AC Milan Hunt To Sign Diego Costa

AC MILAN are back in the hunt to sign Diego Costa because they know he will eventually agree to leave Chelsea this summer, according to reports.


Atletico cannot field any new signings until January because of a FIFA-imposed transfer ban.


It leaves Costa’s future in limbo, with Chelsea keen to sell for £50million but the player unwilling to leave for anywhere but Madrid.


But Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport claim Milan are hoping to convince the Brazil native to change his mind over their interest.


According to the report, next summer’s World Cup in Russia means Spain international Costa is guaranteed to leave Chelsea before deadline day next Thursday.


Who could replace Diego Costa at Chelsea?


The 28-year-old will not risk sitting on the sidelines for six months with a World Cup looming.


Costa’s agent Jorge Mendes has already tried to convince the Blues forward to join Milan on a short-term deal until January – but he supposedly snubbed that offer.


Milan can afford his wages were a loan deal to be struck, having already spent more than £150m on new players this summer.


Agency Reports…

2020 Olympics Technology: Japanese To Work From Home

Japan on Monday launched a scheme to promote “telework’’ or working from home, in an effort to ease congestion when Tokyo hosts the 2020 Olympics.

The country also intends to soften a notoriously rigid work culture.

Almost 930 companies, including Suntory-Beverage & Food Ltd., Ajinomoto Co and Tokyu-Construction Co are participating in “Telework Day’’, to be held on July 24 each year henceforth until the Olympics opening ceremony set for July 24, 2020.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government has introduced policies to shorten working hours, raise contract workers’ pay and curb abuse of labour laws.

Telework could be another way to reform working practices that some say are behind the times.

“Once the Olympics start, it will be hard to get to work, so we are doing this as an experiment,’’ said Takashi Kozu, 61, president of the Ricoh Institute of Sustainability and Business.

“The lifestyles of younger generations are changing, so firms should offer alternative work styles to maintain employees’ incentive.’’

Kozu said he worked from home on Monday morning, planned to attend an off-site meeting in the afternoon and would not show up in the office until early evening.

Telework is more common in other countries, especially in the information technology sector, where employees regularly use teleconferencing or log on from the neighbourhood cafe.

However, it has been slow to catch on in other industries in Japan, partly because firms have put a lot of emphasis on being physically present at the office, often for 12 hours or more.

But Japan Inc. is starting to change its ways and introduce more flexible work hours.

As the population ages, the labour force is shrinking at an alarming rate, and a hard-driving work culture makes it difficult to attract and retain workers.

Some companies are starting to realise that long, inflexible hours of work actually keep labour productivity low.

In some cases Japan’s working culture can be fatal, and it is not uncommon for workers to commit suicide or suffer a stroke because of excessive hours.

“We are doing this for the Olympics, but the long-term-goal is to have more humane-working-conditions,’’ said Hiroshi Ohnishi, a planner at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, which is promoting “Telework Day’’.

“In the past, working long hours was considered a virtue, but this thinking will not hold up in the future.’’

Agency Reports…

Neymar May Move To The French Capital If He Desires – Barca Officials

Barcelona’s board of directors are “very calm” amid suggestions Paris Saint-Germain could make a move for Neymar.
Reports emerged on Monday over a potential £195million move from PSG – meeting the Brazilian’s release clause at Camp Nou.
That would allow Neymar to move to the French capital should he desire, where he would stand to earn in the region of £25million-per-year.
But Barca officials are confident that Neymar has no intention of leaving the Catalan giants.
And they believe that, like last summer, Neymar and his camp will reject overtures from the Ligue 1 side. 
“Selling Neymar is not something the club would think about,” spokesman Josep Vives said at a press conference. “We are very calm.
“He is one of the most important players we have, we will not consider any offers we receive for him.”
There have been suggestions that Neymar has grown unhappywith his role at the club, and is eager to move somewhere where he will be the main man – rather than being overshadowed by Lionel Messi.
That is something however that Vives refutes however.
“He is still happy here,” he added. “Playing as he did last year, he showed that he is still getting better.
“He is fantastic and is happy with the club and we are delighted with him.”

Agency Reports 

I’m Moving To The Biggest Club In The World – Lukaku

By Romelu Lukaku said he was delighted to be moving to “the biggest club in the world” after Manchester United agreed a fee to sign the Belgium international striker from Everton.

British media reported that the fee for the 24-year-old would be around 75 million pounds, making him the club’s second most expensive signing after last year’s world record deal for French midfielder Paul Pogba.

