Ecuador honors Valencia for his decade at Man United

Ecuador President Lenin Moreno presented Manchester United stalwart
Antonio Valencia with the prestigious National Get of Advantage medal in
recognition of his decade actively playing for the Premiership League giants.

“I have ended a superb period in Manchester, but now there is a
challenging match in advance and I hope to play perfectly, which is currently being a great father, and this is a dedication to my country’s children and youth,”
stated Valencia, who bowed out of Old Trafford on Sunday pursuing 25
goals in 339 appearances after becoming a member of from Wigan Athletic in 2009.”

“Mr president, I hope God rewards you for this acknowledgement.”Valencia, 33, offered Moreno with the shirt he wore on Sunday in his ultimate game, in the ceremony at the presidential Carondelet Palace in Quito.Moreno praised the “beloved” Valencia for representing his nation with dignity and valor “the two on and off the pitch.

“He highlighted Valencia’s finest achievements, like turning out to be
the initial Ecuadoran to play in a Champions League final, in 2011, and
the first to raise the Europa League, in 2017.Signed by legendary United manager Alex Ferguson, Valencia was made
skipper less than Jose Mourinho whilst he played tiny this season due to
injury and rarely at all less than new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

He gained two Premier League titles, the FA Cup in 2016, the League Cup twice and the Europa League once.

He is also his national team’s skipper and is because of to play in the Copa The united states starting up next thirty day period.

He commenced his career as a right winger in 2003 at El Nacional in his
homeland just before relocating to Villarreal in Spain two several years afterwards.

He joined Wigan in 2006 just before securing his dream move to United 3 several years following that.

Recognised for his rate and powerful pushed crosses, Valencia converted to entire-again under Louis van Gaal.The National Purchase of Advantage is the 2nd optimum civilian award in Ecuador.



UEFA Champions League -Tottenham 1- 0Man. City

All you need to have to know in 60 seconds …Heung-Min Son struck the only goal as Tottenham attained a narrow win to go into next week’s quarter-remaining 2nd leg at Manchester City.

Son showed excellent composure with 12 minutes remaining, holding the ball in the field of play and then stepping inside of Fabian Delph just before firing past Ederson.

But Spurs were being similarly indebted to Hugo Lloris, who denied Sergio Agüero from the penalty early on.

The only dampener for Mauricio Pochettino was the sight of Harry Kane being assisted off the pitch midway by way of the next time period.

Up stepped Son, although, to secure a memable win for Spurs in their initial UEFA Champions League outing at their new stadium.Watched from the stadium: Daniel ThackerThis was a sluggish-burner, the football at times matching the superb atmosphere produced by the Tottenham trustworthy on the very first European night time at their new home at other times building into a midfield war of attrition.

Lloris’s 13th-minute place kick save gave Spurs a system to grow into the game, in advance of Son scored late to hand Tottenham a precious gain forward of the journey north.Man of the match: Heung-Min Son

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Man City attacker Jesus vows no give-up in Liverpool title chase

Gabriel Jesus suggests his self-assurance has soared after his the latest goal glut, vowing that Manchester City will not give up in their pursuit of Premier League leaders Liverpool.

The Brazil attacker scored an additional two, taking his tally to seven in three appearances, as City conquer Wolves 3- on Monday to lower Liverpool‘s lead back to four points.

The 21-year-old, who has now fourteen goals for the season, mentioned: “I am experience very good and my self-assurance is superior for scoring goals.

“It’s critical to me mainly because I am a attacker who plays for a large club with astounding players, administration and team, so I will need to score goals – but I assisted the team by actively playing well. The team played quite well to win the game.

“We believe that in each individual single game and each individual level of competition. We are learning and operating a large amount for the moment when they give out the title at the conclude of the season.

“We are next in the Premier League and want to win it. We will need to go on to the pitch in each individual single game and win it.”

City, the defending champions, conquer Liverpool previously this month in advance of emphatic cup wins about Rotherham and Burton and are back on monitor after dropping three Premier League matches in December.

These kinds of is their toughness in depth that Kevin De Bruyne, Sergio Aguero and Riyad Mahrez were being on the bench.

