LUKAKU EXCITED FOR ZLATAN RETURN

Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku has revealed he is looking forward to lining up alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic and he has welcomed the competition that his presence will bring to the front line.

Lukaku has begun his United career in style by scoring three goals in his first three Premier League games for the club, and he carried his fine goalscoring form into the international break.

The 24-year-old netted a hat-trick on Thursday night as Belgium thrashed Gibraltar 9-0 in Liege, and he then scored the winner on Sunday night as his side overcame Greece 2-1 to become the first European nation to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

When asked about things back at United and Zlatan’s new deal, after the match in Liege, the 62-time Belgian international said the Reds’ squad would benefit from having Ibrahimovic’s personality around the dressing room.

“I said to Zlatan I hoped he would be back. We need his personality,” Lukaku told reporters. “He will bring many qualities to the team, and help us in our goal of winning the title.

“I don’t fear the competition as a striker, or Zlatan. Things are going really well for me at United,” he added. “The pre-season was good and it helped knowing a lot of the players before arriving.

lukaku and Ibrahimovic“The manager has helped me a lot to settle quickly, so it has all been very positive. I am now with a coach that I have wanted to play with for a long time, since I was 11 years of age. And with him we are looking to do something special.

“For me it is all about progressing and learning in my career, and all the coaches I have had have helped me with that.”

RUUD SPEAKS ON LUKAKU

United legend Ruud van Nistelrooy proved he still has the goalscorer’s touch on Saturday when he returned to Old Trafford for the Legends match against Barcelona.

The Dutchman, who scored 150 goals in 219 games across all competitions as a Red, netted the opening goal in the 2-2 draw, and after the match he lavished praise on United’s current striker following his impressive start to life as a Red.

“Lukaku has done great,” van Nistelrooy told reporters. “To score in your first games here after you have been transferred for a lot of money, it is nice to get that pressure out of the way and get your first goals in.

“He has done well. Not only scoring but also providing, making his runs and doing his work. So it looks good for the season.”

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Divock Origi has to leave Liverpool to play regular football says Dad.

Divock Origi’s father has told La Derniere Heure that the Liverpool striker must leave Anfield in order to secure regular first-team football and says Tottenham Hotspur are interested in him.

Origi has managed just nine minutes of action so far this season, and finds himself behind Roberto Firmino, Daniel Sturridge and Dominic Solanke in the striking pecking order at Liverpool.

His father, Mark, says the 22-year-old has a number of offers to consider before Thursday’s deadline.

“We haven’t been contacted by Anderlecht,” Mark Origi said. “Divock has to leave Liverpool to have some playing time. Tottenham is a possibility, but there is also interest from France and Germany.”

Divock Origi celebrates a la Michael Owen.jpg
Divock Origi celebrates goal in Red

On Sunday, Jurgen Klopp hinted that the Belgium international would be able to leave the club should further players arrive.

Liverpool retain an interest in Monaco’s Thomas Lemar and the signing of the France international would limit Origi’s opportunities even further.

“We will see,” Klopp said after the 4-0 win over Arsenal. “That’s not something to talk about here.

“If players come in, I think it makes sense to think about what we do on the other side.

“That’s not something to talk about here. If players come in, I think it makes sense to think about what we do on the other side. “They’re obviously involved in this [the players]. I’m not sure, we will see, you have to wait.”

According to reports in Germany, Wolfsburg are among a number of clubs hoping to sign Origi on loan.

Three years ago, prior to Origi’s transfer to Liverpool, Wolfsburg already targeted the Belgian attacker, and kicker reported on Tuesday that the Bundesliga club have opened talks.

Although Wolfsburg sporting director Olaf Rebbe did not want to comment specifically on Origi, he confirmed to the German football magazine that they hope to land a reinforcement for their attack before the end of the transfer period.

Rebbe said: “We are looking for someone with an eye for goals. Our task is to find something that makes us better.”

