EPL: You can't have Hazard - Sarri tells Real Madrid as transfer window closes - Naijaray
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EPL: You can’t have Hazard – Sarri tells Real Madrid as transfer window closes

Chelsea manager, Maurizio Sarri has fired a warning to Real Madrid over their pursuit of forward, Eden Hazard, saying it is impossible that more Blues players will be sold this month.

According to British outlet, Metro, Sarri stated this ahead of Chelsea’s clash with Huddersfield Town on Saturday in the Premier League.

Sarri’s side already sold their first choice goalkeeper, Thibaut Courtois to the La Liga giants in a £35million deal and replaced him with Kepa Arrizabalaga, who was bought from Athletic Bilboa for a world-record £71million.

Hazard has been heavily linked with a move to Madrid all summer and the Belgium international has previously hinted that he would be open to a switch to the Santiago Bernabeu.

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However, the English summer transfer window closed on Thursday night, while foreign clubs can still buy Premier League players for the remainder of the month. Sarri now appears to have ended Madrid’s pursuit for Hazard, claiming that no more Chelsea stars will be sold until at least January.

“It is impossible. The market is closed for us,” Sarri said when asked if he was worried about more players leaving Stamford Bridge this month.

“I don’t want to discuss contracts. It is not my job. My job is to improve players, not sign contracts. I have seen a player [Hazard] who is happy to be here.

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“Hazard is with us. I have spoken with him three, four times for everything and he never said something about the market. He’s very happy to stay here,” he added.


Alex Iwobi Tops List For African Best Player

Super Eagles star, Alex Iwobi, is top on the list of 10 players shortlisted for the prestigious Africa Player of Year Award.

The Confederation of African Football on their official website on Friday released a trimmed list of nominees as the CAF Awards 2018 gathers momentum.

Aside from Iwobi who is the only Nigerian in the race, premier league stars, Riyad Mahrez, Mohammed Salah, Sadio Mane and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are all in the race for Africa’s biggest individual award.

Unfortunately, Ahmed Musa, as well as Nigeria’s national team coach, Gernot Rohr, have both dropped out in the race for honours in the 2018 CAF Awards.

While Musa was initially shortlisted for the prestigious Africa player of year accolade, Rohr was pencilled down in the best coach category.

That notwithstanding, Nigeria still has some form of representation as two players, Onome Ebi and Asisat Oshoala, are in the run for the women’s player of the year.

The Super Falcons’ coach, Thomas Dennerby, is being nominated alongside two others in the Women’s Coach of the Year category.

Also, the Super Falcons who only recently won their ninth African title, have been nominated for Women’s National Team of the Year.

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CAF explained that the shortlisted nominees were decided by votes from the members of the CAF Technical & Development Committee.

The final phase will involve votes from CAF Media Experts, Legends, Coaches of the quarter-finalists of the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup, and Coaches & Captains of the 54 Member Associations.

The Awards Gala, to honour footballers and officials who distinguished themselves during the year under review, will be held on Tuesday, 8 January 2019 in Dakar, Senegal.

See The Full Shortlists for CAF Awards 2018

African Player of the Year

  1. Alex Iwobi (Nigeria & Arsenal)

  2. Andre Onana (Cameroon & Ajax)

  3. Anis Badri (Tunisia & Esperance)

  4. Denis Onyango (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns)

  5. Mehdi Benatia (Morocco & Juventus)

  6. Mohamed Salah (Egypt & Liverpool)

  7. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon & Arsenal)

  8. Riyad Mahrez (Algeria & Manchester City)

  9. Sadio Mane (Senegal & Liverpool)

  10. Walid Soliman (Egypt & Ahly)

Women’s Player of the Year

  1. Abdulai Mukarama (Ghana & Northern Ladies)

  2. Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria & Dilian Quanjian)

