Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund call off Newcastle United takeover

Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund call off Newcastle United takeover
Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund call off Newcastle United takeover

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund call off Newcastle United takeover. The end of the takeover bid leaves the club still in the hands of Mike Ashley.

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, PCP Capital Partners and Reuben Brothers have withdrawn from the process to buy Newcastle, Sky Sports News can exclusively reveal.

Papers regarding the proposed takeover were lodged with the Premier League in April and were still being scrutinised.

Saudi Arabia’s public investment fund (PIF) had been set to take an 80 per cent stake in the Premier League club under the terms of the deal, which worth just over £300m.

But the Investment Group have now decided to end their interest. They cite the worldwide uncertainty due to coronavirus pandemic and the ‘prolonged process’.

The end of the takeover bid leaves the North East club still in the hands of businessman Mike Ashley, who has long faced protests and opposition from the fans.

A statement read: “We have come to the decision to withdraw our interest in acquiring Newcastle United Football Club.”

“We do so with regret. We were excited and fully committed to invest in the great city of Newcastle. And we believe we could have returned the club to the position of its history, tradition and fans’ merit.”

“Unfortunately, the prolonged process under the current circumstances coupled with global uncertainty has rendered the potential investment no longer commercially viable.”

“To that end, we feel a responsibility to the fans to explain the lack of alternatives from an investment perspective.”

Credit: Sky Sports

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Juventus announce Andrea Pirlo returning as U23 head coach

Juventus announce Andrea Pirlo returning as U23 head coach
Juventus announce Andrea Pirlo returning as U23 head coach

Juventus announce Andrea Pirlo returning as U23 head coach. World Cup winner with Italy in 2006 takes first job in management.

Andrea Pirlo is returning to Juventus as the head coach of the club’s U23 team.

It is the former Juventus and AC Milan midfielder’s first role in coaching.

Pirlo, who won the World Cup with Italy in 2006, left Juventus five years ago after four successful seasons in Turin, winning the league title four times, as well as one Coppa Italia and two Italian Super Cups.

He finished his career in MLS, playing for New York City, before eventually retiring from football in 2017.

But after three years away from the sport, the 41-year-old is heading back to Turin to begin his coaching career.

Credit: Sky Sports

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Bayern Munich’s David Alaba offers himself to Barcelona once again

Bayern Munich's David Alaba offers himself to Barcelona once again
Bayern Munich's David Alaba offers himself to Barcelona once again

Bayern Munich’s David Alaba offers himself to Barcelona once again. The Austrian has been a Barça target for a number of years.

There’s a fluid relationship between Barcelona and David Alaba’s camp. Blaugrana have tried to sign him in each of the last two seasons without reaching an agreement with Bayern Munich.

Alaba, 28, is putting the squeeze on Bayern over a contract renewal. His intention is to experience something new and it’s unlikely there’s an agreement over an extension.

according to Sport, the Austrian international has offered himself to Barça again, a club he would like to play for before his career ends.

Barça are looking at it but an operation seems unlikely this summer, although they would be keen if he leaves for free in 2021.

Sport reports Barça have long been keen on signing Alaba. The club feel he would adapt perfectly to their style and he can play three positions: centre-back, left-back and midfield.

Talks over a new deal have stalled. Alaba’s new agent, Pini Zahai, has asked for 20 million euros to renew, given only money would keep him in Munich now.

Alaba wants a new challenge and is open to dropping that fee at other clubs. His father has had direct contact with Barça, who are up to date on the negotiations.

Credit: Sport English

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Bournemouth accept £41m Manchester City bid for Nathan Ake

Bournemouth accept £41m Manchester City bid for Nathan Ake
Bournemouth accept £41m Manchester City bid for Nathan Ake

Bournemouth accept £41m Manchester City bid for Nathan Ake. The £41m fee for Ake would be a club-record sale for Bournemouth.

Manchester City have had a £41m offer for defender Nathan Ake accepted by Bournemouth.

Talks between the clubs had begun before the end of the Premier League season, according to Sky Sports News.

Ake joined Bournemouth from Chelsea for a club-record fee of £20m in 2017. He had been linked with a return to Stamford Bridge, but City appear to be in pole position to sign the defender.

The £41m fee would be a club-record sale for Bournemouth, who could lose several key players following their relegation likes of Callum Wilson and David Brooks.

City appear to get their business done early with club close to agreeing a deal for Valencia winger Ferran Torres.

Credit: Sky Sports

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Goal machine Erling Haaland pledges future to Borussia Dortmund

Goal machine Erling Haaland pledges future to Borussia Dortmund
Goal machine Erling Haaland pledges future to Borussia Dortmund

Goal machine Erling Haaland pledges future to Borussia Dortmund. “I have a long-term contract here until 2024. It is my big goal to win BVB the title.”

Erling Haaland has underlined his commitment to Borussia Dortmund by insisting he wants to stay and win the Bundesliga title with the club in a fresh transfer blow to Manchester United.

The Norwegian striker was wanted by United at the turn of the year before he decided to sign for Dortmund following his impressive goalscoring run in the Champions League for Red Bull Salzburg.

United are chasing Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho and Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish but Solskjaer could also sign a striker after warning his players last month he would be ready to dip into the transfer market.

