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Ajako dumps Akwa United for foreign club

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Defender James Ajako has left Nigeria Premier League side Akwa United.

The Promise Keepers’ defensive stalwart is said to have left the club as a free agent and is set to move abroad.

Newsmen gathered that Ajako has travelled out of the country to finalise a summer move.

FUS Rabat of Morocco are rumoured to have shown concrete interest in the highly rated left-back.

Ajako made the NPL best eleven at the end of the 2022-23 season.

He scored three goals and recorded five assists for the Uyo club.

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Gusau backs Falcons to shine at Olympics

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The President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Ibrahim Gusau, is optimistic the Super Falcons will derive inspiration from their impressive performance at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand when they compete at the women’s football event of the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

Nigeria are pitted against Spain, Brazil, and Japan in a tough Group C of the tournament, which begins July 25, a day before the opening ceremony of the Games, and will run until August 10, when the Games come to an end.

The Falcons booked their spot at the Games for the first time since 2008 by defeating rivals South Africa 1-0 on aggregate in the final qualifying round.

The team’s coach, Randy Waldrum, has labelled their group the “group of death,” but Gusau believes the 11-time African champions can replicate their 2023 Women’s World Cup form, where they bowed out on penalties against England in the round of 16, having held Olympic champions Canada and Northern Ireland, and beating co-hosts Australia.

“We’ll try to improve on our World Cup performance, where we crashed out without losing a single game during regulation time. The girls have shown resilience and determination to qualify for the Olympics against all odds, and I trust them to carry that same spirit to the Games in Paris,” Gusau said.

Gusau is also setting his sights on the podium in Paris.

“After a performance at the World Cup in Australia or New Zealand, I know none of the teams in our group will take us for granted. We want to qualify from the group stage and target the semi-finals, which puts us in the medal range. I believe the team will do well in Paris and return to the country with medals on their necks. Missing three previous Olympic qualifications will motivate the girls to make their mark in Paris,” he added.

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EPL: Liverpool in talks with Arne Slot to replace Klopp

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Liverpool have opened talks with Feyenoord about appointing Arne Slot as their new manager.

According to Sky Sports, Slot is now the favourite to replace Jurgen Klopp at Anfield.

The Dutchman is believed to tick all their key criteria for the role and the process could move quickly with the 45-year-old keen to join the Reds.

Slot lifted the KNVB Cup last weekend and guided Feyenoord to their first title in six years last season.

He appeals to Liverpool due to his aggressive, full-throttle style.

Slot’s penchant for a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 formation also fits Liverpool’s squad.

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Guardiola confirms Haaland injury blow ahead of Brighton vs Man City

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Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola, has said Erling Haaland will miss their Premier League trip to Brighton because of injury.

Haaland was not included in the squad for the FA Cup semi-final win over Chelsea on Saturday, after picking up a muscle problem against Real Madrid.

The Norway striker has not featured since then and is yet to resume training.

Guardiola, speaking at his press conference today, confirmed that Haaland will not play against Brighton at the Amex Stadium on Thursday.

However, Phil Foden and John Stones are available for selection.

“Erling is not ready for tomorrow [against Brighton].

“It’s not a big issue but he’s not allowed for this game,” Guardiola said.

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