“Everybody is in shape now and would like to play,” Jesus mentioned. “It’s astounding, mainly because you want to play but are content for who is actively playing. We have astounding players and it is tough for the manager to decide what players to play.”

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Klopp talks up ‘world’s best’ Man City

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp claims Manchester City are the finest team in the world ahead of his Premiership League leaders’ top-of-the-table clash at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday.

Klopp’s unbeaten facet go into the meeting with a 7-point lead over City, who have slipped to third place after a pair of shock defeats, but is keen to play down the hoopla bordering his facet and put the concentration on Pep Guardiola’s pre-season title favourites.

“A extremely complicated a single of the most complicated games you can play in the fashionable football world,” he instructed reporters on Wednesday.

“We have to be geared up as fantastic as doable, we have to be courageous, we have to be total of need, indignant … but with the understanding the opponent is, for me, even now the finest team in the world.”

Klopp and Guardiola have each talked up the power of their opposition ahead of the clash, with the City manager returning the compliment by hailing Liverpool as the world’s top team.

Liverpool have dropped just six points this season, and go into the match on a nine-match winning streak in the league.

The Reds have gained three of their past 4 meetings with City but their past league vacation to the Etihad ended in a 5- defeat in September 2017.

Guardiola has presently labelled the match a need to-not-lose game for his team, stating the title race would be concluded ought to City slip 10 points adrift.

Klopp expects the situation to hearth up City, indicating: “If we would be 10 points behind, would the initially factor I say be, ‘We’ll catch them’? Of program not — it can be complicated with the features all the groups have.

“But it can be January 3. It is a extremely, extremely essential game for each groups, naturally … They will be prepared and we have to make confident we are prepared.”

Klopp reported his team’s operate to past season’s Champions League closing, which they lost to Real Madrid, was the instant a switch flicked.

“I assume we got rid, finally, of the backpack when we reached the Champions League closing,” he reported.

“That was the instant when we did anything truly distinctive. Since then it feels different.”

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Man City sign United states keeper from Columbus Crew

Manchester City signed United States goalie Zack Steffen from Columbus Crew on Tuesday.

Steffen agreed a four-year contract with the EPL League champions and will shift to Manchester in July as back again-up to City‘s initially-choice keeper Ederson.

The 23-year-old will keep on being with Columbus for the early phases of their 2019 MLS Jap Convention campaign, which commences in March.

Columbus Crew claimed the undisclosed transfer cost for Steffen is the premier in the club’s historical past and the most ever gained by a Major League Soccer facet for a goalie.

“City have attained an agreement with MLS facet Columbus Crew SC around the foreseeable future transfer of goalie Zack Steffen,” a statement on City‘s website introduced.

Steffen, who has played six times for his region, mentioned: “Any accomplishment that I have experienced as a goalie in MLS with Crew SC is a testament to those about me who have pushed me — team-mates, coaches, workers, family, mates and supporters.

“Present day announcement with regards to next summertime is a distinctive second for me and I appear forward to ending my time with this club on a strong be aware.

“I am eager to carry on to place in the do the job to enhance and be the best team-mate I can.”

Steffen began his occupation with Germany’s Freiburg and made fourteen appearances for their reserve team ahead of going to Columbus in 2016.

He was voted the 2018 MLS Allstate Goalkeeper of the Year after retaining 10 cleanse sheets.

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Football Scores Top Tips: Man City out to be Lyon tamers

IT’S a big night in the Champions League with Man City and Man United among those in action.

Leicester face Southampton in the EFL Cup and there is six Championship matches as well as full cards in League One and League Two so plenty to look at.

It’s a week for the RFO and I’ve be studying stats and form before putting up tips.

My Champions League tips are reasoned on the post and I’m going with Man City, Juventus and Roma not to lose as a treble.

The Super Single is Norwich who have been fantastic in recent weeks. They hammered Swansea 4-1 away at the weekend to make it 12 goals in three games – they also hit four against Millwall and Sheffield Wednesday. Can make it four wins in a row at a Hull side who went down tamely at home to Nottingham Forest at the weekend.