Haaland remains on United’s radar but the 20-year-old, who scored an astonishing 16 goals in 18 games for Dortmund last season, has pledged his future to the club. 

Speaking to Bild, he said: “I have a long-term contract here until 2024. It is my big goal to win BVB the title and to celebrate fantastic successes with our fans.”

“We have the quality to become champions but talking alone is not enough. Bayern have distinguished themselves by their incredible consistency.”

Credit: Daily Mail

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Jose Mourinho takes aim at Manchester United penalty record

Jose Mourinho takes aim at Manchester United penalty record
Jose Mourinho takes aim at Manchester United penalty record

Jose Mourinho takes aim at Manchester United penalty record. The former United boss again brought up the Red Devils’ spot-kick fortune.

Mourinho has again aimed at former club Manchester United, who broke a record for most penalties in a single campaign.

He spoke to Portuguese publication Record about his compatriot’s ability from the spot:

“Bruno came in, was fit, played very well. He improved the United team and also a great penalty taker, one of the best in the world. He had about 20 to score.”

It is not the first time that Mourinho has made a point to mention United’s penalty record, notably doing so after one against his side back in June.

Speaking after that game, he said: “We know Manchester United has an incredible record with penalties given this season. And we knew that everything in the box was very dangerous for us.”

Credit: AS English

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Arsenal register interest in signing Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish

Arsenal register interest in signing Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish
Arsenal register interest in signing Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish

Arsenal register interest in signing Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish. Aston Villa would not sell Grealish for anything under £80m.

Jack Grealish is in demand with several Premier League clubs, including Arsenal, this summer, according to Sky Sports.

Arsenal registered an interest in the Aston Villa midfielder, but did not follow up that enquiry.

Villa have made it clear that Grealish is not for sale. And they would not sell for anything under £80m.

A number of clubs are willing to pay between £50m and £60m. However, Villa would not make a deal at that level.

Arsenal’s summer transfer budget has been hit by their failure to qualify for the Champions league and the ongoing financial uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Grealish has three years left on his contract. Villa want him to stay as they seek to establish themselves as a Premier League club.

Credit: Sky Sports

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Ciro Immobile eyes European Golden Boot and Serie A record

Ciro Immobile eyes European Golden Boot and Serie A record
Ciro Immobile eyes European Golden Boot and Serie A record

Ciro Immobile eyes European Golden Boot and Serie A record. “We all hope that Ciro sets the record, although there is still Cristiano Ronaldo.”

Serie A top scorer Ciro Immobile tallied his 35th goal in Lazio’s 2-0 defeat of relegated Brescia on Wednesday, leaving him one shy of the domestic overall record.

The Italian international is also eyeing the Golden Boot as Europe’s best striker after striking clinically after setting up Joaquin Correa’s opener.

He now has one more goal than Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski, who has won the German Bundesliga. While Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo trails on 31.

Gonzalo Higuain set the current Serie A record of 36 goals with Napoli in 2016, before moving to Juventus.

“We all hope that Ciro sets the record. Although there is still Cristiano Ronaldo,” said coach Simone Inzaghi, who steered Lazio to secure fourth-place.

“It would be a great achievement for Ciro, for the team and us of the staff. Now he is four goals ahead. Let’s see what happens.

Credit: Yahoo Sport & AAP

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Jadon Sancho could prefer Liverpool because of greater title prospects

Jadon Sancho could prefer Liverpool because of greater title prospects
Jadon Sancho could prefer Liverpool because of greater title prospects

Jadon Sancho could prefer Liverpool because of greater title prospects despite Ole Gunnar Solskjaer making £110m-rated star his No 1 priority.

Manchester United’s hopes of landing top target Jadon Sancho this summer could be ruined by bitter rivals Liverpool.

Magazine Kicker reported on Wednesday that the rumour across Germany right now is that Sancho could instead prefer a switch to Anfield due to the increased likelihood of winning a Premier League title with Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Liverpool finished 33 points clear of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United this season to win their first league title in 30 years. 

United are seeking a right winger for their three-piece attack alongside Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial. They have locked their eyes on Sancho.

Sancho’s incredible success since swapping Manchester City for Dortmund back in 2017 for £8m has paid off handsomely. He is now one of the most sought-after young players in the world. 

Dortmund have set United a deadline of 13 days if they want to complete a sensational £110m deal for Sancho.

Credit: Daily Mail

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Leicester in broad agreement over four-year deal with James Maddison

Leicester in broad agreement over four-year deal with James Maddison
Leicester in broad agreement over four-year deal with James Maddison

Leicester in broad agreement over four-year deal with James Maddison. It looks like Maddison will be staying at Leicester until 2024.

Accordding to Sky Sports News, James Maddison has a broad agreement with Leicester City over a new four-year deal.

No paperwork has yet been signed, but it looks like Maddison will be staying at Leicester until 2024.

His existing deal still has three seasons to run, but the new contract includes a considerable pay rise for the 23-year-old, which reflects his growing stature in the Premier League and his promotion to England’s senior team.

It is also an attempt to ward off potential suitors – Maddison has been linked with a host of bigger clubs in the past 12 months, including Manchester United.

Maddison made his England debut against Montenegro in November, but a hip injury curtailed the end to his season.

Credit: Sky Sports

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