Daily Archives: June 14, 2017

Antoine Griezmann set to stay at Atletico after contract extension

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Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann is set to remain with the club this summer after the French international signed a contract extension with the Spanish giants.

Griezmann, 26, had been heavily linked with Manchester United this season, and said last month there was a “6/10” chance he could move to Old Trafford this summer.

However, the forward had since agreed to remain at Atletico after a transfer ban against the club had been upheld by the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS).

The decision made by CAS meant that Atletico Madrid cannot sign anyone until January after failing in an appeal against a ban imposed in July 2016 for breaching FIFA rules over the signing of youth players.

The forward was capped 41 times for France, scoring 26 goals in the 2016-17 season as Atletico finished third in La Liga behind Real Madrid and Barcelona. He was named the third best player in the world, behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, at the Ballon d’Or ceremony in January.

“The first thing I want to do is apologise to people who misunderstood my statements,” Griezmann said after signing the contract extension that ties him to Atletico until 2022. “Since I have arrived, I have given everything for my club, my colleagues and my coaching staff.”

Nonetheless, it should be noted that Griezmann’s new contract has the same release clause as his old contract at 100 million Euros, thereby allowing the possibility for a club interested in the player to sign him. But for now, Griezmann, who said it would be a “dirty move” to leave the club in their hour of need, would remain with Diego Simeone’s team.

Claudio Ranieri set for return to management with Nantes

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Claudio Ranieri will make his return to management in football with Nantes after his prompt dismissal from the helm of Leicester City.

Ranieri would take over the French club from Sergio Conceicao after the former Portugal winger left Nantes in order to take over at his home country club of Porto.

Conceicao, 42, had only taken charge of the Ligue 1 club in December 2016 but also immediately oversaw four straight wins in the league as they finished seventh in France’s top tier.

In his place, former Leicester manager Ranieri is believed to have signed a two-year deal after the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) gave special dispensation for the club to appoint a manager over the age of 65.

LFP had rules dictating that coaches aged 65 or over cannot be employed by league clubs, but at Nantes’s appeal they released a statement which read: “The LFP’s legal commission have decided to authorise the signing of a professional contract between Monsieur Ranieri and Nantes.”

Ranieri has prior experience of working in France, overseeing Monaco’s promotion to Ligue 1 in 2012-13 and then guiding them to second place behind Paris St-Germain the following season before being released.

His post in Nantes will be his 16th job in in a managerial career that has spanned 31 years and has included all the major Italian clubs except AC Milan, with Atletico Madrid, Chelsea and Valencia twice are the other clubs he has managed outside Italy during that time.

The Italian was also Leicester City boss guided the Foxes to the Premier League title in 2015-16 when the club defied odds of up to 5,000-1, but was sacked in February with the club battling relegation after a run of five league losses in a row.

France and England thrill in five-goal friendly

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The France and England international both thrilled in an entertaining five-goal friendly match that Les Blues won by 3-2 in Stade de France.

The night was filled emotional scenes before kick-off, with the crowd singing the Oasis hit Don’t Look Back In Anger and France fans joining England supporters in singing the national anthem in memory of those who died in the Manchester and London attacks.

Then, only nine minutes after kick-off, England captain Harry Kane gave his team a dream start when he turned in Ryan Bertrand’s cross.

However, the pace and movement of the France attack quickly overwhelmed manager Gareth Southgate’s experimental three-man defence.

While England goalkeeper Tom Heaton managed to keep out efforts from Olivier Giroud and Ousmane Dembele, Samuel Umtiti and then Djibril Sidibe put the hosts ahead, and the Burnley keeper was subsequently replaced by Stoke City’s Jack Butland.

Still, England managed to find an equalizer three minutes after half-time when Kane scored once again from the penalty spot following a collision between Raphael Varane and Dele Alli which required the intervention of the video assistant referee Marco Guido.

Guido confirmed referee Davide Massa’s original decision to award the spot-kick, resulting in the sending off of Varane.

But France remained uncowed and tormented England’s defence, and with their maintaining of the pressure it was no surprise when their winner came eventually, 12 minutes from time when Ousmane Dembele for a powerful, low finish.