Solskjaer always in touch with United players during lockdown

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keeping in touch with his Manchester United stars as he deals with the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus.

The Premier League has been postponed until at least 30 April because
of the pandemic and it is feared the season will be delayed again when English football’s stakeholders meet to discuss the crisis on Friday.

During the unsettling virus lockdown in Britain, United manager Solskjaer has been unable to train his squad in person.

But he has been in constant contact with players and staff on the
phone in a bid to ensure they are ready, if and when matches can resume.

“Of course, I’m used to seeing them every day for hours and hours, so it’s different,” Solskjaer told United’s website on Tuesday. Make cool cash from home by clicking 12hrs upcoming events on NaijaBet

“But it’s such an unknown and we don’t really have an idea and are not 100 percent about when we’ll start.

Spurs cut non-playing staff wages by 20 percent

Tottenham have reduced the wages of non-playing staff by 20 percent for the next two months, with chairman Daniel Levy hoping players will follow suit due to the financial crisis caused by coronavirus.

Players at Barcelona, Juventus and Bayern Munich are among those to have taken either a significant wage cut or deferred payments during the crisis.

Football in England is suspended until at least April 30 and a meeting of Premier League clubs on Friday is expected to push that date further back.

“Having already taken steps to reduce costs, we ourselves made the difficult decision, in order to protect jobs, to reduce the remuneration of all 550 non-playing directors and employees for April and May by 20 percent,” Levy said in a statement on the Spurs website.

Inter want to keep Martinez amid interest from Barcelona and Manchester United

Inter have made it clear they will only negotiate Lautaro Martinez’s departure this summer if the striker asks to leave, reports Marca.

Martinez has been earmarked as a top transfer target by both Barcelona and United, though the forward would prefer to join the former.

The Argentina international has developed into one of the most sought after young forwards in Europe this season and is now valued more than £100M.

Barcelona are expected to either move to sign Martinez or try and re-sign Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain this summer but they only have enough money to conclude one of those transfers.

Willian to join one of Chelsea’s Premier League rivals

Willian has suggested he wants to stay in the Premier League beyond the end of this season even if it means joining one of Chelsea’s Premier League rivals.

The 31-year-old has entered the final three months of his current Chelsea contract and is free to discuss a Bosman transfer with foreign clubs.

Chelsea want Willian to stay but are only willing to offer the Brazil international a two-year deal to renew.

Chelsea do not tend to offer players the wrong side of 30 with anything more than rolling 12-month deals.

Willian, however, has made it clear he wants a three-year deal and is even willing to join one of Chelea’s main rivals after settling in England.

“My desire is to stay in the Premier League but I don’t rule out playing in other leagues, no,” Willian told The Sun. “I’ll play until the end of the season and see what happens.

Spanish LaLiga >> Messi confirms pay cut for players, criticises board

Lionel Messi confirmed on Monday that Barcelona’s players will take a 70 per cent pay cut and make financial contributions to ensure the club’s other employees are paid in full during the state of alarm in Spain.

In a lengthy message posted on
his Instagram account, Messi also took another swipe at the Barca
board, led by president Josep Maria Bartomeu, whom he accused of
undermining the players during recent negotiations.

Other Spanish
clubs are expected to follow suit in applying temporary pay cuts, as
football’s hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic leaves a number of
them fighting for financial survival.

Atletico Madrid have said the club will impose salary reductions on staff whose hours have been affected while Espanyol have also confirmed pay cuts, although for sporting staff only.

“For our part, the time has come to announce that, as well as the reduction of 70 per cent of our salary during the State of Alarm, we will also make contributions so the club’s employees can collect 100 per cent of their salary while this situation lasts,” Messi wrote.

Rashford helps feed children during virus shutdown

Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford is working to get food to children who rely on free school meals after the coronavirus shutdown.

The 22-year-old England international has
teamed up with charity FareShare to help children in the Manchester area
after schools were closed.

And he revealed that his own childhood had inspired him to want to make a difference to the next generation.