  3. Bassira Toure (Mali & AS Mande)

  4. Chrestinah Thembi Kgatlana (South Africa & Houston Dash)

  5. Elizabeth Addo (Ghana & Seattle Reign)

  6. Francisca Ordega (Nigeria & Washington Spirit)

  7. Gabrielle Aboudi Onguene (Cameroon & CSKA Moskow)

  8. Janine Van Wyk (South Africa & Houston Dash)

  9. Onome Ebi (Nigeria & Hekan Huisanhang)

  10. Raissa Feudjio (Cameroon & Aland United)

  11. Tabitha Chawinga (Malawi & Jiangsu Suning)

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Youth Player of the Year

  1. Achraf Hakimi (Morocco & Borussia Dortmunmd)

  2. Franck Kessie (Cote d’Ivoire & AC Milan)

  3. Wilfred Ndidi (Nigeria & Leicester City)

Men’s Coach of the Year

  1. Aliou Cisse (Senegal)

  2. Herve Renard (Morocco)

  3. Moine Chaabani (Esperance)

Women’s Coach of the Year

  1. Desiree Ellis (South Africa)

  2. Joseph Brian Ndoko (Cameroon)

  3. Thomas Dennerby (Nigeria)

Men’s National Team of the Year

  1. Madagascar

  2. Mauritania

  3. Uganda

Women’s National Team of the Year

  1. Cameroon

  2. Nigeria

  3. South Africa

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Emery reveals number of players Arsenal will sign in January 

Arsenal manager, Unai Emery has disclosed that the club will sign a centre-back when the transfer window opens in January.

Emery said this ahead of his side’s Europa League clash with Qarabag FK on Thursday night.

The Spaniard believes it would be a ‘good option’ for the Gunners to sign a centre-back after the North London club have had trouble with the position so far this season.

“I think if we can take one player to help us at centre-back, I think it’s a good option,” Emery was quoted by Daily Cannon as saying in a pre-match press conference.

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“The transfer window is not easy. Laurent Koscielny is coming back and for the team, it’s very important he is coming back.

“Then we are going to wait and see how Konstantinos Mavropanos is improving with his injuries because he is also a centre-back who can help us.”

Emery added: “Another option we can play with two, with three, and (full-backs) Nacho Monreal and (Stephan) Lichtsteiner can play in this position.

“I prefer to use, if we can, a specialist centre-back.”

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Barca And PSG Explore Dembele-Neymar Swap

Barca could be ready to take their former star Neymar back, and send the talented but problematic Dembele back to his home country

Barcelona and PSG have discussed a ​swap of Neymar in exchange for Ousmane Dembele and cash, according to Le10Sport.

PSG fear they may have to sell either Neymar or Kylian Mbappe at season’s end in order to comply with Financial Fair Play regulations.

And Barca could be ready to take their former star back, and send the talented but problematic Dembele back to his home country to play for his former boss Thomas Tuchel.

Barcelona could be set to make a surprising move for Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata, according to the Mirror.

The Blaugrana are in dire need of cover at striker, as Luis Suarez is struggling with knee issues and Paco Alcacer is in Dortmund on loan.

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Morata is seeking a way out at Chelsea after struggling to find his best form, and could be moved on loan to Barcelona with the La Liga side holding an option to buy.

Arsenal are currently considering three targets to bolster their defence in January, The Mirror claims.

Although the Gunners are set to welcome Laurent Koscielny back from injury, they want to add another face to their options for the centre of defence.

Manchester United’s Eric Bailly is seen as the most ambitious target, but they are also eyeing up Chelsea’s Gary Cahill, who has been told he will have to find another club if he wants to play. Meanwhile, Fernando Calero of Real Valladolid is another possible signing for Unai Emery’s team.

Former Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure hopes to return to the Premier League after being released by Olympiakos.

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The Ivorian star will be in London at the end of the week and believes he is still good enough to play in the English top flight.

Toure left Olympiakos on Tuesday after just three months in Greece, by mutual consent.

Arsenal and Newcastle target Miguel Almiron will cost at least £30 million, according to the Mirror.

Atlanta United’s president, Darren Eales, says he will not consider a fee any less than that as he seeks to get the maximum amount for his 24-year-old Paraguay midfielder.

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