Sunday, 23 June 2013

DIEGO ALVES TO BE HART-STOPPER FOR MANCHESTER CITY



ABOVE: Alves’ contract runs out next summer and he has been tracked by Everton in the past
“
And City are now anxious to bring in a more established keeper.
”
23rd June 2013

By Steve Millar

MANCHESTER City’s new boss Manuel Pellegrini could return to Spain to land Valencia goalkeeper Diego Alves for £6million.

City are determined to keep No.1 choice stopper Joe Hart on his toes.
Hart’s understudy for the past two seasons, Costel Pantilimon, has never played a Premier League game.
And City are now anxious to bring in a more established keeper.
Alves’ contract runs out next summer and he has been tracked by Everton in the past.
But Pellegrini knows the Brazil international well from his managerial stints at Villarreal, Real Madrid and Malaga.

DIEGO ALVES TO BE HART-STOPPER FOR MANCHESTER CITY



ABOVE: Alves’ contract runs out next summer and he has been tracked by Everton in the past
“
And City are now anxious to bring in a more established keeper.
”
23rd June 2013

By Steve Millar

MANCHESTER City’s new boss Manuel Pellegrini could return to Spain to land Valencia goalkeeper Diego Alves for £6million.

City are determined to keep No.1 choice stopper Joe Hart on his toes.
Hart’s understudy for the past two seasons, Costel Pantilimon, has never played a Premier League game.
And City are now anxious to bring in a more established keeper.
Alves’ contract runs out next summer and he has been tracked by Everton in the past.
But Pellegrini knows the Brazil international well from his managerial stints at Villarreal, Real Madrid and Malaga.

DIEGO ALVES TO BE HART-STOPPER FOR MANCHESTER CITY



ABOVE: Alves’ contract runs out next summer and he has been tracked by Everton in the past
“
And City are now anxious to bring in a more established keeper.
”
23rd June 2013

By Steve Millar

MANCHESTER City’s new boss Manuel Pellegrini could return to Spain to land Valencia goalkeeper Diego Alves for £6million.

City are determined to keep No.1 choice stopper Joe Hart on his toes.
Hart’s understudy for the past two seasons, Costel Pantilimon, has never played a Premier League game.
And City are now anxious to bring in a more established keeper.
Alves’ contract runs out next summer and he has been tracked by Everton in the past.
But Pellegrini knows the Brazil international well from his managerial stints at Villarreal, Real Madrid and Malaga.

ANDY CARROLL SALE IS A TOP DEAL FOR LIVERPOOL



ABOVE: Carroll signed for West Ham this week for a deal worth £15million
“
I think the fans wish Andy Carroll well but I don’t think there will be too many fans disgruntled that he’s actually gone.
”
Gary Gillespie, former Liverpool player
23rd June 2013

By Daily Star reporter

ANDY CARROLL'S ­£15million move to West Ham was great business by Liverpool, despite the club taking a £20m hit.

That is the view of former Reds player Gary Gillespie who has also urged his old club to hold on to keeper Pepe Reina, with Barcelona set to make a move.
England man Carroll, 24, spent two-and-a-half years at Liverpool after ex-boss Kenny Dalglish paid ­Newcastle £35m for him.
But the Geordie striker struggled and was loaned to West Ham last season, with the deal being made permanent last week.
Gillespie said: “I think the fans wish Andy Carroll well but I don’t think there will be too many fans disgruntled that he’s actually gone.
“Andy obviously didn’t fit the bill and I think, to be honest, the move is good for both parties.
“It’s good for Liverpool and it’s good for West Ham.”
Gillespie also believes Liverpool should hang on to Reina, even though they are close to signing Sunderland keeper Simon Mignolet.
He said: “If Pepe was to go I think it would be a sad loss. He has been fantastic for Liverpool.”

OSSIE ARDILES HAS ONE UP ON FELLOW ARGENTINE CARLOS TEVEZ


ABOVE: David Pleat believes Ardiles was a great player and thinker
“
To me, Ossie will always be the greatest Argentine footballer ever to play on those shores.
”
David Pleat
23rd June 2013

By Daily Star reporter

OSSIE ARDILES will always be honoured as the greatest Argentine player to star in England – not Carlos Tevez.

That is the opinion of David Pleat, who was boss at Tottenham towards the end of Ardiles’ ten-year career at White Hart Lane.
Ardiles joined Spurs with compatriot Ricky Villa after the 1978 World Cup and both were instant hits.
Pleat said: “To me, Ossie will always be the greatest Argentine footballer ever to play on those shores. He was a great player, a great thinker.
“Ossie was perpetual motion. He always gave the ball early and was a very clever thinker, like Alan Ball before him.
“He rarely got caught in possession and was a very clever man.
“When I managed Luton the players would go to bed early before a game.
“But at Spurs Ossie and the other players would stay up and play chess. Yes, I had a bright group, Ossie being one of them.
“Despite the baggage, though, Tevez is up there as a player. He has brought a lot of fun and excitement to our game.”

MANCHESTER CITY FIGHT TO LAND WANTAWAY LUIS SUAREZ


ABOVE: Suarez is hot property with Manchester City, Chelsea and Napoli all looking to sign the Uruguayan
“
City have abandoned their chase for Napoli striker Edinson Cavani
”
23rd June 2013

By Steve Millar

MANCHESTER City have emerged as shock contenders in the fight to grab Liverpool’s wantaway striker Luis Suarez for £40million.

Suarez is desperate to quit the Kop and has set his heart on a move to Real Madrid, though they are unsure about signing him.
But City could offer the Uruguayan the Champions League football he craves, while adding much-needed attacking firepower if Carlos Tevez leaves for AC Milan or Juventus.
City have abandoned their chase for Napoli striker Edinson Cavani, 26 with Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis saying: ­“Manchester City do not have money to pay. They say, ‘We won’t pay that’. Abu Dhabi say they would never pay 63 million euros (£54m) for Cavani.”
So City are set to switch their attention to fellow Uruguayan Suarez, 26, who is also a target for former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez at Napoli.
Chelsea are also still in the race for the services of the striker who still has six matches to sit out after being given a 10-game ban for biting Blues defender Branislav Ivanovic.

REAL MADRID WIN THE RACE FOR MANCHESTER CITY TARGET ISCO



ABOVE: Golden boy Isco has chosen Real Madrid to much disappointment from the Manchester City faithfuls
“
It is also understood that Madrid offered both Isco and Malaga a better deal than City
”
23rd June 2013

By Paul Brown

MANCHESTER CITY were last night hastily redrawing their transfer plans after Real Madrid won the race to sign Isco.

