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Ighalo offered Sh50m-a-week deal – Capital Sports

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Ighalo offered Sh50m-a-week deal by parent club Shenhua

LONDON, United Kingdom, Mar 26 – Manchester United loanee Odion Ighalo has been offered a two-year contract extension worth more than Sh50 million (£400,000) per week by his parent club Shanghai Shenhua.

The Chinese club want to reward the Nigerian striker
for his good form at United, where has scored four goals in his first three
starts.

The 30-year-old’s loan in England expires on May 31
but, as Sky Sports reported on Monday, it is likely to be extended until June
30 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ighalo’s current contract expires in December 2022
and Shanghai want to keep him until December 2024.

The new deal would see Ighalo earn Sh50 million (£400,000)
a week before tax, which is said to have flattered the striker.

His focus, though, is on United until his loan spell
expires. He will wait to see if United offer him a permanent deal before making
a final decision on his future.

Ighalo has always said it has been a dream playing
for United, the club he supported as a boy.

Ighalo’s impact has been both instant
and impressive.

Before a ball had even been kicked, the
30-year-old’s infectious application drew admiration from his team-mates and
manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who knew at the very least he’d made a valuable
addition to his squad.

“The best thing about him is his
personality,” the United boss remarked. And when the time eventually came
for Ighalo on the pitch, he proved he had the aptitude to match his first-class
attitude.

Just as he looked to have really settled into his
groove, the coronavirus outbreak limited Ighalo to just eight United
appearances, but in that handful of games he more than left his mark.

Premier League minutes – and, for that matter, goals
– have proven tough to come by for Ighalo, but the half-an-hour he has got
under his belt has proven to be eventful.

Having nearly marked his top-flight debut for United
with a goal, seconds after coming on in their 2-0 victory at Chelsea on
February 17, Ighalo’s superb hold-up play and back heel laid the foundation for
the attack which led to Scott McTominay’s strike in the Manchester derby.

But it is in the cup competitions where
Ighalo has really come to the fore.

The striker has scored four goals in three starts,
the latest of which came in emphatic fashion as he rifled United into the lead
against LASK in the last 16 of the Europa League, hours before football was
suspended. It was a strike that left Solskjaer purring.

All great strikers are judged first and foremost on
their goal return, but Ighalo brings so much more to the table – Ighalo brings
something different.

In his 31 minutes of Premier League football for
United, the Nigerian has not only demonstrated he knows his role in Solskjaer’s
squad but shown how much he relishes it, offering a presence, a focal point up
top that occupies opposition defenders and brings others into play.

It’s something United have yearned for since Romelu
Lukaku’s departure, and you could even argue has not been fully addressed since
Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s time at Old Trafford.

What’s more, Ighalo’s selfless leading of the line
could crucially unshackle Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford from duties at
the spearhead of the attack the pair have seldom been able to fulfil with a
level of consistency Solskjaer is searching for.

In his short Premier League career with the club,
Ighalo averages nine more touches in the opposition box across 90 minutes than
United’s two main striking options, figures which of course are caveated by the
fact he’s played a mere 30 top-flight minutes, but credible figures,
nonetheless.

While a lot of time was spent in January discussing
improved recruitment and the drive to pinpoint players who could make a
difference and raise the quality at Old Trafford, it has to be said the
signings of Bruno Fernandes and Odion Ighalo have only served to underline a
more positive trend that seems to be continuing.

Of course, the circumstances of Ighalo’s arrival
made him something of a gamble but it’s one that – after less than a month in
the first-team picture – shows signs of paying off, especially when you
consider the player would love to remain at United and the club is examining
the options of possibly extending his stay.

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Wimbledon cancelled for first time since WWII

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Coco Gauff celebrates beating Venus Williams in the first round of Wimbledon 2019

London, United Kingdom, Apr 1 – Wimbledon
organisers on Wednesday scrapped the grasscourt Grand Slam for the first time
since World War II as the coronavirus wreaks further havoc on the global
sporting calendar.

The cancellation of the only grasscourt
major at the All England Club leaves the season in disarray, with no tennis due
to be played until mid-July.

“Devastated,” tweeted eight-time
champion Roger Federer.

Wimbledon was due to run for two weeks from
June 29, with Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep set to defend their singles
titles.

But tournament chiefs bowed to the
inevitable on Wednesday, saying in a statement that they had made the decision
with “great regret”.

All England Club chairman Ian Hewitt said
the decision had not been taken lightly.

“It has weighed heavily on our minds
that the staging of The Championships has only been interrupted previously by
world wars,” he said.

“But, following thorough and extensive
consideration of all scenarios, we believe that it is a measure of this global
crisis that it is ultimately the right decision to cancel this year’s
Championships.”

Halep tweeted her disappointment.

“So sad to hear @Wimbledon won’t take
place this year,” she said. “Last year’s final will forever be one of
the happiest days of my life! But we are going through something bigger than
tennis and Wimbledon will be back! And it means I have even longer to look
forward to defending my title.”

The decision to scrap the tournament was
widely expected, with the world struggling to contain the spread of COVID-19,
which has infected more than 840,000 people worldwide and killed over 40,000.

It also prompted the ATP and WTA to cancel
the grasscourt swing in the build-up to Wimbledon, meaning the tennis season
will not now recommence until July 13 at the earliest.