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Hodgson: Ivorian winger Zaha will be a wanted man in January – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha

Austin Ditlhobolo

Saturday Nov 25, 2017. 09:00

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson believes that Ivorian international Wilfried Zaha will be a wanted man during the January transfer window.

Zaha is enjoying his football at the moment having scored three goals in his last five English Premier League (EPL) matches for Palace.

Hodgson, who is a former England head coach, has stated that the London-based side will receive offers for the 25-year-old winger-cum-striker.

“You can’t ever dismiss interest in any of your players,” Hodgson told the media.

“Wilfried Zaha is an obvious name, but there are other players that I wouldn’t be surprised if there were other clubs interested in.

“And we have to be prepared for that going into January.

Zaha was linked with a possible transfer to Tottenham Hotspur earlier this year, but Palace managed to keep him.

“If offers come along for players who are doing well for us and we are not particularly anxious to lose them,” he continued.

“Then we will have to make decisions on what offers are to be turned down and what could be accepted.”

Zaha and his Palace team-mates will face Stoke City in an EPL match on Saturday.

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Agent: Senegal captain Kouyate a wanted man – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Themba Zwane of South Africa challenged by Cheikhou Kouyate of Senegal during the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers football match between South Africa and Senegal at Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane on 10 November 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Austin Ditlhobolo

Sunday Nov 19, 2017. 10:00

Senegalese international Cheikhou Kouyate is a wanted man in England and Italy.

This is according to West Ham United midfielder’s agent Saffet Balkan, who was speaking to Turkish Football.

The 27-year-old recently helped Senegal qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals.

“Interest spiked after Senegal qualified for the World Cup [last week]. Several clubs and agents want to hold talks,” Balkan said.

The Senegal captain has established himself as one of West Ham’s key players since joining the English club from Belgian side Anderlecht in 2014.

“The Italian and Premier League scouts have been very impressed. Kouyate is very happy in England, he’s settled into life,” he added.

“There are no offers on the table at this stage, we will hold talks and consider our options.”

Kouyate and his West Ham team-mates will face Watford in an English Premier League game on Sunday.

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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Thomas Partey – The Ghanaian midfielder is a man transformed – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Bertin Basson

Wednesday Nov 08, 2017. 13:00

Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey looks a man transformed this season, with the Ghana international having added goals to his game.

The hard-running midfielder, who could only conjure 987 playing minutes for the Spanish club side last season – scoring once – has already accumulated over a thousand minutes during the current campaign.

Partey has played 15 times for Atletico this season across all competitions, featuring in all but one of the club’s Spanish La Liga encounters.

Often deployed in a defensive midfield role, the 24-year-old’s ability to not only create goal-scoring opportunities, but find the back of the net himself has been notable.


With four goals to his name this season, Partey has proven that his hat-trick for the Black Stars in Brazzaville was not a fluke, and if anything, he should be deployed in a more attacking role more often.

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Young Nigerian duo won’t make the cut for Man United’s League Cup clash

Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Oct 24, 2017. 17:00

The young Nigerian duo of Tosin Kehinde and Matthew Olosunde will not be included in Manchester United’s squad for their League Cup clash against Swansea City tonight.

The 19-year-old Kehinde has impressed for United’s U-23 team so far this season, but having played a full match against Liverpool on Monday night he will not be called up to Jose Mourinho’s first team.

Another set to miss the cut is American youth international Olosunde, who is still recovering from an injury he picked up against Derby County in September.

For hosts Swansea, striker Tammy Abraham is likely to lead the line because Ivory Coast international Wilfried Bony remains sidelined with a hamstring injury.

The match at Liberty Stadium in South Wales will kick-off at 20h45 CAT.

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Ghoulam could be on his way to Man City in January – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Napoli left-back Faouzi Ghoulam

Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Oct 11, 2017. 12:00

Algerian defender Faouzi Ghoulam could be on his way to Manchester City, if the English club can open talks with Napoli in the coming days.

The Sun reports that City are eyeing a cut-price deal for the Fennec Foxes left-back in the January transfer window.

The 26-year-old will be out of contract at the end of the current season and will soon be allowed to negotiate with interested parties in regards to a free transfer.

