- Aguero Set For City Departure This Summer
- Liverpool Targeting Leipzig Defender Ibrahima Konate
- Transfer News Wrap
- Iwobi Tests Negative For Covid-19
- AFCON Qualifiers Round-Up
- Covid Hit Lyon Féminin Ask UEFA To Postpone UCL Q/Final Tie Against PSG
- Miami Open: Naomi Osaka, Ashleigh Bartey Through To Q/Finals & More
MANCHESTER: Sergio Aguero To Part Ways With Manchester City This Summer
Manchester City have announced that record all time highest goalscorer Sergio Aguero’s contract will not be renewed when it expires at the end of the season.
“With the guidance of the owners and the contributions of many players, we earned a place among the greatest of the world,” said the 32-year old who has scored 257 goals in 384 appearances for the Cityzens since joining from Spanish side Atletico Madrid in 2011.
A statue of him will be built at the Etihad stadium as a mark of honour for his outstanding contributions to the club’s renaissance over the last decade, including a memorable injury time goal in the final game of the season against QPR, which ultimately delivered the club’s first league title in 44 years.
Former teammate and influential captain Vincent Kompany, along with the incredibly talented David Silva, who left the club in 2019 and 2020 respectively will also be honoured with a statue.
The trio led City to four Premier League titles, two FA Cups and five League Cups.
Aguero’s 181-goal tally is the Premier League’s fourth most prolific record, behind only Alan Shearer (260), Wayne Rooney (208) and Andrew Cole (187).
MERSEYSIDE: Liverpool Keeping Tabs On RB Leipzig’s Ibrahima Konate As They Look To Reinforce At Centre-Half
The France U21 international, who reportedly has a £34m buyout clause in his current deal at Leipzig is attracting interest from Liverpool.
With the Merseyside club yet to decide on the future of 21-year old Schalke 04 loanie Ozan Kabak, whom they have an option to sign permanently for a £18m in June, Konate, also 21, could as well be their preferred option as they look to add more defensive options this summer.
Konate was an unused substitute for Leipzig in both legs of their Champions League round-of-16 loss to Liverpool.
The 1,94m tall defender is part of the France squad at the ongoing European U21 Championship. He played no part in the 1-0 defeat to Denmark but started in the 2-0 victory over Russia.
Transfer News Wrap
- Paris St-Germain manager Mauricio Pochettino and sporting director Leonardo are working on closing a deal to bring Argentina forward Sergio Aguero to the French capital when the 32-year-old’s time with Manchester City comes to an end in the summer, according to Todo Fichajes.
- Barcelona, however, are seen as favourites to land four-time Premier League winner Aguero, who has also been linked with Real Madrid and Juventus, according to the Manchester Evening News.
- Manchester City could lose another key player this summer with Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho, 35, also tipped to leave Etihad Stadium when his contract expires, according to The Athletic.
- Liverpool and Egypt striker Mohamed Salah, 28, has said that it is possible he could leave Anfield for a move to Spain in the future, according to Marca.
- Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham are battling it out to sign Austria midfielder Marcel Sabitzer, 27, from RB Leipzig, according to Bild, via The Sun.
- Everton are ready to listen to offers for 26-year-old Colombian defender Yerry Mina, with the Toffees keen to generate money as they consider a bid for Napoli’s 29-year-old Senegal centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, according to Football Insider.
- Manchester City are not interested in signing Bayern Munich defender David Alaba, despite being regularly linked with the 28-year-old who will leave the German giants in the summer, according to the Manchester Evening News.
- Chelsea and Paris St-Germain have been named as potential destinations for Austria defender Alaba after his agent Pini Zahavi played down suggestions that only Real Madrid and Barcelona are in the race to sign the 28-year-old, according to Diario AS, via Mail.
- David Beckham-owned Inter Miami, the US side managed by Phil Neville, is up against Major League Soccer rivals DC United in the race to sign former England, Liverpool and Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge, 31, who has been a free agent since leaving Turkish side Trabzonspor in March 2020, according to the Mirror.
- Barcelona have offered a three-year contract to Liverpool’s Dutch midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum, 30, who will be a free agent at the end of the season, according to Mundo Deportivo.
- Juventus’ Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, 43, is considering another season away from Serie A before retiring, according to Gazzetta Dello Sport.
- Juventus have joined Tottenham, Chelsea and Atletico Madrid in the race to sign 20-year-old Brazilian midfielder Gabriel Menino, who could be allowed to leave Palmeiras for as little as £13m because of financial pressures on the club, according to Mundo Deportivo, via Team Talk.
- German forward Timo Werner, 25, is confident he can turn his fortunes at Chelsea around and is determined not to leave Stamford Bridge after just one season, having been linked with a possible move to Borussia Dortmund as part of a swap deal for Erling Braut Haaland , according to Goal.
- Sheffield United are finalizing a shortlist for their new manager, with ex-Watford and Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic, 52, and his former assistant Javier Pereira, 54, among their preferred targets, according to the Sheffield Star.
- French defender Malang Sarr, 22, will return to parent club Chelsea at the end of his loan deal with Porto at the end of the season, with both the Portuguese club and player opting against making the move permanent, according to Record, via Sport Witness.