“Who would say no to the biggest club in the world?” Lukaku told ESPN.

“When Manchester United came calling, I didn’t have to think twice. So I’m really delighted to hopefully be part of their history.

“Best stadium in England; the best fans. This is the perfect opportunity. I always said I wanted to play for a team that’s challenging for every trophy that there is.”

Lukaku scored 25 Premier League goals last season, attracting interest from United and his former club Chelsea.

United are hoping to confirm the deal before they depart for a pre-season tour to the United States on Sunday.

Agency Report..

Nigeria Drops To 39th From 38th FIFA Ranking

The Super Eagles have dropped to the 39th spot from 38th in the July FIFA World Rankings.

The rankings table on FIFA’s website on Thursday indicated that Nigeria now has 715 points as against 730 it had in the June rankings.

The ranking also saw the national team become sixth in Africa behind Egypt, Senegal, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tunisia and Cameroon respectively as against Nigeria’s fourth position in the continent in June.

On the global scene, Germany have capped a sensational week on the international stage by returning to the top of the FIFA World Rankings for the first time since being knocked off the spot exactly two years ago.

Following their 1-0 win over Chile in the FIFA Confederations Cup final in Saint Petersburg, Russia, the newly crowned champions have narrowly overtaken Brazil (2nd, down by 1 point) and leapfrogged Argentina (3rd, down by 1 point).

European neighbours, Poland (6th, up 4) also have cause to celebrate, having risen to their best-ever ranking.

Spain, however, dropped from the first ten to now place 11th.

Agency Report…

Finally Messi Weds Childhood Girlfriend, Antonela

Football world has been sent into celebration mood as Argentine and Barcelona FC football star Lionel Messi walked down the aisle with 29-year-old Antonela Roccuzzo.

Messi married his sweetheart in his hometown in what has been called the “wedding of the century” at a luxury hotel in the city of Rosario.

No fewer than 50 football stars and celebrities were among the 260 guests that attended the wedding with hundreds of police deployed for the event.

The 30-year-old Messi met Roccuzzo as a child before he moved to Spain at an early age of 13.

Messi met Roccuzzo when he was just five years old. She is the cousin of his best friend, Lucas Scaglia, who also became a professional football player.

The football star accepted an offer to play for Barcelona when he was 13, on condition that they pay for treatment for his growth hormone deficiency.

Barcelona strikers Luis Suárez, Neymar, Gerard Piqué and his wife, Colombia’s pop star Shakira were among the guests at the wedding which took place on Friday.

Sergio Agüero, was also present.

Reports say Messi did not invite any of his recent coaches, including Pep Guardiola, who is now at Manchester City.

Argentina’s other big football legend, Diego Maradona, was also omitted from the list, according to the local press.

A private security firm was contracted to keep gatecrashers at a distance.

About 150 journalists received accreditation to enter a special press area, but were not given full access to the venue, organisers said.

Alleged Tax Fraud: Ronaldo Ready To Settle Spain

Real Madrid’s football player Cristiano Ronaldo is willing to pay 14.7 million euros to Spain’s tax authorities over alleged tax fraud.

Spanish broadcaster TVE cited unnamed sources and reported that the soccer star was ready to pay the money as a gesture of good will.

Ronaldo is accused of using a business structure created in 2010 to allegedly hide his image rights income between 2011 and 2014. The move was considered voluntary by the prosecutor’s office, saying that it was done to avoid his tax obligations in Spain.

The agency representing Ronaldo denied any wrongdoing, explaining that the case could be related to different interpretations of the British and Spanish tax systems about where to declare some revenues.

Reports had said Ronaldo was considering moves from Spain to England following the harassment by the Spanish tax authorities.

But his club said no club had indicated interest in buying the world’s best footballer at the moment.

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Sanchez Now The Top-scorer Of Chile

Alexis Sanchez did not just make the headline for stabbing home Chile’s sixth minute goal against Germany, he also made history as his country’s all-time top-scorer.

The Arsenal most valuable player got his 38th international goal in Thursday’s 1-1 draw with Germany at the Confederations Cup in Russia.

The Gunners’ star, voted man of the match, wrote himself into the record books by capitalising on an early mistake in the German defence.

However, Lars Stindl netted his second goal of the tournament to equalise for the world champions just before the break to eventually share the points.

The result leaves Chile top of Group B on goal difference from Germany.

With both teams on four points, three ahead of Australia and Cameroon who drew 1-1 earlier, they are in pole position to reach next week’s semi-finals.