However, City manager Pep Guardiola is hoping to bring Ghoulam to the Etihad in January.

This is after French left-back Benjamin Mendy picked up a season-ending knee injury, leaving the Citizens short of options in the position.

However, City could face tough opposition from Premier League rivals Chelsea and Liverpool, who are also keeping close tabs on the Algerian.

Yet Guardiola’s men appear to have the inside lane, as they will face Napoli in the UEFA Champions League next week and plan on having talks with the Italian side.

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Man City omission leaves Yaya Toure confused – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Pep Guardiola and Yaya Toure

Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Sep 19, 2017. 20:00

Yaya Toure’s continued omission from Manchester City’s first team has left the Ivory Coast legend wondering what he has to do to see some playing time.

The former Elephants captain has been left out of City’s last three matchday squads and has not played a single minute so far in the 2017/18 campaign.

Citizens coach Pep Guardiola has explained that his omission of Toure is a “sporting decision”, but the player is apparently confused over what he needs to do to get back in the team.

A source close to the player, quoted in the Sunday Mirror , said: “Yaya is fit and ready to play. Pep picks the team and it is his right to leave Yaya out of the team.

“Yaya’s relationship with Pep is good, but he has not been told anything in detail about what he needs to do to get back into the squad.”

It comes days after Toure’s agent Dimitri Seluk Tweeted: “Yaya is in great shape. He will prove it. He is fit to play. It’s up to Guardiola to decide.”

The coach and Toure had a falling out last season over inflammatory remarks issued by Seluk, before the Ivorian worked his way back into first-team contention.

This time around there appears to be no such antagonism, but the Spanish coach hasn’t really explained why he is ignoring Toure.

“I spoke with him and he knows the reason why – but it’s between him and me,” Guardiola said last week.

“It’s a sporting decision. I’m always happy – but of course I demand as much as possible.

“I want more, not just from Yaya – I want more from everyone.”

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Algeria’s Mahrez tried to engineer move to Man United – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez

Graeme Jackson

Monday Sep 04, 2017. 15:00

According to the Daily Star, Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez tried to engineer a move to Manchester United on transfer deadline day last week.

Mahrez, who has made no secret of his desire to leave Leicester City, was excused from Algeria’s World Cup qualifying camp and flew back to Europe to try and organise a last-day transfer before the window closed last Thursday.

The Fennec Foxes winger was linked with the likes of Roma (who had several bids rejected by Leicester), Arsenal, Barcelona and Chelsea, though a move never materialised.

The Daily Star now claims that the representatives of the player had tried to induce a move to United on the deadline day, but the Red Devils never made an official offer – despite reported interest from manager Jose Mourinho.

Mahrez missed Algeria’s 3-1 defeat away to Zambia on Saturday and it remains to be seen whether he will be available for tomorrow night’s return match in Constantine.

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Fortune: Man United strong enough to win EPL title

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba

Austin Ditlhobolo

Thursday Aug 10, 2017. 16:00

Manchester United superstar Paul Pogba has been backed by former South Africa international Quinton Fortune.

The retired midfielder believes that Pogba can establish himself as one of the best players in the English Premier League (EPL) during the 2017/18 season.

“Pogba has been fantastic now he’s had a pre-season under his belt. Pogba stands out for me but it’s a team performance,” Fortune told United‘s official website.

“Of course he can be one of the best players in the league this season. I am sure this is one of his own objectives and goals he has set himself.

“I’m just happy he’s settled now and has had a season back here, plus pre-season, which is very important,” the 40-year-old, who played for United between 1999 and 2006 continued.

“Paul looks very strong and very calm. He is not trying to prove to the whole world his ability as we’ve known that now for some time.

The former Atletico de Madrid player stated that 24-year-old highly-rated midfielder Pogba can inspire United to the 2017/18 EPL title.

“This season, hopefully he’ll score loads of goals and it’s about him taking that leadership role,” he added.

“The manager (Jose Mourinho) has made him his captain a few times and it’s good for him. He has got to take responsibility and I am sure he relishes that. He has got to help the side as the most important objective is for the team.

