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Maresca, McKenna & Frank on Chelsea job shortlist

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Chelsea have drawn up an early shortlist of managerial options, which includes Ipswich Town’s Kieran McKenna, Leicester City’s Enzo Maresca and Brentford’s Thomas Frank.

The Blues are in search of a replacement for Mauricio Pochettino after he left the club by mutual consent on Tuesday.

Contact has been made with McKenna, 38 – who won promotion from the Championship with Ipswich Town this season – but there is competition from Brighton, who are looking to replace Roberto de Zerbi.

Manchester United are also reportedly interested in McKenna, who would cost more than £4m in compensation.

He is believed to be the frontrunner as Chelsea target a quick appointment but Maresca, 44, who led Leicester to the Championship title and was a coach at Manchester City under Pep Guardiola, is an alternative option.

Danish coach Frank, 50, is similarly under consideration for his work in getting Brentford to the Premier League and then consolidating their position in the top flight.

It is understood that Chelsea also have a fourth ‘mystery’ contender on their shortlist.

Stuttgart manager Sebastian Hoeness had been tipped as an option but is now believed to be staying in Germany.

The Chelsea players not with their countries meet up for pre-season on 4 July and will embark on a tour of the United States under new management, having finished sixth in the Premier League and reached the Carabao Cup final – which they lost to Liverpool – last season.

 

READ ALSO  Woeful Finidi George resigns as Super Eagles head coach
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‘No integrity’ – Osimhen fires back at Finidi

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Osimhen fires back at Finidi’s comments on national team commitment

Victor Osimhen has responded fiercely to former Super Eagles coach Finidi George‘s claims about his commitment to Nigeria’s national team, the Super Eagles ahead of the crucial 2026 World Cup qualifiers this month.

The Napoli striker, who has been the subject of intense transfer speculation linking him to Chelsea and Arsenal, expressed his frustration in a six-minute rant on Instagram, targeting Finidi.

Finidi had suggested that it was challenging to discipline certain players, claiming that Osimhen had opted out of two World Cup qualifying matches despite being fit to play. He accused Osimhen of selectively choosing which games to participate in.

Osimhen, angered by these accusations, took to Instagram Live to voice his displeasure:

“I called Finidi George when he was appointed and told him: ‘Let’s do great things together.’ I asked him to let me stay with the players in the camp, but he told me to stay with my family. Now, after two bad games, everyone is blaming me.”

He continued, “I always play my heart out for Nigeria. I know how many injuries I’ve played through for Nigeria. But after two bad games, everyone is attacking me. I have lost all respect for him.

“I always call my teammates to encourage them, but after these games, I wasn’t even part of the team. I got injured in the last minute of our last match. The MRI confirmed an ankle injury. I won’t allow disrespect from anyone. I play my heart out for Nigeria.”

Despite Osimhen’s injury, Finidi maintained that the striker could have played in the matches.

READ ALSO  Woeful Finidi George resigns as Super Eagles head coach

Osimhen was ruled out for four weeks due to a twisted ankle, and he now feels unfairly targeted for the Super Eagles’ failure to win those games.
The 25-year-old striker remains a hot topic in football transfer news, but his recent comments have highlighted the tension between him and the former coach.

Under Finidi’s leadership, the Super Eagles suffered a surprising 2-1 defeat to the Benin Republic in Abidjan, following a 1-1 draw against South Africa at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium.

These results leave the Super Eagles winless after four matches, sitting in fifth place in Group C with just three points, putting Nigeria’s chances of qualifying for the 2026 FIFA World Cup in serious jeopardy.

 

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Woeful Finidi George resigns as Super Eagles head coach

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Finidi George has resigned from his position as the head coach of the Super Eagles. It is believed Finidi took the decision on Saturday,

Finidi George has resigned from his position as the head coach of the Super Eagles.

It is believed Finidi took the decision on Saturday, days after the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, announced moves to bring in a foreign technical adviser.

