Relegation-threatened Newcastle are reportedly considering a move to persuade rejuvenated Leicester City forward Kelechi Iheanacho to dump their Premier League rivals for St. James’ Park in the January transfer window.
Newcastle, who crashed out of the FA Cup following their 3-0 defeat by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, are on the market for a proven striker before the January transfer window closes on Wednesday night. They are one point above the drop zone and are in danger of a second relegation in three years.
According to reports, they have had two bids rejected for Feyenoord’s Danish striker Nicolai Jorgensen, but the Dutch giants have demanded £20m to part with their prized asset.
With Feyenoord playing hardball over the 27-year-old Denmark forward, under-pressure Magpies manager Rafael Benitez has reportedly shifted his attention to Iheanacho as his plan B in case he fails to land Jorgensen.
Super Eagles forward Iheanacho, who has started just two Premier League games for the Foxes since joining from Man City last summer, hit the back of the net twice in Leicester’s 5-1 defeat of Peterborough in their FA Cup fixture against Peterborough at the ABAX Stadium on Saturday to take his tally to four in the competition this season.
The Mirror claimed on Sunday that Newcastle had renewed their interest in Iheanacho, who shunned them to join Leicester in a £25m deal in August.
Meanwhile, meanwhile Iheanacho’s King Power Stadium compatriot Ahmed Musa is expected to join his former Russian side CSKA Moscow on Monday.
According to his agent, Tony Harris, the 25-year-old Nigeria winger, who joined Leicester in a club-record £16.5m deal in the summer of 2016, will have a medical at CSKA ahead of a season-long loan move.
“Leicester and CSKA have agreed on the transfer of Musa. Ahmed will move to CSKA on loan until the end of the season,’’ Harris told Championat.com.
Musa, who is aiming to boost his chances of making Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr’s Russia 2018 World Cup squad, was only involved in the Premier League in the current campaign when he was an unused substitute for the game at Liverpool on December 30.
PSG Ended Man United’s Unbeaten Run Under Solskjaer
Paris Saint-Germain made light of an injury crisis to inflict Manchester United’s first defeat under caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a 2-0 win at Old Trafford on Tuesday to take a huge step towards the Champions League quarter-finals.
Presnel Kimpembe and Kylian Mbappe struck in a seven-minute spell just before the hour mark as PSG displayed their credentials to finally become champions of Europe for the first time, especially once they get the world’s most expensive player Neymar and Edinson Cavani back from injury.
After a run of 10 wins and one draw in 11 games since Solskjaer replaced the sacked Jose Mourinho in December, defeat is a reality check for United’s revival and they have a mountain to climb when the sides meet again for the second leg on March 6.
The English giants will also have to cope without Paul Pogba in three weeks’ time as he was sent off for two yellow cards a minute from time to round off a terrible night for the hosts.
The French champions have bowed out in the last 16 in each of the past two seasons to Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Yet, for all the positivity of United’s return to form in the past two months, they remain 14 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City and Liverpool and the big rebuilding job required to make the three-time European champions contenders again for this competition was laid bare.
PSG showed they still retain plenty of world class talent despite their big name absentees as United struggled to contain the slick passing of Thomas Tuchel’s men in midfield and the pace of Mbappe in attack.
Angel di Maria was roundly booed by the home support on his return to Old Trafford after an unhappy one-season spell with United after signing for a then club record £60 million in 2014.
The Argentine nearly silenced his detractors with a dipping shot that flew just wide six minutes in.
PSG have struggled on the road in the Champions League against elite opposition but showed little sign of nerves as they stroked the ball around confidently.
However, it was when given the chance to counter-attack and use Mbappe’s speed they looked most dangerous.
The 20-year-old World Cup winner slotted a huge chance wide on the half hour mark, although Mbappe would likely have been ruled offside by VAR, on its introduction to the Champions League, even if he had found the net.
For all PSG’s injury problems, a double blow also rocked United in the seconds before half-time and at the break as Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial limped off to be replaced by Alexis Sanchez and Juan Mata.
