African All Stars Transfer News & Rumours: Martins rejects Wellington Phoenix offer

Martins rejects Wellington Phoenix offer

Nigeria’s Obafemi Martins has rejected an offer to play in the Australian A-League with Wellington Phoenix.

Ante Alilovic, representative of the pacy forward, disclosed that the former Seattle Sounders player will decide on his future in January as he continues recovery from a torn hamstring.

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Leipzig target Haidara as Keita’s replacement

RB Leipzig are weighing up a move for RB Salzburg’s Amadou Haidara to fill Naby Keita’s void in the midfield, according to Bild.

Ahead of Thursday’s Europa League meeting between the Red Bull franchise clubs, the Mali international has re-surfaced in Leipzig’s transfer radar as a potential signing in the winter.

Haidara only extended his contract with the Austrian champions until 2022 in June but his skills and qualities have seen him likened with Liverpool’s new-boy Naby Keita.

Sadiq Umar rules out Rangers exit 

Roma loanee Sadiq Umar has vowed to fight for his place in Rangers as he struggles for regular playing time.

The 21-year-old who joined the Gers on loan in July has managed just a substitute appearance in the Scottish top-flight this term.

His restricted game time has raised questions about his future in Steven Gerrard’s side but Umar is ready to fight for a starting spot.

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Bailly attracts Arsenal & Tottenham interest

Eric Bailly could be ready to leave Manchester United in January, with Arsenal and Tottenham thought to be interested in the 24-year-old centre-back, the Mirror reports.

The Ivorian defender has fallen down Jose Mourinho’s pecking order at Old Trafford following his horror show in their 3-2 defeat to Brighton in August.

Bailly who moved to the Premier League from Villarreal in 2016 still has two years left on his contract with the Red Devils.

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Arsenal make contact with Lille’s Pepe

Arsenal have alerted Lille of their interest in signing Cote d’Ivoire’s Nicolas Pepe, Le10 Sport claims. 

The 23-year-old has had a strong start to the 2018-19 season with a goal and three assists for Lille who are placed fourth in the Ligue 1 table.

Pepe’s versatility up front would be a good addition to Unai Emery’s squad who have managed three wins in five league matches so far.


Transfer news and rumours LIVE: Real Madrid look to beat Barca to De Jong

Fiorentino Perez is looking to beat Barcelona to an Ajax star

Real Madrid president Fiorentino Perez is set to make a big splash by signing Frenkie de Jong, according to Don Balon.

Perez has his eye set on de Jong, who has emerged as a target for Barcleona in recent weeks, as Real Madrid looks to strike a blow to their Spanish rivals.

Ajax, though, has close relations with Barca, perhaps creating a road block for Real, though Perez is confident that the club can get a deal done during the winter window.


Monchi rules out Spain return amid Barcelona rumours

In-demand Roma sporting director Monchi has dismissed speculation linking him with Barcelona.

The former goalkeeper, 49, is believed to be wanted by some of Europe’s biggest clubs after cementing his reputation as a skilled negotiator in the transfer market.

He secured Roma a hefty transfer fee for the sale of Alisson to Liverpool and previously engineered five Europa League triumphs at Sevilla, with whom he spent the entirety of a modest playing career.

Barcelona are reportedly battling Manchester United for his services but Monchi is not ready to return to his native Spain.

“I’m not thinking of going back because I’m happy where I am,” he told radio station Cadena COPE.

“I don’t pay attention to things that don’t make sense, like an offer from Barca.

“I am about the present. I don’t worry about anything other than the day to day and I still have years left on my contract with Roma.”

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Monchi was speaking ahead of Roma’s opening Champions League match against Real Madrid.

The Giallorossi reached the semi-finals last term, but have won just one of four fixtures in an unconvincing start to the new Serie A season.

Roma find themselves in Group G, with CSKA Moscow and Viktoria Plzen in addition to the reigning European champions.


Former Newcastle United star Obafemi Martins turns down Wellington Phoenix offer

Obafemi Martins will wait until January to decide on his future as he continues recovery from a torn hamstring, according to his representative Ante Alilovic.

The 33-year-old has been out of action since April after damaging his hamstring in an AFC Champions League game between Shanghai Shenhua and Kashima Antlers.

The former Inter Milan and Birmingham City attacker has been frozen out of Wu Jingui’s side due to the injury which necessitated the return of Senegal’s Demba Ba from Goztepe.

Martins’ earnings in Australia is a factor highlighted by his agent who has ruled out any transfer decision until January 2019.

“I’ve spoken with Obafemi and he just wants to continue rehabilitation from his injury (a badly torn hamstring and quadriceps injury suffered back in April) in the UK for the time being,” Alilovic told The World Football.

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“He’s told me he wants to hold off until January (to make a decision on his future).

“I don’t think the A-League is a serious option in terms of what he can earn elsewhere. He won’t be coming to Australia and I think he sees his future remaining in China.”

Martins has played just one league game for Shanghai Shenhua this season where he scored a hat-trick.


Chelsea teen Ampadu signs new contract

Wales international Ethan Ampadu has penned a five-year contract extension with Chelsea, the Premier League club have confirmed.

Ampadu, who turned 18 last week, joined the Blues from Exeter City last year and has made seven senior appearances.

Comfortable in both defence and midfield, Ampadu has also broken into the Wales side and won rave reviews from manager Ryan Giggs following his starring role in the 4-1 Nations League win over Republic of Ireland earlier this month.

“I’m really proud and happy,” Ampadu told Chelsea’s official website.

“I’m looking forward to the next five years and all I have got to do now is continue to work hard, and hopefully good things will happen.”

Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia added: “Ethan has shown great potential and unbelievable maturity since arriving at Chelsea a year ago.

“In this short time he convinced a lot of people with his exceptional quality and mentality and we look forward to watching him develop into a key player for the club over the coming years.”

The teenager’s recent rise saw him attract interest from another Premier League side before the transfer window closed, with Cardiff manager Neil Warnock singing his praises.

“I think they should loan us him,” he said last week.

“He plays the game simple. He will have to quicken up a little bit, when he gets higher up but that’s the whole object of playing games. When you play with the type of players he plays with, it does help his education.”

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However, he opted to stay and fight for a chance in Maurizio Sarri’s team instead, having been given his first taste of Premier League action last December.

“You could say there’s been frustration on one hand, but at the same time I’m getting experience training with the players,” he said. 

“I’m just trying to improve to get into the team. This season’s plans are this season’s plans and at the moment I’ve just to keep improving to try and get in the team. I want to show the manager what I can do.”