His exit was confirmed by former Eagles media officer, Toyin Ibitoye, on his X account.

Ibitoye wrote: “News just in: Finidi George @FinidiGeorge_FG has resigned from his @NGSuperEagles manager position.”

Finidi was only appointed on April 29, 2024, to replace Jose Peseiro, whose contract expired in February.

During his very brief tenure, the former Enyimba boss oversaw a 1-1 draw with South Africa and a 2-1 defeat to Benin Republic, both in the 2026 World Cup qualifying series.

 

READ ALSO  Turkish Giants Scramble for Ndidi’s Signature
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I’m coming for heads, warns returning Adesanya

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I’m coming for heads, warns returning Adesanya

Former UFC middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya, has expressed excitement ahead of his highly anticipated return to the octagon,

The Nigeria-born fighter is expected to challenge rival, and new champion Dricus du Plessis for the championship later this year. Although nothing has been announced officially, the promotion is reportedly targeting UFC 305 on August 18 in Perth, Western Australia.

In a post on his YouTube channel on Friday, “The Last Stylebender” discussed the potential return, showed some of the new elements to his strength and conditioning program, and also revealed his new mindset when it comes to his fighting career.

“How excited am I to get back in the octagon? I’m excited,” Adesanya said. “I’m excited, it’s been a year, almost a year, like 11 months by the time I get back in the octagon. People are like, ‘Oh, I hope you get the belt back, I hope you get the belt back,’ I have belts. I don’t need any more belts. I’m coming for heads. That’s what I want to do.

Source: The Punch

 

READ ALSO  Woeful Finidi George resigns as Super Eagles head coach
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Aruna Quadri qualifies for Paris Olympics

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Aruna Quadri has earned the berth to represent Nigeria at the table tennis event of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The 35-year-old’s Olympic qualification was announced in a statement by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) on Friday.

He secured the qualification through his position in the ITTF world rankings and the selection of continental quotas.

Aruna, ranked 17th in the world, secured the berth alongside Lynda Loghraibi from Algeria and six other players from other continents.

“As the countdown to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games intensifies, ITTF is thrilled to announce significant progress in the qualification process for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games,” the statement reads.

“With the Games now under 50 days away, this week’s world ranking update has seen eight athletes secure their participation based on the selection of Continental quotas allocated by World Ranking.

“The Men’s Singles draw welcomes African powerhouse Quadri Aruna from Nigeria, alongside the Americas’ rising talent Nicolas Burgos from Chile. Asia’s Kirill Gerassimenko of Kazakhstan and Europe’s Alvaro Robles of Spain, who previously qualified in Mixed Doubles, also confirm their spots.”

Quadri joins Olajide Omotayo, Edem Offiong, and Fatimo Bello as Nigeria’s representatives in table tennis at the Olympics.

Paris will be Quadri’s fourth Olympics, having represented the country in London 2012, Rio 2016 and Tokyo in 2021.

Source: The Cable

 

READ ALSO  'No integrity' - Osimhen fires back at Finidi
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Germany smash Scotland in Euro 2024 opener

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Germany 5-1 Scotland: Ten-player Scots humiliated

Scotland were taught a lesson by classy Germany in their Euro 2024 opener as Ryan Porteous was sent off in a 5-1 defeat in Munich.

Steve Clarke’s mantra was “respect everyone, fear no one” as they looked to make it past the group stage of a major tournament for the first time.

But they looked stunned as Angus Gunn failed to save Florian Wirtz’s effort in the 10th minute at the Allianz Arena.

Jamal Musiala (19) then rifled a powerful shot into the roof of the net with Kai Havertz making it 3-0 from the penalty spot after Porteous was shown a straight red in the 44th minute for a crunching challenge on Ilkay Gundogan following a VAR check.

The Germans, who last won the European Championship in 1996, were not finished and Niclas Fullkrug smashed a wonderful drive into the top corner to add to Scotland’s woes.

