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United ready to pay record €140m for Osimhen – Report



Manchester Unitedare preparing a whooping €140m bid for Napoli striker Victor Osimhen before the end of the summer transfer window.

According to Il Mattino, a reputable Naples-based outlet, Cristiano Ronaldo’s agent, Jorge Mendes, has told the Serie A giants to expect a massive offer for the Nigeria international.

Mendes has been working to secure a move for Ronaldo, who wants to play in the Champions League this season.

Il Mattino claims that Manchester United are even willing to fund a large part of Ronaldo’s wages as part of a deal which would allow them to replace the Portuguese star with Osimhen.

The Serie A side are looking to sell the Nigerian to facilitate Ronaldo’s arrival from Old Trafford, with a deal that could be worth up to €140m expected to be discussed between the two clubs in the coming days.

Having narrowly won against Southampton on Saturday, many fans believe United lack a prolific goal-hungry striker and Osimhen could be the perfect fit to end United’s goals-scoring woes.

Napoli are reportedly keen to bring Ronaldo back to Serie A, as the veteran forward looks to leave Old Trafford to secure Champions League football. He has already offered himself to several sides in Europe, including Milan and Inter.

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis is an admirer of Ronaldo and is willing to cash €140m for Osimhen.

Osimhen was once a target of Arsenal and Tottenham, but only fellow interested party Newcastle may be willing to splash over £100m on the star.

If Osimhen’s deal goes through, Ronaldo’s bogus £360,000-a-week wages will not be a problem for Napoli as Laurentiis plans to use Italy’s tax laws to aid his pursuit.

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The law provides tax cuts for Italian clubs buying foreign players from abroad – which means Napoli could save 50 per cent on Ronaldo’s wages.

Meanwhile, Napoli boss Luciano Spalletti disclosed there is “nothing concrete” at the moment between Napoli, Manchester United and Cristiano Ronaldo, but explained it “wouldn’t be a swap with Victor Osimhen” if it did happen.

Speaking at a press conference, Spalletti said, “If you’re asking me if I’d like to work with Ronaldo, I tell you no coach would say no to that. However, if we go into those areas, the journalists like to fill in for themselves, then as Osimhen’s agent said, there are no negotiations.

“De Laurentiis, he told me that he received no offer, so let’s remain as realistic as possible here and take into consideration only things that could happen.

“There are only a few days left in the transfer window, it seems unlikely that could go through. There is nothing concrete at the moment.

“It wouldn’t be a swap, it would be two different signings, in that case. One of the two can turn a game by himself. But in any case, at the moment we should not consider things that won’t help us pick up three points in Florence.”

Osimhen has enjoyed a stellar start to the 2022/23 season, scoring in both opening Serie A matches as Napoli wallopped Hellas Verona and Monza via an aggregate score of 9-2.

Brought in from Lille in a club record deal worth €70m in 2020, the 23-year-old forward has experienced good fortunes in southern Italy.

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A move to Napoli could be the answer to Ronaldo’s dream of playing in the Champions League this season.

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Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium: We’ll beat Governor’s deadline – Ekweremadu Jnr.



• Enugu State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Barr. Lloyd Ekweremadu Jnr

…Says school sports to return

Enugu State Government is determined to see the state-owned football club, Rangers International, return to the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium for its home matches before the end of November, Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Barr. Lloyd Ekweremadu has reassured.

The commissioner gave the assurances while briefing Government House correspondents at the of the State Executive Council meeting, at the weekend.

He said that although the governor’s November deadline was tight, the Ministry was determined to ensure that the Flying Antelopes returned to the stadium, popularly known as The Cathedral, before November.

“The Executive Council was briefed on the issue of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium and the expected return of our darling Rangers to play at our Cathedral and to generally bring the stadium back to effective use. We deliberated on the targets and steps being taken to meet set targets of the government.

“We are making progress. The turf, which is to be laid on the plain surface, is in Nigeria now. It has passed the very critical stage, which is Customs clearance, but there are a few other steps at the moment.

“Deadlines have been set and those deadlines are quite short and ambitious. But we are very optimistic and we know in fact that we will meet those targets and our goals. So, we are taking very proactive steps to ensure that we beat the target.

“The governor said in his 100 days in office speech that the stadium would be ready for use by November. But we are working round the clock to see that we even beat that time and deliver the stadium back to use in record time. And the Executive Council has resolved to put certain measures in place, which will ensure that we meet such targets.”

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He added that creative and innovative steps were being taken, particularly with regards to sponsorship, to bring Rangers to the winning ways of old.

Speaking further, Ekweremadu Jr said measures were being put in place to revive school sports in the state.

He said: “Steps are being taken through collaborations amongst various ministries towards actualising His Excellency’s vision to bring back and revitalize school sports. Our plans include bringing inter-school sports back, to serve as an opportunity for talent discovery, to engage the youth positively and actively as well as keep them away from social vices, crime and the like”, he stated.

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National team footballer killed by gunmen



A player for Panama’s national football team has been shot dead in the city of Colón.

Gunmen opened fire on a group of people, among them 26-year-old Gilberto Hernández, who had gathered in a building in the city.

Hernández died and seven others were injured in the attack.

It is not yet clear if the footballer, who also played for Club Atlético Independiente, was the target of the shooting or what the motive was.

There has been a rise in murders in Colón over the past months as two rival gangs fight for control of lucrative drug smuggling routes.

So far, more than 50 people have been killed in Colón, a city of 40,000 inhabitants, so far this year.

The port city, on the north entrance to the Panama canal, is a transit point for cocaine smuggled from South America through Panama to Europe.

The shooting happened on Sunday afternoon local time.

Two gunmen forced a taxi driver to take them to a building in the city’s Barrio Norte neighbourhood and opened fire on the group gathered there.

The gunmen fled the scene, but a suspect has since been arrested in a flat nearby.

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Tragedy as thunder strike kills referee during friendly match in Suleja



Tragedy struck on Tuesday after a Nigerian referee identified as Mustafa Coach 02, was killed by a lightening strike on a football pitch in Madalla Town, Suleja LGA of Niger State

Late Mustafa died during a friendly football match which was disrupted by heavy rainfall followed by thunder strikes.

The deceased, who was said to be a member of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), met his tragic death on Tuesday evening during the match played on the community’s school field in Madalla Town.

An eyewitness, Muhammed Musa, told Daily Trust that the match in which Suleja and Madalla youths participated, was on half time break around 5:20 pm when the incident happened.

“It was raining and all the footballers along with their fans were taken refuge inside the school’s classrooms. The referee along with his assistant (line man) rushed back to the field, demanding the players to join them.

“They were only at the centre of the pitch when the thunder struck. Two of them were rushed to a hospital, where Sulaiman was confirmed dead on arrival while his assistant was revived.”

A family member of the deceased, who simply gave his name as Ibrahim, said the the late Mustafa was buried Wednesday morning in Suleja town where he lived.

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