Striker Robert Lewandowski has extended his contract at Bayern Munich until 2023, the defending Bundesliga champions announced Thursday.
“FC Bayern is one of the three largest clubs in the world and we have an outstanding team. I am proud to be part of this club,” said the 31-year-old, who has scored 197 goals in 246 appearances since joining Bayern in 2014.
“It’s the place where I’ve grown up playing and hopefully I’ll be playing here for a lot longer.”
Loftus-Cheek joined Chelsea as an under-eight and progressed through the youth ranks to the first team, so far making 72 appearances.
A loan spell at Crystal Palace gave the midfielder valuable top-level experience and coincided with his first full England call-up against Germany in November 2017.
With Chelsea currently operating under a transfer ban for the next two windows, keeping promising players like Loftus-Cheek is essential to their hopes of competing for a top-four finish in the Premier League.
“When I look back and see how the hard work has paid off, it’s a good feeling. That only makes me want to work harder to achieve more in the future,” Loftus-Cheek added.
“I hope to win a lot more trophies with the team and personally it’s just about trying to do as well as I can and work hard to be a key player for Chelsea.”
Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia added: “We see Ruben as an important part of the squad for many years to come and we are very pleased he also considers his future to be with Chelsea.”
Neymar’s father reiterated on Sunday that there has been no attempt to contact Barcelona over a possible return to Spain for the world’s most expensive player.
Neymar joined Paris Saint-Germain for a world record fee of 222 million euros ($251 million) in August 2017 but has repeatedly been linked with a move back to Barcelona.
“Barca are a huge club, we were very happy over there,” Neymar Sr told TF1 on Sunday. “It’s impossible to leave a player like him out of these (transfer market) rumours. But it’s a lie, there hasn’t been a call with Barca.”
“There are two people who speak for Neymar: himself and me. Neither of us has spoken about this intention to return to Barcelona,” he added.
“These rumours amuse us a lot. These journalists are funny. The future is in Paris, the present is in Paris.”
Tottenham Hotspur have triggered an extension clause in veteran Belgian international Toby Alderweireld’s contract which ties him to the Premier League highflyers until the summer of 2020.
The 29-year-old central defender — capped 88 times and an integral part of Belgium’s best ever performance at the World Cup last year where they finished third — has a £25-million ($31.7m) release clause should a suitor come in for him.
“The club can confirm that we have activated the option to extend Toby Alderweireld’s contract until 2020,” Tottenham said in a statement on their website.
“The Belgium international defender has made 135 appearances for us to date since signing from Atletico Madrid in 2015.”
Alderweireld, who attracted interest from Manchester United in the close season after he rejected a long-term deal, has been the rock at the heart of the defence this term.
He has enjoyed a good run in the first team — making 26 appearances — as both compatriot Jan Vertonghen and Colombian Davinson Sanchez have been affected by injuries.
Brazilian international defender Alex Sandro has renewed his contract with Juventus, committing to the Serie A champions until 2023, the club confirmed on Thursday.
The 27-year-old Sandro has won three Serie A titles and three Italian Cups since joining from Porto in 2015, where he also won two league titles.
His five-year contract worth 26 million euros ($29 million) was due to expire in 2020.
“Today for me, my family and also for my teammates is a very happy day. To the fans I would like to say that I will always give my best, as I have done so far, and to keep improving,” said the left-back.
“In the years that I’ve been here, I learned the mentality of the club and of my teammates. Here we always work to win and this will never change,” said Sandro.
The Brazilian had been linked with a move away from Turin to an English Premier League club over the past two seasons.
“Power, control, technique and game vision. Alex Sandro has shown himself to be one of the most important elements of a team that has won three leagues and three Italian Cups since his arrival from Porto,” Juventus said in a statement.
“Here’s to continuing that commitment, going forward to earn new victories and win more trophies!”
Liverpool forward Sadio Mane has signed a new long-term contract with the Premier League giants, the club announced on Thursday.
The 26-year-old joined Jurgen Klopp’s side from Southampton in June 2016, and has scored 40 goals for Liverpool, forming a deadly frontline alongside Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah.
“I am very happy, very happy to extend my time at Liverpool,” Mane said. “It is a great day for me and now I am looking forward to everything –- to helping the team, to helping the club achieve our dreams and, especially, to win trophies.
“For me, I have made the best decision in my career.”
The Senegal international scored 10 goals as Liverpool reached last season’s Champions League final, and has started the new campaign strongly, netting six times in 11 Premier League games.
He was also named on the 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d’Or last month.
The length of his new deal was not disclosed by Liverpool.
“This is a big boost for everyone and another demonstration of how the players we have at this club are committed, not just to our present but our future also,” said Reds manager Klopp.
“I can’t think of a single club anywhere in Europe that wouldn’t want a player like Sadio available to them, so the fact he wants to remain with us says something about where we are currently.
“He is a such an important member of our team and squad. He radiates joy and I think this is reflected in his performances and impact on the pitch.”
The Anfield club put their unbeaten record in the league this term on the line against Watford on Saturday.
Egyptian international Mohamed Salah’s stunning first season with English Premier League side Liverpool earned him a long-term contract with the club on Monday.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said the fact the 26-year-old striker — who scored 44 goals in just 52 appearances last season — signed such a deal reflected his belief the club were on course for a successful era.
Salah’s goals played a large part in Liverpool reaching the Champions League final against Real Madrid.
However, that proved a rare sour note for the player as Salah was slammed to the turf by Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos, causing a painful separation of his left shoulder.
