Lukaku Trains With Anderlecht Amid United Exit Rumour

Lukaku Hopes Clash Against Everton Sparks Revival For Him
Manchester United’s Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku gestures during the UEFA Champions League group H football match between Young Boys and Manchester United at The Stade de Suisse in Bern on September 19, 2018. Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

 

Manchester United forward Romelu Lukaku trained with his boyhood club Anderlecht on Tuesday, a source close to the Belgian side confirmed to AFP, amid speculation over his exit from Old Trafford.

The Belgium striker has not played a single minute of United’s pre-season campaign with talk of a transfer to Serie A. Inter Milan are one Italian team in hot pursuit.

The 26-year-old turned up for a second successive day training at Anderlecht.

“It wasn’t planned that he trained again,” the source said, “but he’s from Anderlecht, so if he calls he can always pass by”.

READ ALSO: Super Eagles Forward, Samuel Chukwueze Rejoins Villareal

Images of Lukaku in the Anderlecht colours were published in Belgian newspapers. He reportedly had a run-out not with the first team, but Anderlecht’s youth side.

Inter Milan coach Antonio Conte said on Sunday he was “very hopeful” of finalising a deal to bring the former Everton star to the San Siro.

The Italian club have been chasing Lukaku during the transfer window and have reportedly returned with a fresh bid of around £65 million ($79 million) as they try and get the deal over the line.

AFP

Officials Postpone Standard Liege-Anderlecht Game Over Fans Protest

Security members stand past fireworks as smoke billows from the pitch during the Play-off 1 on day 4 (out of 10) of the “Jupiler Pro League” Belgian championship football match between Standard de Liege and RSC Anderlecht in Liege on April 12, 2019. VIRGINIE LEFOUR / BELGA / AFP

 

Anderlecht’s Belgian championship match at Standard Liege on Friday was halted after visiting fans hurled smoke bombs and other objects onto the pitch with their team losing 2-0 and down to 10 men.

The riot erupted in the fourth round of the championship playoff minileague.  Standard took the lead with  goals by Razvan Marin after 22 minutes and Paul-Jose Mpoku from the penalty spot in the 30th minute, Belgian media said.

Anderlecht’s Kara Mbodji received a red card after conceding the penalty.

READ ALSO: EPL: Moura’s Hat-Trick Lifts Spurs Into Third Place

“With complete understanding for the unsatisfactory results, I truly denounce this behaviour,” Pro League president Marc Coucke said on the Anderlecht twitter account

“Football is a game of intense emotions in defeat and victory, but never aggression. Apologies to all those who love football and especially the peaceful supporters of RSCA,” Coucke wrote.

AFP

Anderlecht Sack Coach Vanhaezebrouck

Anderlecht’s Belgian coach Hein Vanhaezebrouck looks on during the UEFA Europa League Group D football match between GNK Dinamo Zagreb and RSC Anderlecht at the Maksimir stadium in Zagreb on December 13, 2018. Denis LOVROVIC / AFP

 

Belgium’s most successful side Anderlecht have sacked coach Hein Vanhaezebrouck after a series of poor results, the club announced on Sunday.

The 2-1 defeat at newly-promoted Cercle Brugge this weekend was their third in four league games.

They sit in fourth place, nine points behind Genk at the top of the Belgian top flight, are without a win since November and have already been knocked out of the Europa League and the Belgian Cup.

“The team hasn’t claimed enough points in the league and we were eliminated from the Belgian Cup and the Europa League too early. We hope to turn our form around,” sporting director Michael Verschueren said.

A replacement has yet to be named for the 54-year-old Vanhaezebrouck who led Genk to their only ever league title in 2015.

AFP

Super Eagles Striker Onyekuru Faces Long Injury Spell

Super Eagles striker, Henry Onyekuru faces a long spell on the sidelines and will have to undergo knee surgery after suffering a ligament injury in Anderlecht’s 1-0 win over Eupen in the Belgian league.

The 20-year-old was stretchered off the pitch in the 78th minute after a collision with Eupen goalkeeper.

Anderlecht medical team has received an approval from Onyekuru’s parent club, Everton, to have a surgical operation.

A statement on Anderlecht’s official website read, “After a thorough examination, the RSCA medical staff is able to report that Henry Onyekuru has torn the inner lateral ligament of the knee.

“It will be operated urgently. The medical staff is in close contact with Everton to determine where the surgery will take place.”

Onyekuru joined Everton from Eupen at the beginning of the season but was immediately loaned out to Anderlecht.