“In the past I have done a lot of work in regards to children and when I heard about the schools shutting down, I knew that meant free meals for some kids that they are not getting at school,” Rashford told the BBC.

“I
remember when I was at school I was on free meals and my mum wouldn’t
get home until around six o’clock so my next meal would have been about 8
o’clock. I was fortunate, and there are kids in much more difficult
situations that don’t get their meals at homes.”

Rashford said fundraising had gone well.

We have got to the £100 000 ($124 000) mark, which means we get to feed 400 000 children so it’s been very positive.”

Manchester United and Manchester City have joined forces to donate to food banks in the area.

EFCC uncovers 35 ‘illegal’ betting operators

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday said it has uncovered 35 lottery operators allegedly doing business without core licenses and permits.

It stated this in a series of tweets posted via its verified Twitter handle on Thursday afternoon.

The commission said the discoveries followed an attempt to end tax fraud in the lottery business, adding that only 21 operators and 18 firms were licensed by the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC).

“The 35 illegal companies’ names were unravelled during an investigation on the operations of lottery companies in the country, supported by a document from the National Lottery Regulatory Commission, NLRC, based on request from the EFCC.

“The illegal companies are Emerald Bets International Limited (Emerald Bet), Saharabets Sports Ltd (Surebet247), Bimm Entertainment Ltd (Easy Bet), Champion Superbet (Superbet), EbonyBet, 360Bets Limited, Bet Now Global Business Services Limited, Caryle Investment Limited (BetMunster), Camlake Limited (Wakabet) and West Africa Betting Company Limited (PMUbet).

La Liga Rising Star: Mohammed Salisu

Among LaLiga’s most exciting defensive rising
stars is Real Valladolid centre-back Mohammed Salisu, whose solid and
composed displays in his debut season suggest a long and highly
successful career is ahead of him.

Valladolid’s 20-year-old
Ghanaian centre-back has been one of the most impressive defenders at
any La Liga Santander club in 2019-20, getting the better of personal
duels with forwards as experienced and talented as Atletico de Madrid’s
Alvaro Morata, Real Sociedad’s Willian Jose and Real Betis’ Borja
Iglesias.

Having only made his La Liga Santander debut last
August, Salisu has started 26 of Valladolid’s first 27 games, as part of
a solid defence which has been key to Sergio Fernandez’s team spending
most of the campaign well clear of the drop zone.

Born in Accra in 1999, Salisu was signed by
Valladolid in autumn 2017, having been scouted from the ‘African Talent
Football Academy’ in his home country. By the following January, the
17-year-old had broken into Valladolid’s B team in the third tier,
impressing enough to become a regular for the remainder of the campaign.

Five steps to kicking out coronavirus

Fifa and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have teamed up to combat the coronavirus (Covid-19) by launching a new awareness campaign led by world-renowned footballers, who are calling on all people around the world to follow five key steps to stop the spread of the disease.

The ‘Pass the message to kick out coronavirus’ campaign promotes five key steps for people to follow to protect their health in line with WHO guidance, focused on hand washing, coughing etiquette, not touching your face, physical distance and staying home if feeling unwell.

“Fifa and its President Gianni Infantino have been actively involved in passing the message against this pandemic since the very beginning,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at the virtual launch of the campaign at WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

Ighalo set for Man United stay as Martins prepares to join Shanghai

Nigerian striker Obafemi Martins is on the verge of a return to Shanghai Shenhua, Chinese media have reported, increasing the likelihood Odion Ighalo will make his stay at Manchester United a permanent one this summer.

Ighalo has made an impressive
start to life at United, scoring four times in eight games since signing
on loan until 31 May from the Chinese Super League club.

Martins, who was previously contracted to Shenhua from 2016 until the end of the 2018 season, was reported by Titan Sports to have arrived in China on Tuesday and was being lined up to replace Ighalo ahead of the Chinese Super League season.

China’s domestic league has yet to start the 2020 season after kick-off was delayed indefinitely due to the coronavirus outbreak but speculation is mounting that the campaign will begin in late April or early May.