Organisers had earlier ruled out playing
the Grand Slam behind closed doors and postponing the event would also create
its own problems.

– Becker plea –

Boris Becker enjoyed a successful spell from 2014 until 2016 as coach of former world number one Novak Djokovic, during which the Serbian won six Grand Slam titles

Three-time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker on Tuesday pleaded for tournament chiefs to wait longer before making a decision.

“I really hope Wimbledon will wait
until the end of April for decision!” he tweeted. “The tourney is
first week of July… patience is a virtue.”

But former women’s world number one Amelie
Mauresmo, the 2006 women’s champion, said the 2020 season would probably need
to be scrapped.

The cancellation of Wimbledon could mean
multiple champions Federer, Serena Williams and Venus Williams have played at
the All England Club for the final time.

Federer and Serena will be nearly 40 by the
time of the 2021 championships and Venus will be 41.

Serena, beaten in last year’s final by
Halep, is stuck on 23 Grand Slam singles titles — agonisingly one away from
equalling Margaret Court’s record.

The French Tennis Federation provoked
widespread anger with its unilateral decision to move the French Open from its
original May 24 start date to begin on September 20.

That puts the start only one week after the
planned date of the US Open men’s final.

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UEFA postpone all June international matches

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UEFA have postponed international matches scheduled for June following a new meeting on Wednesday about the coronavirus crisis © AFP/File / Fabrice COFFRINI

PARIS, France, Apr 1UEFA have made a move towards clearing the decks for the return of club football by announcing on Wednesday that all international matches that had been pushed back to June have now been postponed until further notice.

“This includes the play-off matches for UEFA Euro 2020 and qualifying matches for UEFA Women’s Euro 2021,” said European football’s governing body in a statement.

“All other UEFA competition matches, including the centralised international friendly matches, remain postponed until further notice.”

The decision followed a videoconference with Europe’s 55 member federations as part of discussions on how to adapt the fixture calendar in the face of the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

The play-off semi-finals and finals that are supposed to decide the last four qualifying berths for the next European Championship were initially postponed at the end of March and pencilled in provisionally for June.

That was “subject to a review of the situation” amid uncertainty over how the pandemic will develop and whether many European countries currently in lockdown will be able to return to some kind of normality.

Friendly matches that will not now go ahead as a result of the decision include England’s matches in Austria and at home to Romania in early June.

However, UEFA have also stated a determination to finish all domestic and club competitions by June 30.

While that currently looks ambitious at the very least, clearing the international fixtures from the same month does buy some more time as they aim to complete the Champions League and Europa League competitions as well as domestic leagues.

Carrying the season on beyond that date runs the risk of clubs losing their out-of-contract players before matches have been completed, unless a solution can be found.

“There is a very strong case to be made that it should be in everybody’s interests to as much as possible extend those,” said Jonas Baer-Hoffmann, the general secretary of global players’ union FIFPro, when asked about the issue of expiring player contracts in a conference call on Tuesday.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin told Italian daily La Repubblica at the weekend that football “could start again in mid-May, in June or even late June” but that any time after that and “the season will probably be lost.”

The impact of the pandemic on Europe has already forced UEFA to put Euro 2020 back 12 months, while the women’s Euro 2021 has also been postponed.

On Wednesday UEFA said that the men’s and women’s Under-17 and Under-19 European Championships, scheduled for May and July respectively, were postponed until further notice.

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rn Wimbledon cancelled for first time since WWIIrn

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Wimbledon cancelled for first time since WWII

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UEFA postpone all June international matches

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Tributes paid to ex-Marseille president Diouf

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New Zealand Rugby slash pay as sport reels from virus

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Could coronavirus kill off German football fan power?

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Solskjaer in touch with Man Utd stars during virus lockdown

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Summon spirit of 2006 to beat COVID-19- Cannavaro to Italy

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Howe first Premier League boss to take pay cut over virus

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AFP

By AFP
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Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe became the first Premier League manager to take a voluntary pay cut due to the coronavirus on Wednesday.

Cherries boss Howe, 42, agreed to take a “significant” cut to his reported £4 million-per-year ($4.9 million) contract to help offset the financial damage caused by the pandemic.

The League Managers Association, the Professional Footballers Association, the Premier League and the Football League are in talks with a view to reaching a united agreement over pay reductions for players and managers.

But Howe, chief executive Neill Blake, first team technical director Richard Hughes and assistant boss Jason Tindall have rubber stamped significant pay cuts for the period of time football is delayed by the health crisis.

The Premier League has been postponed until at least April 30 and, with the pandemic spread yet to be solved, it appears the top-flight season will be pushed back again when the English game’s major stakeholders meet on Friday.

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“As the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic continues to gather pace, there are far more questions than answers regarding its effects,” a Bournemouth statement read.

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“There is no script for moments like this. But as a board we are continually looking at ways to ensure the future of the club and our employees are protected when the season returns.

“With that in mind, chief executive Neill Blake, first team technical director Richard Hughes, manager Eddie Howe and assistant manager Jason Tindall have all taken significant, voluntary pay cuts for the entirety of this uncertain time.”

Bournemouth have also followed in the footsteps of fellow Premier League clubs Tottenham, Newcastle and Norwich by furloughing a number of non-playing staff.

“These measures have been taken to safeguard the financial stability of the club during what is such an uncertain period, not only in football but for businesses in all industries across the world,” the statement said.

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