us to decide,” said Ronaldo of the prospect of a crowd of up to 68,000 watching the first of Tuesday’s two matches at the tournament in Group F.

Ronaldo is 36 now and aiming to score in a fifth different European Championship finals.

He needs just one more goal to become the outright top scorer in the tournament and is just five goals away from equalling the all-time international scoring record of 109 held by Iran’s Ali Daei.

But, from Ruben Dias to Bruno Fernandes and Joao Felix, there is also an outstanding team behind him and Portugal are hopeful of retaining the title they won at Euro 2016 in France.

“Right now we think we have what it takes to win the cup”, said coach Fernando Santos.

Hungary are the rank outsiders in the group but are hoping to make the most of their home advantage.

– ‘All-time great’ game –

That game will be followed by the mouthwatering showdown in Munich as the world champions face a Germany side eager to make up for their desperate showing at the World Cup in Russia when they were knocked out in the group stage.

Les Bleus come into the tournament as firm favourites thanks to their status as World Cup holders and after coach Didier Deschamps decided to recall Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema from a five-and-a-half-year international exile.

France lost 1-0 to Germany in the 2014 World Cup quarter-finals in Rio de Janeiro but are unbeaten in the five meetings between the sides since, including a 2-0 win in the Euro 2016 semi-finals.

“This fixture brings back happy memories and not so happy memories,” said France goalkeeper and captain Hugo Lloris. “It is one of the all-time great major tournament fixtures”,

Germany are under pressure to perform in front of home support at Munich’s Allianz Arena as they come into their final tournament under coach Joachim Loew, who will stand down after the finals following 15 years in charge.

“The spirit is very good and the team is hungry for success. That makes me confident and allows me to sleep peacefully,” Loew said.

In stark contrast to Budapest, authorities in Munich are only allowing around 14,500 fans into the Allianz Arena for games, equivalent to about 20 per cent of capacity.

– Spain stutter, Schick stunner –

On Monday Spain got off to a stuttering start as Luis Enrique’s side — playing Group E games at home in Seville — were held to a 0-0 draw by Sweden.

European champions in 2008 and 2012, Spain were without captain Sergio Busquets, still isolating after testing positive for coronavirus, and paid for wasteful finishing by much-criticised Alvaro Morata.

Schick had earlier headed in the opener as the Czechs ruined Scotland’s long-awaited first game at a major tournament in 23 years and went top of Group D.

The ball bounced back, the goalkeeper was quite high, I took a look, I saw he was out there so I slammed it in,” said Bayer Leverkusen striker Schick of his stunner.

Also on day four, Slovakia edged out 10-man Poland 2-1 in Saint Petersburg in Group E, AFP reported.

In Copenhagen meanwhile, Eriksen continues his recovery following his collapse in the game against Finland.

“I’m fine — under the circumstances, I still have to go through some examinations at the hospital, but I feel okay”, wrote the Denmark player on Instagram accompanied by a photo of him smiling and giving a thumbs-up while lying in bed.

Instagram was also the place where Austria’s Marko Arnautovic penned his apology after insulting North Macedonia players in Sunday’s victory, but despite his mea culpa UEFA have opened disciplinary proceedings into his behaviour in Bucharest.

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NEWSMAN, Benin – UFC welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman, will arrive Nigeria today (Thursday) to initiate a community activation plan for the people of Edo State.

Kamaru who is on a 19-fight winning streak, the longest ever in the welterweight division, was born in Nigeria, but has not visited since he migrated to the US with his family as an eight-year-old.

It was learnt that Kamaru would visit Lagos, where he would be the guest of the media on Sunday.

From Lagos, Usman would travel to his home state, Edo, for his community activation plan.

”I’m coming home”, an excited Usman said on Instagram, while sharing videos of him and his family at the airport about to take off”.

He said i looked at my passport and realised I hadn’t been home since I was a kid, that’s when I knew it was time, Punch reported.

Kamaru recently defended his title against Jorge Masvidal, knocking the American out in the second round of their meeting to retain his title.

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NEWSMAN – Barcelona is ready to sell at least eighteen (18) players this summer transfer window due to financial trouble facing the club.

Goal reports that Barcelona president, Joan Laporta has also named just five players who are completely untouchable at Camp Nou.

Laporta is trying to cut down the wage bill at the club while raising money to reshape the squad under manager Ronald Koeman.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also left Barcelona without key revenue streams and they are hurriedly trying to raise cash ahead of next season.

Some of the 18 players up for sale this summer are Junior Firpo, Martin Braithwaite, Matheus Fernandes, Ousmane Dembele, Sergino Dest, Gerard Pique, Riqui Puig and Francisco Trincao.

Others include Philippe Coutinho, Miralem Pjanic, Samuel Umtiti, Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba, Sergi Roberto, Clement Lenglet and Antoine Griezmann.

The untouchable players are Ronald Araujo, Ansu Fati, Pedri, Frenkie de Jong and Lionel Messi, who is in talks over a new contract, Daily Post reported.

Meanwhile, Barcelona have already signed Sergio Aguero, Eric Garcia and Emerson.