“I hope the team agree that objective is to win the Premier League. We have definitely got the team to do that.”

Pogba, who was born in France to Guinean parents, and his United team-mates will face West Ham United in their first 2017/18 EPL match on Sunday.

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Man United, Chelsea closing in on Serge Aurier – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Serge Aurier of Ivory Coast challenged by Bagayoko Mamadou of Togo during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals match between Ivory Coast and Togo at the Oyem Stadium in Gabon on 16 January 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Helder Ribiero

Tuesday, Aug 08, 2017. 15:00

Paris Saint-Germain’s Ivory Coast defender Serge Aurier is on the transfer radar of both Manchester United and Chelsea.

The Daily Mail reports that both English clubs are keen on landing the 24-year-old Elephants right-back, who is expected to cost £27-million.

Any transfer will wait on the outcome of Aurier’s appeal against a two-month prison sentence handed to him for assaulting a police officer in Paris last year.

United are reportedly the favourites to land the player, who would join compatriot and Elephants teammate Eric Bailly at Old Trafford.

PSG have already signed a right-back in the shape of former Barcelona and Juventus star Dani Alves, who joined as a free agent.

The French club will view the sale of Aurier as a chance to recoup some of the world-record fees they spent to bring Neymar to Paris earlier this month.

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Toure praises Man City coaches Arteta and Guardiola – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Yaya Toure, Manchester City

Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Aug 08, 2017. 12:00

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure believes that they can win major trophies with the club’s head coach Pep Guardiola’s philosophy.

Guardiola, who enjoyed a lot of success with Spanish giants FC Barcelona and German outfit Bayern Munich, failed to win a major trophy in his first season with City.

Toure has stated that the current philosophy is similar to his time at Barca under the accomplished Spanish tactician.

“The mentality of the manager is playing good and winning — not just winning. We want the fans to enjoy it and we try to do our best. If we have to score more then we will score more,” Toure said on Kwesse Sports.

“At Barcelona I was used to playing like that. I’m a type of player with a lot of experience. I think I’m lucky because I used to play under Pep at Barcelona and I know what he wants.

“He was a brilliant midfielder and [City coach] Mikel Arteta as well, and those two have helped me a lot and given me a lot of confidence. I’m just there to enjoy it and win trophies and that is what I want,” he added.

The Citizens have been impressive during their pre-season matches and Toure is particularly pleased with their 3-0 victory over fellow English side West Ham United last week Friday.

“It’s good for the confidence, it’s good for the next game. The game we had against West Ham is the typical type of game we’re going to have usually in the Premier League and maybe in Europe,” he continued.

“I think we find a difficult opponent who close the line, they don’t attack, they don’t open and I think it was good training for that because the games we produced against Madrid and Tottenham were quite open.

“For us it was good to have good pressing and we found it a bit difficult because it was a long ball and the second ball was very important but I thought we had a good game,” Toure stressed.

“In the first half when we get the chance to score the goal I said I think they’re going to be open. But I think West Ham after the first goal, they stayed with the same system and it was difficult,” he explained.

“But I think it’s good we can learn and try to adapt to the way the opponent is playing and make the break.”

The 34-year-old and his City team-mates will take on Brighton and Hove Albion in their first 2017/18 English Premier League match on Saturday.

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SA star Coetzee a wanted man in Europe – ABSA Premiership 2017/18

Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Aug 04, 2017. 16:00

European and local interest in South African international Rivaldo Coetzee has been confirmed.

Danish club Brondby IF and Belgium side KV Oostende have reportedly enquired about the Ajax Cape Town defender’s availability.

The highly-rated defender, who is only 20, is likely to leave the South African Absa Premiership during the current Transfer Window.

His agent, Mike Makaab has confirmed that Coetzee is a wanted man and also revealed that he will soon hold talks with Ajax about the player’s future.

“There is interest in Sweden and Denmark. Also, a club in Belgium is keen on him as are two other clubs locally,” Makaab told Independent Media.

“I feel this is the right time for Rivaldo to go overseas. He is 20 (years-old) and close to 30 Bafana caps,” he said.

“He has already played at the (Africa) Nations Cup and the Olympics and he is close to a 100 PSL matches. He is ready for Europe and he can grow there.