Antonio Rudiger headed into his own net to finally give the Scots something to celebrate before Emre Can made it 5-1 with the last kick of the game to earn Germany the biggest win in an opening match at the Euros.

Misery in Munich
Florian Wirtz celebrates scoring the opener against Scotland
The Tartan Army descended on the stadium in their thousands believing they could upset the odds, but there was an early warning as Rudiger sent a ball through to Wirtz. He was just offside but Gunn reacted to save his half-volley with his head.

The hosts were in control and, after a brilliant clearance from Porteous to deny Musiala a chance, they did take the lead.

READ ALSO  Aruna Quadri qualifies for Paris Olympics

Joshua Kimmich sent a long pass to Wirtz and the Bundesliga’s player of the year took his chance, Gunn did get a touch but only pushed it in off the inside of the post.

It soon got worse for Scotland as they went 2-0 down after just 19 minutes when Musiala picked up a brilliant pass from Gundogan and smashed a powerful shot into the roof of the net.

Clarke had his head in his hands as the hosts were awarded a penalty soon after for Ryan Christie’s clumsy challenge on Musiala, but it was outside the box and overturned after a VAR check.

Havertz’s resultant free-kick deflected off the wall and spun into Gunn’s arms.

Frustration began to show for Scotland and, following a VAR check, Porteous was shown a straight red for a crunching challenge on Gundogan in the box. This time a penalty was awarded.

Havertz stepped up and fired under Gunn from the spot to give the Germans a commanding 3-0 lead before the break.

Che Adams made way for Grant Hanley for the second half as Clarke looked to limit the damage and Scotland did look brighter.

Scott McTominay won a free-kick soon after the restart, but Havertz managed to block his effort.

Germany were then back in command as Rudiger’s 25-yard drive was turned around the post by Gunn.

They did find a fourth, and in some style, as Fullkrug sent a stunning drive into the roof of the net. He thought he had scored again soon after but it was ruled out for offside.

Scotland did have something to celebrate late on as Scott McKenna’s ball came off Rudiger’s head and past Manuel Neuer for a consolation.

READ ALSO  I’m coming for heads, warns returning Adesanya

But the celebrations were short-lived as Can – who was only called into the squad two days ago – scored Germany’s fifth in stoppage-time to earn them the biggest win in the opening match of a European Championship game.

Source: Skysport

 

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Turkish Giants Scramble for Ndidi’s Signature

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Barcelona are considering a move for Leicester's Wilfred Ndidi - the defensive midfielder's contract at the Championship winners

Three Turkish football clubs are reportedly locked in a fierce competition to secure the signature of Nigerian midfielder Wilfred Ndidi, whose contract with Leicester City is set to expire by June 2024.

The 27-year-old defensive midfielder has been a stalwart for Leicester City since joining the club in 2017.

However, with his contract nearing its end, Ndidi seems poised for a potential departure from the King Power Stadium.

According to Fanatik, Leicester City have been unable to convince Ndidi to extend his stay, paving the way for Turkish clubs to enter the fray.

Trabzonspor, Bekta and Galatasaray are among the interested parties in the Super Lig.

Trabzonspor, keen on bolstering both their forward line and midfield options, have expressed interest in Ndidi along with Paul Onuachu.

The Black Sea Storm are reportedly determined to secure Ndidi’s services and have presented an enticing offer, including a substantial signing bonus.

Meanwhile, Galatasaray has made a compelling offer of a three-plus-one-year contract in a bid to sway Ndidi to choose them over other suitors.

Ndidi’s tenure at Leicester City has been marked by consistent performances, making him a sought-after asset in the transfer market.

The Nigerian international played 36 matches last season, contributing six goals and six assists to the Foxes’ campaign.

In addition to his club exploits, Ndidi has also been a key figure for the Nigerian national team.

He featured prominently in their 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, starting recently against South Africa and the Benin Republic.

Source: Thisday

READ ALSO  Germany smash Scotland in Euro 2024 opener
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