City thought they had landed the Spain Under-21s star after agreeing terms with his representatives.
But Madrid have nipped in at the last minute to agree a deal with Malaga for the midfielder – which could eventually be worth up to £30million.
City, who are hot on the trail of Liverpool’s wantaway striker Luis Suarez, are hatching contingency plans – with the club’s top brass committed to funding moves for FIVE players this summer.
The news on Isco is a big blow, though, as new City boss Manuel Pellegrini is a huge fan of the player who had looked set to follow him from Malaga.
But sources close to Real claim a formal announcement will be made about the transfer on Tuesday after Isco agreed a five-year deal, with his official unveiling set for July 2.
A personal phone call to the player from Madrid’s sporting director Zinedine Zidane – and new boss Carlo Ancelotti – while the Malaga star was on holiday in Ibiza, seems to have reassured Isco, 21, that he will get the same playing time he was promised in Manchester.
It is also understood that Madrid offered both Isco and Malaga a better deal than City, who must now decide which of their remaining transfer targets to focus upon.
The Manchester club have told Napoli they will not pay Edinson Cavani’s £54m release clause and the Italians are cooling on striker Edin Dzeko as a makeweight in a deal.
Chelsea are hoping to take advantage of the situation.
Pellegrini also likes Borussia Dortmund’s £32m-rated Marco Reus and Madrid’s Argentine winger Angel Di Maria, who is available for around £25m.
But City’s owners have already spent around £45m on Brazil international Fernandinho and Spanish winger Jesus Navas and will not be held to ransom over other targets.

REAL MADRID WIN THE RACE FOR MANCHESTER CITY TARGET ISCO



ABOVE: Golden boy Isco has chosen Real Madrid to much disappointment from the Manchester City faithfuls
“
It is also understood that Madrid offered both Isco and Malaga a better deal than City
”
23rd June 2013

By Paul Brown

MANCHESTER CITY were last night hastily redrawing their transfer plans after Real Madrid won the race to sign Isco.

City thought they had landed the Spain Under-21s star after agreeing terms with his representatives.
But Madrid have nipped in at the last minute to agree a deal with Malaga for the midfielder – which could eventually be worth up to £30million.
City, who are hot on the trail of Liverpool’s wantaway striker Luis Suarez, are hatching contingency plans – with the club’s top brass committed to funding moves for FIVE players this summer.
The news on Isco is a big blow, though, as new City boss Manuel Pellegrini is a huge fan of the player who had looked set to follow him from Malaga.
But sources close to Real claim a formal announcement will be made about the transfer on Tuesday after Isco agreed a five-year deal, with his official unveiling set for July 2.
A personal phone call to the player from Madrid’s sporting director Zinedine Zidane – and new boss Carlo Ancelotti – while the Malaga star was on holiday in Ibiza, seems to have reassured Isco, 21, that he will get the same playing time he was promised in Manchester.
It is also understood that Madrid offered both Isco and Malaga a better deal than City, who must now decide which of their remaining transfer targets to focus upon.
The Manchester club have told Napoli they will not pay Edinson Cavani’s £54m release clause and the Italians are cooling on striker Edin Dzeko as a makeweight in a deal.
Chelsea are hoping to take advantage of the situation.
Pellegrini also likes Borussia Dortmund’s £32m-rated Marco Reus and Madrid’s Argentine winger Angel Di Maria, who is available for around £25m.
But City’s owners have already spent around £45m on Brazil international Fernandinho and Spanish winger Jesus Navas and will not be held to ransom over other targets.

ALAN PARDEW WILL WALK OUT AT NEWCASTLE IF JOE KINNEAR INTERFERES CLAIMS GRAEME SOUNESS



ABOVE: Alan Pardew will now answer to Joe Kinnear, according to owner Mike Ashley
“
It puts Pardew in a very difficult position. I think it’ll end in tears for ­someone.
”
Graeme Souness, former Newcastle boss
23rd June 2013

By Carl Eldridge

ALAN PARDEW will quit Newcastle before he allows Joe Kinnear to interfere on big transfer target ­decisions.

That’s the bombshell claim from former Toon boss Graeme Souness, who reckons Pardew’s St James’ Park reign could “end in tears” after Kinnear was appointed director of football.
Souness, who had a two-year stint in the Tyneside hotseat, believes chairman Mike Ashley’s move to hire Kinnear is a vote of no confidence in Pardew (above).
Magpies chief Pardew, who signed an EIGHT-YEAR deal at the club last year, has been told by Ashley he will now answer to Kinnear.
And Souey said: “It puts Pardew in a very difficult position. I think it’ll end in tears for ­someone.”

FORMER NEWCASTLE CAPTAIN HAS 'POP' AT MIKE ASHLEY



ABOVE: Mick Martin has suggested a toon LEGEND would have suited the role better than Joe Kinnear
“
Joe has experience but he has antagonised the fans and they can't associate with him
”
Mick Martin
23rd June 2013

By Clive Hetherington

MICK MARTIN reckons Newcastle chief Mike Ashley could have won over the fans by going for a Toon LEGEND as director of football INSTEAD of Joe Kinnear.

Former Magpies skipper Martin believes Bryan 'Pop' Robson who recently lost his job as Sunderland's chief scout, and fellow 1969 Fairs Cup-winning hero Bob Moncur, were better suited for the role.
And Martin, 61, who is scouting for the Republic of Ireland, says he would have also been a more popular choice than Kinnear, 66.
The ex-Manchester United midfielder, a team-mate of Kinnear with the Republic in the 1970s, said: "I played with Joe at international level for three or four years and got to know him quite well.
"Joe has experience but he has antagonised the fans and they can't associate with him.'' Controversy hit Kinnear provoked widespread anger on Tyneside last week when, in a gaffe-littered radio interview, he said he was more intelligent than his Toon Army critics.
He was also ridiculed after mispronouncing a string of names, including a reference to Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye as "Kebab''.

BIG NAME NEWCASTLE PLAYERS COULD QUIT ST JAMES' PARK



ABOVE: Cabaye will not be happy with ‘Kebab’ insult and could leave
“
There will be big names saying, ‘Get me out of here’. Yohan Cabaye is the best player Newcastle
”
Malcolm Macdonald
23rd June 2013

By Steve Millar

TOON legend Malcolm Macdonald fears a mass ­exodus of stars out of St James’ Park after Joe Kinnear’s embarrassing gaffes.