Salah returned to action for the first time in three weeks against Russia at the World Cup in their group match last month but was a shadow of the player that had dazzled for Liverpool and earned him the Africa player of the year award.
The new contract “demonstrates two things very clearly — his belief in Liverpool and our belief in him,” Klopp told the Liverpool website.
“I think this news can be seen for what it is; rewarding a person who performed and contributed greatly for the team and the club last season,” said Klopp.
“We want world-class talent to see they have a home at Anfield where they can fulfil all their professional dreams and ambitions – we are working hard together to achieve this.
“When someone like Mo Salah commits and says this place is my home now, it speaks very loudly I think.
“Equally, our commitment to him says we see his value and want him to grow even more and get even better within our environment.”
Salah registered the second-highest total of goals in a season in Liverpool’s history, just three behind Ian Rush’s record of 47 and surpassing Roger Hunt’s haul of 42.
Thirty-two of those came in the Premier League, setting a new record in a 38-game season and earning him the Golden Boot.
Salah was named as both the PFA Players’ Player of the Year and the Football Writers’ Association’s Footballer of the Year for his efforts in 2017-18.
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has signed a new five-year contract, the Premier League club announced on Thursday.
The Argentine, who has led Spurs to three successive top-three finishes in the Premier League, has penned fresh terms to keep him at the club until 2023.
“I am honoured to have signed a new long-term contract as we approach one of the most significant periods in the club’s history and be the manager that will lead this team into our new world-class stadium,” he told the club’s official website.
Jose Mourinho has signed a contract extension at Manchester United that will keep him at Old Trafford until at least 2020, the Premier League club announced on Thursday.
Mourinho became the first United manager in history to win a major trophy in his first season when he secured the League Cup last year, and he also led the club to victory in the Europa League, the only competition they had never won.
United are a distant second in the Premier League to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City this season but are still in the FA Cup and the Champions League.
“I would like to say a big thank you to the owners and to (executive vice-chairman) Mr (Ed) Woodward for the recognition of my hard work and dedication. I am delighted they feel and trust that I am the right manager for this great club for the foreseeable future,” said Mourinho.
“We have set very high standards — winning three trophies in one season (including the Community Shield) — but those are the standards I expect my teams to aim for. We are creating the conditions for a brilliant and successful future for Manchester United.”
Mourinho, who was appointed in May 2016 on a three-year deal, replaced Louis van Gaal with a brief to return the club to the pinnacle of the English game.
The 20-time league champions have not won the Premier League title since Alex Ferguson’s last season in charge in 2012-13.
Woodward said the former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss, whose new deal includes an option for a further year, had already achieved a great deal in his time at Old Trafford.
“His workrate and professionalism are exceptional and he has embraced the club’s desire to promote top quality young players to the first team,” said Woodward.
“He has brought an energy and a sense of purpose to everything that he does and I am sure that will continue to bring results for the fans and the club.”
Earlier this month Mourinho dismissed reports he may walk out on United this coming close season as “garbage”.
Mourinho had looked an unhappy figure as United’s title bid faltered and they suffered a shock League Cup exit at Championship side Bristol City.
There had been suggestions that Mourinho was disappointed at the relative lack of spending power at his disposal, claims which he also denied.
And Mourinho was upset at suggestions that his decision to live in a hotel, rather than finding a home in Manchester, was a sign of a lack of professionalism or commitment to the job.
Earlier this week United signed Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez in a swap deal for Henrikh Mkhitaryan to add to their well-stocked forward line featuring the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard.
Sanchez, who had previously been strongly linked with a move to Manchester City, is in the squad to play Yeovil Town in the FA Cup fourth round on Friday
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has on Saturday insisted that it followed due process in contracts tendering.
The group in a series of tweets through its official Twitter handle, @NNPCgroup, denied breaching any contracting process including the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano Gas (AKK) N827billion Pipeline contract.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu had earlier in October wrote to President Muhammadu Buhari on August 30, 2017, in a leaked media alleging insubordination by the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Maikanti Baru, accusing him of not following due process in the tendering for the contract.
Describing alleged breach in the contract tendering process as misleading, the NNPC management through the series of Tweets also denied the contract was already approved before last week Wednesday.
“The attention of NNPC group has been drawn to an online report wherein it was stated that the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano Gas (AKK) Pipeline contract was presented before the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for approval “to correct the infringement of due process by the initial approval given by the President”.
“It was also stated that the contract was resubmitted for approval “to correct the alleged irregularity pointed out in a leaked memo to the President.”
The NNPC said these allegations are misrepresentations aimed at misleading Nigerians. The group said tendering process requires that all contracts are presented for approval by the NNPC Tenders Board (NTB). Where the contract is above NTB’s threshold of $20million, it endorses it to FEC.
“The AKK tender followed exactly this process. It is important for the general public to note that no contracting process was breached in the AKK nor any contracts handled by NNPC group,” NNPC said.
NNPC also said the AKK tender which was considered and endorsed by NTB on July 12, 2017, for consideration by the Federal Executive Council (FEC), was never approved by Mr President nor considered by FEC prior to December 13, 2017.
Responding further to an apparent allegation by Kachikwu at the FEC meeting held in Abuja on Wednesday, NNPC said it is, therefore, most unfortunate the continued claim that there was an approval for the contract and that it had to be represented to the FEC again to correct any infringement.
NNPC, therefore, insisted that there was no irregularity in the process of tendering contracts and due process was followed.