He is in contention to be included in Nigeria’s squad list for the 2018 World Cup  and the news is a big blow to Super Eagles manager Gernot Rohr.

Manchester United Advance Into Europa Semis

Manchester United Advance Into Europa SemisManchester United on Thursday beat Anderlecht 2-1 to qualify for the semi-final of the UEFA Europa League.

With the first leg ending 1-1, Henrikh Mkhitaryan put United ahead at the Old Trafford, just before Sofiane Hanni equalised with a close-range finish.

Though the Red Devils missed several chances in both halves, Marcus Rashford’s extra time goal sent the English side into the Last Four as they advance 3-2 on aggregate.

Elsewhere, Besiktas beat Lyon 2 – 1, Schalke 04 thrashed Ajax 3 – 2, while the match between Genk and Celta Vigo ended 1- 1.

Ferguson Urges Manchester United To Win Europa League

Fenerbahce, Europa League, Manchester UnitedSir Alex Ferguson has urged Manchester United to focus on winning the Europa league due to the “incentive” of qualifying for the champions league.

He believes that winning the Europa league would secure qualification for Europe’s premier club competition, and has asked that Jose Mourinho’s side should aim to claim the trophy.

“The thing is, we’ve never won the Europa League –  We never won the UEFA Cup, what it used to be.

“And we’ve got a great draw. I’m not saying it’s a certainty, but they’ve got a great chance.

“It’s still a European trophy. And if you win it, you get into the Champions League. The incentive is greater to do that,” Ferguson told ESPN.

United play Belgian side Anderlecht, away in the first leg of their Europa league quarter-final on April 13, before hosting Rene Weiler’s side at old Trafford in the return leg a week later.

Sikiru Olatunbosun Bags ‘CNN Goal of the Week’ Prize

Sikiru Olatunbosun Bags CNN Football Goal of the WeekMFM FC Striker, Sikiru Olatunbosun, has won the CNN Football Goal of the Week award.

Olatunbosun defeated Radja Nainggolan of Roma, Youri Tielemans of Anderlecht and Joey Jones of Woking FC to clinch the honour.

The Nigerian was the overwhelming winner with 82% of the total votes.

This is the first time that a Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) player will be nominated for, and win the weekly CNN football prize.

Olatunbosun was nominated for his long-range screamer against Rangers on January 24 at the Agege Stadium in Lagos.

Stephen Keshi’s Funeral Rites Begin

keshiFuneral rites for former Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi has begun with a requiem mass at St. Paul Anglican Church in Benin City, the Edo State capital.

Reverend Father Richard Ofere, during his sermon said that death is not the end of life for a good Christian rather it is a passage to eternal glory.

There was a lying-in-state ceremony which was followed by a novelty match involving football veterans at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, witnessed by family, friends and the public.

Present at the ceremony is a delegation of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), led by its President, Amaju Pinnick.

Former team mates of the late football strategist, including Austin Eguavoen, Peter Rufai, Mutiu Adepoju and Uche Okechukwu were also present.

Former Super Eagles coach, Fanny Amun, used the occasion to demand adequate compensation for national service.

Stephen Keshi passed on at the age of 54 in the early hours of Wednesday, June 8 in Benin City, the Edo State capital in south-south Nigeria.

In 2013, he became the second person to win the Africa Cup of Nations both as a player and a coach after Mahmoud El-Gohary of Egypt.

Sports Enthusiasts Pay Tribute To Stephen Keshi

Stephen-Keshi-SportsSports enthusiasts in Africa have paid tribute to late Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi.

The sports fanatics gathered in Johannesburg at an event convened by former Nigerian goalkeeper, Idah Peterside, to honour the Nigerian football legend.

In their remarks, Bafana Bafana Head Coach, Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba, and a former Nigerian Goalkeeper, Willie Opara, decried the interference with the efforts of coaches put in charge of teams.

The duo called on the official football administration to ensure less inference as much as possible, saying it is detrimental to the development of African football.

Also present at the memorial ceremony were other sports legends and fans from Nigeria, Zambia, DR Congo and South Africa.

Stephen Keshi passed on at the age of 54 in the early hours of Wednesday, June 8 in Benin City, the Edo State capital in south-south Nigeria.

In 2013, he became the second person to win the Africa Cup of Nations both as a player and a coach after Mahmoud El-Gohary of Egypt.

Shuaibu Amodu’s Death Is Great Loss To Football Community – Oshiomhole

Adams Oshiomhole, Shuaibu Amodu, Amodu Shuaibu Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has described the death of former Super Eagles Coach, Shuaibu Amodu, as a great loss to the football community.