Newcastle’s new director of football stunned the listening nation with a radio rant ­following his ­controversial appointment by his pal, owner Mike Ashley.
Kinnear’s short reign has ­already claimed its first ­victim in manager director Derek Llambias, who he referred to on air as ‘Lambezi’.
Now, Supermac has ­concerns over the futures of ­Yohan Cabaye who Kinnear called ‘Kebab’ and Hatem Ben Arfa who was incorrectly pronounced ‘Ben Afri’.
Macdonald ­believes they are ­insults which will have infuriated the ­already puzzled ­dressing room and lead to Cabaye ­heading for the exit door, with relegation a massive worry.
Ben Arfa might ­follow him, with ­Newcastle’s ­legendary No.8 ­left wondering if Kinnear’s cock-ups were a ploy to get some of the big earners off the wage bill. Cabaye and Ben Arfa would net Ashley around £35million in transfer revenue which would soften the blow of losing the talented duo.
The faithful, though, would be up in arms.

BIG NAME NEWCASTLE PLAYERS COULD QUIT ST JAMES' PARK



ABOVE: Cabaye will not be happy with ‘Kebab’ insult and could leave
“
There will be big names saying, ‘Get me out of here’. Yohan Cabaye is the best player Newcastle
”
Malcolm Macdonald
23rd June 2013

By Steve Millar

TOON legend Malcolm Macdonald fears a mass ­exodus of stars out of St James’ Park after Joe Kinnear’s embarrassing gaffes.

Newcastle’s new director of football stunned the listening nation with a radio rant ­following his ­controversial appointment by his pal, owner Mike Ashley.
Kinnear’s short reign has ­already claimed its first ­victim in manager director Derek Llambias, who he referred to on air as ‘Lambezi’.
Now, Supermac has ­concerns over the futures of ­Yohan Cabaye who Kinnear called ‘Kebab’ and Hatem Ben Arfa who was incorrectly pronounced ‘Ben Afri’.
Macdonald ­believes they are ­insults which will have infuriated the ­already puzzled ­dressing room and lead to Cabaye ­heading for the exit door, with relegation a massive worry.
Ben Arfa might ­follow him, with ­Newcastle’s ­legendary No.8 ­left wondering if Kinnear’s cock-ups were a ploy to get some of the big earners off the wage bill. Cabaye and Ben Arfa would net Ashley around £35million in transfer revenue which would soften the blow of losing the talented duo.
The faithful, though, would be up in arms.
And Macdonald said: “I ­really can’t believe what’s happened. I think it’s a ­friendship taken beyond ­extremes. But why pluck Joe Kinnear from obscurity?
“Is it because they chat in the same pub and have a pint together?
“Did he feel sorry for Joe? But is that how you run a multi-million pound company?
“Ashley doesn’t do ­stupid things. He might be bizarre but he’s not stupid.
“But you don’t help your mate out by putting your own ­managing director’s nose out of joint.
“Alan Pardew has given the simple line that he will ­continue at the club and has no doubt ­consulted his lawyers as to what ­constructive dismissal is.
“That leaves Kinnear doing all the talking. But why did he go so sloppily and heavily into that radio interview?
“He booted people up the arse and smacked them over the head. Ashley has seen and heard that and surely he’s got to say, ‘Joe, I’m not having that’.
“He hasn’t. So it’s all got to be playing a game. They’re not idiots. There’s got to be a ­masterplan.
“You don’t become a ­billionaire and then be ­perceived to be acting like a buffoon. Or employ a ­buffoon.
“Everything Ashley does, he does for a purpose.
“So I can only think what’s been done and been said has been ­designed to hack off a lot of people, enough for them to move on.
“Look inside that dressing room, for instance. There will be big names saying, ‘Get me out of here’. Yohan Cabaye is the best player Newcastle have got and is insulted by Kinnear mispronouncing his name as Kebab.
“Ben Afri, too, instead of Ben Arfa. Were those gaffes done on purpose?
“Cabaye will think, ‘I’m not impressed by that. Would I be better ­looking away from here?’
“Was it designed to get the high rollers out of St James’ Park?
“Surely it’s got to be planned. There’s certainly no better way to get players to go than by insulting them.
“In my mind it’s ­definitely a set-up. And I fear it could lead to a mass ­exodus of big ­signings.
“They will get the high ­earners off the wage bill, reduce costs and rake in massive transfer fees.
“Because of all this, it’s a side that could be ­relegated.”
But Macdonald still believes that Ashley would weather that ­horrendous storm ­because while the Toon Army would be utterly devastated, they would still march on St James’ Park in massive numbers, even in the ­Championship.
Macdonald told the Daily Star Sunday: ­“Newcastle would still benefit from the Premier League parachute payments, spend money on new players and then come back with promotion at the first attempt.
“So if Newcastle go down, which they will if the good players go as I expect, then that will leave those loyal ­supporters kicked in the teeth again.
“Ashley knows if Newcastle get relegated they will still fill St James’ Park every week in the ­Championship with 50,000-plus crowds.”

BIG NAME NEWCASTLE PLAYERS COULD QUIT ST JAMES' PARK



ABOVE: Cabaye will not be happy with ‘Kebab’ insult and could leave
“
There will be big names saying, ‘Get me out of here’. Yohan Cabaye is the best player Newcastle
”
Malcolm Macdonald
23rd June 2013

By Steve Millar

TOON legend Malcolm Macdonald fears a mass ­exodus of stars out of St James’ Park after Joe Kinnear’s embarrassing gaffes.

