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EPL: Solskjaer speaks on signing Daniel James from Swansea, transfer business

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EPL: Solskjaer speaks on signing Daniel James from Swansea, transfer business

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Manchester United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, has refused to confirm if he is close to signing Daniel James from Swansea.

Reports on Friday morning claimed the 21-year-old winger will be Solskjaer’s first signing ahead of the new season in a £15m deal.

United could finish behind the eventual champions by as many as 32 points and Solskjaer admitted that regardless of new arrivals, any hope of competing with Manchester City and Liverpool for the title next term is fanciful at best.

“I don’t know how man names have been mentioned, there are players i have barely seen who it says we are going to sign! The earlier you can do the transfers, the better it is,” he said when asked about the potential signing of James.

“I can’t comment on every single individual. I don’t like when others talk about my players, I won’t talk about others,” the Norwegian replied, when asked about the potential of James at his press conference today.

He added: “I think I have been quite honest that challenging for the title next year would be a miraculous season because we are so far behind points-wise.

“Next season we have to close that gap, if we manage to get to February or March and still be close then that’s fantastic.

“If not this summer will also be about players that can last here for many years. No it’s not just about ready-made players. We’ve never been a ready-made club.

“[Cristiano] Ronaldo was never ready-made, Wayne Rooney was never ready-made. Loads of the players that come here and really developed into the top superstars that they have become.

“That’s always going to be the model – that we will develop players because I’ve got the best staff, the best environment.

“And the best supporters because they love players that excite them, that get them off their seats and we hope to get some of them in.”



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Buhari appoints Amokachi as SA on sports

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Buhari appoints Amokachi as SA on sports

Former Super Eagles player and Nigerian Football Ambassador, Daniel Amokachi, has been appointed as Special Assistant on Sports to President Muhammadu Buhari.

“I am pleased to inform you that Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has approved your appointment as Special Assistant on Sports,” the appointment letter dated August 17, 2020, and signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation Mr. Boss Mustapha, reads in part.

As special assistant on sports, Amokachi is expected to advise the President on all sports matters.

The former Everton of England forward, who was earlier in the year named Nigeria’s Football Ambassador, is expected to mentor youngsters and promote the game at the grassroots.

Nicknamed “The Bull”, Amokachi began his career in Kaduna with Ranchers Bees Football Club of Kaduna, played for Club Brugge of Belgium, Besiktas of Turkey, Everton of England and Colorado Rapids.

He played in two World Cup finals, USA 1994 and France 1998. He was a member of Nigeria’s 1994 African Cup of Nations winning team and won the 2013 edition in South Africa as assistant to the late Coach Stephen Keshi.

Amockachi also won Gold with team Nigeria in the Football event of the Atlanta 1996 Olympics.

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Tennis: Djokovic confirms US Open participation

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Tennis: Djokovic confirms US Open participation

Novak Djokovic confirmed on Thursday he will play at the US Open, ending speculation about his presence at the first Grand Slam tournament since the season restarted following the coronavirus-enforced shutdown.

“I’m happy to confirm that I’ll participate at #CincyTennis and #USOpen this year,” the 33-year-old world number one tweeted.

“It was not an easy decision to make with all the obstacles and challenges on many sides, but the prospect of competing again makes me really excited,” added the 17-time Grand Slam champion.

The US Open gets underway behind closed doors in New York on Monday August 31, with Djokovic arriving in the United States on Saturday to tune up in the Western and Southern Open, which is normally played in Cincinnati but has been moved to New York this year.

His decision to take part is a major boost for the US Open after a host of headline names pulled out.

Djokovic makes his competitive return after being heavily criticized for hosting a charity tennis event in the Balkans in June at which he and a raft of players tested positive for COVID-19.

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Sam Okwaraji: NFF begins process to retire Eagles No.6 jersey

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Sam Okwaraji: NFF begins process to retire Eagles No.6 jersey

The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) is pondering a move to retire the Super Eagles No.6 jersey previously worn by the late Sam Okwaraji, The PUNCH reports.

NFF President Amaju Pinnick made this known during an interview on a radio programme Sports Salsa, which was aired on Kennis 104.1 FM on Wednesday.

Okwaraji died of congestive heart failure minutes after he slumped during a 1990 World Cup qualifier between Nigeria and Angola on August 12, 1989, inside the main-bowl of the National Stadium, Lagos.

The game ended 1-0 in favour of the Eagles.

“Someone made a proposal about retiring the jersey (No.6) at the start of the year and I think it is not too much for us to do that,” Pinnick said.

“I will forward the proposal to the executive committee for implementation because it has been said already. So, we will see how we can retire that shirt in honour of a great patriot (Samuel) Okwaraji.

“His (Okwaraji) death was very tragic because he was a player who showed dexterity, professionalism and maturity each time he played for the Eagles.”

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