Monthly Archives: June 2017

Leicester City signs Hull City defender Harry Maguire

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Leicester City have signed defender Harry Maguire from relegated Premier League club Hull city in a deal worth £17m.

It was reported that the deal for the former Hull City player is comprised of an initial £12m fee with add-ons. Maguire’s departure from the Tigers would also mean that Sheffield United, who Maguire left to join Hull in 2014, would receive a fee through a sell-on clause.

Maguire, 24, agreed on a five-year deal and will link up with his new team-mates in early July before their pre-season training camp in Austria.

His entrance to Craig Shakespeare’s team would be welcomed as the Foxes had been in urgent need of reinforcements in the heart of their defence.

Although Leicester team captain Wes Morgan and Robert Huth have been brilliant last season, they were clearly playing through pain at times and clearly needed support, and their absence towards the end of the Premier League season exposed a lack of depth in the Leicester back four.

“It’s obviously a very exciting time for myself,” Maguire said. “Once I had my eyes on this club, I always wanted to join. Thankfully I’m here so I can’t wait to get the season started and kick on.”

“There were a number of clubs interested, but when I met the manager here he pretty much swayed it into the direction of this club. He showed me the way that the club is going. It’s on the up and it looks very promising for the future, so credit to the gaffer.”

“You can see that with the structure of the club it’s going to look upwards rather than down so that was a big reason why, as soon as I knew there was an interest, I wanted to jump at the opportunity.”

Gianluigi Donnarumma turns down AC Milan contract extension

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Gianluigi Donnarumma has reportedly turned down a contract extension offer from AC Milan, which in turn could put the club under pressure as his suitors come forward in droves.

Donnarumma, 18, made 68 Serie A appearances for the Rossoneri and four for Italy since making his breakthrough in October 2015, and some outstanding performances have attracted global interest.

Amongst the potential suitors are Italian champions Juventus, Real Madrid, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain, all of whom has expressed interest in the teenager who has just one year left on his current contract.

However, this timing would complicate matters as Milan attempts to rebuild their squad after finishing sixth in Serie A.

While they are guaranteed Europa League game time next season and had brought in recruits such as Andre Silva and Ricardo Rodriguez, they will have to invest additional funds for a goalkeeper should Donnarumma elects to leave the club this summer.

Italian sports paper La Gazzetta dello Sport quoted the Milan club director Marco Fassone: “We are disheartened. [Donnarumma’s agent] Mino Raiola has conveyed to me Donnarumma’s decision not to renew. It’s his final decision.”

“We were confident that Gigio would be the goalkeeper of this new Milan; a pillar upon which we would build, but now we have to re-evaluate everything. (But) this decision, taken by the player and his agent, is disappointing, but we have to move on; Milan move on.”

“We were really hoping that Gigio would be the goalkeeper of the new-look Milan team, a pillar of what we are building here,” Fassone added. “But we will have to reevaluate things. This decision, taken by the player and his agent, makes us sad but we must move forward, Milan must move forward.”

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.