Newcastle’s new director of football stunned the listening nation with a radio rant ­following his ­controversial appointment by his pal, owner Mike Ashley.
Kinnear’s short reign has ­already claimed its first ­victim in manager director Derek Llambias, who he referred to on air as ‘Lambezi’.
Now, Supermac has ­concerns over the futures of ­Yohan Cabaye who Kinnear called ‘Kebab’ and Hatem Ben Arfa who was incorrectly pronounced ‘Ben Afri’.
Macdonald ­believes they are ­insults which will have infuriated the ­already puzzled ­dressing room and lead to Cabaye ­heading for the exit door, with relegation a massive worry.
Ben Arfa might ­follow him, with ­Newcastle’s ­legendary No.8 ­left wondering if Kinnear’s cock-ups were a ploy to get some of the big earners off the wage bill. Cabaye and Ben Arfa would net Ashley around £35million in transfer revenue which would soften the blow of losing the talented duo.
The faithful, though, would be up in arms.
And Macdonald said: “I ­really can’t believe what’s happened. I think it’s a ­friendship taken beyond ­extremes. But why pluck Joe Kinnear from obscurity?
“Is it because they chat in the same pub and have a pint together?
“Did he feel sorry for Joe? But is that how you run a multi-million pound company?
“Ashley doesn’t do ­stupid things. He might be bizarre but he’s not stupid.
“But you don’t help your mate out by putting your own ­managing director’s nose out of joint.
“Alan Pardew has given the simple line that he will ­continue at the club and has no doubt ­consulted his lawyers as to what ­constructive dismissal is.
“That leaves Kinnear doing all the talking. But why did he go so sloppily and heavily into that radio interview?
“He booted people up the arse and smacked them over the head. Ashley has seen and heard that and surely he’s got to say, ‘Joe, I’m not having that’.
“He hasn’t. So it’s all got to be playing a game. They’re not idiots. There’s got to be a ­masterplan.
“You don’t become a ­billionaire and then be ­perceived to be acting like a buffoon. Or employ a ­buffoon.
“Everything Ashley does, he does for a purpose.
“So I can only think what’s been done and been said has been ­designed to hack off a lot of people, enough for them to move on.
“Look inside that dressing room, for instance. There will be big names saying, ‘Get me out of here’. Yohan Cabaye is the best player Newcastle have got and is insulted by Kinnear mispronouncing his name as Kebab.
“Ben Afri, too, instead of Ben Arfa. Were those gaffes done on purpose?
“Cabaye will think, ‘I’m not impressed by that. Would I be better ­looking away from here?’
“Was it designed to get the high rollers out of St James’ Park?
“Surely it’s got to be planned. There’s certainly no better way to get players to go than by insulting them.
“In my mind it’s ­definitely a set-up. And I fear it could lead to a mass ­exodus of big ­signings.
“They will get the high ­earners off the wage bill, reduce costs and rake in massive transfer fees.
“Because of all this, it’s a side that could be ­relegated.”
But Macdonald still believes that Ashley would weather that ­horrendous storm ­because while the Toon Army would be utterly devastated, they would still march on St James’ Park in massive numbers, even in the ­Championship.
Macdonald told the Daily Star Sunday: ­“Newcastle would still benefit from the Premier League parachute payments, spend money on new players and then come back with promotion at the first attempt.
“So if Newcastle go down, which they will if the good players go as I expect, then that will leave those loyal ­supporters kicked in the teeth again.
“Ashley knows if Newcastle get relegated they will still fill St James’ Park every week in the ­Championship with 50,000-plus crowds.”

DANIEL LEVY: £100M NOT ENOUGH FOR REAL MADRID TO LAND GARETH BALE



ABOVE: Daniel Levy will do his utmost to keep Gareth Bale at Tottenham
“
He wants the best for Spurs and Gareth and even if Madrid raised their bid to £100million he will resist
”
A friend of Daniel Levy
23rd June 2013

By Tony Stenson

SPURS will reject any Real Madrid offer for Gareth Bale – even if they bid a world record £100million.

White Hart Lane chairman Daniel Levy has told friends he will not budge in his stance to ensure the Wales wonder stays for one more year.
And that means rejecting a staggering £100m offer – £20m more than Real paid Man United for Cristiano Rionaldo.
One said: “He held firm when Chelsea wanted Luka Modric and is showing the same determination this time.
“Daniel also thinks it is for Gareth’s own good. He believes he is still learning and will get better if he remains with them.
“Who knows what will happen in a year’s time? The club might even lose money but Daniel is prepared gamble on it.
“He wants the best for Spurs and Gareth and even if Madrid raised their bid to £100million he will resist.”

TOTTENHAM TARGET BRAZILIAN STAR PAULINHO



ABOVE: Spurs believe a deal is close to being reached
“
It is well under way. We have to agree on some details of the negotiation, so I can’t say he will leave just yet but negotiations are good.
”
Edu, Corinthians' DIrector of Football
23rd June 2013

By Daily Star reporter

SPURS are confident they have clinched a £17million deal for highly-rated Brazilian midfielder Paulinho.

They hope to seal the move with his club Corinthians as soon as the player leaves the Confederations Cup.
Spurs declined to confirm the deal but a club source said: “It’s possible, not definite.”
But Corinthians director of football, ex-Arsenal star Edu, said there have been developments and a move to London is now looking very likely.
He said: “It is well under way. We have to agree on some details of the negotiation, so I can’t say he will leave just yet but negotiations are good.”
The star, 24, made his Brazil debut in 2011 and recently scored against England at the Maracana.
Talks are ongoing over a deal to land David Villa, 31, from Barcelona too.
The Spain striker is also in Brazil on international duty.

TOTTENHAM TARGET BRAZILIAN STAR PAULINHO



ABOVE: Spurs believe a deal is close to being reached
“
It is well under way. We have to agree on some details of the negotiation, so I can’t say he will leave just yet but negotiations are good.
”
Edu, Corinthians' DIrector of Football
23rd June 2013

By Daily Star reporter

SPURS are confident they have clinched a £17million deal for highly-rated Brazilian midfielder Paulinho.

They hope to seal the move with his club Corinthians as soon as the player leaves the Confederations Cup.
Spurs declined to confirm the deal but a club source said: “It’s possible, not definite.”
But Corinthians director of football, ex-Arsenal star Edu, said there have been developments and a move to London is now looking very likely.
He said: “It is well under way. We have to agree on some details of the negotiation, so I can’t say he will leave just yet but negotiations are good.”
The star, 24, made his Brazil debut in 2011 and recently scored against England at the Maracana.
Talks are ongoing over a deal to land David Villa, 31, from Barcelona too.
The Spain striker is also in Brazil on international duty.

MARK HUGHES CAN'T SELL WILSON PALACIOS


ABOVE: Mark Hughes is struggling to gain offers for out of favour midfielder Wilson Palacios
“
Hughes is unlikely to involve Palacios in the Potters’ three-match tour of the United States next month.
”
23rd June 2013

By Steve Morgan

NEW Stoke boss Mark Hughes is struggling to find any takers for flop midfielder Wilson Palacios.

Hughes is keen to move Palacios, 29 next month, out after learning the Honduras international is eating up a whopping £26,000 a week of the Potters’ wage bill.
Palacios was signed from Spurs 2011 for £6million in 2011 but failed to start a league game last season.
And with a doubt over a knee injury, rival teams are unwilling to gamble on a player with such a big wage. Hughes is unlikely to involve Palacios in the Potters’ three-match tour of the United States next month.
Stoke went to the States under former boss Tony Pulis last year and will return to face Houston Dynamo on July 24, FC Dallas (July 27) and Philadelphia Union (July 30).