“We will sit down with Ajax next week and discuss his future. All Rivaldo is interested in is to be happy. It doesn’t matter where he is as long as he is happy.”

Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs are believed to be the two local clubs that also chasing Coetzee’s signing.

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Wilfried Zaha abused by Man United and Liverpool fans – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Monday Jul 24, 2017. 15:00

Cote d’Ivoire and Crystal Palace striker Wilfried Zaha has accused Manchester United and Liverpool fans for calling him a monkey.

The Eagles forward says the Reds and Red Devils’ supporters have abused him on social media after he released a picture on Instagram.

“If Man United and Liverpool fans feel better by calling me a black monkey in my messages..feel free to carry on if it makes your day better,” said Zaha.


The elephants forward joined Manchester United in 2013, but left the club and joined Palace.

He was speaking in Hong Kong with the club for the Premier League Asia Trophy.

On the other hand, Diversity campaign group ‘Kick It Out’ said it had contacted both Zaha and Palace to offer support.

“Kick It Out was disgusted to read that online racial abuse has been directed at Zaha,” a spokesman said.

“It is completely unacceptable that any person should have to suffer this type of abuse.”

The 24-year-old posted the message following the 2-0 win over West Brom on Saturday, in which Palace manager Frank de Boer said the winger had been the victim of rough treatment.

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Okocha: Man City’s Iheanacho needs regular game time – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Kelechi Iheanacho of Manchester City fires in a shot during the Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester. Picture date: December 3rd, 2016. Pic Simon Bellis/Sportimage via PA Images

Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Jul 14, 2017. 14:00

Former Nigeria captain Austin Okocha says Kelechi Iheanacho should leave English outfit Manchester City.

The 20-year-old striker battled for regular game time at the English Premier League (EPL) club during the 2016/17 season – making only five league starts.

Okocha has since advised Iheanacho, who is competing with Brazilian starlet Gabriel Jesus and Argentine superstar Sergio Aguero for a place in the City starting line-up.

“I think he has come at that age that he needs regular first-team games,” Okocha told ESPN FC.

“And I think it would be a better decision for him to go somewhere else where he can play week in week out.

“So I think that’s a great decision for him to move out of Manchester City this season,” the former Nigeria and Bolton Wanderers midfielder concluded.

Iheanacho has been linked with several clubs including English sides Leicester City, Tottenham Hotspur and French club AS Monaco.

However, the 2015/16 EPL champions City are believed to be the favourites for Nigeria international Iheanacho’s signature.

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Man City include Kelechi Iheanacho in touring squad – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Arsenal‘s Alex Iwobi (right) and Manchester City‘s Kelechi Iheanacho

Graeme Jackson

Thursday Jul 06, 2017. 12:00

Manchester City have included Nigerian striker Kelechi Iheanacho in their squad for a preseason tour of the United States.

This is despite numerous reports linking the Super Eagles star with a move away from the Etihad Stadium. The likes of West Ham United and Leicester City have emerged as potential suitors for the 20-year-old.

Iheanacho has been part of City’s first team squad for the past two years and has a fine return of 21 goals in 64 official appearances for the Premier League giants.

However, he struggled to have win playing time under manager Pep Guardiola, especially in the second half of last season when Gabriel Jesus established himself as the team’s foremost striker, hence the rumours of a transfer.

Iheanacho inclusion in Manchester City’s touring party is good news for his future with the club, though it does not necessarily mean a move away from the Etihad Stadium can be completely ruled out.

Some of the City players left out of the squad include goalkeeper Joe Hart, Ivory Coast striker Wilfried Bony, as well as the trio of Samir Nasri, Eliaquim Mangala and Jason Denayer.

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Lucas Alcaraz the right man for Algeria – Sofiane Feghouli – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Algeria attacker Sofiane Feghouli

Graeme Jackson

Monday Jun 05, 2017. 16:30

New Algeria coach Lucas Alcaraz is the right man to lead the national team forward, according to attacking midfielder Sofiane Feghouli.

The Spaniard was named as Algeria’s new coach in April, having been sacked by Spanish club Granada just a few days prior.

