Super Eagles striker Victor Osimhen signed his African record deal to Napoli from Lille on Friday, and was quarantined by Nigerian health officials thereafter.
The deal, worth €70m, which could rise to €80m with bonuses, was completed before the player traveled to Nigeria for holiday, our correspondent gathered from his agent Osita Okolo.
“We are hoping they (Napoli and Lille) announce the deal soon as they promised,” Okolo told The PUNCH.
“He signed for Napoli last Friday. There was no way Osimhen would have left for Nigeria without completing his deal to Napoli.”
Meanwhile, Osimhen and Samuel Chukwueze have been quarantined in isolation in Lagos after the duo arrived Nigeria aboard a private aircraft on Monday on holidays.
The 21-year-old striker underwent similar self-isolation when he arrived in the country in May for his father’s burial alongside Paul Onuachu and Imoh Ezekiel.
It is the third time the player has been isolated since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in March.
He was isolated on his return for his father’s burial and was also quarantined when he returned to France to regroup with his club.
Osimhen, who was Lille’s top scorer last season, bagged 18 goals in 32 games in his debut campaign in Ligue 1 and was named the club’s Player of The Year and also won the Marc-Vivien Foe Award for the best African player in France. (The PUNCH)
Matuidi To Join Inter Miami From Juventus
Blaise Matuidi is set to sign for David Beckham’s Inter Miami in Major League Soccer, sources have told ESPN.
The France international is in Paris, where he will undergo his medical before signing a three-year contract with the club.
Juventus wanted to keep him, but Matuidi was seeking a new challenge; he will be Inter Miami’s third Designated Player, alongside Matias Pellegrini and Rodolfo Pizarro.
Sources told ESPN that Matuidi has taken a pay cut to secure the move, and he will be reunited with Beckham, after the pair played together for Paris Saint-Germain back in 2013, just before the Englishman retired. Sources told ESPN that Matuidi has spoken to Beckham over the phone as well as with Inter Miami manager Diego Alonso.
He also spoke to Didier Deschamps, the France head coach, for whom he remains a key player in the 2018 World Cup winners’ squad. Matuidi will be the 13th French player in MLS this season.
Matuidi has 84 caps for France and his signing represents a huge coup for Beckham’s side, who recently called for patience after a difficult start for the franchise.
“Sometimes the road is long and [you] need to take a breather,” Beckham wrote on Instagram. “Manchester United, Real Madrid, La Liga and the [Premier League] wasn’t built in a day. Teams players and clubs need time to flourish but when they do all the hard times seem so distant.
“It’s important to take time to reflect on what we have achieved so far. I’m proud of my team, our club and the amazing fans that we have. Patience is a virtue.”
Inter Miami is still seeking its first win as a franchise and finished at the bottom of its MLS Is Back Tournament group.
Matuidi becomes the first player to leave Juve following the departure of manager Maurizio Sarri and the arrival of his replacement, Andrea Pirlo. (ESPN)
Juventus End Talks For Chelsea Midfielder Jorginho
Juventus have ended their interest in Chelsea midfielder Jorginho.
Juve have switched their attention from Chelsea midfielder Jorginho to Brescia wonderkid Sandro Tonali due to the sacking of Maurizio Sarri.
Tuttosport says there is now no interest in signing Jorginho and Andrea Pirlo, successor to Sarri, instead wants the Italian champions to make a push to sign Tonali.
With Juve reportedly withdrawing their interest, it raises questions as to whether Jorginho will continue under Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge.
The Italian produced just two assists in the Premier League in 2019-20 having made 31 appearances. (Tribal Football)
Man Utd Pip Copenhagen To Qualify For Europa League Semi Final
Bruno Fernandes scored a penalty in extra time as Manchester United scraped past FC Copenhagen 1-0 on Monday in the quarterfinals of the Europa League, reshaped into an eight-team straight knockout tournament in Germany due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Portugal international notched his competition-best seventh goal of the season as United set up a semifinal clash against Sevilla or Wolves, joining Inter Milan in the last four following the Italian side’s 2-1 victory over Bayer Leverkusen in Dusseldorf.
“Third time this season we’ve been to the semis, every competition we’ve been in. Delighted we’ve gone through, we deserved to win tonight,” United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told BT Sport.
“Their keeper was fantastic, unbelievable. We hit the post a few times, there were a couple of VAR decisions against us. It could have been one of those nights that you end up with penalty shoot outs. They made it hard for us.”
All games from the quarterfinals onwards in this season’s Europa League are being played behind closed doors as one-off ties across four venues – Cologne, Duisburg, Dusseldorf and Gelsenkirchen – in a unique format following a five-month interruption.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer recalled Fernandes, Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial after rotating his side for last week’s second leg of their last-16 tie against Austrian club LASK Linz.
However, the 2017 competition winners struggled to develop any early rhythm and 18-year-old Copenhagen forward Mohamed Daramy was twice involved as the Danish underdogs threatened a creaking United backline.
Eric Bailly intervened just as a slightly hesitant Daramy attempted to stab home a bouncing cross, and the Ivorian defender was then played into trouble by Fred with Jens Stage’s subsequent effort blocked.
Rashford finally tested KarlJohan Johnsson just before the interval with a long-range shot – the first of a multitude of saves for Copenhagen’s outstanding Swedish goalkeeper.
Greenwood looked to have put United ahead as he drilled in via the far post moments later only for the teenager to be ruled offside following a VAR review.
He again went close early in the second half when he slammed against the upright, with Fernandes promptly smacking the opposite post with a dipping 20-yard drive.
The Portugal international, who scored five times in the group stage with Sporting, stung the palms of Johnsson with another hit from distance – shortly after Aaron Wan-Bissaka made a desperation block to thwart Bryan Oviedo after a mesmerising dribble from Rasmus Falk.
Appearing in their first European quarterfinal, and the first Danish club to reach this stage since 1997, Copenhagen continued to frustrate United as they sought a repeat of their 1-0 win when the clubs last met in the Champions League group stage in 2006.
Martial nearly won the game in normal time but again a sprawling Johnsson tipped away his curling attempt that appeared destined for the top corner.
The France striker was once more repelled by Johnsson at the start of extra time, but Martial won a penalty as United kept the attack alive and the striker was upended by Andreas Bjelland.
Fernandes blasted home from the spot on 95 minutes but Solskjaer’s team were left to sweat until the end as Johnsson pulled off sensational stops from the Portuguese and substitute Juan Mata, with Victor Lindelof the third United player to strike the post. (SuperSport)
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