LUIS ALBERTO'S ANFIELD OF DREAMS



ABOVE: Luis Alberto is delighted with his move
“
He has the correct footballing profile and mentality to be a Liverpool player,
”
Brendan Rodgers
23rd June 2013

By Adrian Stiles

NEW Liverpool signing Luis Alberto said he was “the happiest man on earth” after completing his £6million switch from Seville.

The Spanish youth international, 20, signed a long-term contract after passing a medical at the Melwood training complex yesterday.
He said: “For me Liverpool is a top team. I feel like I am dreaming and I want to enjoy it to the full.
“I feel very excited. I’ve never felt so excited before but I’m very happy. I think I am the happiest man on earth.”
Alberto spent last season on loan with Barcelona B, scoring 11 goals and setting up 17 in his 38 appearances.
“He has the correct footballing profile and mentality to be a Liverpool player,” said Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers.
“We are all delighted that Luis has decided to join Liverpool. I look forward to working with him to develop his talent and he joins a group of young exciting players at our club.”
Alberto represented Spain at Under-18s and Under-19s levels and made his debut for their Under-21s side against Belgium in February.
He added: “I have come here to enjoy moments with the supporters and I hope that between us all we can make this club one of the greatest in the world once again.”

TOTTENHAM OFFER £20M FOR BIG ASTON VILLA HITMAN CHRISTIAN BENTEKE



ABOVE: The Belgian goal-machine's future is still in the balance
“
Spurs clearly want the kind of firepower Benteke can offer
”
23rd June 2013

By Tony Stenson

SPURS want Aston ­Villa’s lethal striker ­Christian Benteke.

Daily Star Sunday sources revealed White Hart Lane top brass have made enquiries over the Belgium international and are ready to open talks about a £20million deal.
But that doesn’t include ­Jermain Defoe going in the ­opposite direction, although they would willingly part with Emmanuel Adebayor.
Benteke, 22, who scored 19 goals in his debut season in English football, is one of the hottest deals this summer.
Clubs are currently waiting until June 30 when contracts are over or running down.
That is why next week is billed as the start of the summer spending – and when the movers and shakers get going.
Spurs clearly want the kind of firepower Benteke can offer and his agents have promised they will look very closely at their ­offer.
Benteke wants to play Champions League football, which has also alerted Spurs north London rivals, Arsenal.
A respected source close to the club said: “Benteke is one of the players they want.
“Sadly, no one has come in for Adebayor so at the moment so it must be straight cash.
“There’s been talk of Defoe ­going but why would a club sell a player who can guarantee 15 goals in a season?” Meanwhile, Spurs target David Villa could be tempted to join Fiorentina due to the Italian club’s ­“interesting project”, according to the Barcelona forward’s agent.
Tottenham have been linked to the Spaniard as they search for a strong striker to boost their firepower.
However, reports in Spain have suggested that Fiorentina are looking to take Villa, 31, to the Artemio Franchi along with Blaugrana youngster Jonathan Dos Santos.
And while agent Victor Onate stressed that there has not yet been any solid ­interest shown from the Tuscan side, he is clearly a keen ­admirer of the club’s recent work.
Onate said: “I think it would be excessive to say there is formal interest by Fiorentina but we do know the type of ­interesting project they have in mind.
“I worked with Eduardo ­Macia, their technical ­director ­when we were at Valencia.
“We are friends and in ­constant communication.
“Fiorentina had a good season and their intention is to grow even more.
“David is focused on the ­Confederations Cup just now.
“Leaving a club like Barcelona is not easy and it depends on many factors, including next year’s World Cup.
“Clearly David will want to be involved as one of his country’s main players.”

ROONEY AND RONALDO IN £90M SWOP



ABOVE: Rooney could be on his way to the Bernabeu with Ronaldo on his way back to Old Trafford
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Ronaldo would cost a cool £60m and his return to the club where he made his superstar name would delight the faithful.
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23rd June 2013

By Steve Millar

WAYNE ROONEY and Cristiano Ronaldo have been linked to a sensational £90million swop deal between Man United and Real Madrid.

Bookies William Hill have dramatically slashed the odds on Rooney joining the Spanish giants as a betting frenzy grips Britain. Wazza went from 33-1 to 6-1 overnight to join Real as punters heaped cash on the United star packing his bags for the Bernabeu.
New United boss David Moyes is planning to meet his former Everton player this week for heart-to-heart talks about his future.
Moyes would love Rooney to stay at Old Trafford and offer him the chance to start afresh after his much publicised fall out with former United chief Sir Alex Ferguson.
But if Rooney, 27, decides to call it a day there will be no shortage of takers for the England striker.
The Daily Star Sunday was first to break the story that Rooney was wanted by Arsenal and Chelsea have now moved into the running.
Rooney’s preference would be to join Jose Mourinho at Stamford Bridge if he decides to end his nine-year Old Trafford stay after his showdown with Moyes.
But now the hot money is on a switch to Madrid for Rooney, valued at around £30m, with both Real Madrid and Chelsea easily capable of matching his £250,000-a-week wage demands.
Real’s new boss Carlo Ancelotti has been a long-time admirer of Rooney and would be happy to sacrifice Ronaldo if it meant he could sign the United star.
Ronaldo would cost a cool £60m and his return to the club where he made his superstar name would delight the faithful.
It would also soften the blow of losing such an icon as Rooney, who has two years left on his current United deal.
Meanwhile, it is understood the United superstore is no longer printing Antonio Valencia on the back of new shirts with “7” attached.
Portugal star Ronaldo made that his trademark number and the report has fuelled speculation that he’s heading back to his spiritual home.
Valencia, meanwhile, believes that United have the perfect goalkeeper in David de Gea.
The Spanish stopper endured a torrid start to life in England after his £18m move from Atletico Madrid.
At one stage it even looked like he may lose the No.1 jersey to Anders Lindegaard after struggling to adapt to Premier League football.
But Valencia has been bowled over by how De Gea has adapted and won over the doubters.
He said: “He’s been perfect in everything he’s done. It’s incredible what he’s achieved. He is one of the best keepers around.”