The new manager will have his first competitive test when the Fennec Foxes host Togo in Blida on June 11 for a Group D match in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Feghouli, who has just completed his first season with Premier League club West Ham United, believes Alcaraz could be the right man for the North African giants.

“Yes, I was able to meet him[Alcaraz] in London. I exchanged with him and Hakim [Medane]. I will say that he left me [with] a good impression,” Feghouli told Le Buteur in an interview.

“As I speak Spanish like him, we exchanged well. I understood very well what he was putting in place. It was very coherent. I’m glad to be able to work with him.”

Feghouli added, “He is a competent coach who has a big experience behind him and that can serve us enormously.

“Now it is up to us the players to do the maximum and to be listening.

“As I said, you must have a clean state of mind. And I think there is no reason not to do good things together [for Algeria’s national team].”

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Nigerian Iheanacho to be a part of Man City clear out – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Kelechi Iheanacho replaces Sergio Aguero for Manchester City

Graeme Jackson

Monday May 15, 2017. 12:00

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is expected to have a clear out of his squad in the European summer, which will reportedly included the sale of Nigeria’s Kelechi Iheanacho.

The Citizens have endured a trophyless season in the Spaniard’s first campaign at the Etihad Stadium and it is expected he will engineer a major overhaul of their squad.

German publication Bild has reported that Bunesliga clubs, including Borussia Dortmund and Hoffenheim, are keen on bringing the player to Germany.

Iheanacho is expected to join the likes of Ivorians Yaya Toure, Wilfried Bony, Pablo Zabaleta, Jesus Navas, Bacary Sagna, Joe Hart and Gael Clichy in being sold or released by City to make way for new recruits, according to TEAMtalk.

The 20-year-old Nigeria is expected to bring a transfer fee of around 20-million pounds.

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Juventus & Man United target Keita Balde mum on future – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Lazio forward Keita Balde Diao

Austin Ditlhobolo

Thursday May 11, 2017. 10:00

Senegal international Keita Balde Diao says he’s enjoying life at Italian Serie A outfit Lazio, who are competing for a place in next season’s UEFA club competitions.

The 22-year-old forward is having his best season in front of goal in the Serie A – having hit the back of the net 14 times from 29 appearances.

Keita grabbed a goal and an assist as Lazio hammered Sampdoria 7-3 at the Stadio Olimpico in the city of Roma on Sunday afternoon.

“I am very happy to have scored 14 league goals,” Keita was quoted on Premium Sport.

“And I am also happy that we won today. We work hard in training to always do well.

“Our goal is to win all of our remaining games and to do well in the Coppa Italia final,” he continued.

“I am here at Lazio for years now and I am very happy. Future? Let me enjoy the present instead of talking about the future.”

Keita is expected to be named on the Senegal squad that will take on Equatorial Guinea in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier next month.

He has been linked with a move to English giants Manchester United and Italian giants Juventus.

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Keita Balde wanted by Juventus and Man United – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

epa05649383 Palermo’s Ivaylo Chochev (R) and Lazio’s Keita Balde in action during the Italian Serie A soccer match US Palermo vs SS Lazio at Renzo Barbera stadium in Palermo, Sicily island, Italy, 27 November 2016. EPA/CORRADO LANNINO

Graeme Jackson

Tuesday May 09, 2017. 15:00

Lazio’s Senegalese striker Keita Balde Diao is on the radar of Manchester United, Juventus and Sevilla, according to AS.

The 22-year-old has been in fine form of late and scored the opener in Lazio’s 7-3 win over Sampdoria on the weekend – his sixth goal in the last three Serie A matches. In all, the player has 14 league goals in 29 appearances this season.

The player has already taken to social media in recent days to deny that he has agreed terms with Sevilla.

Balde is a former Barcelona youth star but has virtually ruled out the possibility of returning to Spain.

However, a move away from Lazio is very much on the cards: talks between the Rome club and the player have reportedly broken down and he is about to enter the final year of his contract.

This could see United, who are long-time admirers of the Teranga Lions player, and Serie A heavyweights Juventus in a race to land his signature.

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