Germany play Cameroon on Sunday in Sochi while Chile face the Socceroos in Moscow.

Chile boss Juan Antonio Pizzi started with an experienced side, including nine of the team which beat Argentina on penalties in the 2016 Copa America final.

After their opening 2-0 win over Cameroon, Chile took the lead with just six minutes gone.

There was nothing on when goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen harmlessly rolled the ball out towards Joshua Kimmich.

However, Kimmich’s Bayern Munich team-mate Arturo Vidal reacted fastest, deflected the ball into Sanchez’s path and the striker fired home off the inside of the post.

Despite the early scare, Germany regained their composure and pushed forward.

When Can broke into the Chile half, his pass to the left wing found Hector, whose hard, low cross was stabbed by Stindl past goalkeeper Johnny Herrera on 41 minutes.

It was Stindl’s second goal in Russia, after he opened the scoring against Australia, to make it 1-1 at the break.

Gerry Weber Open: Federer Battles To Reach 11th Final

Roger Federer: battles to reach 11th final of Gerry Weber Open in Halle
Roger Federer will play in an 11th Gerry Weber Open final in Halle on Sunday after battling past 21 year-old Russian Karen Khachanov 6-4, 7-6(5) in the semi-finals on Saturday.

Khachanov turned professional in 2013 and is ranked 38th.

To qualify for the semi final, he beat Andrey Rublev 7-6(8), 4-6, 6-3 in two hours and 16 minutes on Friday.

The 21-year-old Khachanov right hander, is currently third in the Emirates ATP Race To Milan, looking to qualify for the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan at the end of the year. He won his first ATP World Tour title in Chengdu in October 2016 (d. Ramos-Vinolas),

Federer will go for his ninth title in the German city, which would mark the first time he has won a tournament as many times. The 35-year-old Swiss first reached the Halle final in 2003, beating German Nicolas Kiefer for the crown.

But Federer hasn’t played for the trophy at the ATP World Tour 500 tournament since 2015. On Sunday, he will meet either German Alexander Zverev or Frenchman Richard Gasquet.

Federer lost to Zverev in last year’s Halle semi-finals but beat the German last year in Rome. Federer leads his FedEx ATP Head2Head series against Gasquet 15-2.

The World No. 5 has yet to drop a set in Halle this week. He improved his all-time record at the tournament to 58-6 and is 23-2 on the season. Federer has reached the final in four of his six tournaments this year.


Ronaldo Walks With Disabled Girl, Polina Khayeredinova

Ronaldo walks a disabled girl onto the field to face Russia. Photo: TASS
World’s top footballer Cristiano Ronaldo walked out onto the field before the start of the Russia-Portugal football match of the 2017 Confederations Cup accompanied by a disabled ten-year old girl, Polina Khayeredinova.

This is the first time in the history of FIFA when a player was escorted by a disabled child.

This historic event was made possible by the Confederations Cup’s sponsor McDonald’s, showing that football is open to disabled children and lets them get involved in international competitions.

Leaders of football teams taking part in the Confederations Cup will be escorted by disabled children in each of the host cities, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan and Sochi.

The match between hosts Russia and the 2016 UEFA Euro Cup Champions, Portugal, was held at the over 42,700-seat capacity Spartak Stadium, which is a newly-built facility in the Russian capital on Wednesday.

Reigning European Champions Portugal overcame Russia 1-0 in the second group stage match of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. The first goal in the match was scored on 8th minute into the Russian net by Cristiano Ronaldo, who is the captain of the Portuguese side and is currently considered the world’s top footballer.

More than 350 kids aged between 6 and 10 are participating in McDonald’s children’s program in the four host cities. Most of them come from orphanages, foster homes and low income families.

Other children were selected after a special creative contest. Its jury included Russian football team’s coach Stanislav Cherchesov and former players Alexey Smertin, Sergey Semak and Dmitry Sennikov. This year’s tournament is being held between June 17 and July 2 at four stadiums in Russia and they are Spartak Stadium in Moscow, St. Petersburg Stadium, Fisht Stadium in Sochi and the Kazan Arena in Kazan.

Participants in the 2017 Confederations Cup are hosts Russia, 2014 FIFA World Cup Champions Germany, 2015 Copa America Champions Chile, 2015 AFC Asian Cup Champion Australia, 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup winners Mexico, 2016 UEFA Euro Cup champs Portugal, OFC (Oceania Football Confederation) Nations Cup victors New Zealand and 2017 CAF Africa Cup of Nations Champion Cameroon.

Source: TASS