I Have No Regret Praising Opposition – Tambuwal

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, has hit back at his critics within the Peoples Democratic Party who condemned him for showering encomium on Governor Rauf Aregbesola for his performance in Osun State.
Tambuwal, who spoke in Ilawe-Ekiti on Saturday after he was conferred with the chieftaincy title of Bobagunwa by the Alawe of Ilawe, Oba Ajibade Alabi, said he was not the speaker for the PDP alone but for the whole country.
Tambuwal said, “I was criticised for commending Osun State governor’s performance but I will always speak the truth. If somebody is doing well we have to commend such person, whether they are in the PDP, Action Congress of Nigeria or in any party.
“I am not the speaker of a political party. I am the speaker for the whole Nigeria. Governor Kayode Fayemi has also done well and he should continue with the good work.”
The speaker had in Osogbo during the launch of Opon Imo, an initiative of Osun State governor lauded Aregbesola, who is a member of the opposition ACN, for his achievements in the last three years.
The PDP Chairman in the state, Mr. Ganiyu Olaoluwa, had said Tambuwal’s comment was unbecoming of a national leader of the party.
Olaoluwa said the speaker’s comment raised posers as to whether he “is a member of the PDP or a supporter of Aregbesola.”
But the speaker, who said he was undeterred by the criticisms, also lauded Fayemi for his performance in Ekiti State since he assumed office and urged the governor to do more.
Tambuwal has been rumoured to be associating with the opposition raising speculation that he might be suspended by the PDP.
Fayemi, in his speech also described Tambuwal as a great leader who should be emulated by others, adding that his leadership style had stabilised the lower House.
The monarch also hailed Fayemi for his transformation of the state, saying the state had not witnessed such transformation before.
He, however, appealed to the governor to fast-track his plan to build a hospital in the town.
Alabi said, “We thank the state government for the plans to build a modern hospital and a housing estate in Ilawe-Ekiti. It is our hope that work will commence in earnest at the sites already given by the community for the projects.”

Confed Cup: Keshi, Enyeama Optimistic Against Spain

Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi and his captain Vincent Enyeama said on Saturday that the Super Eagles will give their best when they tackle world and European champions Spain in their make-or-break match at the Confederations Cup.
Nigeria go into Sunday’s game level on points with Uruguay in Group B, but with the South American champions expected to comfortably beat minnows Tahiti, Nigeria will probably have to overcome the group leaders to stand any chance of reaching the semi-finals.
Spain have not lost at a tournament since a shock defeat by Switzerland in the opening game of the 2010 World Cup, but despite the glittering array of players in their line-up, Enyeama says Nigeria will not be afraid.
Keshi bristled at the suggestion that victory for Nigeria would represent a famous upset.
“Would it be a rare result? I don’t think so. There are two teams that are playing and one has to win,” he said.
“We have a lot of respect for Spain — they’re the world and European champions — but we’re African champions, and Africa is a great continent.
“So a little bit of respect for us, please. If we go out there and beat Spain tomorrow (Sunday), it’s because we’re good to win the game.”
Keshi has concerns over the fitness of Nnamdi Oduamadi and Ahmed Musa, both of whom sustained injuries in Thursday’s 2-1 loss to Uruguay, and said a decision would be made on their availability on the morning of the game.
Enyeama believes pride will drive the team on despite Spain’s tag as favourites.
“I don’t think there’s any Nigerian player here who is scared,” the goalkeeper said during the pre-game media conference at Fortaleza’s Estadio Castelao.
“We’re so proud of our teams in Nigeria. The teams in Spain are much bigger than the teams in Nigeria, but we’re very proud of our league and we’re proud of our country.
“We’re here to represent our colours and we’ll stake everything for our colours. We respect Spain, they’re a great side, but we’re not afraid of them.”

We May Drop Out Of School Soon – Rolling Dollar’s Children


Though death has stopped the beat of highlife singer, Fatai Olagunju, popularly known as Rolling Dollar, his family wants his fans to keep the tempo going, writes GBENGA ADENIJI
The location was the Millennium Estate, Oko-Oba, Agege, Lagos residence of deceased highlife singer, Fatai Olagunju, otherwise called Rolling Dollar. His two wives, Zainab and Serifat, some of his children including Sikiru-who is the singer’s 50-year-old first son, wore a pensive mood as our correspondent walked into their home.
It was evident from their faces that they were yet to come to terms with the reality of the death of the 86-year-old songbird, Rolling Dollar, who breathed his last on June 12, coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the acclaimed “fairest and freest” election in Nigeria. The musician shot to stardom a few years back via a successful album, Won Kere si Number Wa. But despite his fame, the family is worried about the education of his younger children.
One of the children, Jamiu, told our correspondent that he was still saddened by the death of his father, expressing uncertainty over his future. He explained that he and his other siblings would miss their father’s pieces of advice.

Nigerian Leaders Have Failed The Nation — Danjuma

Former Minister of Defence, Lt. General Theophilus Danjuma (retd.), said on Saturday in Zaria, Kaduna State, that Nigerian leaders had failed the nation.
Danjuma, who said this at his conferment with a traditional title of Jarma Zazzau by Emir of Zazzau, Shehu Idris, also lamented that the Nigerian nation and its economy were now in tatters.
He added that the nation was in need of patriotic elders that would use their wisdom to give the country the much needed direction.
According to him, the confused nature of Nigerians is a clear indication of failure on the part of the leaders.
Danjuma also took a swipe on the North, saying that in a highly competitive world, northern children were missing out in qualitative and functional education, adding that poverty had become the lots of northerners.
He urged northern leaders to talk less as according to him, they are “talking too much and doing less for the development of the North. We urgently need to put our house in order so we can overcome our various challenges.”
He added, “This is the time for elders to be circumspect and temperate in their utterances. It is not in our character as northerners to talk too much. We need to think more, pray more, plan more, work harder, relate better, but talk less. Battles are fought and won through wisdom and strategy than through inflammable pronouncement and political tantrums.
“It is most appropriate and gratifying that I am receiving this honour in Zaria where I spent some of my formative years. Zaria was one of the few northern cities that first opened her gates to pioneer missionaries in Northern Nigeria, which is why Wusasa has become the second home of many northern Christian leaders.
“Zaria has therefore distinguished itself as a beacon of religious tolerance, peaceful coexistence and educational advancement. Nigeria and especially Northern Nigeria urgently need to recapture the spirit of Zaria, the spirit of knowledge, tolerance, harmony, peace and prosperity.
“In spite of the many years of mismanaged opportunities and resources, I still believe that Nigeria can be reawakened and rebuilt to achieve greatness. If we renew our minds and reconcile with one another, if we coordinate our determined efforts, we can make Northern Nigeria self-reliant and self-sufficient, while enhancing the unity and prosperity of all Nigerians. But we must first have peace.”
Danjuma, a former army chief, noted that there could be no peace and harmonious coexistence where there was wide disparity between the rich and the poor.