Newcastle have also been linked with a move for Origi as a replacement for Dwight Gayle, who is reportedly the subject of interest from Fulham.

Celtic’s move for Rivaldo Coetzee is OFF after Ajax Cape Town confirm the defender failed his medical — The Scottish Sun

CELTIC’S move for Rivaldo Coetzee is OFF. His club Ajax Cape Town have confirmed that the defender has failed his medical after finding an ongoing foot injury. Rivaldo Coeztee’s move to Celtic is OFFAFP – GettyThe problem is believed to be an issue with the bone fusing and now Ajax Cape Town say he will…

via Celtic’s move for Rivaldo Coetzee is OFF after Ajax Cape Town confirm the defender failed his medical — The Scottish Sun

Rafa Benitez keen on reunion with Pepe Reina at Newcastle but faces competition from PSG — and could turn attention to Wayne Hennessey in goalkeeper search — The Scottish Sun

RAFA BENITEZ is drawing up an emergency hit list if Pepe Reina cannot join from Napoli. The Newcastle boss was counting on his old pal but the keeper, 34, is now being chased by Paris Saint-Germain. Newcastle face competition from PSG in hunt for Pepe ReinaGettyNewcastle may turn to Wayne Hennessey if they can’t sign…

via Rafa Benitez keen on reunion with Pepe Reina at Newcastle but faces competition from PSG — and could turn attention to Wayne Hennessey in goalkeeper search — The Scottish Sun

Zinedine Zidane signs new three-year Real Madrid contract… without even entering into negotiations — The Scottish Sun

Real Madrid have reportedly renewed their contract with Manager Zinedine Zidane until 2020. There was no question on either side that the Frenchman would continue to lead the La Liga powerhouse, with the deal being done without the need of entering negotiations. Zinedine Zidane will remain in charge at Real Madrid until 2020AFPZidane and club…

via Zinedine Zidane signs new three-year Real Madrid contract… without even entering into negotiations — The Scottish Sun

Wayne Rooney rejects recall from Southgate; calls time quit on his England duties.

Wayne Rooney has announced his retirement from international football with immediate effect, ending his reign as England captain after holding talks with manager Gareth Southgate. The 31-year-old, who joined Everton from Manchester United in the summer after 13 years at Old Trafford, was dropped from Southgate’s latest squad for the summer fixtures against Scotland and France in June.

England’s record goalscorer said in a statement: “It was great that Gareth Southgate called me this week to tell me he wanted me back in the England squad for the upcoming matches. I really appreciated that. However, having already thought long and hard, I told Gareth that I had now decided to retire for good from international football.”

He made his major tournament debut as an 18-year-old at Euro 2004, and his last international appearance was as captain in last November’s 3-0 victory over Scotland at Wembley.

Wayne Rooney for England

He has, though, left an indelible mark on the national game. Rooney usurped Sir Bobby Charlton as England’s top scorer with his penalty against Switzerland in September 2015.

Rooney replaced David Beckham as the country’s most capped outfield player the following September in Slovakia, having announced his intention to retire after the 2018 World Cup.

That decision looked to be taken out of Rooney’s hands when England manager Southgate dropped his captain in his first matches as permanent manager in March. But leaving United for Everton has led to an immediate upturn in form and fortunes, making Southgate ready to recall the long-serving forward for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovakia.

Yet despite being within touching distance of Peter Shilton’s record 125-cap haul for England, Rooney has decided to walk away. Captaining his country to a 3-0 World Cup qualifying win over Scotland last November proved his final appearance.

rooney retires
Rooney’s Adieu post to his England duties on social media

Rooney’s statement in full

“It was great Gareth Southgate called me this week to tell me he wanted me back in the England squad for the upcoming matches. I really appreciated that.

However, having already thought long and hard, I told Gareth that I had now decided to retire for good from international football.

It is a really tough decision and one I have discussed with my family, my manager at Everton and those closest to me.