Governor Oshiomhole said this in Okpella Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo State in southern Nigeria, where the remains of the four–time coach of the Super Eagles was being laid to rest.

He said that the demise of Shuaibu Amodu was indeed a big loss, especially when Nigeria was still mourning the demise of another former player and coach of the senior national team, Stephen Keshi.

At the burial rites in his hometown, officials of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) and well-wishers joined members of his immediate family to pay the former tactician of BCC Loins of Gboko his last respect.

The NFF, in a statement by its Communication Department, described the late technical director as one of the best coaches Nigeria had produced.Amodu shaibu

The 58-year-old died in the early hours of Saturday, after complaining of chest pain on Friday night.

Shuaibu Amodu had Coach Keshi who died three days prior to his death, as his assistant at the 2002 Cup of Nations in Mali.

He was born on April 18, 1958 and played as a striker for Dumez and Niger Tornadoes before ending his career after a leg injury.

Former Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi, Dies At 54

Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi, Nigeria’s football legend, Stephen Okechukwu Chinedu Keshi, has died at the age of 54.

Keshi passed on in the early hours of Wednesday, June 8 in Benin City, the Edo State capital.

A statement by his manager, Emmanuel Ado, confirmed the death of the former Super Eagles captain.

“With thanksgiving to God, the Ogbuenyi Fredrick Keshi family of Illah in Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta State, announces the death of Mr Stephen Okechukwu Chinedu Keshi.

“Our son, brother, father, father-in-law, brother-in-law, has gone to be with his wife of 35 years (Nkem), Mrs Kate Keshi, who passed on 9th December 2015.

“Since her death, Keshi has been in mourning. He came back to Nigeria to be with her.

“He had planned to fly back today Wednesday, before he suffered a cardiac arrest. He has found rest.

“We thank God for his life.

“We want to ask for understanding in this very difficult time for the family,” the statement said.

Keshi’s corpse has been deposited at the Idahosa hospital in Benin City.

He is survived by four children.

Keshi, the only Nigerian coach to have won the Africa Cup of Nations, achieved a rare feat in 2013 by becoming only the second person to win the trophy both as a player and a coach after Mahmoud El-Gohary of Egypt.

He started his playing career at ACB Football Club, and later played for New Nigeria Bank, Stade d’Abidjan, Africa Sports, Lokeren, Anderlecht, RC Strasbourg, and a host of other clubs around the world.

The football legend represented Nigeria from 1982, at age 20, till 1994, most of the time captaining the Super Eagles and scoring vital goals from his position as a central defender.

He also coached Togo and Nigeria at the World Cup, as well as Mali.

Champions League: Wenger Hails Arsenal Character

WengerArsenal Manager, Arsene Wenger, has praised his team for showing good character after beating Borrusia Dortmund 2-0 to reach the last 16 of the Champions League for the 15th season in a row.

Three weeks after playing a 3-3 draw with Anderlecht after blowing a 3-0 lead at the Emirates, Arsenal went ahead in the second minute through Yaya Sanogo and made it 2-0 after 57 minutes through Alexis Sanchez.

“We had a good start and overall it was a very intense game between two very good teams where you had to fight for every ball and be focused. I felt we had a good combination between our usual passing game and our transition from defence to attack. We were highly focused to defend well together from the first to the last minute and we always looked dangerous. Defensively we were very good as well.

“We were more under pressure because on Saturday we played well but maybe we were victims of our generous attitude going forward. Here we had a bit more urgency to defend, especially when we were 1-0 up,” Wenger said.

On Yaya Sanogo’s goal, he said, “I think he played well. I decided tonight to go a bit longer from the start and he protected the ball well and won many challenges. He’s a young boy but he has presence, character and he’s naturally committed. He has a natural, aggressive attitude up front that is vital and very important.”

He also spoke on the plan on improving to make an impact in the last 16 where Arsenal in the last five or six years had always faced tougher teams who always got the better of them.

“From now until February, we need to improve as a team, get encouragement from tonight’s game and then hope we have nearly all our players back in the next round. You see who is qualified around Europe and there are many teams who are at the top, top level. There are three or four teams you don’t want to play.”

Wenger also noted that he would approach the last game aiming to win it as this would increase his chances of topping the group.

“I will try to win the last game and you never know. If Anderlecht win in Dortmund and we don’t win in Galatasaray you will say we were stupid. It’s unlikely, let’s say it’s 90 per cent that we will finish second and Dortmund will finish first.”

Arsenal have failed to go beyond the round of 16 in the last four years and Wenger said he would do things a little differently this season.