Lam Adesina Refused To Be Taken Abroad For Treatment — Son


Oyo State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Dapo Lam-Adesina, who is son of the former governor of the state, Lamidi Adesina, revisits his father’s journey from the classroom to the state house in this interview with Olufemi Atoyebi
Could you describe your dad?
My father was a reliable human being who stood by his words until he died. He was a disciplinarian in all respects and a man of integrity. If my father had an agreement with someone, he would contact the person before he changed his mind. Throughout his life, he stood on the side of the masses.
His political ideology was based on the campaign for an egalitarian society in Nigeria. As a progressive-minded politician, he believed in the core values of the late Obafemi Awolowo.
Would you say that your father died a fulfilled man?
Many people use wealth acquisition to value human success and fulfilment in life. We cannot use that parameter to value my father’s success in life. In term of financial accumulation, he was not a rich man. He did not believe in amassing wealth because he held on to the fact that no man will leave the world with all the wealth he acquires. He believed so much in fighting for the masses and if that is used to judge fulfilment, then I will score him high.
When was the last time you spoke to him, and what did he tell you?
I was with him at the hospital before he passed on. Though we were not able to talk much, he kept on asking me about his people at home and the governor, Abiola Ajimobi. He was taken to St. Nicholas Hospital in Lagos and we were planning to take him abroad for further treatment but he insisted that he would rather die at home
I have learnt a lot from his life and final wish not to be taken abroad for treatment. He said whatever was going to happen would still happen even if he was taken to a hospital abroad. He believed in the Nigerian system and hoped that it would get better
He never believed that he could be treated out of the country. He even insisted that he was not going to leave the University College Hospital in Ibadan until we found out that there was an imminent strike at the hospital. It was after we told him that he agreed to be transferred to Lagos.
Your father was a teacher before he became a governor. Did he ever teach you in a class?

I was never in his class of Education but when I wanted to write my General Certificate examination, he gave me lessons in English Language at home.
How would you rate his teaching style?
He would not take nonsense from anyone. As much as he was very tough, he was also kind and caring. That is why most of his children are tough. We would rather die than give up what we believe in. That was the kind of training he gave us.

Chinua Achebe Had Nothing Personal Against Awolowo, Others — Ike, Son

It was a big shock to many when the news came that renowned novelist and ceberated author of Things Fall Apart, Prof. Chinua Achebe, was dead. This was so as the controversy generated by his autobiography, ‘There Was a Country’, was still fresh. The book had narrated Achebe’s experience in the Biafran war, accusing some principal actors of genocide against Igbo people.
Then, last December, Achebe was at his colloquium which hosted Lagos State governor, Mr. Raji Fashola, as keynote speaker. There was no hint that Achebe was ill. In fact, many of his admirers were waiting for him to respond to reactions triggered by claims in ‘There Was a Country’ .
So when it was announced that the famous writer had passed on, tongues started wagging that, perhaps, the book’s controversy played a role. Theories about the cause of his death were many considering the fact no information indicated he was sick. Achebe was writing, lecturing, holding conferences, giving speeches, writing press statements, giving interviews. He was active, even after the 1990 accident that paralyzed him from waist down, and at 82.
But a chance meeting with Achebe’s first son, Ike, days after his father’s burial, explained the cause of his father’s death. Ike linked his father’s death to the car accident he had in 1990 – 23 years ago. Achebe was rushing to Enugu to catch a flight to Lagos when he had an accident near Awka Anambra State. The car somersaulted and fell on top of Achebe, causing him serious injuries. This was months after the University of Nigeria, Nsukka hosted an international 60th birthday conference in his honour.
Prof. Edith Ihekweazu, convener of the confab, also died the same year in an auto crash on her way back to Nsukka. It was a shocking experience to literary observers following the two accidents. While Edith, a German married to a Nigerian, died in her accident, doctors gave Achebe no chance of survival. When he eventually survived, doctors now said his days were numbered. All these happened when he had no grand children. “But Achebe lived 23 more years”, Ike said.
In between the years, the celebrated author had about six grand children. He published several books, he kept working even till he died this year.
The son said Achebe’s was a very private family man, and so many people outside the family did not know the extent the accident affected his father’s health.
Even though he was treated after the accident, Ike said his father had internal injuries which kept bringing problems, coupled with the fact that he was paralyzed. The family, he said, was always with him. For many in the family, his death was not a shock but it would be for those not close to his father, he pointed out. But one thing he admired about his father was his courage. The father, Ike said, did not allow his accident to affect his work.
The poet vs the emperor – There Was a Country furore
On the controversy which There Was a Country generated, the son said it did not give his father any headache. His father, he said, would write a book and said it was for the readers to deal with. “When he wrote something, he would push it out. He would not go back to it. The book will be on its own. This was the case with The Trouble With Nigeria and when Awolowo died and the statement he made. He had just left the country. When he came back, after the burial, he wrote his comments. And now his autobiography,” Ike said. His father had nothing personal against any of those named, he went on. “He was only pained that millions of children died because of the actions of some people. My father would say that it was the job of the writer (the poet) to give the emperor headache.
It was not the job of the poet to dine with the emperor. My father called it the poet versus the emperor. The poet, according to my father, must constantly give the emperor headache, not to give prescriptions. My father said the leadership must end the carnage and bloodshed in the country, that those who led the Biafran killings must be made accountable. And there are models all over the world on how this can be done”.