Playing for England has always been special to me. Every time I was selected as a player or captain was a real privilege and I thank everyone who helped me. But I believe now is the time to bow out.

Leaving Manchester United was a tough call but I know I made the right decision in coming home to Everton. Now I want to focus all my energies on helping them be successful.

I will always remain a passionate England fan. One of my very few regrets is not to have been part of a successful England tournament side. Hopefully the exciting players Gareth is bringing through can take that ambition further and I hope everyone will get behind the team.

One day the dream will come true and I look forward to being there as a fan – or in any capacity.”

FIFA Appoints a Normalisation committee for FECAFOOT.

The following article is a media release from world football governing body FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) appointing a normalisation committee to run the affairs of the Cameroon Football Federation (FECAFOOT).

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The Bureau of the FIFA Council has today, 23 August 2017, decided to appoint a normalisation committee for the Cameroonian Football Association (FECAFOOT) in accordance with art. 14 par. 1a) and art. 8 par. 2 of the FIFA Statutes. 

This decision comes in connection with the confirmation by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) of the decision of the “Chambre de Conciliation et d’Arbitrage du Comité Olympique et Sportif du Cameroun” (CCA/CNOSC) to annul the electoral process leading to the election of the current FECAFOOT executive committee in 2015 and following recent failed attempts by FIFA to reconcile the football stakeholders in Cameroon and overcome the current impasse.

The committee’s mandate will include the following tasks:

  • To run the daily affairs of FECAFOOT;
  • To draft new statutes in consultation with all stakeholders and in compliance with FIFA’s Statutes and standards as well as mandatory national law;
  • To review the statutes of the regional and departmental leagues and ensure their alignment with the FECAFOOT statutes;
  • To identify the delegates of the FECAFOOT general assembly and of the regional and departmental leagues;
  • To organise and conduct elections of a new FECAFOOT executive committee.

The normalisation committee will be composed of an adequate number of members to be identified by a joint FIFA and CAF mission scheduled to take place very shortly. The committee will act as an electoral committee and none of its members will be eligible for any of the open positions in the elections. The specified period of time during which the normalisation committee shall perform its functions shall expire no later than 28 February 2018.

 

Sheffield Wednesday 1-1 Sunderland: Match Report

Sunderland maintained their unbeaten start to life in the Championship with a 1-1 draw against last season’s playoff contenders Sheffield Wednesday. Simon Grayson would go unchanged to the side that defeated Norwich 3-1 on Sunday. Sunderland would face former Black Cats Keiren Westwood and fans favourite Ross Wallace as well as Steven Fletcher who started…

via Sheffield Wednesday 1-1 Sunderland: Match Report

UEFA Champions League Play-offs: First leg results – Celtic run riot on Astana; Napoli, Sevilla win — letstalkfootballng

Celtic 5 – 0 FC Astana Hapoel Beer Sheva 2 – 1 Maribor Istanbul Basaksehir 1 – 2 Sevilla Olympiacos 2 – 1 Rijeka SSC Napoli 2 – 0 Nice SSC Napoli 2 – 0 Nice Napoli took a big step towards the group stages with a 2-0 home win over nine-manNice. Dries Mertens slotted […]

via UEFA Champions League Play-offs: First leg results – Celtic run riot on Astana; Napoli, Sevilla win — letstalkfootballng

Everton Boss Koeman Confirms Sigurdsson Medical Completed Ahead of £45m Goodison Switch — Premier League – 90min

Ronald Koeman has confirmed that Gylfi Sigurdsson is on the cusp of completing his transfer to Everton after he underwent a medical on Wednesday morning. The Toffees and Sigurdsson’s current club Swansea City finally compromised on a fee believed to be in the region of £45m for the Iceland international on Tuesday evening, and a…

via Everton Boss Koeman Confirms Sigurdsson Medical Completed Ahead of £45m Goodison Switch — Premier League – 90min