Daily Archives: August 4, 2017

Neymar pledges to win titles with PSG after record €222m move

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Neymar Jr has immediately pledged to “conquer the titles” with Paris Saint-Germain crave.

Neymar was at Porto on Wednesday for a medical in anticipation of joining PSG, who are aware of the implications of Financial Fair Play (FFP) on such a landmark transfer and have been working to comply. Still, the Brazilian could now be unveiled on Friday, with preparations already underway in the French capital.

PSG, who signed Neymar from FC Barcelona on a five-year contract after triggering his €222m release clause, easily shattered the most expensive transfer in football history in the process.

“I am extremely happy to join Paris Saint-Germain,” Neymar said. “Since I arrived in Europe, the club has always been one of the most competitive and most ambitious. And the biggest challenge, what most motivated me to join my new team-mates, is to help the club to conquer the titles that their fans want.”

“PSG’s ambition attracted me to the club, along with the passion and the energy this brings. I have played four seasons in Europe and I feel ready to take the challenge. From today, I will do everything I can to help my new team-mates, to open up new horizons for my club and to bring happiness to its millions of supporters around the world.”

However, the transition for the Brazilian was not smooth as La Liga officials at first refuse to accept the payment, as the Spanish League president Javier Tebas, had threatened earlier this week. However, after being urged to “abide by FIFA’s rules” by their French counterparts LFP, Barcelona confirmed they received the payment from the 25-year-old.

“On Thursday afternoon Neymar Jr’s legal representatives visited in person the club’s offices and made the payment of €222m in the player’s name with regards to the unilateral termination of the contract that united both parties,” read the statement.

“As such, the club will pass on to Uefa the details of the above operation so that they can determine the disciplinary responsibilities that may arise from this case.”


Everton grabs late winner to ease into Europa League playoffs

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Everton scored late to book a place in the Europa League qualifying playoff round with a 1-0 win (2-0 on aggregate) away against Ruzomberok.

After taking a 1-0 lead in the first leg, Everton worked hard from the start for a goal but failed, with Morgan Schneiderlin going closest with a header from Sandro Ramirez’s corner, while Ruzomberok threatened with Dominik Kruzliak heading over.

However, aside from Kruzliak’s effort, a strike from Erik Daniel were the only attempts on goal that Ruzomberok that troubled Toffees keeper Jordan Pickford. Matus Macik also had a quiet evening, with Everton rarely troubling the Slovak defence.

The breakthrough then finally came for Everton 10 minutes from time as Davy Klaassen played in substitute Dominic Calvert-Lewin on the right, who then struck a low first-time effort past the reach of Macik from 12 yards.

With the win, Everton could look forward to learn who their next opponents are through the draw for the play-off round that takes place later today. The ties will be played on 17 and 24 August, with the 22 winners going into the Europa League group stage.

“Maybe Dominic feels a bit more comfortable as one of two strikers. He’s strong, he’s fast and he scored a great goal,” Everton manager Ronald Koeman said. “It was a physical game and 90 minutes that the players needed. We are through to the next round and I’m really happy.”

“This competition has always been important for me. I like to be in Europe — it’s important for our experience. It’s good for the club, the players and the fans. It’s not easy to reach the group stages but we will do everything to get there.”

Arsene Wenger: Alexis Sanchez will stay and “respect” that decision

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has claimed that Alexis Sanchez will remain with the club in the upcoming Premier League season and, by doing so, “respect” that decision.

Wenger, who oversaw an open training session at the Emirates Stadium ahead of Arsenal’s Community Shield tie against Chelsea on Sunday, said that he had spoken face-to-face with Sanchez but he refused to say whether the forward had told him that he wanted out.

“I will not give anything away on that but the only thing I can tell you is that he is focused, and my decision is clear – he will stay and he will respect that,” Wenger said. “It is as simple as that.”

“The frame of mind of a football player is quite easy. Once you go out and play, you focus on the game and you enjoy it. This is a thing that passes quickly, so enjoy every single moment. He loves so much the game and what he does.”

“Has he indicated he will sign a new deal? That is, again, something that I do not want to come back on. Every negotiation has to be a little bit secret. The transparency of society is very pushy but we have to resist a little bit, as much as we can. We know as well we have a duty to inform people but to talk about some things is not information any more – it is suicide.”

Sanchez, 28, was reportedly linked with a move to French Ligue club Paris Saint-Germain as he enters the final year of his contract with the gunners.

The Chilean international forward, who featured for the South American nation for the Confederations Cup, had been granted an extended summer break for his presence in the tournament. However, he only returned on Tuesday following a reported illness and is not expected to feature in the Community Shield match against Chelsea, with Wenger adding that the decision was unrelated to any transfer speculation surrounding the player.

“We want not to take as big a gamble on the player who has just come back,” Wenger added. “For us, it is important to build his fitness and to put him in a reasonable condition before we expose him to tough tests.”