Boko Haram Regroups, Invades Borno Towns

Boko Haram insurgents in Borno State, dislodged by security forces in the wake of the emergency rule by President Goodluck Jonathan from their Sambisa Game Reserve camps, appear to be fighting back.
Sunday Vanguard was made to understand, yesterday, that they have not only regrouped, they have also sacked at least two major towns in the state.
One of the towns is Bama, where the insurgents struck in the weeks before Jonathan imposed the emergency rule in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states, killing 40 policemen, 13 prison warders, three soldiers and several civilians.
The other is Gwoza.
Bama and Gwoza, located along the Sambisa offshore, are said to be the strongholds of Boko Haram, the Islamist group fighting to impose Islamic values on Nigeria, a secular state, and campaigns against Western education.
Military forces, who launched a campaign against the insurgents, including air raids by the air force, following the emergency rule imposed in Borno, had claimed that the Boko Haram members had relocated to Mandara and Gwoza hills among others desert areas of Borno State.
But tales from fleeing Bama and Gwoza residents arriving Maiduguri, the state capital, yesterday, showed that the insurgents had regrouped and launched fresh attacks on Bama and Gwoza.
Boko haram “The insurgents are moving from house to house, issuing threat letters that civil servants and Christians must leave Bama within seven days or risk their lives,” one of the Bama residents who arrived Maiduguri, yesterday, told Sunday Vanguard.
‘How we escaped’
Another resident, who claimed he escaped through Dikwa via Muna Road, said, “We paid N7,000 each to be transported to Maiduguri instead of the N300 normal fare, since the Maiduguri- Bama -Gwoza Road has been rendered impassable as it was blocked by the JTF since the emergency rule”.
A civil servant, Alhaji Fannami Abba , a Bama resident who claimed to have taken all six members of his family with him to Maiduguri, said, ” I paid N50,000 for the taxi cab which I hired to transport my family. Bama has become something else as the Boko Haram insurgents carry arms openly to intimidate law-abiding citizens in the town, especially civil servants”.
Abba added, “Most residents, who could afford to pay their transport out through Dikwa have left Bama while others who could not afford had to trek through the desert/bush.”
Those who escaped from Gwoza said the town had been taken over by Boko Haram insurgents while villagers at the hilly areas had crossed over to Cameroun Republic to escape the insurgents.
Mr. James John, a retired civil servant, whose brother in-law was said to have been shot dead by Boko Haram in Bama, on Thursday, told our correspondent: “When we took the body of my late in-law for burial to Gwoza, we were advised to leave town immediately after the burial to avoid any contact with the insurgents if we valued our lives.
“Gwoza has fallen to Boko Haram and unless there is military reinforcement in the area, I am afraid the insurgents will remain there indefinitely.” Sunday Vanguard efforts to reach the military authorities to comment on the twist in the emergency rule in Borno State, yesterday, were unsuccessful.
The youth manhunt for Islamists
Meanwhile a volunteer youth group, tagged, ” Civilian JTF”, assisting the men of the Joint Task Force, ‘Operation Restore Order’, to subdue the Boko Haram insurgency in Borno, yesterday, embarked on “Operation Stop and Search” of vehicles in Maiduguri, a situation which led to the arrest of several sect members.
The youth, who carried cutlasses, knives and sticks, positioned in different locations, searching all vehicles including their engines, while the JTF personnel watched.
This came barely five days after one Abu Zinnira, who claimed to be spokesman for Boko Haram, said, in a statement emailed to newsmen, that they will launch a manhunt for the youth.
“We have established that youth in Borno and Yobe states are now against our cause. They have connived with security operatives and are actively supporting the government of Nigeria in its war against us. We have also resolved to fight back, ” Zinnira said.
However, some of the youth promised to fight Boko Haram, saying they were not deterred from carrying out their mission.
One of the leaders of the youth group said, “What the Boko Haram said is an empty threat because terror, war of attrition and killing of innocent people with impunity is over. We have resolved to take our destiny in our hands and will continue hunting the insurgents.”

PDP Makes U-Turn On Amaechi, To Settle Out Of Court


STRONG indications emerged yesterday that the lingering political problem between the Governor of Rivers State and Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP would soon be resolved.
This was even as Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State said yesterday that the lingering problems in the party between some governors and the ruling party would soon be over. Uduaghan spoke in an interview with newsmen in Abuja at the end of a meeting of the PDP Special National Convention, noting however that viable opposition party or parties was good for the development of democracy in the country, even as he was quick to add that the PDP was not in any way threatened by the coming together of opposition political parties to form the All Progressives Congress, APC.
‘’We had our emergency NEC meeting yesterday which was very successful and we have a national convention which is coming up on July 20, to regularize elections that INEC has issues with at the party level. The party is still very much intact and very very strong for that matter.
Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State ‘’Some of these governors that people are saying are not pleased with the party, virtually all the governors were there yesterday. May be one or two were not there because they traveled.
‘’At the PDP Governors’ Forum; within ourselves, we are doing a lot of reconciliation. You would have noticed that even the coming back of Wamakko had a lot of input from us. We had to appeal to the leadership of the party that the suspension should be reversed and the party graciously agreed to reverse it. So, whatever is left, we are handling it at that level.
On the formation of APC, he said, ‘’I don’t think the PDP has ever been threatened. Like the President said, it is good that we have a stronger opposition but it is not that there is any threat.”
However, sources said that the decision by the PDP to resolve its crisis with Governor Amaechi became necessary in view of the determination by the party not to lose any of its governors especially ahead of 2015 general elections.

Onari Turns Pastor?


Former First Lady of Cross River State, Onari Duke, is a study in elegance. Married to equally handsome Donald Duke, many have not ceased to wonder how she has effortlessly maintained an uncommon gait, years after quitting the State House.
At an event recently hosted by a bank, where she is a non executive director, a top staff of the bank described her as his ‘mummy in the Lord;’ a fact she acknowledged, nodding her head amid cheers and applause.

Nine Tourists Die In Pakistan Attack


Gunmen have killed 10 people, including nine foreign tourists after storming a hotel in far northern Pakistan, BBC reports.
Officials say five are from Ukraine, one from Russia and three from China. A Pakistani guide also died in the attack. It happened at the base camp of Nanga Parbat, the world’s ninth highest mountain, in Gilgit-Baltistan.
It is the first such attack on tourists in the region. A Sunni militant group, Jundullah, said it was responsible. Police had at first said 10 foreign tourists had died.
The motive for the killings is not yet clear. One person, said to be Chinese, has survived the attack. Part of the Himalayan Range, Nanga Parbat, standing at 8,126m (26,660ft), is popular with trekkers and mountaineers, especially during June and July.
The assault is seen as a significant blow for Pakistan’s already struggling tourist industry, the BBC says. Gilgit-Baltistan, which borders China, had so far been considered one of the more secure areas under Pakistani control.
The attackers, reportedly dressed in police uniforms, stormed the hotel at the base camp in the foothills of Nanga Parbat shortly after midnight.

Spain Rolls Out ‘Big Guns’ For Nigeria

Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque would revert to his first-choice side for Sunday’s Confederations Cup clash with Nigeria, Supersport.com reports.
It would be basically that side, yes,” said Del Bosque when asked if he would name the same side that beat Uruguay 2-1 last Sunday in Recife.
Del Bosque fielded a nominal ‘B’ team in the 10-0 thrashing of Tahiti on Thursday though that included some of the best players in Europe in Fernando Torres and David Villa, who scored seven goals between them against the Oceania champions.
“I have no problems,” Villa said when asked about the possibility of reverting to the bench. “There are 23 strong players in the squad, and we are a team and the coach decides who he wants to play.
He would choose, it is part of the game.” Spain, who is unbeaten in 24 matches, has qualified for the semifinals and would likely meet Italy in Fortaleza next Thursday.
Even if the Spaniards lose to the African champions, Nigeria would have to win by at least four goals as Uruguay would almost certainly beat Tahiti in Recife.
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