The home side never recovered their composure as PSG produced a stunning second-half display to all but book their place in the last eight despite David de Gea’s best efforts.
Mbappe had the first chance when his header was turned behind by the Spanish goalkeeper.
But from the resulting corner, Kimpembe was left completely unmarked to side-foot home from point-blank range.
A brilliant team goal doubled United’s trouble soon after when Mbappe was again too quick for Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly to meet Di Maria’s low cross.
Thereafter only De Gea stood in the visitors’ way as he stayed big to block Mbappe’s attempted chip as he bore down on goal again before Juan Bernat’s rising drive was then diverted wide.
Any hope of a United comeback in Paris suffered another huge blow when Pogba was dismissed late on for catching Dani Alves with a raised boot.
PSG suffered the biggest collapse in Champions League history when Barcelona overturned a 4-0 first leg deficit to win the return leg 6-1 at this stage two seasons ago.
However, on this occasion PSG have done the hard work on the road making a similar comeback at the Parc des Princes even more unlikely.
Manchester United Beat Arsenal 3-1 In FA Cup, Extend Winning Streak
Alexis Sanchez came back to haunt Arsenal as the Chilean opened the scoring in Manchester United’s 3-1 FA Cup fourth-round win on Friday to maintain Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s 100 percent record as caretaker manager.
United’s winning run under the Norwegian is now eight games in all competitions and his decision to make five changes was vindicated as both Sanchez and the returning Romelu Lukaku had a huge impact.
Lukaku set up both Sanchez’s opener and Jesse Lingard’s second for the visitors in a two-minute spell just after the half hour mark.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang reduced Arsenal’s arrears just before half-time and the Gunners had plenty of chances to force a replay, but were denied by Sergio Romero as the rested David de Gea was not missed.
Eight minutes from time, United sealed a place in the last 16 when substitute Anthony Martial tucked home the rebound after Petr Cech could only parry Paul Pogba’s initial effort.
Sanchez was roundly booed on his first visit to the Emirates since moving to Old Trafford just over a year ago after running down his contract at Arsenal into its final six months.
That move bagged the Chilean a highly lucrative deal, but Sanchez has failed to deliver on that investment with a loss of form and injuries contributing to a return of just four goals in 32 appearances before kick-off.
However, handed just a second start since Solskjaer took charge, Sanchez showed why he was once in such high demand as he latched onto Lukaku’s pass before rounding Cech and finishing from a narrow-angle for just his second goal of the season.
Solskjaer used Lingard in the middle of a front three with Marcus Rashford and Martial on either side as threats on the counter-attack to great effect in victory at Tottenham a fortnight ago.
A similar tactic with Lukaku and Sanchez this time in the wider areas worked a treat for United’s second as Lukaku broke forward before his low cross was expertly dispatched by Lingard.
Arsenal were also exploiting the space in behind Lukaku at will, though, and finally made United pay two minutes before the break.
Aaron Ramsey burrowed into the penalty area and his cross was eventually turned home by Aubameyang after Alexandre Lacazette and Lucas Torreira failed to apply a telling touch.
Ramsey is also set to leave Arsenal after failing to reach an agreement over a new deal and the Welsh international again proved what a miss he will be as Romero made a brilliant save from point-blank range to deny him an equaliser early in the second period.
Arsenal’s momentum in the search for an equaliser was disrupted by a lengthy delay when captain Laurent Koscielny took an accidental blow to the jaw from Lukaku’s boot and had to be replaced.
Having lost Sokratis Papastathopoulos to an early ankle injury, Unai Emery had to patch together a makeshift defence for the final half hour, but still opted to attack by introducing Mesut Ozil.
Arsenal enjoyed the vast majority of possession and territory, but couldn’t get the equaliser as Romero again stood tall to parry Lacazette’s powerful drive.
Solskjaer introduced Rashford and Martial for the final 18 minutes and the latter delivered the knockout blow to Arsenal by smashing home the third.
Nigeria wins 2018 AWCON
Super Falcons of Nigeria has won the 2018 African Women Cup of Nations after beating the Bayana Bayana of South Africa.
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