- German champions Bayern Munich will not extend on-loan Juventus midfielder Douglas Costa’s second spell at the club beyond the end of the season. The 30-year-old Brazil midfielder has made just three Bundesliga starts this season, according to Goal.
- Arsenal are the latest club to show interest in signing Fiorentina forward Dusan Vlahovic, 21, joining the likes of Tottenham, AC Milan, RB Leipzig, Roma and Atletico Madrid in pursuit of the Serbian, according to Calcio Mercato.
AFCON 2022 Qualification
BLANTYRE: Malawi Through To Africa Cup of Nations After Slim Victory Over Uganda
Malawi 1-0 Uganda
A 16th minute goal by striker Richard Mbulu ensured the Flames of Malawi – FIFA’s 123rd ranked team – clinched three massive points in the last game of their AFCON Group B qualifier against Uganda on Monday to seal a spot at Africa’s biggest football showpiece for the third time in their history.
The win took Malawi temporarily top of the standings on 10 points, before Burkina Faso, courtesy of a goal by Aston Villa forward Bertrand Traore, beat South Sudan 1-0 in Ouagadougou to regain top spot.
The Flames are the 19th nation to qualify for next year’s AFCON, after Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Comoros, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan, Tunisia and Zimbabwe.
CAIRO: Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah bagged a brace as the Pharaohs of Egypt scored four late goals to seal a comfortable home win over Comoros
Egypt 4-0 Comoros
Group B’s other game saw Kenya’s Harambe Stars register what would go down as their only win throughout his qualifying campaign, after defeating the Hawks of Togo 2-1 in Lomé.
BLIDA: Riyad Mahrez on target In African Champions’ Five Star Show Against Botswana
Algeria 5-0 Botswana
Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez scored one of the goals as reigning African champions Algeria annihilated Botswana 5-0 to stretch their unbeaten record to an impressive 24 games (competitive and friendly games).
HARARE – Zimbabwe 0-2 Zambia
Elsewhere in Group H, Zimbabwe, having secured qualification, were well beaten at home by fellow Southern African nation Zambia, with both goals scored by RB Leipzig attacker Patson Daka who has now climbed to the top of the goalscorers’ charts with five goals to his credit.
LUANDA: Manuel Cafumana, Loide Augusto On Target As Angola End Five-Match Winless Run
Angola 2-0 Gabon
While Angola restored some pride by beating already qualified Gabon, they will not be part of the ceremony when the grand finale kicks off at the Cameroon 2022 AFCON.
KINSHASA – DR Congo 1-0 The Gambia
Last but certainly not least, Kazadi Kasengu’s first-half injury time penalty was the difference as Congo followed up Angola’s blueprint by defeating already Gambia.
With nineteen teams now confirmed to be on their way to Cameroon, the remaining five qualifiers will be decided on Tuesday.
LAGOS: Alex Iwobi Returns Negative Result After Second Covid-19 Test
Ahead of Nigeria’s dead rubber affair against Lesotho on Tuesday evening, versatile 24-year old Everton man Alex Iwobi has tested negative for Covid-19 after missing Saturday’s 1-0 away victory over Benin Republic.
After widespread reports about the 24-year old leaving the Super Eagles team camp in Lagos on Monday, the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) have released an official statement via their Twitter handle (@thenff) revealing Iwobi is now free from the virus and available for match action.
Update: @NGSuperEagles forward, @alexiwobi has tested negative after further COVID-19 tests were conducted. #SoarSuperEagles #Team9jaStrong
— The NFF 🇳🇬 (@thenff)
March 30, 2021
Women’s Champions League
Lyon Want Quarter-Final Tie Against PSG Rescheduled
An outbreak of Covid-19 at the club has caused reigning European Champions Olympique Lyonnais Féminin to ask UEFA to arrange a new future date for the return leg of their Women’s Champions League quarter-final clash against fellow French side Paris Saint-Germain.
After last week’s outbreak where two positive cases were discovered, another round of testing on Monday saw Jean-Luc Vasseur’s side return four more positive results, forcing the entire team into mandatory isolation.
Lyon have since alerted both UEFA and PSG after learning the extent of the “very critical situation” going on at the club.
With the first leg ending 1-0 in favour of Lyon, the return leg was originally scheduled for Wednesday, March 31.
Naomi Osaka, Ashleigh Barty Through To Quarter-Finals At The Miami Open
Japan’s Naomi Osaka has progressed to her first ever Miami Open quarter-finals after a clean 6-3 6-3 triumph over 16th seed Elise Mertens of Belgium, stretching her winning streak to 23 games.
Australia’s Ashleigh Barty is also through after a 6-1 1-6 6-2 victory over 2020 US Open finalist Victoria Azarenka.
Up next for Barty is Belarusian seventh seed Aryna Sabalenka, while Osaka faces either Greek 23rd seed Maria Sakkari or American 29th seed Jessica Pegula.
Naomi Osaka, whose last loss came in February 2020, is only the fifth woman since 2000 to amass 23 consecutive wins.